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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Science Saturday - Bouncy Popcorn Kernels




For today's Science Saturday I thought I would highlight a science experiment that is easy to do, doesn't require a lot of items and is easy to incorporate some core vocabulary into.

Bouncy Popcorn Kernels  are fun to watch.


You will need:
A clear container - I used a vase
Baking Soda
Vinegar
Popcorn Kernels
Water
Spoon
Communication Board - this is one I used from Minspeak



I started by showing the children the items we were going to use and asked them "what", "do", "this"?
"What are we going to do with this?"

It's important to use a communication board yourself so that the children see one in use.
We can't expect children to do something they don't see us doing.





We start with the container (It doesn't matter that we don't have the exact picture of what we are using.  We use what the children have to describe what we are using/doing) and fill it with water.


We added a tablespoon of baking soda and stirred it up.



We talked about what we needed to use to stir the water up.


We "put" in the kernels.  Just enough to cover the bottom.



Then we added some vinegar.  I found using a small measuring cup easier than a spoon for children with fine motor issues (less spillage).


We "look"ed to see what happened to the kernels.




We took "turns" looking a the popcorn and seeing what was going on in the container.


Everyone said they "like"d it.



We let it sit and kept looking at it throughout the day.  After awhile, the popcorn stopped moving and most of it settled on the bottom.


Even an hour later, the odd kernel was still going up or down.


Keep your words simple and model for the children the vocabulary you want them to use.  Before you know it, they will be using some of the words on their own.  Try doing an activity of own.  What simple combination of words could you use to talk about what you are doing?

Have Fun!





Sunday, September 25, 2016

Free pumpkin calendar numbers

October is just around the corner.  Are you ready?

If not, here's a little freebie to get you started.


Use the numbers on your calendar.



Use them in your math work stations by having the children put the numbers in order.

Make two copies and have the children play a memory game.



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Three worksheet hacks for children with poor fine motor skills and learning disabilities



Do you have students with poor fine motor skills?  Is their printing so messy and/or big that they run out of space or you can't read what they have written?  Well my son was that kid.  Diagnosed with a learning disability, his printing was often sloppy, full of spelling mistakes and letter reversals, and he often ran out of room before he finished his sentence because his printing was so big.

Last year I found the app Snaptype and it changed his life.

Here's how it works.

Using the program, take a picture of your worksheet. He's 12 so he can do this himself.  If you have younger children, you can do this part beforehand.




Rotate it the way you want and crop it.


Tap anywhere on the screen and start typing.  You can easily change the size of the text by sliding the ball across the top.  You can also move what you have typed around the screen to get it in the perfect spot.



Once you're done, the page can be emailed to the teacher or printed out.  The yellow highlighting does not show up in the printed copy.

The best part is that the app is free.  The paid version has more features but the free version is great to find out if it would work for you.

The second amazing feature that we use is the word prediction.  It's built right in to the iPhone and iPad. Word prediction anticipates what you want to write and gives you suggestions.  Tap on the full word and it will insert it.  This feature dramatically speeds up a child's writing.

The third trick is the microphone option.  It helps speed up writing when having to do long sentences or paragraphs. As long as your child has good speaking skills, it should be fairly accurate.

Both of these can be combined with Snaptype to make filling in worksheets a breeze.





Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway





I'm so excited to be announcing that TpT is having a boost back to school sale on Monday.  To celebrate I'm joining up with several other bloggers to give away $10 TpT gift certificates.

The contest runs all day today and on Monday I will announce a winner so you will have a chance to use it during the sale.

To enter my contest, visit my store and tell me what you would buy if you won.
While you are there, I hope you choose to follow my store.

Here is the entry form.



A Special Kind of Class

Once you have entered my contest, click on the picture below to head on over to the next blogger.  The more blogs you visit, the greater your chances are of winning.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

How to Make 5 Green and Speckled Frogs




With the move to a play based curriculum here in Ontario I spent the last half of last school year really examining what I'm doing in the classroom.  I want to move to a more inquiry based program but being in special ed my students often need to be taught specifically how to do something and then have the opportunity to practice that skill over and over again.  A lot of what I do is very hands on as it is.  

My 5 Green and Speckled Frog Interactive books were a big hit with the kids and they used them over and over again as they acted the song.






For those students that need something more concrete, I thought, what about an actual log and some stone frogs.

So I went on the hunt for the perfect log.



I found 5 smooth stones and painted them like frogs (I hope they look like frogs).


Originally I went looking for some blue construction paper for my pool, when I came across this blue cookie tray.  I was perfect for what I needed.



Once the children had used the frogs and log for a few days, I added some magnetic numbers to see what they would do with them.










Monday, July 25, 2016

Printing Time

The summer has been ticking by and I've been trying to get a head start on few things I need to prepare for the new school year.

I'm starting by making copies of my Monthly Printing Assessment Journal.

I use my Assessment Journal to keep track of my students fine motor and printing skills each month.  Since most of my students have speech and language disabilities, I find that fine motor difficulties are more likely to be an issue when they come to school. 

I start by getting the children to color the front cover.



They then put their name on the front.  

I sometimes get children who can't print their name when they get to school and these are kids that show the most progress.


Each month I get them to fill out the appropriate pages.
I usually take a small group at a time and I guide them through each section.   I find this keeps me accountable because we don't want to miss a month.






It's amazing to see the progress as the months go by.  I also love to have the book handy for parent interviews.  It's also a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year for parents to keep.







Thursday, June 30, 2016

Canada Freebie

Happy Canada Day!!!

July 1 is Canada Day.  School is finally over and it's time to celebrate.

Here is a little alphabet freebie for your little ones.

The Mountie Alphabet has both upper and lower case letters.



Have your child put them in alphabetical order.


Match upper to lower case letters.


Or play a matching game.