ACK Pawsitive Dog Treats

BY Cara Seal  

Cyrus Peirce Middle School

Project Description

Students in the Cyrus Peirce Middle School’s Intensive Developmental Support Center will collaborate with CPS population to promote a sense of self and community through meaningful real life project based lessons. The ACK Pawsitive Dog Treat project will engage CPS IDSC students in real life learning situations where they produce a quality product. Students work on the project by preparing the recipe, shopping for additional items, as well as making all the  packaging materials for the homemade dog treats. Under teacher supervision the students also mix ingredients, roll out, and design the treats. Interacting with others will make their education purposeful and address individual learning goals as well as common core standards. Integrating students with significant learning differences into the inclusion population is essential.  This project gives additional opportunities for conversation as well as real life practice with career readiness skills. Prevocational skills are refined and practiced thus building independent work skills and better preparing my students to be  functional members of the Nantucket community. The project also aligns nicely with the CPS choose kindness initiate, which stems from the school summer reading book, Wonder. By raising disabilities awareness and providing ample peer to peer and staff to peer interaction both parties will benefit and have a better understanding of one another. As the students skills are refined we hope to allow these children the chance to market their product at different venues such as Sustainable Nantucket’s Market.

ACK Treat Logo  ACK Treats in oven

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

The success of this project will be evaluated in several ways. We will use photo evidence to test product quality. Teacher and staff surveys will also be used to decide what recipes to continue and ways to improve the product. In addition to written surveys, social media will also play a role in evaluating ACKPAWSITIVE through email and Twitter.  We will also track the success of our students by using data tracking sheets for independence and accuracy as well as a checklist of student improvement of isolated skills and task competition.

-product quality (photo evidence)

-teacher/staff surveys (see attached)

-social media feedback-Yahoo email and Twitter

-improvement of student independence and accuracy (data tracking sheets)

-checklist of student improvement of isolated skills and task completion: cutting, stamping, speech, tying, mathematics, reading, fine and gross motor skills

Benefit to the students and the school

There are many ways this project will benefit both the CPS and IDSC students.  Some of these benefits are life and vocational skills. This project will also take into consideration the academic portion of their education with mathematics, literacy, science, and technology all being addressed.  For the IDSC students specifically there will be occupational, physical, and speech therapy components incorporated as well.   Please see below for the specific skills:

Life Skills- hygiene, washing dishes, grocery shopping, multi-step direction following

Vocational skills-basic office tasks such as stamping, labeling, cutting, sorting,

Mathematics- counting, sorting, measuring, time,  money, calendar work

Technology- Face book, Twitter, Yahoo-email, Chrome books, and typing

Literacy- reading grocery flyers, recipes, dog related current events, writing receipts

Occupational Therapy- fine motor skills associated with production of packaging and treats

Speech- receptive and expressive language, eye contact, social appropriate speech,

Physical Therapy- walking to deliver, navigating different types of flooring, stairs,

Science-chemistry (ie binding of ingredients)

Community Outreach- READS therapy dog- Atticus, outings: mid-island businesses for supplies

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

ACK Pawsitive was piloted during the spring of the 2014-2015 school year. Feedback was positive and interest in obtaining dog treats grew.  Various recipes were made and refined.  During the 2015-2016 school students will begin production and work towards achieving individual goals. Dog treats will be distributed on a weekly or biweekly basis depending on scheduling.

Cara Seal