Friday, December 30, 2011

A look back at the fall semester

I'm feeling a little ambitious tonight (and my child and husband are both asleep!) so I'm going to try and post a couple of photos from the fall semester.
This fall semester was fast and furious. All but one of my students will age out this coming May, so it's been a rush to make sure everyone is ready, set, prepared for life post-program. They could not have made me more proud this semester.

 Students and teachers worked to get the interior of our facility in order, working on various types of home living skills lessons such as framing art work.

Fire tore apart a small community outside of our city limits. Students and staff purchased a variety of useful items for the victims of the fires and delivered them to the command center.
 One of the top priorities in our program is to have every students employed, whether it be VAC or CBVI employment. The first step in the process is to develop a resume.

Students took some of their scheduled leisure time to prune weeds from the flowerbed areas outside of our facility. Home living skills encompass both the interior and also the exterior of the home.

 Since we are in a new facility and not on a school campus in our district, the Marble Falls Fire Department came to our facility to teach students about the various fire hazards that can be found in a home, demonstration on the use of a kitchen fire extinguisher and assisted in developing an escape route/evacuation plan for our site.

 Every year since the program began (2009) the Transition Training Program at MFISD has been hosting our districts LIFE middle and high school classrooms for an afternoon of food and fun. It is a great way for students to interact and to work together as a team with other students with disabilities whom they do not see on a regular basis.

 We are very fortunate to have a great relationship with several other 18+ programs in our area. One of the highlights in our monthly schedule is having an outing with the other groups. We rotate on picking outings, which often include bowling, visiting a local farm, shopping, eating lunch in the community and having cook outs at our facilities. It's a great way for students to interact with other students their own age and for teachers to collaborate on new ideas in a relaxed setting.

I'm quite proud of our students this year. We hosted 16 people at our new site for a holiday meal. Students baked a ham, cooked all the sides and even baked a few desserts...all within a discussed and set time frame. Time management is something we strive to work on within the facility, but also on the job site. It has clearly been successful and I'm extremely proud of each student for their contribution and diligence.


18+ Programs....uniquely their own

One oF the things I find so unique about 18+ programs is the individuality of each districts program. Unlike K-12 LIFE classrooms, we have the flexibility to create our own curriculum and parameters for the program. I've had the pleasure of visiting many other 18+ programs in my area of central Texas and it's neat to see what others are doing and what can be implemented within my own program.
The hardest part is finding fun and useful ways to tie their IEP goals with the daily living and lifelong learning goals, without repeating the same tasks over and over. Thank goodness for Pinterest! If you aren't a member, I highly recommend it. I'm so eager to get back and try out some new ways to create our own green cleaning supplies and so much more.
For students who are economically disadvantaged, we are always looking for ways to teach them thriftiness and by creating DIY projects, I think it will give the students a sense of accomplishment while saving a few bucks!

Check out this awesome blog: for tons of great ideas!!

This has been such a busy year and my poor blog has been neglected. But one of my 2012 resolutions is to keep it up-to-date and fresh! Happy holidays.