Learning at Crossroads

October 07, 2021

12 classrooms, 6 therapy departments including a clinic, a handful of offices, 90 something team members, and more than 100 students and their families – clearly there’s no one story here at Crossroads Center for Children. Indeed we have a myriad of stories, which are woven together and grow to make a whole series and all with a common theme of learning skills that are socially significant in the world we are in.

This blog spot will cover all sorts of stories of learning from around the building. We’ll show you groups and one-to-one sessions here, and you’ll get to know us.

10.7.21 Read Aloud

Research shows that the more children are read to, the more words they’ll know. Makes sense, right?

One article https://www.mother.ly/kids-who-are-read-to-hear-a-million-more-words-by-kindergarten stated that a child who is read to daily will have heard 296,660 words by the time he/she turns 5. They went on to cite a recent study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics that found that kids who were read five books a day start kindergarten having heard more than a million more words than children whose parents don’t read to them.

At Crossroads, teachers know that reading to children is an essential part of their education. Spending parts of the day immersed in books clearly only boosts their literacy and communication skills.

Here we get to see Room 1 in a read-aloud that Mrs. Kathy, teacher is facilitating. Not only are the kids sitting terrifically, but they are taking in pictures and words, and associating words and pictures with each other.

9.22.21 Playdoh Table

Where there’s playdoh, there’s fun! But not just fun. Learning too.

Kids with playdoh are exercising their fine motor skills as they push, press, roll, and pinch the dough and use the utensils that come with it. Additionally, they are problem-solving, and engineering as they design what they are creating in their mind’s eye.

One of our favorite things about playdoh, though, is that it gives a rich sensory experience to children, in color, smell, and texture, and the senses are part of Science. For the great majority of our students, subjects need to be hands-on and active, making this sort of activity a meaningful way to connect conversations about how something feels, looks and smells.

Room 3, shown here, is certainly enjoying their playdoh time!

Read past stories about Science below!

Science in Mind.

9.16.21 Early Writing

Crossroads students range in age and in skills. When it comes to writing, many are just now beginning to learn to hold a utensil and to make marks on a surface. While some students receive Occupational Therapy as an IEP service, all students practice early writing or writing skills in their classrooms. Teachers and Teaching Assistants engage students in fun activities in which the children can work on skills like holding a writing tool, making a mark, making specific lines and curves, writing letters and numbers, and eventually writing words. Names, sentences, paragraphs, and essays come along with much practice and time.

Here’s a group in Room 6 enjoying chalkboards from our Learning Without Tears Curriculum.

9.8.21 Morning Routines

After arrival, each classroom has a specific routine, allowing students to learn the expectations of the teachers and of school in general, as well as how to perform the various skills that are chained into that routine. Most classes go to their classrooms, then unpack and put their belongings into their own cubbies. Most then have students go to their desks or tables for an activity that is similar enough every day for students to know what is coming and develop a bit of independence. For some that activity is Snack Time, for others, morning work gets the day off on the right track, for others there are play centers to start the morning and for plenty, morning ADLs (activities of daily living) are the first step towards a successful day.

Today we can glimpse students back from summer break falling quickly into routines in Room 13 and Room 14.  We can see children engaging in all of the above.

Students receive support when needed, and team members will also teach and maximize opportunities for growth and independence by refraining from over-assisting students with tasks they have demonstrated the ability to perform partially or wholly independently.

It’s amazing to think that this is just the first of a whole school year full of days. So much potential and so much to learn. We are excited in every part of our organization about what will be accomplished this year.

9.1.21 Circle Time

Today’s story is from Room 2. This is our “Toddler Room,” a classroom for kiddos just 18 months and up. Ms. Katie is teaching them to participate in a Circle Time. Circle Time is something that is part of every classroom’s day, not just at Crossroads but in most elementary schools, where students practice assorted skills such as those associated with the calendar, weather, pledge of allegiance, and getting to know each other. Today’s lesson included learning some new words of things; Katie is showing the children a tile with a picture and a word, and asking them to say the word with her. The tiles are from the Learning Without Tears curriculum which is utilized across our school program. Over the course of the year, we will see lots of growth in the words students can use functionally. She is also starting off circle time with a mutually enjoyed toy since children as young as this are not expected to sit at length to attend to a teacher.

Check out our circle time blogs from the archives:



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