I am SO thankful and overwhelmed with gratitude for the great response to the ECC Club Subscription boxes!! I hope the items in the box are engaging and fun and can fit right into the ECC focus for Independent Living this month!
At school, I can't wait to share the story from the ECC Club box with my young learners, and I'm excited to explore Independent Living both at school and for the first time, virtually!
What are Independent Living Skills?
Independent living skills include the tasks and functions people perform in daily life to increase their independence and contribute to the family structure. These skills include personal hygiene, eating skills, food preparation, time and money management, clothing care, and household tasks. People with vision typically learn such daily routines through observation, whereas individuals with visual impairments often need systematic instruction and frequent practice in these daily tasks.
Independent Living Check-In
I always tell my learners what E.C.C. area we will be talking about that month. I use the E.C.C. Workbook as a conversation point with the learners and families to get their input on skills in this area. We will explore what skills the child has for dressing and grooming, meal preparation and eating skills, responsibilities in the home, and recognition and care for money. This is a huge area! Focusing on various skills and aspects in a targeted way for one month has helped me remain committed to teaching and communicated about skills and strategies for each of my learners in this E.C.C. area. Here are some helpful assessment resources:
The checklists and modules from Michigan are so incredibly helpful:
The Oregon Project
Using some of these tools above, our team created these google forms for easy information gathering:
Living Lessons & Fun
Lessons in past years have been big a small... from a group cooking competition to making sure a young learner knew how to fill up her water bottle in the drinking fountain. COVID restrictions this year will help us focus on different skills and a unique opportunity to get glimpses of home life. Here's what I'm planning for February:
Remote Cooking Show: I have one very theatrical and fun learner who I will ask to record a cooking show from home to share with our group via zoom. This will allow a great context for asking questions about adaptations and skills in the kitchen and inspire learners to try something new at home.
Home Edit, VI Style: I love the Netflix show, Home Edit! I think it will be fun to have students choose a space in their home to explore and make more accessible for independence. I will challenge a group of learners to choose a space - pantry, closet, desk, clothes dresser, etc - take before and after photos and report back on how they made the space accessible to increase their independence. I think this will be a great place to have conversations around the skills in the home.
Shoes, coats, and backpacks: For my very young learners, I always like to check in on shoe-tying skills, coat and backpack zipping, and keeping track of these belongings in the cubby at school. Sometimes this can be a helpful starting point for conversations at home.
COVID Clean: Could there be a better time to talk about cleaning? Most of my learners are pretty good at hand washing now, but I think this would be a great opportunity to talk about systematic ways to clean different surfaces.
Cutting and spreading: I love using play dough for cutting, and I saw a neat spreading idea recently with peanut butter in a ziplock!
Online Shopping: I usually love taking my learners to a restaurant or grocery store during our Independent Living month, but our community lessons are not possible this year. I think this would be a great opportunity to explore access to online shopping and grocery delivery services with some of my learners.
What other ideas do you have?
Independent Living Wrap-Up
I will take photos all month long for families and share with details of how and why we are working on these skills. I like to send a quick group email at the end of the month reminding parents to look at their child's portfolios as well as share some tips for continuing work in this E.C.C. area at home.
How will you work on Independent Living this month? Follow along with our E.C.C. of the Month January activities in real time on Social Media: