Saturday, October 18, 2014

From Seed to Jack O'Lantern--Printable Adapted Book

With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, many of the younger set are going on trips to a pumpkin patch.  This is a free printable adapted book that shows the transformation from a little pumpkin seed to a jack o'lantern.  I found a version of this book on Tarheel Reader.  I downloaded it, and changed a picture or two, and revised some of the sentences.  Then I created the icon sheet and stuck it on the end.  Print out the whole thing, cut out the icons, and you have a beautiful interactive book for your class next week!  (free except for printer ink).

The pictures are nice photographs which are simple to understand, showing where a pumpkin comes from.  My kids will like this and I hope yours do too!

A few screenshots of the book are  pictured here.




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Perseverance Pays Off---a Video for a Social Skills Group

If you want to teach your students that effort brings positive results, show them this video:

I'm planning on showing this to my social skills group.  Many of my kids have a "learned helplessness" demeanor.  Often they don't want to write, they don't like many math problems, they don't ride a bike, they don't want to try new things.  The kids are afraid of failure.

After watching this, with a facilitated discussion, the students hopefully will reflect on the ducklings' goals, and think of their own short term goals. We can also talk about things they learned in the past, and how it took time for them to learn it.  We will talk about the fact that the ducklings went through multiple trials over time to achieve the step climbing results, which is similar to multiple trials for school tasks.  Maybe they'll come up with their own life examples of goals they have achieved, small or large! Concrete examples can include tying shoes, riding a bike, writing their name, writing in cursive, memorizing times tables......We'll see what they come up with.

Videos are wonderful tools in groups such as this.  I'm grateful to whoever initially posted this particular one, since it will appeal to kids, and the language level is not an interfering factor.   Have a great day!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Time, LOTS of time, for Typing


     I'm not trying to be critical of anyone or any school, but there is a glitch in our writing curriculum. Students are asked to 'publish' their work through typing, but kids simply don't automatically know how to keyboard, and are extremely slow at it. Often they learn typing the wrong way too, such as using the 'caps lock' key every time they need a capital letter.  It seems to me that in our quest to be a 21st century school system, we are forgetting that students need to know where the letters are on a keyboard, how to use two hands, how to use a shift key for a capital letter, and how to find the punctuation marks.

      In addition, students don't come to school on an equal footing.  One family may have laptops, desktops, and tablets so those children have prior knowledge of keyboards, while another family might be struggling just to keep a phone.  Personally, I'd like to see a renewed encouragement and time allotted to teach simple keyboarding to kids in upper elementary school so they can publish their work in a more timely, less stressful manner. 

     Keyboarding is part of the Common Core, by the way.  (Not that that matters to North Carolina.)
Here's a good article about keyboarding and the Core here.  The people who wrote the Common Core recognized the importance of this skill, but didn't dictate exactly how to get the kids to meet the standard.  My opinion is that we can't assume the students will learn it without direct instruction

Why do I care?  I'm only a speech pathologist you might say. However, I do have integrated IEP goals which involve me pushing into classrooms during writing time for those students with language difficulties.  The times when students are typing are a waste of time for me to apply skilled interventions.  I become a clerical assistant.

The girl in the above video is a typical kid.  She has handwritten a lengthy, four page story and is going to be typing a long time! Can there be a better use of instructional time other than hunting and pecking?

I took a typing class on this.  Direct instruction helped me become a functional keyboarder.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Time Out for other things

This post is about taking time for other stuff.  Speech pathologists (along with everyone else) need to have a healthy balance between work and life.   Applesauce canning, along with other family events, makes me truly happy.

We don't live in an apple zone.  Chapel Hill is way too humid, and apple trees like crisp fall weather.  So...David and Vicki (my family members) went to Fancy Gap, Virginia, (two hours away in the mountains) and picked up a truckload of crisp, delicious wonders!  We took orders from the neighbors (hence the multiple boxes), but several bushels were for us.

Apples with a pumpkin thrown in

I canned chunky applesauce, poured some wine, and now life is good.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

What Can Dogs Do---translated into Indonesian

 I realize that only a small fraction of my readers would need an adapted book translated into Indonesian, but my daughter and I have started a little project to benefit some special kids we met in Bali.
As you may know, my daughter, Andorra, is in the Peace Corps in Java, Indonesia, and we visited this school when we were on vacation last July in Ubud, a town in Bali, also a part of Indonesia.  There seems to be no publicly funded special education in Indonesia, and this school relies on private donations.  Most children with special needs do not go to school.  Maybe most children with special needs in the world don't have access to a free education.  One small step at a time is how to change things.

When we visited, we loved everyone and the kids.  Andorra and I thought, though, that some adapted books in Indonesian would be useful to them, so here is a translation of "What Can Dogs Do? The school staff members are excited to have some books, and have sent a list of what they would like.  Dogs are all over the place in Bali, so I hope they print this and enjoy!

Click here to download the book.
Print, laminate, and make interactive--this picture is English, but do the same for Indonesian

Breakfast in Ubud

Friday, October 3, 2014

Following a student's interest----a Power Rangers book to download!

One of my little students told me he wanted to be a Power Ranger for Halloween.  I've heard this same wish before from kids, but this particular little boy is so unintelligible, it took me three days to understand him.  When I finally did, and repeated to him what he said, he beamed with joy, literally.  Hence this book...dedicated to him, printed and sent home with him, and read with him.  (He has now asked for a Batman book :)

I used my new book with many children today, and found that a few needed a sentence strip and color icons to really form a sentence for each page.  My little guy who was this book's inspiration is actually in need of some literacy skills, so I laminated the pages and asked him to circle a few sight words.  The next step will be for him to 'fill in' missing words, so I'm included in the links below the same book with the word 'like' omitted---my child can fill it in.  You can laminate the books, and use them over again. 

I originally found a Power Ranger book on Tarheel Reader, but after downloading it, I completely changed the sentences and most pictures to match what my student needed.

My little student's favorite page!

Click here to download the book
complete with the icons pictured here.

If you want the same book with the word 'like' missing for kids to write in, click here.  You can also just download the complete book, or copy the complete book in Google Drive, and alter it any way you want to fit the needs of your kids.

I'm amazed at how much time I spend on one child!  This is all done late at night and I'm sure you do the same.



Monday, September 29, 2014

Cute video to go with "10 Apples up on Top"

A while back, I posted some visuals to go with the book "10 Apples up on Top". 

Now, my teacher friend has alerted me to a wonderful video to go with this!!!

Your kids can now enjoy an entire multimedia experience---hands-on with the visuals (see link in the first sentence), reading the book, and singing along with the above video!  Here's a SmartBoard lesson to go with the book too!

This is the fun part of my job!