Published on November 14, 2018
Growing and It’s Perk's! : Growing and It’s Perk's! Milannette Marin email@example.com 11/11/2018 EEX 4070 Oak Park Elementary School: Oak Park Elementary School School mission/ vision: Oak Park will work together to provide all students with every opportunity to reach their full academic potential. The Oak Park community will work as a team to foster success in our students. Oak Park is located in Titusville, Fl. and is considered a title 1 school. The school has many ESE classrooms that are understaffed, making volunteers and substitute teachers greatly needed and appreciated. The classroom I completed my project with was a VE classroom with 14 students ranging from 2 nd -6 th grade. The class had one first year Teacher, one Instructional Assistant, and one Personal Care Assistant. Community Engagement: Community Engagement Many of the students who attend Oak Park come from low income house holds. I thought it would be a good life lesson for them to grow and harvest their own food. Students first collected their milk cartons from lunch and filled them with soil. They then chose a seed that they wanted to grow. We watched the seeds grow for a period of four weeks. The cold front killed most of our seedlings but since most people had sprouted more than one plant we had enough to redistribute. When the herbs were tall enough to eat (sprouts) we made pizza sauce and added our herbs into it. We then made our own pizza dough and watched the pizza bake in the school cafeteria. I went to the classroom every Wednesday and stayed all day for about six weeks. Participant Demographics: Participant Demographics Students The classroom I was in had a total of 14 ESE students. The disabilities ranged from visually impaired, bipolar, autism, ADHD, disabled body, etc. The class also included ELL, homeless, and gifted students. I.D.E.A. Support “Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.” https://sites.ed.gov/idea/about-idea/ Service in Action: Service in Action Service in Action: Service in Action Service in Action: Service in Action Service in Action: Service in Action Service in Action: Service in Action Service in Action: Service in Action Perception of Differences: Perception of Differences I’ve worked with this group of children for a year now and I’ve seen their growth as students and individuals. I think the biggest challenge in this classroom is a young girl who is visually impaired and has a disabled body. She made several comments throughout the project referencing her sight. It was truly challenging and heartbreaking. Connections to Course: Connections to Course I’m currently enrolled in EEX 4070. The three concepts I better understand because of this experience are IEP, Accommodation vs Modification, and Engagement. The Individualized Lesson Plan (IEP), the teacher I was working with showed me the process of writing them, the steps involved, and the importance of parent involvement when finalizing an IEP. While the IEP allowed me to observe Modification in the classroom, I had to come up with several Accommodations for my visually impaired student. I always thought that Engagement was teacher led but the students allowed the topic of farming and harvesting to grow through their own curiosity and involvement. Civic Engagement: Civic Engagement My involvement in this classroom allowed the students to further explore the subject being taught and allowed the teacher to touch and focus on a broader line of standards that the students got to explore. I will continue to volunteer in this classroom because the students are multi-graders and will allow me learn about many topics in a short amount of time. I also really enjoyed working with the visually impaired student, she forced me to think about creative ways to participate in the activities I had planned. Final Thoughts and Reflections: Final Thoughts and Reflections During my first years in college I was scared to volunteer in an ESE classroom because I didn’t know what to expect. However, during my first year at UCF I signed up for Junior Achievement at Oak Park and chose a Kindergarten class because I thought it would be easy… the class consisted of eight Autistic students who just required a bit of patience. I’ve been working with ESE students ever since and I’ve found myself choosing to work with ESE students over the General Education students. I might just get ESE certified… who knows!