Have some fun!
In these times of school improvement, accountability, and common core standards, the business of educating has become serious business. However, it is important to remember we are working with children. Not little learning machines. Each day when they wake up, children do not think, “I am so looking forward to learning whether I use prepositions correctly!” They also don’t wake up thinking, “I know this is boring, but I will soldier on because I know that I will be more successful in life if I attend to the content that I will be more than fortunate to have presented to me today.” Face it, if that was the case the more than 3 million public school teachers in the United States could take a permanent personal day. Those sweet things could stay at home and teach themselves! In general, students don’t mind coming to school. Many come on days they are expelled. Others hang out there after the day is over. The environment is great! This is where their friends are. They are open to the opportunity to learn. The teacher’s job is to guide the students toward acquiring the knowledge that our society feels is necessary. So, if we would like them to choose some of what we are serving, we may want to make it more palatable to them. Play is the earliest language of learning. Whenever possible, play or what looks like play is a great way to engage our students in taking a chance on a new activity.
While enticing our students to “play” with an iPad is not a hard task, some of the things that we are asking our students with special needs to do with the iPad are far from playing. Speech to text is opening up the world of writing to many students, but the actual act of speaking to the iPad or computer is kind of uncomfortable. Having to practice speaking “correctly” and having it “learn” your voice is something that bores and irritates many students. So, let’s play! I just found out that Siri can be used to: ”Flip a coin”, “Roll the Dice” (always a pair of dice and she tells you what each is) and “Pick a number between 1 and 20”. For the random number you can tell her between 1 and whatever. Or you can just ask her to pick a number. You will get other number and random number related information as well.
Here are some more:
- Boxers or Briefs?
- Knock Knock
- What is the best phone?
- Tell me about yourself Siri.
- What is the meaning of Life?
My favorite thing to ask her is “Who let the dogs out?”.
For a list of more fun things to ask try this post from “The Cult of Mac”. Many of these questions have more than one funny answer. With the promise of receiving a funny response, the student may be more willing to practice their speaking.
Information and Opportunities!
Speaking of Kids… Dec. 3: 11:45-12noon: “iMovie Trailers as a Flexible Response Method.”
Tune in as 10 year old Ella demonstrates LIVE on the internet, the process of using the iMovie app on an iPad as a means of flexible response to instruction, aka. UDL Principle #2! Ella will show a sample movie trailer that she’s created by herself and will then walk viewers through the how-to of creating their own or having their students create their own. Ella says, “these movie trailers can be used for kids to show what they learned or to replace a normal type of project or assignment in school.”
Follow this link at 11:45am EST on Dec. 3 to watch it live for 15 minutes!
or type http://bit.ly/patinstv into your browser. It is best to be on line at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the program.
If you are not yet registered for the second day of the “PATINS State Conference 2013 Overflow” event, you
CAN still register here until November 30!
Dec. 5 will feature Dr. Loui Lord Nelson & Jason Carroll.
Dr. Loui Lord Nelson and Jason Carroll are both experienced and sought-after presenters & trainers in the world of UDL and accessible curricula. Dr. Nelson is an Educational Consultant specializing in Universal Design for Learning and just recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Boston College and CAST as well as published a book on UDL, “Design and Deliver.” Jason Carroll is an educational consultant with extensive international and national presentation experience and expertise ranging from UDL to specific software tools and more!
In the morning, Dr. Nelson will present “Taking your first steps with UDL: Acknowledging variability”
In the afternoon, Jason will take the UDL concept from the morning and expand on the student engagement piece with specific tools and concepts. The ability to capture learners’ attention in the classroom is one of the most powerful tools in a teacher’s toolkit. With the rapid growth of low/no cost technological tools, the potential to quickly engage students is more reachable than ever. When combined with strategic instruction, desired student outcomes are achieved. In this practical session, Jason will share a variety of tools, apps, and strategies that can be immediately implemented in inclusive and resource settings!
App of the WEEK
Duck Dynasty Beard Booth App