Today we learned "stick handling" and peer tutors make it work! Everyone has improved their skills and everyone was busy the entire time. And ... thanks to Greg Cramer from our PE department we have located hockey sticks we can use between time to practice! Al is ready to play a game. Stay tuned for more ...
When I first began working with the extended core program, which was called a cluster, I found the students had goals with regard to compliance, looking at person speaking, sitting up, and handwriting. When I looked at the students, I saw weak and uncoordinated students. They could not follow a direction that has right/left or before/after, if/then, or when/do. In addition , they lay on the table, their posture was mostly curved back and slumped shoulders. Yawning was an ever constant event beginning about 10:00. Dining etiquette was not pretty. Utensils held like shovels and moth down to food as opposed to hand come up the mouth.
Did they do this on purpose? Obviously not! So why did I expect those goals on the IEP to be met if they didn't have or had lost the underlying foundation to meeting the goals. If you can't hold you head up, you are not going to look up. If you can't hold your head up, you are not going to follow your speaker with your eyes. If your back muscles and stomach muscles are weak, you are not going to sit up and have the posture for good handwriting. But most of all, when you ask these students to work, they simply don't have the stamina nor endurance.
So what is the poor teacher to do? Continue to demand from slumped over kids. Kids who are anxious. Kids who are whining. Kids who are yawning. Or you can get up and move it, move it. Then at 11:30 when you work on writing you get .... legible signatures, focus, and progress!
We have just about finished up our "football unit" here at Jordan High. As the varsity football team plays next Friday for the State Championship, the ECC has been learning to play football. Why??? What does this teach them?
First of all we had a great deal of fun! We divided into teams and learned to be a team. Learning to work as a team means everybody has the same goal, but not everyone has the same role. Being the receiver is very different from a defender. Cheering on your team and giving signals all are life skills.
Football also meant we had to focus, give eye contact, listen for our signals, and run a route. We had to turn left and right and move our hands to match what our eyes saw.
Inclusion also means you learn and get excited about the same things that are exciting for the school culture. Jordan High School is heading to the State finals! Now we know what the sport is, several of our peer tutors are football players and several are cheerleaders.
Ball handling skills in context. To increase practice, our daily Yoga routine includes movements: surfer, mini lunge, and atlas that require looking "down field" and watching our fingertips, we work on shifting balance, left and right, and pivot turns.
Our next unit is basketball!