Saturday, September 6, 2014

Community Based Instruction

A very essential part of my programs is community based instruction (CBI). This year we are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn in the community 3 times a week. One day we will work at our job sites which at this time include Subway, McDonalds, a nursery, a pizza place, a Mexican restaurant, Burlington Coat Factory, both of our local colleges and major car dealership. Another day we will do physical education. We go bowling, or to one of two recreation centers or to a local park.
The final day we will spend at a variety of destinations in our community. This year because of all the new rules that were implemented, I have had to come up with some additional worksheets to use during these outings. Now, we won't do a worksheet each time but they are good for my kids to keep them busy for the hour+ we are at our destination. While we will still take our yearly trips to the zoo, the planetarium, a couple museums, the library, newspaper etc. I love doing instruction in stores. ANY stores for that matter! It's like a HUGE classroom right at our fingertips!

I am slowly trying to put all of the worksheets together (I know i have more somewhere) so I can post them for you, hopefully soon. Most of them I have done in the past and a few of them are new ones that I plan to work into our schedule this year. These worksheets have a variety of activities and most all of them fit into the goal of "finding an item in a store". Hopefully I will have it posted by the end of the week and I can just add to it as I make more. 

I would love to hear your ideas of what you do for CBI with your class. Do you do worksheets? Must you have a lesson planned? Let's share. You can pick up a copy of my worksheets HERE.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Looking forward to seeing this posted. In my school, I don't have to have a lesson plan or do worksheets, although I want to do something so that it sticks. No work sites for us so far, but i would love to develop something later, after I've seen what all of the students can do. We are also going out 3 days a week to Bowling, the public library, parks, and to different stores. On Wednesdays we will cook, and on Fridays we will alternate with art, music, movies, etc. There are 4 classrooms participating in these activities, so that will be interesting. Have a great weekend!

  2. We as well have 4 classes that are paired together for outings. What we try to do it find two places really close to each other and have the bus do two close drops or one group walks a little to the other store. Like next week we are doing Michaels and Kohls Then the next week we switch. This way we don't bombard one store with 60 people which i'm sure is really intimidating! Email me Jannike and I can send you a sneak peak :-)

  3. We too have a similar schedule. Fortunately, we are a newer program in the HS, so I have a lot of flexibility in scheduling. Our current afternoon schedule is 1x cooking, 1x a visit to our "apartment", 2x vocational training, and Friday's CBI. I too LOVE lessons ins ANY store!! I feel that having a worksheet guides instruction for all involved and I truly love being out in the community. My main goal is fostering independence, and what better of a way than in the community!

  4. You have an apartment!!! That's one of my dreams for our program!

  5. I'm brand new to transition for high school students. Previously, I've worked in inclusive classrooms. Do your teachers have a bus license and do the driving for your outings?

  6. We do not Karen. There are bus drivers who work all day carting our kids around. With 175 kids going the minimum of 4 places each day we utilize about 12 buses for an outing. 19 buses on job site days since each teacher does their own thing. Teachers and all aides are cleared to drive district vans though if we do individual things with our class. For example, Monday my kids have a tour at the spca so they just gave me 2 vans instead of ordering me a bus since no one else is going off campus. We are very fortunate to have access to both whenever we need them. Oh, we do have to give 2 weeks notice.

  7. Are these worksheets posted in your TpT store? Love them!

  8. Yes Rachel, I posted the link above. Thanks for reminding me :-)

  9. Hi! I am starting my 3rd year as a sped teacher in a class like yours....
    Any tips/advice for managing staff/students during these community trips!?
    Thanks...Caroline :)

    1. First off I assign 2 to 3 kids to each staff so we are not in one huge group walking around a store. One of my biggest issues on CBI's is the aides over helping the kids with their assignment to get it done faster. I try to get the staff to allow the kids to explore and find the answers themselves only guided when needed. I have 4 aides aides and 10 students so most of the time I will not keep a group myself. This way I can go from group to group to see how everyone is doing and show them things. I do allow my aides to make small purchases if they have time at the end as well as the kids. Sometimes we have to remind that we are there for the students and still on the clock. Good luck on your outings!