Volume 1 | April 15, 2020
Marple Education Center News
Dear Marple Education Center Families,

We hope you are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time! This is a weekly newsletter assembled the special area teachers: Mrs. TC, art, Coach Brian, gym, and Ms. Amanda, music. In addition to important program updates, every issue will feature different activities that you can do with your student at home. We designed these lessons to help continue working on skills and content that we would cover in the classroom. Most importantly, we hope that the students will find all the activities to be fun, engaging, and informative. We will also be including helpful information from our other specialists: our school nurse, psychologists, and social worker.

If you have any questions, feel free to respond to this email or reach out to one of us individually.

We miss you all!


TC Hagee - thagee@dciu.org
Brian Dunbar - bdunbar@dciu.org
Amanda Miller - almiller@dciu.org
An Update from Susan Brousseau, Our Program Supervisor
As we embark on instructing our students through online instruction and low or no tech ways, our teachers are learning many creative ways to work with students when they do not have the ability to interact with them in a school setting. For families who are in need of technology, we are aware of your needs and I received an update yesterday that our technology department is aiming for a distribution date of next week. In the meantime, teachers should be reaching out to you to discuss alternate plans.
As we work with students and families during the scheduled online instruction time frames, I know it is a commitment on the family’s behalf as many parents are managing other family and work-related commitments. Please work with the classroom teacher to identify a mutually convenient time to conduct instruction with your child. In order for this instructional time to be meaningful and successful, I am requesting that a few things from families:
1.       Remain with your child during their instructional session. 
2.       Have your child dressed and ready for instruction.
3.       Plan with staff how parents/guardians will participate in the lesson.
4.       Notify your teacher as early as possible if you have to cancel a lesson.
Our staff understands that different situations may arise related to student engagement levels and behavior, so we understand if the student cannot participate for the entire duration of the lesson. We want these instructional sessions to be meaningful to your child. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at  sbrousseau@dciu.org .
Mrs. TC will be offering some easy ways to follow art/ art therapy activities. These activities will help build your students fine motor skills and offer them the opportunity to make choices increasing their decision making skills.

Art Therapy Idea: Make a small Sensory Area
Parents if you have a small room in the house you may want to make a small sensory room by hanging some strands of Christmas lights and throwing a big pillow or comforter/ sleeping bag on the floor. (This could even be under a table) Hang an old baby crib mobile (or any mobile or wind chime) so your child can lay back and just relax . Don’t be afraid to get creative. Your child will appreciate your efforts! .

  Mrs. TC’s Art Room
Please watch this video on Vincent Van Gogh then draw and color your own 'Sunflowers' or
'Starry Night'.


If your student enjoys being on a computer have them take a virtual tour of a famous museum at :
Use simple shapes and lines to draw your sunflowers and remember , "There's no right or wrong in Art." Have fun. Mrs. TC :)

Coach Brian's Activities

Although we cannot gather in group activities we can exercise and work on physical education skills with our children. These ideas for keeping our children safe during social distancing can be a fun way to get in that activity we need each day.

Check out the baseball video below. You will see me performing safe signs, out signs, running, catching, and batting movements all to the song "Centerfield"! Do it along with me and move your bodies!!
Try these moving skills. Running, jumping, leaping balancing and skipping are quick exciting ways to stay fit and work on loco-motors skills.
Quick Exercise Boosters
Bouncing and throwing skills are fun. Try to bounce a ball using finger tips. There are also many different ways a person can throw a ball. Try them all!
The first few links I'll be sharing are music or activities that I've used in music class. Feel free to reuse them to help create a sense of routine and repetition for your students, which they may find comforting during this time of uncertainty and disruption of their schedules.

The following are links to YouTube playlists of music that I've used in class. The first is activity music that I've had students play instruments or dance to in class. Feel free to turn it on and let students dance, sing, or listen while doing another activity. At the end of every class, I play a calming song and have students take turns playing a soothing instrument. I've included this playlist of cool down music if your student needs time to relax and calm down. You can also use this as background music with a soothing/calming activity your student enjoys.
I want students to continue to be able to create music, even potentially without access to musical instruments at their home. Incredibox is a website that I used in school, and the students really enjoyed it. After selecting a "theme," students drag and drop outfits onto the people at the bottom of the screen to create a beat. It's also available as an app on the App Store, Mac App Store, or Google Play Store.

In the Songmaker , students click on different boxes (to make colors show up). In the bottom left hand corner, you can change the sound of the instrument and then click triangle "play" to listen to the creation! The "tempo" slider will change the speed of the song. If you click "save", you will get a URL to save the piece and listen to it later or share with others.

Have fun and keep making music! - Ms. Amanda
Combined Art, Gym, and Music Paper Airplane Lesson
TC, Coach, and Amanda worked together to create a paper airplane lesson that combines art, gym, and music.

First, make your paper airplane. Click this link for directions to fold one. You can print the Superman plane, or use a piece of copy paper and decorate your own plane, then fold it. Below is a video of Coach making and throwing his airplane.
While working on your project, you can listen to music about airplanes in this playlist . Below are additional children's' songs about planes.
Airplane Song by Laurie Berkner (including motions)
Airplane Song by Patty Shukla (shows videos and photos of planes)
Super Simple Songs: 10 Little Airplanes (reinforces counting to 10)
Healthy Hints
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a web page with helpful information for parents about keeping their children healthy, both physically and emotionally, during the pandemic. Read the recommendations here .

We also wanted to share resources specifically for helping children with autism during the pandemic.
This video has tips to help students with autism adjust to social distancing.
Having students wash their hands correctly is important now more than ever. This video shares strategies to help you teach your child with autism to wash their hands effectively.
Stay healthy! - Nurse Meghan
Stress Support
The Coronavirus pandemic can cause immense amounts of stress and negative emotions. This short video shows students explaining how mindfulness and breathing helps them cope with their emotions, a strategy that can be used by children and adults alike.

-School Psychologists Lydia Solomon, Susan Howard, & Jim Wolf