The Life Skills classroom services students in multiple grade levels, but don’t let that scare you. It follows the same guidelines as grade level classroom teachers (TEKS); we just work at the pace of each individual student. In addition to using curriculum resources and textbooks that each grade level uses, I have specialized research based curriculums, programs, and resources that were created with the exceptional student in mind. Much of our class work is hands on or task based rather than written.
The teacher to student ratio is much smaller in Life Skills, with one teacher and two paraprofessionals. The classroom is more structured than the typical classroom. Individualized schedules, behavior management plans, and academic assignments are designed for each individual student. Communication needs are taken into consideration, and reflected in assignments. Many students are taught or use an alternative form of communication in our classroom.
All academic subject areas are taught: English Language Arts and Reading, Math, Social Studies, and Science. In addition, we teach functional life skills, as needed. For instance, if a student needs assistance with buttoning his or her pants, we teach them to do so. If a student has a difficulty sitting with large groups or keeping their hands to themselves, we use social skills lessons to help them.
Most students attend P.E., Art, Music and lunch with the general education peers. In addition, students attend field trips. Our class has an annual field trip to Morgan's Wonderland each year.