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!





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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Prepositions Bingo---free printable

Happy Fall !!!!  Leaves have not started turning here, but the days and nights definitely are starting to have a chill in the air.  I love it.

Here's a quick fall preposition bingo game.  As many of you know, I already have many similar printables, but none for this season.  Kids can practice using prepositions--over, beside, between, on, and in---as well as some common fall vocabulary words.  I use Chipper Chat disks and the magnet wands---but other tokens, pennies, or disks will work.  This works in color or black/white printers.  Low budget therapy---that's what North Carolina is all about!




entire printable



Click here for Fall Prepositions Bingo in pdf


Click here for Fall Prepositions Bingo in Boardmaker

















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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yes, Siri! Voice to Text makes Therapy Note Documentation a Smooth Experience!

Many of you have newer iPhones.  I have an iPad Air.  I have shaved valuable time off of my therapy session documentation by dictating my notes into the iPad.  My colleagues who have iPhones do the same.
Similar to my own writing :(

Handwriting is going by the wayside!  I have terrible handwriting, but when I type or dictate, my notes are detailed and organized (and Medicaid compliant).



How do we set up notes for dictation?  First, make sure Siri is enabled on your iPad or iPhone.

1.  Create Google forms for each student. Google forms can have specific questions geared to your students' IEPs. I also have a place on each form for a synopsis of the therapy session.  Tutorial for this is here.

2.  Add the child's Google form to your home screen on your iPhone or iPad. Keep in mind that you need to have an Apple gadget that is more recent than an iPad 1 or 2.  A tutorial for adding the Google form to the home screen is here.

3.  Then dictate your notes!  When you open the form, touch a cell.  The keyboard will open, and you will see a microphone icon in the bottom row.  Touch that, and talk......slowly.




Play with it, and find the lingo that Siri will recognize (although I'm totally amazed at how well Siri recognizes what I say).  Complicated names are hard, so you will want to proofread and edit a bit.  It's faster than handwriting, and looks great on a spreadsheet.  I use it a lot....with my door closed.  When people walk by my room, they may think I've lost it when they see I'm talking to my iPad.

Perhaps it seems like a lot of work frontloaded?  I find that this saves so much time in the long run that the time is well spent.  

I want to thank my Chapel Hill colleagues who enlightened me about Siri and voice-to-text dictation.




I'm sure there is something similar for Android devices.  This will be a later blog topic.


Monday, September 15, 2014

My Feelings Book---translated into Indonesian

I realize that my readers probably have no use for a book translated into Indonesian; however, did you realize that 1 out of every 30 people in the world live in Indonesia?  It's the 4th most populous country in the world. 

When we visited there this past summer, we stumbled upon a school in Bali for handicapped children.  Keep in mind that public schools in Indonesia do not offer special education---so this school is private, and seems to be funded by kind folks who are Dutch.  I totally loved the school, and the short visit.  Kids are kids--same everywhere in most ways, and I saw my American kid friends in the faces of these Indonesian children. 
During my short visit, it seemed to me that the kids could use some simple adapted books in Indonesian, so my wonderful daughter (living in Indonesia volunteering for the Peace Corps) translated the feelings book I had found on Boardmaker Share.  Here it is.  Most of you won't need it, but I'm hoping that this finds its way to that little school in Bali. 




Click here to download the Indonesian feelings book in pdf


Click here to download the Indonesian feelings book in Boardmaker.



Child selects which icons make him feel happy, sad, or mad.  
Original book in English


Go here for the original feelings book in English.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Inclusion thoughts

On the subject of inclusion, sometimes I feel, unfortunately, that our state/school system/school  backpedals.



With every new testing mandate, or demand for teacher/school accountability, rumblings occur that possibly some children shouldn't be included in regular education classrooms. (The thinking is the school/class test scores go down, teachers can't meet all the needs, and kids with disabilities can't complete the work the same as typical children.) It doesn't seem to matter to some that research points to improvements in literacy, behavior, social skills and communication skills when children with disabilities are included with typical peer role models. The thought at the moment seems to focus on class proficiency, test scores, mClass, Common Core, reading groups, 'showing your thinking', writing personal narratives, and myriad other typical tasks that fill a day. The child with a disability is pointed out, and blamed, at least in thought, for the cause of a classroom/school problem.  I say this is total nonsense---and antiquated thinking.

I will continue to be a staunch advocate leaning towards the side of inclusion each and every day. Inclusion is win-win.  A child with a disability wins, and the typical peers win.  I can't even begin to describe how my own children were influenced in a positive way by being a part of inclusive classrooms, joining lunch bunches, being in cooperative learning groups, and playing at recess with children of all abilities.  Out of school, they joined play dates, birthday parties, and girl scout events---ability was not a factor.  All of my own children are now involved in public service.  I want to think that being raised in an inclusive environment helped guide them in this direction. 

What does the research say?  Here's one view.

What does a kid say? Watch this!


What does a parent say?  Go here for information about Including Samuel Watch the documentary! It's wonderful.



Kids don't have to earn inclusion.  Go HERE for more of my thoughts on this.     





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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apples Everywhere---printable book, free as usual

It's apple time!!!!

Here's a simple printable book which is like many of my past ones---"Apples Everywhere".





15 pages of fun and apples.  



Students can match icons to pages, and you can use the blue shaded icons as a sentence strip. 


Download 'Apples Everywhere' in Boardmaker.

Download 'Apples Everywhere' in PDF 




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