There were buckets of fun in a strawberry field for life skills students, when they traveled outside their classroom to a U-Pick field.

Soft SkillsSpecial education teacher Doedee Trostel-Patton says that she enjoys taking her Miami East Junior High School resource room students “out of their comfort zone”.  She wants them to explore a variety of experiences independently.

She used grant funds from the Miami East Education Foundation to give her special needs students real life experiences outside the classroom. These include getting close to where their food comes from or dining out on their own.

“The idea behind the functional skills is to get them out in an environment they might not explore,” Trostel-Patton said. “It’s like we go to the store and see strawberries, but we don’t always fully grasp where they come from. It’s just something extra for them to get excited about and apply their skills from class to out here.”

The class is known as the FUNctional Fun Club. There are approximately 10 students. They learn functional life skills to encourage independence as they transfer from junior high into high school.

“We went to Steak ‘n Shake and they ordered off the menu all by themselves, which some of them have never have done,” she said. “They added it up how much it would cost and figured out a tip. We worked on if they had a coupon, how much would they save. I found out last year most of my students had no idea how to order food because someone has always done it for them. So it’s simple things like that I decided to work on this year.”

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