A Day in the Life of Classroom 1 at The Martin C. Barell School

i Jan 28th 2 Comments by

Martin C. Barell’s Classroom 1 is our youngest classroom, with six boys between the ages of 7-9. Six (wonderful!) teachers work with them throughout the day from the moment they get off the bus in the morning until they leave to go home at the end of the day.  As you can imagine with boys this age, this is a busy classroom! Let’s follow them through a day back last summer…

The boys arrive by bus at 9am.

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They greet their friends while learning to unpack and put their backpacks away in their lockers.

nassau suffolk services for autism, the martin c barell school, autism school long island, abaMornings are spent doing goal work, such as reading, counting and sequencing.

nassau suffolk services for autism, the martin c barell school, autism school long island, abaAnd then there’s some time to learn to play with new toys.

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The teachers were designing a new bulletin board for the classroom with the theme “Kicking Off to a New Year” so we had a little photo shoot with the boys dressed as football players.

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Lunchtime is spent practicing using utensils and napkins appropriately and trying new foods.

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Once a week the group takes a yoga class where they learn and practice postures and movements.

nassau suffolk services for autism, the martin c barell school, autism school long island, aba, yogaAfter working up a sweat in yoga, the class heads next door to the JCC for swim.

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Some are super enthusiastic to get in the pool!

nassau suffolk services for autism, the martin c barell school, autism school long island, aba, jccSome are a little more cautious…

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But once in, everyone enjoys themselves.

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After swim it’s almost time to get ready to pack up to go home.

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The end of a long day. See ya tomorrow!

 

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

i Dec 5th 1 Comment by

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And NSSA’s own Shelley Ourian has fulfilled a dream of her own by performing in Star Playhouse’s recent production of Les Miserables at the Suffolk Y JCC in Commack. As part of the show’s chorus, Shelley portrayed multiple roles as a Factory Worker, Citizen of Paris, and a Student Girlfriend.

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A teacher’s assistant at the Martin C. Barell School, Shelley can often be heard singing as she walks through the halls of the school, and she has dreamed of doing theater for as long as she can remember. Now she is living her dream of “diving into Long Island theater,” after past successes in high school and college drama productions. She feels theater has become like her second home.

More than just the actual performing, Shelley felt the best part of the experience was bonding with castmates – making new friends who have common interests and a shared love of performing. Through her new friends and local websites, Shelley hopes to find more opportunities on the stage in the future. One of those opportunities is with a group called GLEE, a singing group comprised of self-advocates. As an adult living with Autism, Shelley has performed at legislative breakfasts and spoken about living with autism at congressional hearings.

Currently, Shelley is working with some of the older students at NSSA to “create a musical aspect” to their education and school day. Shelley’s dream is certainly creating a musical future. Break a leg, Shell!

(Photos courtesy of Gene Indenbaum, Star Playhouse Producer. All rights reserved.)