Monday, November 30, 2009

AT module 5

One of the best and most authentic ways that the students in my classroom learn about people with disabilities is to have a student (or more than one) with disabilities as part of the class. For the last couple of years, my classroom has been the one chosen for second grade that includes students from the life skills room in our class. Last year we had three students with varying disabilities, and this year we have one second grader who has MR and seizures.

Our student joins the class daily for a portion of the Language Arts period. He participates as he can in the activities the rest of the class is doing. The children benefit from seeing this young man from day to day. He has made progress in his speech, which everyone can notice. He also uses a "talking box" called a Mo that can be programed to say phrases that are likely to be used in different situations. The screens can be changed to accommodate different settings, where different words would be said. Everyone has gotten used to the different sounding voice from the machine, as well as used to the types of things they may hear from this particular student.

This has been a good way for young students to learn to accept differences in people and in learning.

P.S. I don't remember the Seer being blind in The Giver (LibraryThing booklist of books about people with disabilities). Is that correct?


Steph H. said...


Interesting that you bring up the seer from The Giver. I don't recall him being blind, but he may have been. His being blind is hardly the focus of the book, but I do agree that it could be used to teach the lesson of everyone having their different skills and talents, but in contrast, The Giver's society doesn't keep people around who are considered weak. Don't think I would use it to teach a whole class about disabilities, but it is a really thought-provoking read for many other reasons.

Anywho, I really just dropped in here to see your thoughts on your final blog post and to wish you good luck on your presentation AND THEN... Have a wonderful and restful holiday. Hey, let me know what classes you're in. Hope to see you spring semester! ~Steph

Brandi W. said...

That's great that your students get to interact with a child from the life skills room. It sometimes feels like these students are totally secluded from the other children. I think it is beneficial to have life skills students interact with others.