Hello and Welcome to Mrs. Phenning's Classroom (Students like to call me Ms. Rho)
I have been asked why my program is called a Functional Classroom. Well, in my opinion, the name Functional Skills Program seems more appropriate than “Life-skills”. Somehow the term “Life-skills” has become synonymous with an activity or day program where students spend their time lounging in the classroom; occasionally participating in CBI trips (Community Based Instruction) to buy food for cooking or riding the bus to the mall. Our students are entitled to a far better education than just that and while reading Shakespeare may not be a priority - learning to read for pleasure and information IS.
I don’t have a cookie cutter program for my students. Unfortunately there is no one answer that is going to be best for everyone. However, what I do have is:
1. A structured classroom emphasizing school routines headed by the special education teacher, which teaches students how to work in a classroom without always being dependent on a para.
2. Communication between myself, my paras, and administrators where my students' abilities are assessed and individual goals and objectives are determined and implemented. Goals are set each week based on each individual student and his/her needs and implemented as a team effort.
3. A routine approach to daily activities which provides a natural environment in which to generalize the skills learned in intensive teaching sessions.
4. The teacher is the team leader and provides supervision, direction and knowledge and is the expert on working with students with special needs as well as how and what to teach.