THE MAGIC OF MUSIC AND ART AT SIRA
As the great Martin Luther once said "Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us", that's why we -as care providers- have chosen to beautify the lives of our children at SIRA with the delightfulness of the musical instruments and the sweetness of the colorful paintings and drawings
Throughout the years, Music has been an outstanding tool that pours calmness and peace upon our children at SIRA, it has also been able to feed their brains with more creative ways to think and act, moreover it has been touched and felt by us - the care providers at SIRA- that music has proved its value in strengthening logic and reasoning in our children and made them more excited to come to school everyday, because music has been playing a huge role in easing our children's learning difficulties, it also allowed us to explore the great talents in our children that were hidden between the hallways of SIRA school and has been waiting for an opportunity to come out and shine, that's when the musical trainer at SIRA had decided to gather all these precious talented little children and form a musical band .
We -at SIRA School- are very proud of our musical band because they have proven to be able to stand proudly and strongly compete with all the other teams, thus this has been a great benefit in forming strong and resilient personalities in the face of the many difficulties that they face in their everyday lives, including their learning difficulties.
We cannot say anything less about our artful moments at SIRA School, as they have struck our children’s hearts with happiness. As Children who adore being artists around their art classes, wait in joyfulness and excitement for them, since they love to submerge within the many colors as they draw their talented and beautiful paintings that are hanged everywhere on the walls of SIRA School.
Our children at SIRA find it a great way to express themselves as talented artists in our artful moments at SIRA. We have been able -as care providers- not only to see but also experience the lovely little children turn from ordinary creatures to talented artists that can paint and draw very artistically the schools' multiple arts, also this powerful tool had helped us with the developmental growth of our children and with the expansion of their imagination in order to open up the space for the educational materials to be more actively remembered and for them to be able to gain problem solving techniques and personality strengthening skills as they freely express all the feelings and emotions that they feel inside.
We- SIRA team- hold within the walls of our hearts many gratitude and thankful words for our music and art trainers as they have always been members of our family at SIRA, and they have helped the children to grow tremendously in mind and soul and heart!
A flower is blossoming at SIRA
An effective way to improve the writing process for a student is through activities and ways that support the student at that specific stage.
A creative teacher can adopt specific strategies and encouraging ways to push a student with learning disabilities to help him develop his handwriting process.
Dysgraphia is a problem with the writing process. For these students, there is an underlying reason that their papers are messy or that their speed is excessively fast or extremely slow. It is unfair to label them as poorly motivated, careless or lazy.
Roa , is a student at SIRA since two years due to her learning disabilities, she newly started to blossom, especially in her writing task, for her teacher was all the time creating new strategies and ways to help her class develop in their weak handwriting due to their dysgraphia. Roa participated in a competition with her class for the best handwriting among the students and she was the winner at the end, she felt so proud and excited to feel that she is challenging her difficulty in writing and can be the winner among all students. A well-qualified teacher for students with learning disabilities is an important element to support the learning process for the students.
There is always a way out and a solution with SIRA.
Modern strategies for teaching English at SIRA
Teaching special needs students has always presented me with different and distinctive challenges, not only because these students demand more of my time and patience but also require extra support to enhance their learning potential. Fulfilling the needs of these students is certainly one of my greatest challenges as a teacher, therefore I always try to modify and accommodate the strategies to meet the needs of everyone.
So in my daily routine lesson plans I always make sure to use different strategies depending on the students’ age and difficulties. For example, drawing pictures and using graphic organizers to improve the students’ learning potential and to reinforce previously learned material and help relate new concepts to ones previously learned. Moreover, the visual representations help students to organize their ideas and highlight key words and concepts.
Incorporating role-play as well into the classrooms add a lot of fun to the curriculum, it helps my students to create and act an imaginary situation, practice the English language and get emotionally involved with what they are doing. Therefore, the students can learn how to express their feelings as well as developing their social skills, since they get the chance to play out roles they have observed or experienced in real life.
Group works and discussion are always primary teaching methods for me since they allow students to articulate their ideas and perspectives more clearly. Moreover, these methods allow me to challenge students to think deeply and develop their skills in communication especially for students who have weak or poor self-esteem.
Educational games and activities play an important role in my teaching system as well. They enrich the academic lives of students and help them improve their comprehensive skills and relieve boredom by presenting information in a new and interesting way. Therefore, lessons can be better explained and taught when I use sensory objects.
For example, in this activity the students has to blow
a ball along the tape lines using a straw. The students take turns at blowing the ball which requires control of the direction and speed of the ball. This activity challenges the students to keep the ball on the track and tend to encourage deep breathing which develops breathing control and lip muscles.
Writing or drawing in flour, writing in sand and paint bag writing are writing activities that prepare students too amply for formal writing. These sensory activities are important for hand skills and help students develop their wrist control and muscles, as well as building on creativity and sensory awareness.
