What do we do here?


The Functional Skills program is offered for students who  need for a more practical curriculum than is taught in regular classes.  The basic course names look very similar - Math, English, Humanities or social studies, science - what is different is the content.  For example: in math students are learning about basic number/object correspondence; in humanities students learn about the symbols of Canada and in science we are studying the parts of the body.  In English students are practicing letter - sound correspondence.  Students also take electives - either in regular classes or with the functional skills program.  Electives offered within our program are computers, physical education and work experience.  Other electives our students are involved in are Foods, Woodwork, Drama and Planning.


These classes are the means by which our students not only learn and practice specific skills but are our Natural Environment Training grounds.


There are three components to our program - Direct Instruction, Intensive Teaching and Natural Environment Training.


Take a detailed look at our Classroom Curriculum.


The presentation below formed the basis of a live presentation to our local Parents Advisory Committee.  Click below to step through each frame.


Direct Instruction


We use Direct Instruction in our group or classroom teaching for English, math and Language for Learning (or communication training).  Direct instruction means to present material in small steps, provide for guided practice, check for understanding and provide immediate feedback.  Students are always participating in the lesson.


Intensive Teaching


Intensive Teaching (or IT) follows an individualized program for each student based on an assessment of their needs and takes place one to one outside of the classroom.


Natural Environment Teaching


Natural Environment Teaching (or NET) means that skills taught by direct instruction either in a small group or one to one are further rehearsed and supported afterwards or skills may be introduced in the environment and refined in an intensive teaching situation.  NET can take place in the classroom, cafeteria or in front of the lockers.  Natural Environment Teaching  is a very important part of our Verbal Behaviour program.




Skillbuilders is the name of our independence building program.  Using a TEACCH approach students either complete a series of baskets using a visual schedule or complete independent seat work.  Skills developed are initiating work, following a schedule, asking for help and indicating completion.  Tasks are introduced with the amount of assistance needed to teach however prompts are faded as quickly as possible.  Students do not move to a new activity until independent responding is achieved.  Students choose their own reinforcer for when work is completed.




Applied Behaviour Analysis


Applied Behaviour Analysis or ABA is the study of human behaviour as a science.  This means that we can predict and change behaviour by observing and influencing what happens before and after an event.  How does this work?  We all know that the best time for our kids to get in an argument with each other is NOT after we have had a bad day at work.


Setting Event Antedecent or Trigger


Bad day at work           Kids fight Send them to their s with no supper Quiet
Good day at work Kids fight Talk to them about getting along and play a cooperative game together Quiet


ABA has many tools that we use every day.  We use Positive Behaviour Support.  There are three components of effective classroom management.  The first component is antecedent control.  These preventative measures  prompt appropriate behaviors and minimize disruptive ones. Antecedent control techniques include making sure that the work is appropriate, the rules are clear, the materials are appropriate and relevant, routines are identified and taught, the schedule is predictable, seating arrangements are appropriate, lessons are carefully planned and implemented, teacher-student interactions are positive, and peer modeling is appropriate.


Consequence control techniques include increasing appropriate behaviors through social reinforcers, activity reinforcers, behavior contracts, token systems and group contingencies and decreasing inappropriate behaviors through extinction, reprimands and time out.


The third component is careful teaching of each skill - expressive and receptive language, social skills, motor imitation, self-help skills and routines.  Most important is taking data and making observations that lead and support all decision making.


Verbal Behavior


All of our students have language acquisition deficits.  Some are very obvious, others quite hidden.  These deficits mean that our students do not learn very well from the environment around them.  They must be taught each skill explicitly and have those skills expanded.


Verbal Behaviour emphasizes that words have many meanings depending upon their function and each meaning must be taught.  Initial training begins with “mand” or request training.  Students learn to ask for items, activities and information that is important to them.  The adults involved in the student’s program pair themselves with reinforcement, making learning a positive experience.  It is important that teaching often occurs when the motivation to learn is at its highest – when the student wants something.


Students progress to “tacting” or labelling objects and actions and intraverbals – answering questions or carrying on a conversation. Also taught are FFC’s or “features, functions and classes” of items and groups.  Students learn receptive, tact and intraverbal responses so that they can answer questions and talk about things when they are not present.


Utilizing a Verbal Behavior approach, we teach each word/object across all functional relations.  We cannot teach these all at once, but with some requesting, simple labels and receptive responses in a student’s repertoire, it is possible to build these various language components.


Classroom Reports

IEP Curriculum Quarter 3 2006/07 24.1KB
IEP Curriculum Quarter 1 2006/07 27.7KB