Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cooking Club! Reading, Writing, Social Skills, and a Yummy Time!

I discovered a great kids' magazine called Chop Chop! put out by the American Pediatric Association. My students selected this Soba Noodle Salad for Cooking Club this week. I originally started the lunchtime group for a resource student who hated reading. She is in the 6th grade and is leading the group now. And....her reading level has increased by a year since we started reading children's cookbooks, and double-dosing her with lots of other interested books!
We also have two students with autism in this group, and they really look forward to Cooking Club. They invite a couple of friends from their general ed classes, and we end up with an eclectic group of students, included English Language Learners. 
Needless to say, we always make a mess, have a blast and everybody wins!

Here's my TPT product "A Recipe For...."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

And I am Definitely Not an Autism Specialist!

More and more of my students are on the autism spectrum. I have participated in many trainings over the years, and have learned so much from specialists who really are trained in the area of autism.  But my college training was way-back-when, when the autism label was reserved for children with severe disabilities, and there were not the array of terrific interventions and research.
But, I have definitely developed my own bag of tricks over the years for students with behavioral, social, and communication difficulties, autism eligibility, or not.
Here's a sample of tools that I am calling "I Can" statements, and I have updated my Resource Specialist Manual to include them. The kids enjoy reflecting and reading their own ideas in the form of replacement behaviors for tricky situations.
No, I do not consider myself an autism expert, but these simple charts are working with my students!