NSSA Week in Review: July 16-20

i Jul 20th No Comments by

We started the week with a visit from Ginny Green from Autism Speaks who delivered a plaque regarding a grant they awarded NSSA for Building the Field and Scope of Educators Supporting Children with Autism. Thanks, Autism Speaks!

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The week started out hot so some of the adult clients came over to cool off in our pool…

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…and later to indoor air-conditioned glow-in-the-dark mini golf.

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Students did more tie-dying in preparation for Brew-B-Q.

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Adult clients were given the job of weeding this raised bed at the Elija Farm. Look at the great job they did! Great teamwork, everyone!

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J from NSSA’s Green Team came to pick up the shredding and recyclables from the Martin C. Barell building. You can learn more about The Green Team in an upcoming blog post.

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The Running Club had a second meeting on Friday morning.

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And students enjoyed the weekly summer visit from Mr. Softee after lunch!

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And so ends another week of NSSA’s summer session. Check back next week to see what we’re up to!

NSSA’s Salad Shoppe Success Leads to Expansion

i Jul 17th No Comments by

Last fall we shared the story about Classroom 4’s Salad Shoppe program (read full story here). The program was such a resounding success they decided to expand their product line and delivery days. The teachers were able to replicate the program they created for salads and apply it to a new product with the same outcome and success. Now, in addition to Salad Thursdays, Classroom 4 is offering staff Fruit-Yogurt Parfaits on Fridays.

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Each Wednesday staff members get a parfait order form delivered to their desks where they can choose yogurt type, up to 3 mix-in fruits, such as blueberries, honeydew melon, grapes, etc., and whether or not they want granola. When the forms are submitted on Thursday, the Classroom 4 team takes inventory of what is needed to fill the orders and goes shopping for all the ingredients. They keep track of the money and budget so they can make all the necessary purchases.

Friday mornings are spent rinsing, chopping and melon-balling.

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Afterwards a production line is set-up on long tables in the classroom and everyone has a specific job to do: layering yogurt in cups, measuring and dropping in berries, filling separate cups with granola and writing customer names on labels. Students are assigned jobs based on their IEP goals and they are also learning to work as part of a team.

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As with the salad production, health and safety are of paramount importance. The students use special tools for chopping, everyone handling food and containers wears gloves and students are closely monitored during the entire preparation process.

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Everyone’s happy to see the delivery team arrive at their door with their Friday morning fruit parfait.

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Classroom Four’s Salad Shoppe and Fruit-Yogurt Parfait delivery is an excellent illustration of the creativity and ingenuity of our teachers, who are tasked not only with teaching academics but also (and perhaps more importantly) teaching vital skills necessary to navigate and progress through everyday life. With careful assessment of each student’s needs and goals, our teachers created a new and exciting endeavor that combines their students’ academic goals with daily living objectives while generalizing and building upon skills that have already been mastered.

Congratulations on your success, Classroom 4!

NSSA Ends 2017 with a Flurry of Holiday Activities

i Dec 28th No Comments by

Note: You can now subscribe to the blog and get updates sent to your email. There is a Subscribe form at the bottom of this post.

Each December The NSSA Parent Association hosts a holiday party complete with pizza, dessert and live music.

Teachers and direct support professionals enjoy the festive atmosphere while students and clients enjoy lunch and dancing.

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Some of the adult clients have been practicing for weeks to put on a Holiday Singalong, led by teacher assistant Shelley.

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Teachers got in the act, too.

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And everyone else came to watch and sing along!

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As if that wasn’t enough, on Friday, SANTA surprised the boys in Classroom 1 by showing up with gifts for everyone in the room!

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It was quite the way to end 2017…and now classrooms are empty and quiet waiting to be filled again after New Year’s with happy excited voices and activity.

Here’s a little video for you…have a Happy New Year.

Drumroll, Please!

i Apr 28th No Comments by

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Jack Licitra of South Bay Arts is passionate about music. NSSA was fortunate to be introduced to Jack by a staff member and now he’s bringing his love of music to our students and clients.

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Jack came to the Martin C. Barell School in April with enough bongos in tow for each class to have a 15-minute trial session. From this brief trial, NSSA staff were able to determine which students and clients would enjoy and benefit from ongoing drum classes at Jack’s studio.

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Some clients and students have enjoyed music classes in the past and they have been used as reinforcers for skill acquisition and appropriate behavior. It’s also a good group activity and practice for following group directions and remaining on task. Music classes are also an excellent way to teach and develop new leisure interests and skills that our students and clients can enjoy during their down time.

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The happy faces and enthusiastic drumming indicated that this exercise was a beneficial one and some of our students and clients will be attending and enjoying future drum classes at South Bay Arts in Bayport.

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