Friday, February 10, 2017

Great Group Ideas from our Recreation Therapy Colleagues

Oodles of Activity Ideas

In many of my schools I work with teachers and speech-language pathologists who enjoy doing groups together to help students develop their academic, communication, social, fine motor and self-help skills.  Doing monthly groups with them lets me see:

1.  Communication skills I never knew my students possessed,
2.  Gaps in their fine motor and self-help skills that I need to address,
3.  How thoroughly other staff members know the ins and outs of my students' personalities,
4.  Excellent motivational methods for working with my students when they are having behavioral

Because we have everyone from the class participate in the group, either as a whole group or in smaller groups, I end up working with students who are not on my caseload and the SLP sometimes ends up working with one of my students who is not on her caseload--no biggie.

Here's an activity ("Hunt the Heart") I gleaned from the Recreation Therapy site, adapted for a group of middle schoolers with significant intellectual and physical disabilities:

We can create the hearts on construction paper or other paper.  To make it more interesting they may color the hearts in colors other than red, or stick with the traditional color.

We can "color" the hearts in many ways:
1.  Put drops of glue inside the heart outline and sprinkle glitter to make polka dot hearts.
2.  Put the paper over a textured mat to make a rubbing as the "color"
3.  Take shredded color paper and glue it to the hearts.
4.  Put drops of glue inside the heart outline and sprinkle cinnamon and glitter together.

An adult and student helper can place the paper hearts throughout the school for students to find, using their communication devices to announce, "I found a heart!"  The students can collect the hearts to decorate their room.

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