Monday, October 11, 2010

Cradle Beach

Hi everyone!
I wanted to share with all of you what I did this weekend.  I went to this place in Angola, NY called Cradle Beach.  Cradle Beach is mostly used during the summer for as a sleepaway summer camp for children with disabilities.  But during the year they open it up on certain weekends and have respites where people both young and old with disabilities come and interact with the respite workers and spend the weekend doing a variety of activites.  I was a summer camp counselor there all summer so on the weekends that they have respites I go there to help entertain and work with disabled people.  To qualify to be a respite camper a person must not live on their own or in a group home so they have to be taken care of by a family member or a friend or they have to have an IQ less than 60.  I spent the weekend with many different people that had variety of disbilities.  Throughout the weekend we carved pumpkins, had a Buffalo Sabres party, did arts and crafts, played on the play ground and many other things.  We celebrated halloween and the fall with making paper masks, tracing leaves, and taking nature walks a long paths in the forests.
This is a picture of one of the respite campers that I worked with his halloween mask on.  Because of HIPAA laws we can not publish pictures of the campers without parent consent.  It's hard to explain exactly what we did without showing everyone so I can show this picture because this particular camper's face is covered with the halloween masks we made.  Every camper got a chance to make a paper mask to wear to our halloween costume party and to take home.

This picture shows all the pumpkins that the campers painted and carved throughout the weekend.  After carving the pumpkins we all sorted the seeds and went back into the kitchen and taught everyone how to make pumpkin seeds.  We allowed all the campers to be actively involved with putting salt on the seeds, putting them in the oven, timing how long they cook for, then serving them.  All the campers were not only proud of how good their pumpkins turned out, but they also we so happy that they made the pumpkin seeds.

Every night after dinner we would take the campers out to the back of the camp to see the sunset across the lake.  It was something that they looked forward to every night and it brought a smile to everyone's faces.  It moment like that which put everything in perspective and reminds us of how lucky we are to have a job where we can provide people with memories like these that they will always cherish.  Working with people that have disabilities is not always easy, but it is one of the most personally rewarding and feel good things that you can do.  This is what I spent my summer as well as this weekend doing.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hi everyone!
This is a video of my latest teaching experience.  There are a few things that I noticed that I could've improved on and somethings that I did do a good job on.  It's hard to fit everything into a lesson when there is only 4 minutes to teach.  I had forgotten to give an introduction, signal for attention and a strong hook.  I did mention "hot hands" to help the students relate to the frisbee catch.  I demonstrated how the catch should look stationary going over the cues so the students could see how the cues matched up with the actual catch.  I did not do an actual moving demonstration. I should've picked a student to throw me the frisbee so I could show the class how to implement the catch correctly.  I also should've showed common errors that most students make when catching the frisbee.  After showing common errors I should've explained how to fix these errors and help students understand the proper way to catch.  At the end of the lesson I went over the cues to make sure the students were paying attention and left knowing how to catch a frisbee.  There are a few things I needed to change in my lesson, with more time I think I could've made my lesson much better.  But in the given amount of time I did a decent job of showing the students the frisbee throw as well as letting them practice and gave them a competition to peak their interest. Here is my time coding sheet which shows how I split my time up while teaching.  I didn't have any recorded waiting or management time.  I spent most of class having students engaging in activity.