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April Fool’s Day Activities for Students

This year April Fool’s Day is Friday, April 1st.  While not a traditional holiday of either gift giving or religious importance, it is still a fun day to celebrate.  Today’s traditions of April Fool’s Day revolve around playing harmless jokes on friends and family.  However, the basis of the day actually revolves around topics that are great for the classroom – learning about the calendar, the first day of spring, the change of when New Year’s is celebrated, and the historical significance of a variety of pranks that we play today.

joke

This is an especially sensitive issue as students with emotional or cognitive disabilities may not understand or become upset by the jokes or pranks that other students may be playing throughout the school day.  Making special needs students aware of April Fool’s Day is important so that the students can understand the intentions of why their peers may make jokes or play pranks They could get involved in school-appropriate April Fool’s jokes as well.  This day must be managed with sensitivity and direction to avoid mean or destructive behavior from any student.

History of April Fool’s Day

There are many resources available online geared for students to learn the history behind April Fool’s Day.

Wilstar.com, a website based on exploration of a variety of topics, has a history page devoted to April Fool’s Day.  On this page, students learn that the significance of April’s Fools Day and how it began when the calendar was updated to the Gregorian calendar.  The New Year was changed from the beginning of spring to January 1st.  The people who didn’t accept this change were considered the ‘fools’ and were made fun of for not following the new calendar.  Today, different cultures put their own twist on the day including tricking people for the entire day, holding two days of April Fool’s silliness or celebrating the day on a different day of the year.

The Franklin Institute also has a great page about teaching students about the history of April Fool’s Day.  This includes more information about the different calendar systems and the changes that were made and why they were implemented

April Fool’s Day Activities

Classroom activities for April Fool’s Day should be fun and engaging.   Playing small jokes on your students to get them motivated always works with the middle school students.  Giving the students a silly, impossible worksheet or a fake pop-quiz on pop culture are two examples. For elementary students, you can read them silly books or give them fun worksheets to learn   to learn about simple jokes and April Fool’s related vocabulary.  More activities can be found on this link to April Fool’s activities designed by teachers.

There is one “prank” that sent me into tears from laughing so hard as I was writing this blog.  I was thinking of a classroom joke to play for my students this year and I was thinking of the traditional examples given above when I came across this idea from eHow.  As a computer teacher, I can update the Google homepage, the default on computers, to search in three different ‘fun’ languages Elmer Fudd, Pirate, and Klingon.  I will do a web-related activity having these settings up on the search engine without their knowledge to have a fun time.  For each option, the main choices of searching, settings, feeling lucky, and search are all updated in the fun languages.  For example Elmer Fudd “hunts” instead of searches, and the Pirate “Sails into Port” to login.

What are you plans for April Fool’s Day?

Article by Laura Ketcham

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Using PVC Piping for Creative Classroom Solutions

Teachers are thrifty individuals who use creative thinking to provide the best learning opportunities for their students in the classroom.  In previous posts, I have written about low-cost and free resources that teachers can take advantage of in the classroom.  Another one of these low-cost tricks is to use PVC piping for a variety of classroom needs.  PVC pipe could be for practical purposes as an assistive technology device or it can be used to create interactive games and activities for students.  Examples include using it to create stands, frames, simulation devices or as a play phone, tee-pee, or marble maze.  PVC pipe can even be used to make instruments!

school

PVC pipe is made of plastic and is typically used for plumbing, sewers, and protecting wiring.  Since it is made out of plastic, it is highly durable and long-lasting.  Many different pipe diameters and joints can be adjoined together to make complex curves and shapes. PVC piping can be purchased from the local hardware stores and is relatively inexpensive.

Below are great resources to help you get started with PVC pipe designs in your classroom.

Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System (FDLRS) – PVC Idea & Instruction Booklet

FDLRS provides an entire workbook of resources for PVC pipe assistive technology devices for special needs students.  This resource is very extensive and a great first-timers resource.  They provide a detailed explanation of the tools that will be needed to construct the various assistive devices, provide detailed materials lists and diagrams, along with how the device can be used in the classroom.  They have over twenty different devices including stands, assistive writing tools, frames, easels, and organizers.  Each device has a level associated with the directions to determine the length of time and difficulty it will take to build the device.

If you are not a handy construction-minded teacher, this is one way that you can get fathers involved in volunteering at the school.  Many fathers always want to help, but don’t know how.  This would be a great way to get them involved in the classroom while building such useful devices for the students.

Bright Eyes Learning – PVC Pipe for Activities

Bright Eyes Learning provides ideas, examples, and instructions on how to build PVC pipe toys and activity centers for the classroom.  Some of the activities are definitive, the PVC pipe is used to build a particular toy for a particular purpose, and other activities with the PVC pipes allow the students to explore in free-play activities.

