Most elementary schools emit smiles of joy as one waltzes in the front doors, but Mrs. Hart's classroom grants feelings of pure excitement, as this classroom is a safe zone for all students. Most of the time, students come in individually to work with Mrs. Hart, to emphasize their necessities in learning. For example, due to the behavioral issues these students are confronted with, their reading and mathematics skills are often compensated because they struggle to focus, and lack the ability to follow instructions. Since the students are not all in her classroom at once, they have to have a different class, where they can go, and that's there home classroom. This is a classroom that is independent of students with disabilities, and includes students who may struggle with reading, or behavioral issues, for students all in the same grade. Often, it is a challenge for those students to remain calm in a classroom environment, so when they need a break, or when they start to fidget a little, they are given a "green card," or a pass to head down to Mrs. Hart's room. Now, to most people that would seem like a punishment, for they are pulled from class, but it is seen as a fun reward. The room is decorated with toys, bouncing balls, a trampoline, and all kinds of fun to keep students from feeling like they're punished for the disability they can't help. It also reminds classmates that there is no shame to work with Mrs. Hart, and that there is nothing wrong with being a little different. When students continue to show inappropriate behaviors, they are then handed a red card to talk about their behaviors with Mrs. Hart, and how the situation should be handled. Therefore, the students learn from the experience, and hopefully will show more appropriate behaviors the next time. Each student has a different story, and there are eleven stories to be told. I have yet to meet all the students, as they come in during different times today, but many of the students who I am familiar with have severe ADHD, are emotionally disturbed, or have other behavior issues that aren't specified. These students generally are bouncing with energy, and struggle to maintain the focus that is required in an elementary classroom, so they find themselves completing their work in Mrs. Hart's room, where they can take quick breaks when needed, work on an individual level, and earn the patience they need. All of the students don't know how to follow instructions, and chatter when the room should be silent, so Mrs. Hart works with them on the time they need to help them succeed. In this program, every child has the ability to succeed. They don't believe that just because the student disrupts the class means he is a bad student or can't learn, but that there is a chance for him to strive.
The Map of the Learning World
Along with me as your tour guide, you'll also find I've added my daily journal entries, or blogs, to help guide you through the learning world. Feel free to check them out!