I'm in the middle of the first full week of school. Can you say "busy" boys and girls?
I'm now housed at the same school where Mr. Hebrews 13 goes to school. He is SO overjoyed about that. Of course he knows where to find me because my space is located where his class used to be. His class is now in the main building.
I could tell that with the cerebral palsy his little fingers are too weak to press the braille writer keys on the standard braille writer. The new light weight braille writers are supposed to be easier to be more touch sensitive lighter in weight and easier to load but I know what ordering one for him will be like. They are at least $700 and getting such for multi-disabled kids. They are not considered as important for such as "regular" children with visual impairments. For example, with my high school students once we were instructed to take care of ordering their books and materials first because they were readers and college-bound versus the multi-disabled children in community-based/self-contained classrooms. Needless to say, I have been on a soapbox many times on that issue. I understand that those with that attitude don't understand these children.
I showed Mr. H. the keys for the first three braille alphabets. I tested him on his knowledge of which dots make each letter and he had not forgotten any of them. In fact, I could ask him in reverse--"What letter is made with dots one and four?" He gave me the right answer every time. But on the Perkins braille writer he had to use two finger to press one key. Ms. Jessie, his child specific para, wants to work on hand strengthening exercises with him. She is so excited about how well he is reading, she wants him to be able to use the braille writer in conjunction with the Intellikeys so he can read what h has written himself.He read all of his homework. Ms. Jessie went over it with him at the teacher's instruction because his mom did not. She was so excited that she ran him over o my room to show me that he could read all of his homework.
Before I went out to any other schools, I made three more lessons with sight words based on the some of the words we worked on last year, one word he wanted to add and his name. I made cards with all the Dolch words from preprimer to third grade last year, so we will do those as well during the year. He is a little sponge and Ms. Jessie is fantastic with him. She learns new braille with him. Now if Mom keeps him in school and helps him with homework, he will be an excellent reader because he wants to be so badly.
I have seen Matt at his new high school. He's let his beard grow in full--or at least as full as it can get on a young teen. It's so funny to see him like this when I remember this squeaky voice. Looks like his mom has compromised and had a barber attempt to give it shape. He is excited that I am his teacher again. He has an excellent community-based teacher who does not mind actually working with the children and taking Matt's vision into consideration in all of their activities.
I also went to see a graduate of Mrs. Beryl's pre-K class. She and her sister are attending a new elementary school. The class they are in is for exceptional students and the ages and abilities seem so varied. Their teacher is really working with them. She has some writers and some who cannot read and one with Down's who does not talk. Her room is a leftover space that part of a converted auditorium. it is brightly decorated and word rich--which I love. She has made it into a cosy, inviting place. The airconditioner kicked off twice while I was there. She has a window unit which seems to throw the breaker of occasionally in this older model school. Of course they are down at the end of the hall. Often our kids are segregated from the "regular" classes, at the end of the hall, int the special wing or in the portable buildings.
I have been late coming home most evenings and in my after school state which is shoes off and feet up. My sister and her daughter left for Colorado so my mother is feeling the effects of empty nest syndrome. She cannot cook for one or two so we have been visiting each evening. Then I am good for nothing else but sleep after that. Thus the lack of entries here in my blog and the lack of visits to my FaceBook page.
Such a busy beginning of school. I will survive!