The examples from their site include making play phones, a tee-pee and a marble maze.  These examples have direct instructions including materials needed and models of what the project will look like upon completion.  The abstract examples from the site include using the PVC pipe in activities where students use them as ‘building blocks’, as a sensory device, or as a tube for exploratory games.

To make PVC pipe into an exploratory device,  you can fill a clear PVC pipe tube it with colorful nick-knacks like marbles, feathers, or glitter and then cap off the ends.  Then students can use this during play-time or to learn about colors or textures.  To explore further, the piping could be used to allow students to run various ball objects through the tubes to see what will come out first.  It could also be used as an imaginary telescope.

The ideas and uses of PVC pipe in the classroom are endless.  Have you used PVC pipe as a learning aid or tool in your classroom?  Feel free to share your experiences by commenting below!

Article by Laura Ketcham

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Opening of Baseball Season – Great Classroom Connections

As covered in many of my blog posts, students are much more engaged in learning when it is a relevant topic that they are interested in – especially if it relates to the “real world”.  The opening of baseball season, a favorite American past time, is one of these great “real world” events that can be connected into classroom curriculum.  Opening day is March 31st.

baseball

There are so many classroom connections with baseball that incorporate math, language arts, languages, geography, history, and even science and all  fit the standards-based instruction.  Here are some online resources for ideas on how you can incorporate baseball into your class curriculum.

The Teacher’s Corner – Baseball Season

The Teacher’s Corner has a wide variety of resources to teach core curriculum content in relation to baseball.  These activities are great for the elementary classroom or could be adapted for older grade levels and span across many different subject areas.  Activities include journal writing, vocabulary crosswords, figuring averages, the science of baseball, baseball-based review games for many different subjects, and problem solving.

The science of baseball activity was really fun and engaging.  Students learn about what the ‘sweet spot’ is of a baseball, how to react to and hit a fast ball, throwing a curve ball, along with other historical facts about baseball.  There are interactive activities and great animated pictures that bring the concepts to life.  The comic book style of the page will also be very engaging to middle school students and is considered very popular and current.

PBS:  The Tenth Inning

PBS has great resources for lesson plan ideas that connect with a documentary series about baseball entitled The Tenth Inning.  This video documentary chronicles the history and impact that baseball has had on society including the first black baseball player, women in baseball, and the growth of Hispanic and Asian players.  It also includes the scandals and triumphs of the baseball world from the 1990’s until today.

Among the many lessons that are found online that correlate with the video and includes “stadium consultants” where students act as the stadium managers and make choices about ticket prices and concessions, a lesson on “shadow ball” which is a warm up activity that was created by the Negro league, and “mapping baseball” where students would learn the history and growth of the baseball league.  All of the lessons I looked at were very engaging and I could see my 7th grade students really enjoying the activity and learning at the same time.

Another section on this site is “The 7th Inning Stretch”.  This page includes more open ended examples of lesson ideas including researching about the music of baseball, fantasy baseball, and the invention of the baseball.

Buddy Project

The Buddy Project has three simple lesson plans for teaching math concepts with a  baseball theme.  The first lesson incorporates the use of baseball cards.  The teacher should provide each student with a baseball card and discuss the information that is included on the back.  In this discussion the teacher would talk about the batting average and how it is calculated for each player.  The students could then be given the at-bats and number of hits so they could calculate the batting averages of some of the top players.

The next lesson has students playing math baseball on Funbrain.  This activity can be done individually or in pairs and is used as a review of basic math facts.  Students earn a base for every question they answercorrectly.  Competing against their classmates is a great way to motivate students to be more actively engaged in the activity.

The last lesson involves students solving money-based math problems in computation of salaries for baseball players.  The website provides a table of real baseball salaries and then provides a quiz based on the data table information.

All of the activities on this site have companion interactive activities that students can do online or on the interactive whiteboard in the front of the class.

Happy Opening Day!

Article by Laura Ketcham

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Spring has Sprung: Spring Activities for the Classroom

This past Monday was the official first day of spring.  I know in the Midwest and the Northeast this week there was a hint of spring and spring fever as the snow crocus started to bloom.  Spring represents a time of renewal.  Longer days, the smell of the fresh flowers, cut grass, and April coming in like a lion and out like a lamb.  Spring also represents a time of the year for students to feel refreshed and renewed.

Science Activities Related to Spring Time

There are many science related activities that can be taught during the beginning of spring.  Incorporating activities with plants or flowers is great during these months.  This could include teaching students about the parts of a flower, pollination, and how the plant absorbs water.  A fun activity for the students to do is the carnation color changing experiment.   Another experiment including plants could be the traditional experiments where students can feed the plant different liquids, provide more or less sunlight or changing of other variables.

spring

Spring also marks the vernal equinox. On this day, the amount of day light and night time will be almost the same because of the location of the sun in correlation to the equator.  In the northern hemisphere, this indicates the beginning of spring including the longer days that will head into the summer.  Many countries celebrate this day through a variety of festivals and customs.  Teaching students through interactive lessons like the Scholastic web hunt about the equinox are fun and educational.

