good lesson plan for autistic prek:Pumpkins? - ProTeacher Community





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good lesson plan for autistic prek:Pumpkins?
Old 10-17-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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I am a grad student completing my Special Ed. practicum in a self contained prek classroom - with 5 out of 7 children on the autistic spectrum. The class is taught using ABa methods individually. Part of my practicum is giving a lesson observed by a professor. I am getting mixed messages from the teachers in the room about giving a group lesson. The main teacher feels it is not developmentally appropriate to give a group lesson, while the very experienced assistants feel it is very important to have circle time - to prepare them for kindergarten and encourage social interaction. I would like to give a small circle lesson and then give them a simple project. I do understand that some of the nonverbal children will not benefit the same as the higher functioning children, but I don't feel that i'll have good attention if I only give the lesson to part of the class. Any ideas?


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Old 10-17-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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I think it's deinitely possible to do a group activity where children of differing abilities can all benefit. In fact, that's an important skill to learn if you're going into sped! For example, some kids can answer questions, sing songs, listen to books, etc; while others can point at pictures on a picture board, make hand movements to a song, hold pumpkin manipulatives, etc.

What I'm more concerned about is how your professor, head teacher, assistants, etc all dissagree about what is developmentally appropriate for group activities. You don't want to get stuck in the middle! Can you sit down w/ your professor and talk about what the research says and how it applies to the kids in this class? Before your formal observation, could you talk to the lead teacher about trying out a group activity to see how it goes?
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:05 PM
 
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Thank you. I agree. I already told my professor that the children in the class are very unpredictable and I wasn't sure how a group lesson would work out. She seems ok with that. As far as this conflict between the teachers, it is very difficult to be in the middle. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the head teacher, as she seems so knowledgable about current research in the field. However, I do agree with the the other teachers' opinions about the importance of group activities (regardless of research). I guessthere is finding that happy medium and doing the best I can. Ido only have 5 weeks experience working with Autistic children. It definitely is not enough time to learn everything about Autism and ABA. The more I read, the more confused I get!
The head teacher is very receptive to my ideas and encouraged me to try out any ideas I have. I just have to put all my ideas together!
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pumpkins
Old 10-19-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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Is this class one to one ratio? I have taught a group like this last year. I would have pumpkin songs during circle time. Kids like this respond to music usually very well. Then do an art activity with pumpkins. You could cut out pumpkins and then have the students finger paint them. I usually would try to do art activities that involved sensory-which is usually an issue with students with autism. If the class is one to one ratio, then the activity shouldn't be difficult.
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Practice!
Old 10-20-2006, 01:30 AM
 
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Try to practice a similar lesson before being observed. Sounds like your lesson might be the first time they are doing circle time, so let the kids and aides (and you) practice before your observation.

The point of special education is to give our kids hte strategies and skills to work towards accessing the curriculum the same way their typical peers would. All pr-schools that I know of (for 3s and 4s) do project time and circle time which are whole group activities.

Just remember that a typical attention span at the age is less than a fruit flies, so keep any non-movement instruction to a bare minimum and follow up with engaging activities. These activities can be individualized (differentiated) according to your children's needs, and you would get huge brownie points from both the head teacher and your professor!


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