Basic Skills is a class that teaches students organization, social skills, and the "executive function" skills needed to be successful in school. We will also target the student’s individual IEP goals to ensure mastery of the goals. A dedicated portion of class time is given to developing self-advocacy skills, including understanding strengths and weaknesses, developing and achieving goals, collecting data on progress, and celebrating accomplishments.
Executive function refers to the planning and organizing needed to begin and complete assignments. If you think of the multi-tasking that is necessary for an executive to function in his or her business (listening, note taking, scheduling, for example), you understand what executive function is.
Social skills refer to the set of skills that people use to interact and communicate with others. It can be as simple as eye contact or greeting people, to understanding and using proper personal space. Activities and strategies are taught to help the students understand how to appropriately develop these skills.
An excellent source used in class includes:
- Thinking about You, Thinking about Me, by Michelle Garcia Winner. The author provides excellent strategies for students to develop social thinking, considering the perspective of others, and self-advocacy.
Basic Skills classes are graded on a pass/fail (students will receive a "P" or "F") and grades are calculated based on in class activities, proper agenda use, and class participation.
Students should bring their agenda to class each day. They will be provided with a binder and folder, and should have pencils and highlighters available.