Thursday 26 April 2018

Meeting with Donna

Meeting with Donna (Across schools leader for Sommerville)
Advice for special needs students

  • Collate data - (ABCs) Antecedents, behaviours, consequences...keep detailed data.
  • Look for patterns - Share with Donna
  • Give students who are charged or wired from home to have something to do before going to class (getting their engine ready)
  • Key competencies are these students biggest level of learning at the moment.
  • Students often don’t know the language for what they’re feeling.  Give students time to identify what they’re feeling and work with them to find a solution.
  • Class discussion around what we can do as individuals in the class to help the student/s with special needs.
  • Allocate time every week (perhaps on a Monday) to PB4L and key competencies - identifying feelings/emotions and ways to deal with them, identifying characteristics to manage our feelings and behaviours e.g: tolerance, acceptance, inclusivity, patience
  • Celebrate the small successes - differentiate expectations e.g: 10 minutes where a student manages himself without disruption, or 10 minutes where a students completes a certain amount of work...etc
  • Visual assistance for routines - eg: timetables - teaches students what comes next and allows time for them to mentally prepare. It also can be used to teach when things don’t go to plan by changing the image/word when changes occur.
  • Make sure you have a conversation with students around the timetable discussing any changes that may be happening.
  • “Not available” - (circle with a red line through it)use of terminology as opposed to ‘No’, just means that you can’t have that now but it will be available to you later.
  • ADHD - kinesthetic strategies: brain break - use them as reward for begin on task.  
    • Vibrating toys from the $2 shop.
    • Squiggy toys
  • Create a work/brainbreak chart showing students what work they have to do to earn a brain break.
  • Create a check sheet of all the things students like to do during brain breaks and students choose what they’d like to do.  Give them an amount of time they can take for they’re break and use a timer to track.
  • Noise reducing headset helps in blocking out sound during learning time.
  • All behaviour is a communication. When a student acts out - stop, take a breath and try to figure out what the student is trying to tell me.
  • Review mindfulness - setting a positive safe classroom environment.  Ensure students are comfortable in saying they don’t know how to do something, rather than not try something because they ‘think’ it’s too hard.  Have strategies on the wall around the room giving ways they can help themselves in their learning e.g: ask 2 friends, give it a go and ask for help, make a start.
  • Check students understanding of the names of equipment in the room e.g: vivid/marker/sharpie, card/paper…
  • Donna’s professional blog -
  • Get onto the Sue Larkie mailing list - available on her blog:-)...has great information and strategies to add to your tool kit.
Recommended Websites/Reading/Resources:

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