Overview of topics in the Senior Lifeskills program:
A combination of calendar, weather and journal writing activities. As part of journal writing activities I give students a framework to follow (date, weather) before I try to elicit responses from them that they can write about (eg. Recent events at school, our cooking program, work experience tasks, family events). Students share their writing with the class and to the best of their abilities elicit questions and comments from students and staff.
This involves a particular emphasis on money mathematics. Identifying different coins / bills and simple addition and subtraction are components of this focus. As a complement to this, students participate in short shopping excursions in the community to purchase groceries for our cooking program. Comparing prices, locating items in the store, and purchasing correct quantities of needed foods are also involved.
Using resources from Sunny Hill, I have been doing a unit on work place skills and expected behaviours. Punctuality, positive attitudes, the importance of cleanliness / hygiene is modeled through use of a video series. Role playing and interview skills are a component. Students are also active throughout the day in different work experience projects at JO such as the bottle and paper recycling programs. Students have recently begun volunteer work experience placements at the Vancouver School Board collecting and shredding paper recycling and will shortly commence work at Winners / Homesense at Metrotown. As part of this program students will be given training on public transit use (bus, skytrain) supervised by one of our program’s SSWs.
Students participate in grocery shopping excursions with staff to purchase groceries needed for in-class cooking projects. Using the “Cooking to Learn” text, students read recipes complemented by picture symbols followed by short answer / multiple choice questions about each project. Students are responsible (to the best of their ability) for preparing their own dish and each takes part in general set up / clean up duties. Foods donated to the program by the school (eg. Apples, pears, etc.) are incorporated into our cooking projects.
Using the “Circles” program as a reference point students learn how to interact safely and appropriately among different combinations of friends, strangers and acquaintances. Themes that go along with this are the role of community helpers, the importance of personal space and knowledge of personal data (address, emergency phone numbers). Personal safety is emphasized on any community outing and is a concept that is modeled by staff by role playing and direct instruction.
Admission into this program is through Central Screening.