Teacher uses music to help children with special needs interact in the classroom

Brook Holden, ABC Music & Me teacher

Brook Holden's student's love ABC Music & Me time.

Brook Holden is a third-year teacher in Special Education in Kennett, MO. This is her first year teaching the ECSE program at Kennett Early Learning Center. She teaches one 30-minute ABC Music & Me class per week and does one 30-minute ABC Activities lesson per week. She integrates other activities around the themes and uses the materials throughout the week. She has three year olds who are self-contained in the mornings and four year olds who are in regular preschool and come to her for Special Services.

Brook finds ABC Music & Me a wonderfully useful curriculum. “I really love it, especially with my preschoolers. We already do music throughout the day and this curriculum is helpful to have with the themes already in place.” She found it a great way to get to know her students as she began teaching at the Early Learning Center. “[With my] being new to this age group, it was a great curriculum to get started with, because they could all participate and interact during the class.”

Brook has also noticed the difference the program has made with students. “The biggest difference is the interaction during class. I have the lowest functioning of kids and the fact that I can get them to interact during ABC is an achievement. The class routine with the hello, goodbye and transitions helps them know what to expect and they really participate better,” she says. “With low functioning kids and some of the developmental and motor challenges that they are faced with, changes don’t come quickly. One student in particular had difficulty putting instruments away. Now he’ll do it, and I think it has a lot to do with the routine of the program because he knows something fun is coming. He also transfers that ability to other activities and classroom settings.”

What’s more, her students clearly enjoy the program, especially the instruments. “They love it when it’s ABC Music & Me time. I love how they look when I reach for the instruments. The instruments really get the kids into it, and I know they will be on task.”

“They also love the take home packages,” Brook adds. “They know when they are going to get them, and they get really excited. I hear good feedback from the parents that they are liking the CDs and stories. One parent called to find out about a set of materials that was supposed to arrive at home. The child had left it at daycare, and they both were so concerned and wanted to have it so badly. I knew that they must really love the activities!”

 

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