After posting the photo below on Instagram (@teachingspecialthinkers), I had a TON of questions about how I set up our kitchen work system.
We are SO lucky to have an instructional kitchen attached to our classroom! Not only can we do fun cooking lessons, we can also teach our kiddos some essential functional life skills!
Another GREAT thing about our kitchen, is that we can do “heavy work.”
What is heavy work?
In you special needs class, do you have any behavior issues? Any kids that are over-responsive or just the opposite, under-responsive? YOU.NEED.HEAVY.WORK. I cannot stress enough how much of a DRASTIC change we saw in some of our special thinkers when we began implementing this work system into their daily routine.
Here’s some info on the technical terms:
Is the student OVER-responsive?
–Seeks intense input to help register information
-Stomps when walking
-Crashes/bumps into things
Is the student UNDER-responsive?
–Responds defensively to sensory stimuli and feel the need to control their
-Hesitant to climb, jump, ride or swing
-Dislikes touch, may cry if bumped, many not get messy with food or when playing
-Cautious about interactions except with those who are familiar
Here’s a nifty little chart for your reference 🙂
SO…. what is HEAVY WORK?
Basically “heavy work” is an easy way to say proprioceptive activities.. because obviously you can’t tell a kid they are about to go do their proprioceptive activities in the kitchen.. it’s a bit of a mouthful to say on the fly and too long to spell out on their schedule cards. It is a term used to describe the types of activities which we
receive proprioceptive input, these types of activities provide “heavy
work” for our muscles and joints. Heavy work CALMS our under-responsive kids and stimulates our over-responsive kids.
We provide heavy work consistently throughout the day, especially during our morning outdoor sensory break on the playground and our recess time in the gym/on the playground, as well as through heavy work.
In the instructional kitchen – our students go through a work system of daily living tasks. We numbered the tasks so they know which order to go in, or we just hand younger kids an object to move onto the next task (i.e. a spoon for sorting silverware). Since I’ve already been a little wordy in this post, I’m just going to show you our work system in pictures. I might still sneak in a few words. Make sure you scroll all the way to the end though…. there’s a SURPRISE!!!!
weighted, they provide the students with quick breaks in between, as well as
several functional skills they will use daily – putting away groceries, sorting
silverware, packing snacks, recycling, and more!
post – BRAVO! Today is the first day of our Autism Awareness Giveaway! The
first thing we are giving away is one of these cute personalized autism awareness tumblers from.
badge from Sloan Hall on etsy reels away!!! SO CUTE!
Also – I just posted my Spring Basic Skills Activity Pack & I’m giving a copy away – head over to my Facebook to enter!