League School Classroom 149 “Goes Down By the Banks of the River Charles“

Part of our Social Studies curriculum in Room 149 focuses on the culture, geography, and history of Boston. Recently, our class went on a field trip with the Duck Tours of Boston. The students learned many facts about the Charles River, as well as the history of Boston. The weather was perfect and the students were excited as we entered the Charles River. We passed a building that had a slab of cement on its grounds that was part of the Berlin Wall. We also learned about the history of both Beacon and Bunker Hills, and the use of the duck boats during WW II. The students were encouraged to ask questions and tell the driver about themselves. They also had the opportunity to drive the Duck boat in the river. More important than learning about these facts was that the students were able to have conversations with each other and the driver. One our students enjoyed looking at the MBTA train stations and walking through the Prudential Center. Another student enjoyed looking at some of the buildings like the Old Charles Street Jail, Paul Revere’s House and the Bunker Hill Monument. Field trips like this not only educate our students about our local history, but also afford them the opportunity to improve their social interaction...

Pathfinder

As a high school teacher in the Pathfinder Program I have the opportunity to watch my students grow and meet social and academic challenges. The League School provides a team of teachers that collaborate and work towards finding ways to interest students in the curriculum and build 21st century skills. The students amaze me by meeting challenges daily. Recently, in World History class we have been learning about the history of Ancient India. The students were asked to go on a virtual tour of India and create a scrapbook of their virtual vacation. The students really enjoyed this project as it gave them a chance to be creative and meet their academic requirements at the same time. The scrapbooks came out beautiful and the students were very proud of their work. Another positive thing that we have seen in the Pathfinder’s program is in ELA class. The class has been reading The Crucible. Students became very involved in the reading and choosing parts to read – everyone wanted a part with a lot of lines, even students that often choose not to read aloud. Although they could get silly – using silly voices to differentiate their characters – overall they had a great time reading this in class and genuinely enjoyed coming to class which was great to...

Emotional Regulation Strategies

The teachers of 153 are driven to increase the emotional regulation strategies implemented in the classroom. Ideally, the goal is to give the students the ability to utilize various approaches in order to keep themselves regulated throughout the day. Our vision is that these strategies will be easily accessible for our students to use them here, at home, and in the community. In our classroom some of these strategies include giving sensory input, breaks, timers, visuals, and schedules. Currently, we are collaborating as a team to write emotional regulation plans individualized for each student’s needs. These plans include the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), classroom modifications, and sensory strategies which teach the students to advocate for their regulation needs. In the past year we have seen extensive progress in our students’ ability to utilize positive strategies to replace maladaptive...

Happenings in the Culinary Arts Classroom:

We are celebrating the arrival of Fall with apple recipes. We started with homemade Apple Berry Salsa and cinnamon chips. We cut back on added sugar to enjoy the natural sweetness of the fruit. Next we moved on to Apple-witches, a recipe shared with us from our coworker Kayla. We use the apples to be the bread for our sandwiches. We substitute Sunbutter for peanut butter, and add homemade glutin free granola for the filling. This recipe allows the students to practice their cutting skills. They also learn how to substitute glutin free and peanut butter free ingredients. We are finishing our Fall apples with Apple and Potato Pancakes. This is another gluten and peanut butter free recipe. These coming weeks we are looking forward to making pumpkin pudding, bread stuffing, and some Halloween recipes. Enjoy your Fall. Marie E....

“Expected” and “Unexpected” Behaviors

What’s new in 139, you ask? With the help of Kayla, our SLP, we are learning about “expected” and “unexpected” behaviors, or as we call them “ALRIGHT” and “Not ALRIGHT”, which is really hard for all of us to understand in all the different social situations we encounter throughout our day. We are learning the first step which is when we enter a room, what should we do or think about. This is when we read the environment: “what’s going on?”, “who’s here?”, and “what should I do next?”. This is tricky to learn because each environment, everyone is expected to do something different. Kayla has helped us learn the difference between each environment using pictures and our classroom IPADs. She is also teaching us about “thinking bubbles” and “talking bubbles”. This is when someone else is thinking about or talking about something and then we change our thinking or conversation to match theirs. We use lots of visuals to help us read the social situation and figure out what we should think about. We are looking forward to learning more about reading different social situations! We are hopeful that this will also help us when we are at home with family and in the community with unfamiliar...

A Website to Connect Employers and Individuals with Autism

As the speech-language pathologist for the Transition team at League School, I have had opportunity to work with families and discuss options for post-graduation plans for the past six years. Many families inquire about competitive employment opportunities, and after our students turn 22, these families are left with little assistance in finding these openings. Autism Speaks, in partnership with Rangam Consultants Inc. and WebTeam Corporation, has developed thespectrumcareers.com, a promising and groundbreaking website to facilitate the employment of individuals with autism. The website was designed and built by a Rangam employee who is diagnosed with autism. Job seekers (persons with autism) can search for potential jobs by job title, skills required, or location. The website also offers an opportunity for service providers to register and search for opportunities for their students or clients. Individuals can upload resumes and cover letters, and employers may post videos of the job descriptions in addition to written responsibilities. A video overview of the website as well as informative webinars are available on the home page to explain the mission of The Spectrum Careers. To learn more about the valuable resource, please visit thespectrumcareers.com.   Chrissy Bunnell, MS,...