Fletcher Elementary School Hosts Family Luau

JAMESTOWN – Fletcher Elementary School special needs teachers, Lisa Campbell, Becky McGrath and Alison Burt, recently held a Family Luau to celebrate the culmination of their animals unit. During the unit, students learned about farm, zoo and ocean animals.
Families and their children participated in educational and fun games in the gym with the help of physical education teacher, Ardelle Rambacher. “Sea Animal Fishing” had students practicing their ocean animal vocabulary while “fishing” for sea animals. This game encouraged counting/number skills, recognition/labeling of colors, turn-taking skills, listening skills, and reading words. It also encourages gross motor skills learned during gym class like hopping, jumping and skipping.

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“Ocean Bean Bag Toss” and “Bowling for Sea Animals” focused on fine motor skills/coordination needed to get the beanbags through the holes and to knock down the pins. “Beach ball parachute play” included socialization, listening, gross motor and just having fun. Families also participated in a limbo contest and broke a piñata.
Families in Lisa Campbell’s class also participated in a demonstration of the use of PECS, which stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. The special education students in all classes are being taught PECS in order to request items and begin to communicate their needs and desires throughout the school day and at home. Students pointed to a picture and verbalized which snack they wanted. The teachers, including Campbell, invite parents into the classroom throughout the school year to show them how their child is progressing in the PECS program so that families can see it used in the classroom and also use it at home. McGrath and Burt also have also had a family engagement activity centered on PECS in their classrooms earlier in the year.
“Although I try to explain each step of the program to parents as their child progresses, I feel it is easier for parents to understand when they actually see their child performing it in school. Its a great visual for families,” said Campbell.  “Plus, some students may not carry over the skills at home, and this gives the parents a chance to see how it is working at school. For other students, it’s just a chance to show family members how much their child has improved at using PECS throughout the school year (or extended family members who may not be familiar with the program but who attended our event). Educating family members about how to help their children is an important part of my job.”