I've always believed that there should be opportunities for students to learn with their heads, their hands, and their hearts. Our students may understand the effects of the Cold War, how to balance equations, the scientific method, the proper format of a persuasive essay, how to speak another language, score a goal, mix watercolors, and play in tune but what will any of that matter if they don't develop a sense of compassion for others and pride in their work.
While brainstorming we began thinking, "Wouldn't this be a wonderful opportunity for kids to do something FOR kids?" My colleague invited two special education elementary classrooms in our district to be part of our pilot program. Then we approached a special education teacher who helps to prepare students for work study opportunities. With her advisement, a graduating special education senior was invited to become the project manager for this endeavor. Applying the skills that she had learned in the program, she created a Google survey for pilot classrooms, assisted with cutting and weeding the designs created by the Cricut Maker, and even created a PowerPoint presentation about proper line up procedures that she shared with the elementary students. This student developed leadership skills that will last a lifetime.
Using the Cricut Maker to design and cut the shapes...
The Cricut Maker in action...
The student project manager teaching the elementary students about proper line up procedures...
Trying out the sensory walk before it is installed...
These first sensory walks are fairly simple designs, and we look forward to working with classrooms in other district elementary schools on more elaborate projects. Although sensory walks are available for purchase, the benefits of this project were more far reaching...
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian