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Commuity Service Jennifer Marietta Marietta@knights.ucf.edu 4-5-10 EEX 4070
Early Perceptions When I first started this project I was extremely nervous. I did not have the experience in working with children with disabilities. I wanted to make sure I was a positive influence on these children and helped them grow. I wanted to make sure that these children would be able to comprehend me and like me. I did not want them to be afraid of me, but think of me as a friend, who wants them to succeed. I wanted to make sure that they did succeed and gain confidence.
Introduction to the Setting I spent ten of my hours tutoring two students at Lake Mary Elementary school. There I was able to help two fifth grade boys in reading, math and writing. There reading levels were of a third grade students. One of the boys was named Mathew, his disability is that he is emotionally disturbed. The second student Zack, has the same disability, but also has attention deficient disorder. These two students are both having problems with reading at their grade level. For the other part of my hours I have been giving horse back riding lessons to a young girl named Olivia. Olivia is a girl who has autism. I have been working with her for over a year. I have been helping Olivia with working with her horse to help her reach her goal in horse shows. This has been at a horse farm in Clermont, Florida.
Demographics Lake Mary Elementary School (Mathew (Blue shirt), Zack and I)
Demographics Horse back riding with Olivia and I (Clermont, FL and horse shows (Florida and Georgia) Left picture: Olivia riding and I am in the purple shirt training. Right picture: I am training one of her horses.
Personal Demographics I have been riding horses since I was two years old and this is one of my passions, along with teaching. I have always tutored friends and taught horse lessons. The combination of the two is great. It has helped me with Olivia and taught me how to connect and reach her through horses. I enjoy working and going to school to learn many new and exciting things.
Engagement Activities While at Lake Mary Elementary school I worked with two students in the fifth grade, Mathew and Zack. These students were both emotionally disturbed and Zack also has AHD. I spend over ten hours tutoring these young boys. I helped them in reading, math and writing. The hardest part was thinking of ways to engage them in learning. I found it best when I separated the two and gave them a goal and reward when they reached it. In the end I became not only a tutor, but a friend to both of them. I still help them a few times a month. While working with Olivia, I have helped her with connecting to her horse and becoming a better rider. I worked with her for over a year now and still am. I help her with grooming her horse, riding her horse and her focus on one specific goal at time. This has been a battling struggle for her in and out of her school life. I have worked with her in Clermont, Fl and at Florida and Georgia horse shows.
Participant Demographics I served three elementary school students. Mathew is a fifth grade student and ten years old. He is an emotionally disturbed student who is at a third grade reading level. He is Caucasian and speaks only English. He is struggling with trust and needs constant reassurance. Zack is a fifth grade student and is eleven years old. He is an emotionally disturbed student and also has AHD. He is on a first grade reading level. He is Caucasian and speaks only English. He is struggling with focusing on the present. Olivia is a fourth grade student and is nine years old. Olivia has Autism. She is Caucasian and speaks only English. She is struggling with focus on one specific topic at a time.
Reflection of your Experience Working with Zack, Olivia and Mathew has changed my insight to students with disabilities and has really opened up my eyes to the real world. I have never had to work with students with disabilities until recently. I believe I have also grown as a person and become a more sensitive and aware person. I will use this experience when dealing with future students with disabilities and other students. It will help me reach other students and teach them new concepts. The most memorable experience was watching all three of these students succeed. When Olivia finally understood that she has to be light with her hands for her horse to listen to her, she look second place! It was an amazing feeling because I felt that I had reached my goal, which was to help her succeed. When both Zack and Mathew finally learned to relax and use the strategies that were taught to them, they were able to do well on tests. It was the most rewarding thing I have ever felt.
Reflection of your Experience I will take away a great knowledge and experience from this. I have learned how to use different strategies to reach children, how to teach them these strategies and will use this when I become a future teacher. I will share my experiences with other teachers and classmates. I take away a sense of success and experience. I have succeeded in helping these children and in return I have succeeded.