Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Favorite Quote

Love this quote. It points out the absurdity of what we ask of some students on a daily basis. During class this evening (Strategies for inclusion), one of my brightest graduate students discussed the dilemna he faces at the high school he works at. We were discussing ADHD and students need to move. His response? "But my school has a rule that kids have to sit in their seats. Sometimes they have to sit for a long time. If they get up to walk around they get yelled at. I feel so bad. What can I do?" I hear stories like this every day. Disabilities are not a secret. Get informed. Learn strategies that work for students. I am really excited to begin teaching a new course designed to focus on the strengths of persons with disabilities. It will be offered starting in January, and is called Neurodiversity: Creating a Positive Niche. Hope you can join me!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Let the games begin!

Games are one of the most potent learning tools teachers can use. They engage the entire brain while activating the "feel good" chemicals that are released during play. Games allow for "elaborative rehearsal", or purposeful practice. Try using games in your classroom instead of rote kill and drill for skills and see what a positive change it will make!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Find Your Passion

You may have noticed on my home banner, that I include the words Every Day matters....and it does! This video is worth watching if you are a teacher or a parent. I have always told my children to follow their heart...find something that you are passionate about and do it! I hope you take a minute to watch this and reflect on the importance of happiness....would love to hear your thoughts....   

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Squeeze machine

Do you know what really excites me? Learning something new. And there is nothing more exciting to me than learning something new from one of my students. My graduate students this semester are simply amazing. An eclectic crowd of outspoken, intelligent adults all with a similar goal of teaching. This past week we had amazing conversations about students with social-emotional and behavior disorders. Several students had opposite opinions on student expectations and accommodating for student need. Two students in particular got quite emotional while discussing students with anxiety disorder, and their needs in the classroom. There are times, as professional adults when we simply need to agree that its ok to disagree.

While grading their UDL assignments, I had the pleasure of reading one lesson plan that proposed introducing the characteristics of autism to a special education 4th grade classroom. The lesson plan included showing video of Temple's "squeeze machine". I was so curious, that I had to go to Utube and explore this. If this lesson hooked me like that, can you imagine how excited these fourth grade students will be? What a lucky class! I've included a Temple Grandin utube link for you other curious folks out there.
   Temple Grandin is an amazing person. She is the first autistic person to have written an autobiiography describing what autism is like. She is renowned for her ability to allow us into an autistic persons brain. Her first film/book Thinking In Pictures is a premiere piece of educational work as well.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Math PowerPoints

Many struggling students benefit from memory tricks including mnemonics, acronyms, and chants. These power points are great examples of strategies that work!

Math PowerPoints

SLD or no SLD? That is the question.

Great article on current research attempting to prevrent over-identification of students with special needs. How do we discriminate between a student with SLD and a struggling student?  For dyscalculia,  the studies show that certain math skills can predict future success. What do you think they are?