Resources for Teachers and Speech Therapists of Students with Significant Disabilities

My oh my!  Where does our time go?  I have been working on several wonderful projects for my county, and the WV State Dept. of Education, but have not made the time to share these resources with you.  This is going to be a quick overview of the past few months.  I have had the priveledge to work on the T1 Project for the WVDE this year.  The T1 Project goals are aligning curriculum, instruction and assessment; increasing professional development opportunities and providing curriculum and assessment resources for those who teach students with significant cognitive disabilities.  We are working on reflecting best practices in education, and setting high expectations for students with moderate and severe disabilities.

I’m going to list a few of the Internet resources we have collected to date.  I would  like to also thank Valerie Wilson and Melissa Gholsen for all of their hard work and dedication to this project.

T1 Resources for Teachers –  This website lists favorite Internet resources used by our 1% teachers.  Some of my personal favorites are:

Supporting Literacy for Students with Significant Disabilities – This site provides excellant resources on providing a literacy curriculum for your students with significant disabilities.

BoardmakerShare – You can find premade Boardmaker lessons to download and use to teach your students a variety of skills.

News-2-You – Each week, students connect with the world through symbol-supported news articles and dozens of worksheets, games, and activities. I LOVE this product !! (paid product)

Unique Learning System –  Unique Learning System is an online, dynamic, standards-based curriculum specifically designed for special learners. Subscribers download monthly instructional thematic units of study. All lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of your students.  My county has incorporated this product into their curriculum for 2 year.   Our teachers love the integrated approach to teaching reading and math skills in social studies and science lessons. (paid product)

Speaking of Speech – This is a great resource for finding premade lessons using Boardmaker for all grade levels and content areas.  Click on the ” Activity Exchange” on the right toolbar, and scrool half way down the page.  Have fun finding resources for your students!

Starfall –  WOW!  If you have not used Starfall with your students yet, you are in for a treat!  Starfall is a free public service to teach children to read with phonics.

Well, that should be enough to keep you busy for a few days.  Let me know which sites you like, and share some of your favorite sites with us!

The next time I blog, I will be chatting about the use of iTouch and iPads in the classroom… There are SO many wonderful apps!

Mouse Mischief! What a great interactive tool for your classrrom!!

I had the great fortune to attend our WV State Technology Conference the first week of August.  I attended a session called “Mouse Mischief”, and I was sold on a new tool for teachers to use in their classroom.  I have not participated in such a fun workshop in a long time.  Even the most reserved teacher was found to be engagied in the fun using a wireless mouse to answer questions.

Mouse Mischief allows you to insert questions, polls, and drawing activity slides into your PowerPoint  lessons.  Students can actively participate in these lessons by using their own mice to click, circle, cross out, or draw answers on the screen.

If you are ready to add “A Little Mischief” into your classroom this year, and have immediate formative assessment in a quick and fun format for your students, I have the place for you to go ~ Mouse Mischief  Here you will find all the tools you will need.  Start by downloading the software and set up instructions, and I recommend that you savie it to a file so you can share it with your friends.  There are sample lessons available to download too.  Take a few extra minutes to watch a few of the demonstration videos they have on their site too!

Let me know what you think about this interactive tool!

Welcome Back to a New School Year!

There has been a consistent topic of conversation everywhere I’ve been during the past week… Where did the summer go? 

I did have a great summer, and had the opportunity to attend our West Virginia State Technology Conference the first week of August.  I obtained a lot of great resources during several sessions.  I will share these resources with you over the next few weeks!

Beginning a new school year we all have great expectations for ourselves and our students.  Within my personal goals this year is to “work smarter”.  How many times have we heard that statement?  My main emphasis of working smarter is developing a better repertoire resources, and refining my system of retrieving these resources.

With that said, I “stumbled upon” a great resource for teachers, parents and students.  Cybrary Man’s Educational Web Sites has over 20,000 Internet resources.   So here is to a great school year, working smarter with great resources!

Google Squared

WOW!  Google has set the stage with another great tool , of searching the Internet.  Google Squared takes a category and creates a “starter” square of information, and automatically obtains and organizes facts about your category from across the Internet.  I did a search on cameras.  I was given the following “squares” of information: item name, image, description, weight and price.  Then I could add my own sqaures to search for additional information to include, zoom, timer, viewfinder, etc.   When you are done with your search, you have the option to save or share your information.  What a great tool for collaboration this will be.  Give it a try.  It is amazing!!

Sprixi – Free Images to Choose and Use

Sprixi is a new website that has free images you can “Choose, View and Use”.  I did a  search on fruits and generated some great pictures that I can download and use in preparing lessons for my students.  Since this is a free site and anyone can register and upload pictures I was curious how “student friendly” the site is.  I did a search on the word ‘Kiss”, and generated pictures that should not be viewed by students.  At this time I recommend that this is a great site for adults, or may be used by students if they are monitored by an adult.  The pictures are a fantastic resource!!

For those teachers who are fortunate enough to have products that use SMART notebook software, you can drag the pictures directly from the “View” window to the SMART notebook lesson you are preparing.  Bam! The pictures are inserted in your lesson ~ no cutting and pasting, or saving into yor pictures.  This function will only work in the “View” window.  If you drag the picture from the “Choose” window you will have an Internet link inserted on the page. Please remember to site the author of the pictures when you use them

Another trick with this software that I learned from a Technology Facilitator in my county, Lori Whitt, is to make a category in My Content, then drag the picture you selected to the named folder.  Then the picture will be in your SMART notebook software for future use.  Remember to rename the picture when you add it to your folder.

Cool Glogs from Classrooms Around the World

The Wikipedia definition of “Glog” is: a graphics blog or graphical blog; online rich media poster.  reportertanya on Twitter posted a tweet about a Glog that was created using Gloster and posted on Wikispaces named “Greetings from Around the World“.   Arjana Blazic is an English and German teacher in Zagreb Croatia.  She developed this glog for students to share infomation about the area they live, and to receive information from their peers around the world.  This is a pretty exciting project, to see and hear about places around the world from the people who live there.  As she states on her homepage, you get to see their countries through their eyes and learn things you won’t read in your travel books.  I’m going to talk to one of the high school teachers I collaborate with to see what kind of class project we can generate on this site!

Dr. Labush’s Links to Learning

Happy New Year!  As I find new resources to help teachers and parents utilize Internet resources, I am going to try to add them to my blog page as well as my portaportal.  There are so many wonderful resources it is hard to manage them all.  I have used Dr. Labush’s Links to Learning, and recently received an email from her webmaster providing me their updated website.

Teacher Links, has educational resources listed by content, grade level, lesson plans and teaching tips.  The more you search, the more you will find to meet your needs.  Fair warning, make sure you add your favorites from this site to your own portaportal.  It just takes a minute to save the sites for future reference.

Let me know what you think about this site!