The Classroom Structure
We are currently developing 7 students which have been divided into two (2) groups:
Basic Skills Group; and
The Basic Skills Group contains the students that are having early intervention regardless of their age. These are students that were not accommodated properly and didn’t receive the proper attention for a long time and are also first time students. We consider mental age more than their chronological age. If they are not prepared for the academic activities then they will fall in this group. Currently, we have 3 students and will add 1 more in February. They are being handled by 2 Special Education Teachers with a Teacher Aide that are collaboratively working with their everyday activities. The disabilities that we have here are Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Visual Impairment. The students’ ages range from 5-10 years old. We teach our children how to settle, extend their attention span, strengthen their fine-motor skills, and a lot more.
With the Academic Group, we have 4 students with different chronological and mental ages. This means that they are provided with different activities and the level of difficulty also varies. In this group, they are more settled, prepared for academic activities, and their listening skills are more advanced compared to the other group. They are being prepared to be included in a regular classroom. Activities provided for them are more like what a regular classroom offers. The only difference is the length of lessons teaching academic concepts. Two out of four students now are more likely prepared for independent inclusion in their community.
All of our students have their own visual schedules that they are utilizing every day. Our team are always keeping in mind that in our school, we have three important words to think of: FAITH, INTERVENTION, and CHANGE.
Children are believed that they will learn more from doing. They all have the right to be children and to have fun. Here in ExtraOrdinary Minds – Ashley’s Learning Center, we are aiming for them to be engaged with their activities and find what they’re interests and those things will motivate them in learning that they will never notice because they are actually having fun.
Once a month, we are having a Community Outing for our students to be more familiar with the “outside” world and not just in the four corners of our classroom. We had trips to the grocery store where we let them to experience choosing what they want and paying for the item that they’ve chose. This also integrates with the lesson that I have them in Math, Money Recognition and identifying how much each coin/bill is. Second, we had an outing to the beach where we provided sand activities for our students that further enhanced their fine-motor skills. We let them play with the sand with their favorite toys at school that we brought with us. We let some of our students conquer their fear of water and all of us had fun at that time. Lastly, we have offered swimming lessons that helped them to focus and listen through the instructions given to them.