Ranch Ehrlo students are giving delight this holiday season.
In a Ranch Ehrlo classroom in a public school, elves are busy making the season bright for younger students in a neighbouring deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) class.
Billie Deschene, Ranch Ehrlo teacher, explained that both classes have the same number of students, so the DHH teacher approached Billie to discuss a collaboration.
Billie thought her class could write notes posing as Christmas elves to the younger students. Each Ranch student is paired with a DHH class student.
Billie said, “My students were more than excited to pretend to be elves for the younger kids. Our students are 11 to 13 years old, and the other class has students aged 10 and under.”
The elves picked their own names. They are Boots, Bob, Lollipop, Buddy, and Rose. In the first letters, the “elves” explained that their job is to help spread Christmas cheer.
The elves placed their letters into a box and left it outside the DHH classroom. In the letters, the elves told the students that they should leave their answers in the same box, and the elves would pick them up.
Billie said that her students typically despise language arts like spelling, writing, and grammar. However, these same students are eagerly checking the hallway for responses from the younger students so they can continue to play their elf roles!
“We’ve talked about how excited they’re making these younger kids and our students are thrilled to continue brightening their days,” said Billie.
When asked how they feel when they’re writing their elf letters, they all had positive comments. One student said, “I feel happy because it makes the other kids happy.”
Ranch Ehrlo has classrooms in mainstream schools to prepare our participants for their eventual return to regular classrooms.
Our classroom sizes are kept small to allow for more individual attention and assistance so participants may learn at their own pace. Each of our classrooms has a teacher and an educational assistant employed by the Ranch.