Observation: Preschool Program Serving Students with Disabilities

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Observation: Preschool program serving students with disabilities. The program I observed combined both group and individualized activities. During the beginning of the day, students and teachers met together for a general morning session. The teacher used a 'wake-up' song with bodily movements, and some of the paraprofessionals helped students go through the motions of the group dance, if they had issues with motor skills. Afterwards, children were allowed some free time on their own, during which they could work with the teacher and other paraprofessionals on specific skills, such as learning colors, numbers, or speaking. Next came lunch followed by story time, in which children were read to by the teacher, followed by outdoor play. Students were allowed to play together in semi-supervised activities after the morning song. Whenever possible, the teacher and the aides used the opportunities presented by the children's play to teach basic concepts. They would ask about the color of specific toys or ask children to describe if something felt smooth or rough. For children with physical challenges, some of the paraprofessionals helped them with basic occupational skills, such as holding a crayon and manipulating some toy tools and cars. Some of the children were identified as autistic, so reinforcing social skills was especially important. Children who self-isolated in a corner were asked to join in play groups of other children. I noticed with the autistic children,
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