Those words are words that have been spoken by Jacob Barnett. Jacob is a young man who was labeled with Autism when he was two years old. He wasn’t supposed to talk, or even learn to tie his shoes. Now, he has been recognized world-wide for his work within the field of science, in particular within the field of astrophysics (and wears flip-flops). He is 14 now, teaching at a research university, working on his PhD, and in line to be rewarded a Nobel Prize someday. Watch this TedxTeen talk to get an idea of who this incredible young man is.
Jacob is also currently writing a book about how to make math more approachable for kids his age. Additionally he runs a non-profit that benefits kids who are on the autism spectrum by focusing on social skills and coaching them on thinking in their own unique ways. His mom has written a book titled The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius. And more than that, he loves basketball and root beer floats.
Do yourself a favor and check out my previous posts that gave an overview and furtherdetails about this fabulous curriculum that you must have!! I have spent a lot of my blog time focused on this curriculum for a reason. It is the perfect time of the year to be thinking about paraprofessional training, and even more appropriate to think about how to do it in your own schools, with your own teams, engaging in conversation about your own students in a staff development format that is grounded in research and what we know about adult and student learning!
In this final post about the curriculum, I will describe the remaining two instructional parts and the units that comprise them. Please don’t forget to comment or ask questions, as you will be entered into the drawing to receive a free copy of the curriculum! All comments and questions from this post, as well as any from the first two posts will be entered for the drawing, and will be awarded next week!
The curriculum is divided into the following four instructional parts, with a total of seven instructional units:
Overview of the four instructional parts of the curriculum and the seven individual units
The first two parts were described here. The parts that I would like to describe today are units three through seven. These five units are especially useful in schools for paraprofessional training. They comprise the instructional and academic areas, as well as promote understanding of behavior and relationships of the students they support. While the first two units concentrate on laying groundwork for paraprofessionals to understand their roles in inclusive settings, the five units I will describe today offer skill development and tools for paraprofessionals to use every day in their work with students. Continue reading →
In my introductory post, I gave an overview of why you need this curriculum. In my last post, I detailed a few more specifics about how we put it together for your successful use.
In this post, and the next one, I will go over the four instructional parts that make up the curriculum in greater detail, and hopefully answer some questions about how to individualize it to your specific needs at your school. Please don’t forget to comment, as you will be entered into the drawing to receive a copy I am giving away at the end of my next post! Continue reading →
My last post introduced you to this valuable curriculum resource. As I said in that post, the timing of taking a closer look at paraprofessional staff development is purposeful at this point of the year. When reviewing IEPs and writing new ones for next year, we look forward to how students will be supported within general education successfully. Paraprofessionals are a piece of that puzzle that cannot and should not be overlooked or under-acknowledged. I do not believe everyone needs a paraprofessional to be successful in general education classrooms and settings, but when individual needs warrant it, then those paraprofessionals must be trained to do their jobs well. Continue reading →
Lately I have been working with a number of parents and schools during this busy time of year, when IEPs are needing to be revisited and plans for next year put in place for kids with disabilities (take a minute to read my posts about IEPs for some ideas of where to begin and important things to think about during this very necessary, and hopefully meaningful, process).
During the conversations I have been having lately, it dawned on me that when people are planning for next year and thinking about what did or didn’t work well this year, the use of paraprofessionals to support kids with disabilities is a central issue that can make or break a student’s success. IEPs that include paraprofessionals must consider quality professional development and the time to do that development effectively for paraprofessionals. Now is the time to start thinking about how that can look, and planning when it will happen. I have a great resource to offer. Continue reading →
I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing and sharing my thoughts about my esteemed colleague and friend Dr. Paula Kluth’s latest work with Landlocked Films and Brookes Publishing. Paula has just released a DVD and Professional Development Package, based on her best-selling book, You’re Going to Love This Kid! .
For years, I have been giving this book to parents and school professionals as the go-to book for understanding how to create inclusive classrooms, especially for students that are on the autism spectrum. I have given it as teacher gifts, as food for thought, and as a reference that is like no other in book form….it has been the closest thing to being with Paula in a personal conversation about how it can look for kids….until now. Continue reading →
It is the New Year, and with that comes a gift in schools. I posted previously about what I call the “prime instructional real estate” that exists in schools, and suggested strategies for teachers to take advantage of this gift of time in students’ learning that exists at this point of the year.
The time of rest and relaxation that has just occurred for students, parents, and school professionals allows for a fresh start and new beginnings for all. The remaining part of the school year will increasingly become busy and harried, tests and high stakes standards will push harder towards the end of the year – but now, a naturally occurring time for enriched learning and focus exists for teachers and students alike…a true gift. It is my belief that this gift comes with choices. Continue reading →