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Re: Behavior disorders and learning disabilities

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From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 06 2004 - 14:27:23 PST


Ronikul@aol.com wrote:

> Does anyone have any art lesson plans for self contained 6th grade
> BD(behavior disorders) or self contained LD(learning disabilties)
> classes? Thanks, Rlaks

Rlaks,

Many of us have found that weaving is extremely theraputic, no matter
what grade or level of ability. Why are the LD kids self-contained,
anyway? In my experience they've been able to hold their own, or in
many cases excel, mainstreamed into a regular art class.

With the LD kids, my advice is to teach them your regular curric,
adapting as you go. My general philosophy with SpEd students is to
concentrate on what they CAN do, not on what they can't.

With the BD kids, depending on how the behaviors manifest themselves,
you may have to minimize frustration as much as possible. Give them
lessons that can't miss; Bunki's Matisse Papercuts is one that comes to
mind off the top of my head. Here are some notes I saved from a
presentation given at NAEA by Adrienne Hunter, who has extensive
experience with at-risk and incarcerated youth:

> Failure is not an option (and not possible). The teacher needs to do
> a task analysis and break down an assignment into individual tasks
> that can be done in small steps. Analyzing sources of potential
> problems or frustrations is very important. These kids have had many
> disappointments, frustrations, and failures in their lives, and the
> art teacher should avoid adding to them.
>
> Teacher should decide what is really being taught. Is learning to
> measure with a ruler (possible source of frustration) more important
> than giving the students a template with premarked measurements so
> they can complete an assignment? Too much planning, in the form of
> sketches or models, can frustrate the students and turn them off;
> these guys tend to be very impetuous.

Some BD kids may be very touch-sensitive, meaning, they don't like
getting their hands dirty with clay or Elmer's glue or fingerpaints or
even regular paint; some are nervous with tape as well. Their teacher
can advise you.

Rather than us giving you lesson plans per se, I recommend you review
your own plans and curric and adapt them to your particular students.
Then you are using familiar lessons with materials you know you have on
hand.

Maggie

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