We are pleased to present to you our latest A-LIST Spotlight honoring Robbie Whorton and her wonderful classroom at Trotwood-Madison High School.
As a high school teacher, Robbie is applying evidence-based practices to help her students learn valuable life skills as they enter adulthood.
Robbie provides necessary structure to help students predict what will happen throughout the day through Visual Supports such as this class-wide schedule with mini-schedules for each period of the day. For her schedule picture symbols, she uses Symbolstix which is consistent with her News2You and Unique Learning System curriculum.
Robbie also uses one of our favorite transition tools, a visual countdown to help students see the passing of time while waiting or completing a preferred activity. To make her countdown sturdy and portable she has velcro'd the numbers to a plastic ruler.
Another visual support Robbie uses in her classroom is a job board which tells students what their daily responsibilities will be. Some job ideas for high schoolers include shredding paper, erasing the white boards, and wiping down tables and desks. Robbie's students are also responsible for making and delivering popcorn which is a great way to incorporate life skills into a functional tasks. Students practice math skills through measuring, counting bags, and money collection and social skills during delivery. What a great (and yummy) responsibility!
Robbie also knows the benefit of Exercise especially Proprioceptive Input or Heavy Work to help calm students with high anxiety and provide strategies for sensory regulation. Look at this awesome pusher which can be weighted by adding additional books to the crate.
Robbie also knows how proactively scheduling time for sensory breaks helps students regulate cortisol levels and better prepares them for learning. Look at this great visual from Your Therapy Source for Heavy Work breaks.
Robbie's students also practice their independence through using structured work systems to complete a variety of academic and functional tasks. Each student has their own clipboard which shows what activities they must complete for that day. Students are responsible for finding their activities, completing them, and returning them to the shelf when finished. Activities include a variety of tasks including taskboxes, envelope activities, and file folders including these great Cooking Life Skill File Folders from Breezy Special Ed.
Some of the functional tasks Robbie had included sorting plasticware and sorting dark and light laundry.
Robbie also had a great seasonal fine motor tasks for students to make candy canes with beads and pipe cleaners.
We want to thank Robbie for sharing her classroom with us and working each day to help her students gain independent life skills so they can find success in the classroom and beyond. We are lucky to have you as an extension of our team!