Spring Cleaning of the Classroom

One way students can feel like they are getting a ‘fresh’ start to spring is by participating in spring cleaning.  Students can clean out their desks or lockers.  They should throw away the trash, donate used items that are no longer useful to them, but are still in good condition, and keep and organize items that they will need for the remainder of the school year.  This activity may seem very simplistic, but it is definitely necessary.

Students with special needs may become anxious during this process as it is difficult for some students to part with personal belongings or papers.  Care should be taken by the teacher to let the students complete this process over several days and not to just take the students belongings and throw what they feel is not important away.  Teachers and other students should respect the belongings of the other students and ask before touching or throwing something away.  Teachers can take part in this activity by spring cleaning their desk area and closets.

Spring Craft Ideas

There are many spring crafting ideas that connect with standards-based curriculum.  Kaboose has many great ideas of how teachers can incorporate learning about spring in the classroom.  The ideas include printables, crafts, foods, and organization ideas.  Craft ideas include making tissue paper flowers, clip butterflies, rock lady bugs, and baby jar gardens.  All of these crafts can be combined together to make an artificial garden to brighten up the classroom.  They also all use many recycled and reclaimed materials, most of which many teachers already have in the classroom.

Since lions and lambs are popular motifs for the weather during this time of the year, it would be great to tie in a weather lesson with making a craft of lions and lambs.  The lambs can be made of cotton balls and lions out of golden yarn.  The students could then write down facts of how the lion and lamb are used as metaphors for the weather.  The blog Little Fun, Little Learning has a great student example of this project idea.

Feel free to share your spring lessons by commenting!

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Spring Break Activities for Students

Over the next month, many students will be taking a week or more off for “Spring Break”.  Spring b recess is a time for students to relax and unwind and spend time with family.  This is also the time of year that typically comes right before many states administer standardized tests.  Having students relax during their break is important, but teachers could provide fun and interactive activities for students to continue their academic growth without school.

beach

Engaging Reading & Writing Activities

One way to have students to continue learning during “Spring Break” is through reading.  Many schools assign students to read novels and write reports as reading assignments over Spring Break.  Instead of assigning a book that all of the students read, allow the students to choose their own (level appropriate) book will be more engaging over break time.  Also, instead of having the students write traditional book reports, allowing students to make multi-media projects will be more engaging.  Students could summarize the story, complete a literary analysis, or personal reaction of the story by creating video, picture montage, Voki, online comic book, or Wordle.

To get students writing over spring break, you could have them keep an online diary of what they did over spring break.  Students can use a site like Blogger to write their reflective journal.  This journal can then be shared digitally with other students in the classroom.  Students can then comment on other students “Spring Break” activities.  Encourage students to expand their vocabulary and use descriptive words that are not typically used in their writing.

Less formal activities could include providing an annotated list of online learning games that students could complete during “Spring Break”.  Providing parents with a goal for the amount of time the students should spend on the activities would be helpful.

Online Reading & Writing Activities

1.       Primary Games – Language Arts

2.       Between the Lions – PBS Kids Games & Stories

3.       My Monster Poems

4.       Classroom Resources – Reading Write Think

Math & Science Activities

A great science and math based “Spring Break” activity would be to have the students watch an episode of Head Rush from the Science Chanel.  This is a newer TV show hosted by Kari Byron from Mythbusters.  The show provides a variety of science experiments that are explained from beginning to end.  Students are asked multiple choice questions about the experiment to guess what or why questions about the experiment.  If students don’t have the Science Chanel at home, many of the clips and experiments can be found online at the show website or on YouTube.  Students could then either perform experiments, with parent supervision of course, complete a lab write-up about which show they watched that they can then share with the class, or just watch the show for learning pleasure and then be ready to discuss the show in class after the spring recess.

Online Math & Science Activities

1.       Fun Brain Math Arcade

2.       Sheppard Software Interactive Math Games

3.       Cool-Math Games

4.       Math Playground

Article By Laura Ketcham

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National Craft Month – Time to Get Crafty

March is National Craft Month. National Craft Month was started in 1994 by the Craft & Hobby Association. The purpose of the awareness month is to share knowledge and ideas about crafting and encourage creativity.

crafts

While some people might consider this a commercial ploy of craft companies, this truly is the perfect time to implement craft activities into the classroom. Creative craft projects combined with content curriculum help students to build visual connections. Having hands-on projects in the classroom helps students with special needs, visual learners, and ESOL students to connect with the curriculum while be engaged and actively learning. This means that students will be learning on a higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Many arts and crafts store and companies are promoting National Craft Month by providing special sales, events, and crafting lessons and ideas. Teachers can take advantage of this opportunity to come up with new creative activities for the classroom.

