By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Teachers in New York City’s District 75 crouch in front of 2nd graders with severe behavioral and cognitive needs singing to each individually, “Look at me.” The teachers have been trained and mentored in a program called Everyday Arts for Special Education, or EASE.
Movement and choral responses keep the class engaged while content is being presented: letter sounds, colors, vocabulary, weather, shapes and social studies facts. In kinesthetic matching, a student holds a card with a picture , letter or word, then dances, hops or slides to another person holding the same card.
EASE is not a curriculum but a set of activities taught by teaching artists. The idea is to channel natural energy and tendencies into skills. Even before final research results, Los Angeles is now on board based on evidence that strategies are helping kids communicate and develop socialization skills, patience and self control.
Read more in Education Week about this unique program for children with disabilities.