MISSOULA - One teacher who is getting creative with the extended resource program at Rattlesnake Elementary School is this week’s One Class at a Time grant winner.
Hayley Fretheim’s extended resource class is a space for students who need more interventions while learning is in its beginning phases and tnd that’s a wonderful thing because it means her students with different disabilities and needs are getting to learn and grow with their peers.
“I want them to feel the confidence and the self-assurance to be able to advocate for what they need,” Fretheim explained.
Fretheim and her two paraprofessionals do more than just help students who need extra learning support, they also work on things like life and communication skills.
“But it’s things like that that make the lights they can look at or the tiles where they can smush the gel around,” Fretheim said. “It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes."
Fretheim will use her $250 grant to buy more sensory and emotional regulation tools, such as lights, gel mats, and finger tracing tools.
“They do have self-awareness of how sometimes they’re different and sometimes they learn differently, but I want to give them that sense of — yeah, it’s okay though because I’ve got this going for me and I have all these friends and people that love and support me,” Fretheim said. “And that’s all that matters.”
Fretheim shared that one of the benefits of the resource class at Rattlesnake Elementary School is that the kids get to be at the same school as their siblings and their peers — and they also get to make friends within the whole school community.