Carol Aiken

Welcome to Miss. Aiken's Integrated Life Skills

Classroom Website

"It's not WHAT you teach a child, but HOW you teach a child, that makes a difference in their life."

Every individual has a place to fill in this world, and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not.


The purpose of education is to teach people to think for themselves.

Welcome to E. T. Richardson Middle School

Integrated Life Skills Support

You may be wondering what all of that means, so get comfy, and read on.

When one thinks of life skills, one should think of having a sense of humor, cooperation, caring, sharing, etc. When one thinks of applied academics, one should think that everyone has an ability level, yet they may need to be taught how to apply their skills. Within the life skills applied academics program, focus is on the individual student’s needs, where they are and how to get them to be the "best" they can be. This is through direct teaching of reading and math skills while incorporating social and life skills, while taking each student's ability level and teaching them how to apply learned skills into their daily lives.

The educational goal is for every student to become an active participant and contributing member of society. In order for our students to achieve this goal, their curriculum must extend beyond the classroom and school into the surrounding school/community to ensure the development of critical daily living skills. Each student's program is devoted to direct instruction in the school/community areas. Simulations and isolation training are avoided, and natural settings are emphasized in order to maximize success in society. Skills which are taught within their natural environments have been proven to be more effective than instruction using only classroom simulation.

Integrated Life Skills/Applied Academics Classroom/program at E.T. Richardson follows the guide that every student is capable of living, working, and recreating in the community. Every student has an ability level. As an educator, it is our job to teach them how to apply learned skills to their daily life. With this in mind, the Integrated Life Skills classroom/program is based on the following principles:

·When necessary, schooling should include direct preparation for the activities of daily life.

·Social integration is an essential element of an appropriate educational program.

·Home/School collaboration is vital to the success of an educational program.

·Instructional decision making must be individualized.

·Interdependence and partial participation are valid educational goals.

·Structured learning can occur in a variety of settings.

Each student’s IEP is tailored to meet their individual needs, while coordinating instruction in the school and community exploration. A functional curriculum makes use of developmentally appropriate and activity based models to ensure that every learning experience is meaningful. At the middle school level, students engage in a balance of Applied Academics, Personal Management, Social/Communication, and Career/Vocational activities in the school and surrounding community.

Teachers, instructional assistants, and related service personnel work as a team to implement individualized educational programs to develop and increase independent skills to enhance the quality of each student’s life. Academic skills are addressed within functional activities. Technological assistance is provided as appropriate, with the primary goal being student participation and independence.

School and Community-Based activities enable students to generalize learned skills and apply them in the environment where they are needed. Activities include, but are not limited to: appropriate communication, social skills, money handling, safety awareness, appropriate manners, table etiquette, and use of public transportation, with the emphasis on awareness and exposure to the surrounding community. Community based skills will be taught to a more extensive level as students move on to the high school program with an emphasis in middle school on exposure.

We do not have a choice of what we are,

But we do have a choice of what we become!