MISSOULA - This week's One Class at a Time winner is Katie Velde of Hellgate Elementary School who teaches kindergarten and first grade Special Education.
"They are wonderful, so caring. They have so many wonderful gifts. We are very fortunate that we get to see, and we get to help the rest of the school see as well in our work with them."
Velde will use her $250 grant to purchase what are called "sensory boxes or tubs." Students can use these boxes to help calm themselves, improve motor and social skills. They can also be used to reinforce academic topics with materials related to science, literacy or math lessons.
"We might use sand; we can use water or water beads that are very tactile with that wet aspect to it. We might use rice, you can use torn-up strips of paper, you can use all sorts of things to build this,” Velde explained. “And then you put in things, whether it's letters or number pieces. You can also do things like if we're doing a science unit we can do things with dirt, with seeds."