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Help needed for first SEN class

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Ellie1293, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. Ellie1293

    Ellie1293 New commenter

    Hi all,
    I am moving from mainstream to SEN teaching and will start with my new first class in August. There will be five children aged 6-11, all minimally/non-verbal and using wheelchairs, and I believe to be assessed at around P1-P3 for most subjects. I have never taught children with these kinds of difficulties before and want to make sure I'm as prepared as I can be at the start of the year, so was wondering if you could help me with:
    - Some first week activities (the children already know each other and their support staff).
    - Morning circle activities.
    - Any must-have items for the classroom.
    - Any other general ideas!
    Very grateful for any help you can give me! Thank you xx
  2. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Welcome to Special. What a wonderful class, but be prepared for a very steep learning curve.
    I think the best place to start is by checking out the Sensory Project website.
    It's full of ideas and links.
    It's hosted by Jo Grace, who is on this forum and may reply to you herself very soon. If she offers personal support do take it, you will be supported by one of the very best, practical practitioners there is.
    I assume you have checked out what the P levels that you have mentioned actually mean in terms of ability. If not here's the link.
    I'd also have a look at the Welsh Routes for Learning or the Irish Quest for Learning (they are both very similar)

    Then I'd start collecting lots of items that appeal to your senses (all of them not just visual) Large fabric pieces and scarves, music makers, Pringle tubes (yes empty ones, Jo will explain and give you links for making amazing things if not get back to me) things where you press or pull something to make a noise or a vibration, groan tubes... Don't just think toys, go outside the box and have a walk around pound stores and Tiger if you have one. Pan scrubs and chop sticks and glittery boxes are great. Remember that black white and red are the earliest colour contrasts to develop bt don't resrict yourself to them.

    Do get back to us for more specific ideas.
    oggs26 likes this.
  3. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    Congratulations on making the move to special!

    My advice is to just take the time to really get to know your class, your TAs, and the curriculum your school uses. It's ok to not know things or to rely on the TAs to get you through the first week or so. Just get stuck in, spend time with each child observing and interacting with them. Everything else will fall into place.

    Good luck!
    dzil likes this.
  4. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Jelly, You have mail.
  5. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    Hi Ellie
    It's great to be prepared. It may be that your new school will give you a bit of 'in-class induction', as they will be aware that you have come from mainstream. But after a while, you will make the post your own, and it will be really Special.
  6. Ellie1293

    Ellie1293 New commenter

    Hi everyone, so sorry for such a late reply, I have been busy! Thanks so much for all your answers, they were so helpful. I am now nearly 3 months in and absolutely loving it! I actually went to one of Jo Grace's sensory stories course last week and found it so so useful, so am beginning to incorporate a lot of that into my class :) I don't think I will ever go back to mainstream!
    ladylyra, Jen26 and dzil like this.
  7. jaq35

    jaq35 New commenter

    Hi ellie, how’s it going? I would love to make the move myself just waiting to see if a role comes up.

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