On the occasion of my new kid’s very first day, we organized some changes in our classroom routines (in order to meet his special needs). He’s a very young kinder, a child who found nothing but frustration in the general ed setting… and with his identified disabilities, how could he not? There were 19 kids, lots of fun activities--- translate to stimulation---, general ed routines and behavior program (ie, not super structured) . It just wasn’t appropriate for him.
Even within our specialized setting, our routines and expectations had to be tweaked. For example, reduced work requirements are a must for now. He doesn’t go to the cafeteria or loud assesmblies; we only play outside in the fenced in areas because of his tendency to “elope”. We hold tight to his hand in the hall, and change our walking route.
He resisted doing paper and pencil work, but later in the day wrote his name with great concentration. So this morning, at journal writing,when he began to balk, I said today’s job was to just write his name neatly. He seemed to feel comfortable with this direction, and took his time crafting it nicely on the lines. He left his work area feeling successful—as evidenced by his demeanor, relaxed voice, and kind words to classmate.
Tomorrow, we’ll complete his journal with a nod to name writing and then perhaps using the tracing cards to do something more. A step at a time, and no more, will be key helping him succeed. By late fall, I’m hoping he’ll be at a place where he’ll approach the empty page of his journal without trepidation!
I can dream, can’t I?