Hi everyone! I had kind of a nice day today. The local special recreation organization takes the special ed students from all the area schools on monthly "Leisure Education" field trips. Today we got to go glow-in-the-dark mini-golfing!
The kids were split into groups of three. Mrs. Eagle and I both had a group together, since technically I am not supposed to be alone with students while student teaching. (Its a liability issue.) Our group consisted of Triller, Jay, and Rosella. It was a lot of fun... even though Triller (who has a cognitive impairment and has a lot of trouble focusing) kept swinging his club so high I was afraid it would take Jay's head off about five times, Rosella kept running off into oblivion (now that I know her better, her behavior issues are starting to surface) and Jay got sick half way through. Poor Jay had to go to the nurse as soon as we got back to school, and she ended up sending him home. I sat with him on the bus on the ride home... he kept asking me to sit with him, even though the bus was big enough that everyone could have their own seat. I couldn't exactly say no to him! But now I feel really germy.
Funniest moment of the day... Since it is Read Across America week, Mrs. Eagle had printed out some Dr. Seuss themed activity pages for the kids to do during down time. One of them was a word search. I was in charge of the four more "high functioning" kids in the class... Martin, Oriole, Towhee, and Kite... Mrs. Eagle worked on Alternative Assessments with individual kids and the aides worked one-on-one with the "lower" kids.
The word search had some really long, difficult words in it. You know how some of Dr. Seuss's books get really creative with the wording! I had a feeling that it was going to be sort of difficult for some of the kids, particularly Oriole, who has a lot of trouble reading. The person I thought would have the most trouble of all is Martin. He has autism, and also some mild cognitive impairment. However, Martin surprised me by whipping through the word search! Since I doubted Martin could actually read most of the words on the list, so I thought perhaps his very visual mind might be picking out the words more quickly than the other kids. I was pretty impressed, and told him so. "Good job, Martin, you're pretty good at word searches!"
It was taking Towhee, Oriole and Kite a little longer to finish their word searches, but they were also doing it a little more quickly than I would have expected. Maybe I had underestimated them!
Then I noticed that Oriole seemed to be circling strings of letters that were right above, below, or next to, the actual words he should have been finding. I thought maybe he was copying off of one of the others, so I asked him, "Where are you getting your answers from?"
"Right here." Oriole pointed to the bottom corner of the page. There, in lightened ink, was an answer key!
"The answers are right there on the page?" I asked incredulously.
"Is that where you're all getting your answers?" I asked Kite and Towhee. They nodded, without even looked up from their work.
I looked at Martin. "Martin, did you copy your answers from the answer key?"
"Yes," he said matter-of-factly.
I guess he isn't a secret word search wiz, after all!
Later I clued Mrs. Eagle in. "Did you know the answers were on the bottom of the worksheet? I thought they were doing such a great job, but they were all just looking at the answer key!"
Mrs. Eagle chuckled and replied, "Well, at least they used their problem solving skills!"
I guess she's right... the fact that they all noticed the answer key and used it, is probably good news... on some level!
Have a good weekend, everyone!