Friday, March 22, 2013

Looking ahead

Wow! Spring break already? It has certainly been a fantastic year so far! Each and every one of our students has worked so hard, and accomplished so much! I am so proud of their growth, and so thankful for the wonderful support of my staff, specialists and, of course, families. “Our” kids are doing most of the hard work, but it is evident by their success that they have a full home and school team helping them each step of the way!

In the last few months, we have seen the students blossom with language, personality and definite opinions! They have loved learning about transportation, animals and their peers. It is amazing to hear them making connections to these thematic units throughout the classroom. The cross-curricular awareness and emerging GENERALIZING skills are so exciting, because they are indicative of the awareness and generalization we may see in the future with many mastered skills.

Planning ahead….
As fast as this year has already gone, it’s about to pick up speed! The excitement and activity of the spring often makes this last block of work feel SO much shorter, so I want to take a few minutes to give you a “heads up” of what to expect:

*Lots of hard work! We just had (or are about to have) our annual IEP, which includes lots of challenging new goals in the areas of academics, social skills, life skills, communication, and fine and gross motor skills. We wrote ambitious goals for your student because we KNOW they will rise to the challenge! That work starts now!

*Fun thematic units! In the spring, we will learn about weather, bugs and camping! To culminate our bug unit, we will get caterpillars and watch them grow into butterflies—stay tuned for details! At the end of the year, many of the classrooms at Sexton Mountain culminate with a camping unit, to look back at our year of learning. We love participating in this too! Stay tuned for s’mores, camp letters, hiking, tents, and camp”fire” songs!

*Field trips! We LOVED learning about transportation and animals, what better way to combine those interests than to take public transit to the zoo? This is a field trip I’ve done for a number of years, and it is always a hit! This year will provide a unique challenge since we have 8 half-day students, so I will be asking for a lot of parental support. More details to follow! Also, in May, we will be participating in the Beaverton School District track and field meet! This is an awesome chance for our students to meet new friends and show their skills! And last but not least, “hiking”. We live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and have access to tremendous parks right in our neighborhood! As part of our study of camping, the last few weeks of every school year, we as a class go “hiking” in the local parks a couple times a week. These hiking trips are short (usually 1.5-2 hours) and include a nice walk, investigation of local flora and fauna, a snack and play on a playground. Always a favorite among students! More information to follow!

Looking forward to a fantastic spring of fun and learning! Have a happy and restful Spring Break!

Miss Ashlee