I have the pleasure of serving two special education classrooms at my school, one class is for profoundly mentally disabled (PMD) and one class is for trainable mentally disabled (TMD). This week we had two fun projects going on. We celebrated International Dot Day and they conducted research projects.
For Dot Day, I read the book to the students then we used the Doodle Buddy app on the iPads to create our own dot artwork. I even wore my polka dot dress for the event. We had a great time and their artwork turned out so beautiful. You can see more Dot Day ideas on the Fablevision site when you sign up to celebrate or follow the #dotday hashtag on Twitter. Also check out Matthew Winner's Dot Day Connector's Map. I love the message of making your mark in the world.
The class conducted research projects this week as well. I pulled nonfiction books that were written at an elementary reading level range with lots of pictures. The teaching assistants read the books to the students several times and used an outline to fill in information about the topic. Posters were made using the outlines and pictures of the students being read to. The teacher recorded parts of the outlines on a speaker button. The students came to the library and presented their topics. The teacher's assistants held up the poster and the students touched the buttons to play the recorded reports. I can't take much credit for this project. The PMD teacher is excellent at thinking of ways to adapt assignments to fit her students' abilities.
The class comes to the library once a week. Sometimes we have lessons or special activities. Next week we are making Fall trees. The tree trunk is pre-drawn on the paper and the students tear construction paper to make leaves and glue them on. We will read Fall themed books to go along with the activity. Sometimes we just have storytime. Occasionally I read to them, but my student helpers usually take over and want to read to them each visit. This year we are using genre cards to make sure the students check books out from each fiction and nonfiction area. We created a list of each area and printed one for each student. My library helpers mark off each genre when checking out the books. To make sure the students have choice we printed the sticker for each area and put a few out and have the students choose which sticker they like the best. For example, the teacher will hold up the Animals, Fantasy and Science stickers and the student will point to or grab the picture they like. Then we lay books face out on a table for that area. The student can look at the covers and pick a book from the table. This system is working great so far and it is helping the students read a variety of books instead of picking from the same favorite books.
Do you serve any special education classes? If so, what types of activities or lessons do you do together?