I am proud of myself
Being neglected in their previous schools, Students arrived to SIRA School with low self-esteem due to their learning disabilities. At SIRA, all efforts are directed towards lifting their self-confidence and building their damaged personalities to help them later, to show good academic performance and clear development.
The class teacher usually pushes her students to do some activities inside the class which may help them develop academically and socially. Some students took the responsibility of presenting Arabic lessons to the other students in the class with the support of the teacher herself.
Two sisters came to SIRA School with learning disabilities and low self-esteem. They have been now at SIRA since two years, they are developing clearly in all subjects in addition that they achieved good development in performing dancing and drama activities in the schools celebrations.
Now they have the ability to stand in front of the class and make a lesson in story telling in a very attractive way and to offer a very interesting show in dancing and drama on the schools stage. SIRA, now, is carrying these two students to be integrated in an ordinary school due to their academic development.
SIRA School is always proud of her graduates wherever they are, it gives them good values and strong basics to be able to manage later in their local society.
Giant results at SIRA
All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results.
After one year of love and care at SIRA, Kristin achieved giant results which give her more self-confidence and good support to achieve clear development on the academic side as well as social side. Kristin came to SIRA with only 20 Arabic letters, she was unable to read or write.
Concerning numbers she was able to recognize numbers till 30 without knowing any simple calculations. The teacher’s great effort together with love and care pushed Kristin to achieve such a giant result on the academic level, for after six months at SIRA she is then able to read paragraphs, do all grammar questions and make good dictation.
Concerning mathematics, she accomplished two levels within six months; she became able to add and to multiply numbers up to 999.
All SIRA is proud of you Kristin, go on and SIRA is behind you supporting you and wishing you all the best with more development and better achievement, we SIRA believe in you and we also believe that there is always a way out with SIRA.
Proud of you Kristin
Gardening lessons at SIRA
A close connection with nature can be therapeutic in addressing attention deficit disorders and other problems faced by so many children today. Because of the engaging nature of garden learning, students with attention deficit and other disorders often find it more suitable for their learning styles. Teachers report fewer discipline problems when science is taught in this sort of experiential manner, for example. Teachers develop useful concepts, such as “invisible walls,” to create a sense of boundaries when learning in the garden.
Gardening lessons at SIRA School is very beneficial for the students, it gives them life skills including teamwork, self-understanding, leadership, decision making skills and communication skills. Children with special needs benefit from gardening a lot of benefits, as following:
It is great for mental health and increases positive behaviors.
Gives children the time to play and explore in the soil incorporating play and gross motor skills.
Reduces muscle tension.
Provides opportunity to develop speech to share discoveries while playing with the soil.
Gives a chance for the child to learn how to cooperate with the others around him.
Helps lessen negative feelings, anxieties, aggressive tendencies, etc.
SIRA is always going on with all new strategies in special education for the sake of the students.
Parent’s education at SIRA is a special goal
At SIRA School, we do not only offer exceptional educational and extracurricular activities for our students, but we also offer different activities that are designed to attract the parents of our students and help them grow due to the important role of parents in the learning process.
As part of the process, we reach out to parents as well as we offer them a lot of opportunities that are designed to enhance and enrich their parenting skills.
We are core believers that by implementing such opportunities, we can help create stronger bond between students and their parents, promote self-esteem, and self-confidence.
Not only that, but also, by doing so, we are helping build young sustainable leaders with bold and unique personalities. Positive reinforcement can help them to keep going even when things are tough.
In searching for ways to help children with learning disabilities SIRA School believes that parent’s job is not to cure disability, but to give their child the social and emotional tools he or she needs to work through challenges. In the long run, facing and overcoming a challenge such as a learning disability can help the child grow stronger.
The way parents behave and respond to challenges has a big impact on the child. A good attitude won’t solve the problems associated with a learning disability, but it can give the child hope and confidence that things can improve and that he will eventually succeed.
Some parents keep their child’s learning disability a secret, which can, even with the best intentions, look like shame or guilt. Once they are aware of what’s going on, they can support their child’s progress. From this point of view, SIRA School considered the fact of educating parents as a very important goal.
Help and support for parents of children at SIRA:
Support them with special strategies to use at home with their child.
Plan lectures with specialists to make them be more aware and more acceptable for their child’s disability.
Attend patrol meetings at the school to help them keep good contact with the class teacher.
Attend lessons inside the class to get to know the strategies that must be used to help their child at home.
To empower mothers and provide them with solid grounds more confident and capable of expressing their thoughts without being afraid to do so.
Home visits are planned to get to know more about the child’s environment so as the school could help him in the right way.
All children need love, encouragement, and support, and for kids with learning disabilities, such positive reinforcement can help them to keep going even when things are tough.