whatsuproom125

What's going on in Room 125?

New Student Starting Today

Good morning!

We have a new student joining our class starting today! Please help him and his family feel welcomed as they get settled in a new school and community. Also, remind your child that we have a new student and room set up, and things are going to be different. We’re going to have to “go with the flow.”

Thanks for your support! Looking forward to our new class:)

Have a great weekend!

-Ms Wales

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Weekly Update: 2-13-15

Hello!

I hope you have all enjoyed this gorgeous week! I hope that everyone who has been sick is feeling better and can use the long weekend to recuperate.

A few things to talk about this week:

1. We are in great need of plastic bags. If you have any grocery bags that are looking for a new home, send them our way! We will use the bags to help clean up accidents and send home dirty clothes.

2. Conferences are next week. I accidentally switched the K-2 and 3-5 days from the rest of the school. (K-2 and math night is actually on Thursday and 3-5 on Tuesday). If this is problem for you, please let me know ASAP and we can find a new time. Otherwise, I will plan on keeping our times as established (I will send a reminder email to each of you following this post). Sorry about that!

3. We are in full swing getting ready for Touch the World! Please see the tab at left for more details and to buy tickets or make donations. (Please note that if you are unable to purchase a ticket, that is ok! Families from our classroom are of course invited for free!). Please send the link and information to everyone you know. Also, if you have any resources or ideas for volunteers, desserts, and/or drinks, please let me know! Meanwhile, we will be preparing our dance and spreading the word here at Edison.

4. We have officially be awarded the A to Z grant to fund horseback riding trips to Acres of Opportunity Ranch this year. In the spring, we will head out to the ranch on Friday mornings. Our first trip will be March 20. the DPS Foundation (the grant providers) will be filming our class to include in a video of grant recipients to encourage donors to give to the grant. Soon, I will be sending home waivers for these trips (if your child was with our class last year, they do not need a waiver). Many things at the ranch are changing this year, but feel free to check out the site for some more information (http://www.acresofopportunityranch.com/). I also volunteer at this ranch and as of January board a horse there, so I can answer questions for you as well.

5. The Valentine’s dance is tonight at Edison. At the dance there will be the opportunity to bid on “Teacher Treasures.” I have a treasure on the list…climbing at Rock’n and Jammin’. Would love to share with some of our kiddos…so here is a shameless plug to bid on me:)

Let me know if you have any questions or ideas. Looking forward to all of our fun things coming up in Spring!

Have a great weekend!

-Ms Wales

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SAVE THE DATE!

I will have more information for you soon, but Touch the World is finally on the calendar! Please mark your calendars for March 6. Room 125 will be performing the Beanbag Boogie:)

See the “**Touch the World**” tab at left for general information!

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Weekly Update: 2-5-15

Happy PJ Day!

Thank you to those who have gotten back to me about parent-teacher conferences.These are just two weeks away. I am looking forward to meeting with each of you to discuss your child’s progress with their IEP goals, strategies we use in class, ongoing needs, behavior, and/or anything else you would like to get to speed on. Please contact me ASAP with the times that work for you so I can make sure to get everyone scheduled. The following times are still available:

Tuesday, February 17 (K-2)

4:05-4:25

4:30-4:50

4:55-5:15

5:20-5:40

Now, a note about emotions. As you probably know, we talk a lot about emotions in our classroom. Reading and understanding the emotions of others is a challenge for students with autism. So is communicating needs. For both of these reasons I am constantly asking students how they feel, labeling how it looks like they or others feel, saying how I feel, explaining why someone feels the way the feel, etc.  What I have noticed is that many students are reluctant to label when they are sad or mad. This could happen for many reasons, including our reactions. Many times when students behave inappropriately, we may look or say that we are sad or mad about it. I support this (students need to know that their actions affect others’ feelings), but also keep in mind that students may then think that it is bad to feel sad or mad. Also, when a student seems sad or mad, we as their teacher and caretakers, often try very hard to meet their needs to help them feel happy again. While this is also often a good idea (we want to help students meet their needs), we may also be giving the message that we do not want them to be sad or mad…perhaps leading them to believe it is not ok.

It is ok to be sad or mad!

I am a generally happy adult and can honestly say that I feel sad or mad to some degree or bit of time at least daily. It is natural and acceptable to feel this emotions. I want students to be able to identify when they feel these ways and communicate it with others so that they can meet their needs during those times. I want students to be able to tell me about something that made them sad or mad when I was not there to see or respond to it. I want them to understand their emotions so that they can start to see emotions in others, and support others during different emotions. I want students to know it is ok to be sad or mad!

It is not ok to hit, throw, scream, etc.

These are the big things we talk about in our class. Yes, it is ok to be mad. No, it is not ok to hurt others (etc). Some choices that we offer in our class when a student is upset are:

deep breaths (smelling the flower, blowing out the candle)

taking a break (a safe spot with space from others)

asking for space

giving yourself a hug

asking someone for a hug

taking a walk

getting a drink

Other strategies may work well at home. Assuring that students have a safe escape/strategy when they are upset shows that it is ok to be upset and to recognize this feeling and then to have a way to deal with the feeling. I also try to model for students that I may feel sad or mad, but am still making good choices(like doing my work, taking a break, asking for a snack or whatever else I may need). Labeling how you feel at home, why you feel that way, and what you need to feel better/ stay safe can serve as a great model for your children. I encourage you to ask them how they are feeling (and or label how they are feeling), for both happy and sad emotions remembering that it is ok to be upset (sad or mad) and that ultimately we want students to recognize and share these feelings so that we can support them.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on this topic!

-Ms Wales

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