I went into the Resource 3 classroom today with some anxiety. I was a little nervous about how I would handle working with and observing children with more severe disabilities and I wondered if this observation and participation time might convince me to change my major back to general education. The teacher was warm and welcoming and answered any questions I had. The paras were all just as friendly as the teacher and seemed to be very competent in their work. Some of the students were quick to greet me while others were shy at first. Most of the students are non-verbal but communicated with me just the same.
When I first entered the classroom, most of the students were seated on a blue floor mat in front of the smart board, while 2 of them were sitting on specially made spinning chairs and one was walking around in a taped off area. The students who are verbal were singing along with a song and video that was playing on the smart board about the months of the year. Next, they watched a music video about the weather and finally a few videos about counting. After giving the students a short break, the teacher had me sit at a horseshoe shaped table and help one of the students write the letters of her name on a small chalkboard. The activity was called “Handwriting without tears”. I would write the first letter of the student’s name on the board then give her a small damp sponge and have her trace the written letter with the sponge so as to erase the letter. Then the student would be asked to write that same letter on the board with the chalk. Once we finished this activity, the students were given a snack and then directed to separate working stations. I stayed at the table and helped 2 of the students with a game of number bingo. One of the students is non-verbal and was asked to use her ipad to say which number she had on her game board. After this activity, some of the students went to their assigned classrooms while others went to recess.
Overall, I felt very comfortable in the classroom and I am impressed with the teacher’s finesse with these students. I am looking forward to returning on Wednesday.