Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Activities

We have been using the Unique Curriculum this year. Our current unit is a Holiday Unit. We started with Hanukkah. One of the most difficult activities for our class is the dreidel game. Once I adapted the game to use the spinner instead of a dreidel, we had a great time. We used beans instead of candy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Classroom Pictures

I have rearranged my classroom at least 3 times since the beginning of school. With 5 wheelchairs, 4 standers, and many other pieces, there just is not enough storage. Students are in and out of the equipment so much that I can't store them in another room.

Here are some pictures of my classroom. When I get my Windows Operating System back, I will turn the pictures into a video slide show.

View from the door.

Two computers and some of the multitude of equipment.

Morning Meeting Area and
calendar/ weather activity. Smartboard area.

Kitchen Area and more equipment.

Another computer and storage for devices, switches, etc. I also have things (craft supplies, etc.) stored behind the curtains in large containers.

Student work area. More equipment in the back of the room.

Student storage (tube feeding supplies, etc.)

Teacher and assistant desks. Mine is NOT the neat one in front. Bathroom to the left and storage area. You should see under my desk. More storage!

Nurse seating area. Storage for chart holder/room divider.

Classroom Library and equipment storage.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Unique Curriculum

I am using the intermediate level of the Unique Curriculum this year. I am impressed with the material so far. I have made a few adjustments to some of the activities to fit them into our state standards. For example, the students will create a timeline for President Obama's life. Most of my students need to learn ordinal numbers, so I numbered the events and the students will glue them to a cash register tape in order.

My students are also creating a notebook with the questions from each book. We glue the questions (2 per page) in the notebook and the students find the answer and help glue it into the book. I note on each page how much help was given. I hope to use the data for some of our reading standards.

One of the activities is a pizza fraction activity. I printed out 2 copies of the pizzas. I cut out one pizza for each set and then laminated and numbered the pizza slices. Students have to count the pieces and answer questions about which pizza they would need if there are 4, 6, or 8 people.

We are having a lot of fun with our curriculum and I think it will help us meet our state standards.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Adapted Math

I adapt a lot of the materials I
use with my
students for math. One of my goals is to have a hard copy of math activities I can send off for State Assessments, save as documentation, and send home. I have had many students who could not write clearly, so I came up with one way to help these students access the curriculum.

I created worksheets that left enough space for an answer that could be pasted next to the problem. Next I copied enough numbers so that there were enough to complete a worksheet and have some extras. Students could be given a choice of
2, 3, or more answe
rs. It was a pain to keep
up with all of the numbers.

This summer, I found a handy item in the craft section to organize my numbers. I also learned how to shuffle buttons in Boardmaker this summer, so now I can make practice sheets more easily. To make my worksheets, I created 2 columns of buttons with the numbers 1 - 5. I shuffle the buttons in each column separately, but you could shuffle all of the buttons. I placed the addition sign and the equal sign on the background so they would not shuffle.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wobble Painting

My main goal for my classroom is for students to be as independent as possible. I want this to cross all parts of the curriculum including art. One idea that I read about on a few special education sites is marble painting. I loved the idea. I want my students to do as much of the project as possible from selecting paint color to moving the marbles/balls independently. As I debated how to make this happen, my eyes happened upon the bowl I got at the hospital after surgery. Now, how do I make this bowl move with the smallest amount of effort. I looked at the various bowls and lids around the house, but they all had the same problem - a flat bottom. Then, I found a top to a water bottle that was slightly curved. It has to be small enough that the bowl won't tip completely over.

Ryan was willing to try the activity. Enjoy the video.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daily Weather Journal

I developed a Boardmaker activity so that students can create their own weather journal. This activity can be used as data to meet one of our state alternative assessment standards. In this activity students glue the day, date, month and weather on their calendar page. The individual pages can be placed in a binder or glued into a notebook. I belong to a yahoo group for people who share Boardmaker activities and ideas. The activity has been uploaded to the site. I also uploaded it to the site. Let me know if you would like to receive this activity by way of email.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Adapting Responsive Classroom Part 1

I am taking the Responsive Classroom class this week. I am working on adapting the Morning Meeting section of Responsive Classroom for my students. I will incorporate communication devices and communication boards for students. I will use a device to support my students in "reading" the morning message as they enter the classroom. Boardmaker symbols can be used to help students interact with the message. Use reusable tape or glue symbols on post it notes so they can be moved easily.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Easy Communication Board

I encourage my students with disabilities to use sentences as much as possible from low tech to high tech, from verbal to written communication.

One of the most inexpensive ways I have used to encourage sentence development is a basic communication board. I use Boardmaker to print out symbols/words, but any picture from a magazine or camera could be used. I wanted a way to reuse symbols without having to run to the laminating machine. I came across baseball card holders made from heavy plastic at Walmart. I trimmed the holders to 3 in. by 3 in. I set the size of my cells to 2.5 in by 2.5 in. I placed Velcro on the back of each holder.

I use a slant board with an area at the bottom to place the symbols. Students sequence the symbols to create a sentence. I use this board for activities throughout the school day. The symbols are larger and easier to manipulate for students with some physical disabilities. Some students love the sound of the Velcro.