Early Childhood Crafting Ideas

The Early Childhood News & Resources website compiled a list of online crafting resources for children. One of the resources found on this site is Freckles Crafts. Freckles Crafts provides all of the materials for a particular crafting project in craft kits so that there is no need to find all of the individual pieces.

Another resource is craftbits.com. This website has a plethora of craft ideas, many of which would be great for the classroom including an entire kids crafting section. I really enjoyed their recycled craft ideas because they show that you can be green and save green and still create a meaningful project. Being a computer teacher, I loved all of the creative ways that a CD could be used to make a sun-catcher, candle holder, invitation, and decorations.

Crafting Ideas from Crayola

Crayola has put together special page on their website to promote National Craft Month. This site is great because it provides lesson plans along with the craft idea to make the connections between the curriculum standards and the activity. Many of the resources are free and can be downloaded from their website like coloring pages and ecards. The Craft Ideas and Lesson Plans section contains over 200 classroom crafting ideas. Each idea includes a “why” section (what is the purpose of the craft activity), the steps to creating the craft, safety guidelines, and classroom connections along with a picture of the final craft.

One of the activities I liked was called “Fishing for Friends.” In this activity students learn about the other students in the classroom. Each student designs a fish for the pond and on the back of the fish they write something important about themselves. This would be a great activity for an icebreaker at the beginning of the school year. The fish could then be changed out throughout the school year to incorporate other activities like learning vocabulary words, math problems, historical dates, and events.

Other Kid-Friendly Crafting Websites

1. Craft Place

2. Teacher Place

3. KinderArt

4. Free Kids Crafts

5. Michael’s Arts & Crafts: Kids Crafting

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Connecting Concepts through High-Interest Topics: March Madness

Teaching challenging concepts by using high-interest and timely topics helps students to make connections and increase comprehension.  World and national events like a presidential inauguration, the soccer World Cup, the Olympics, shuttle launches, and large sporting events can be used in teaching lessons including  math, science, social studies, and language arts.

basketball

One event coming up that many students will follow is March Madness.  March Madness refers to the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament of the top 64 Division 1 teams.  March Madness is also called “The Big Dance.”  It is a single elimination tournament.  The winner of each game moves on to the next round until the top team emerges as the winner.

The Bracket:  Conducting Research & Making Predictions

One of the most popular activities associated with March Madness is the filling out of “the bracket.”  The bracket is a tree-graph that is filled-in with predictions of game face-offs based on university regions and expected winners.  This is an activity that students can do that actually has connections in the classroom.  Students can fill out the bracket with the teams that they think will win each game, which teams will face-off against each other, and end with their guess for the final two teams and the ultimate winner.  Students should develop their predictions by researching team statistics, ranks, standings, and divisions using online websites or by reading sports journals or newspapers.  University websites, along with ESPN, are also appropriate student resources for conducting this research.

Getting other teachers, classes, and even the administrators involved in creating and sharing their bracket predictions make the lesson even more meaningful.

The Bracket:  Math & Geography Connections

Teachers can tie in connections with math and geography using this bracket.  Students can be asked questions that involve percentages and fractions.  For example, what is the likelihood that a certain team will make it into the finals?  What percentage of teams a student chose won during a certain bracket?  What is the reduced fraction of number of teams that are in the final 16?  As the games progress, students should make updates to their brackets.  Additional lessons based on this can also include who had the most winning teams.

As students follow the games and find the winners and losers, geography connections can be made by having students take the teams in the bracket and locate the universities on a map.  An extension can be made where students would have to conduct research about one of the universities or the cities in which schools are located.

Incorporating topics that students love while teaching the curriculum is a great way to motivate students.  Highly engaging activities ‘trick’ students into mastering the learning outcomes that are desired.  March Madness is a great way to make math and geography connections based on a high-interest subject.

More lessons based on March Madness:

1.       Creative Parents March Madness Lesson

2.       March Madness Project

3.       Time out for March Madness

Article By Laura Ketcham

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The iPad 2: An Innovative Educator & Student Resource

Yesterday’s much awaited announcement of the iPad 2 did not disappoint.  Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple was on hand to unveil the new iPad at a live press conference demonstrating the new features of the new iPad 2.  The iPad 2 will be available in store and online March 11th.

ipad

In the past year, Apple’s iPad has made a significant impact on the education world.  Administrators, teachers, and students have all embraced the tablet style computing device in the classroom.  Many features, including the long battery life, portability, innovative 3rd party applications, lower pricing point when compared to laptops and accessibilities options have made it a viable laptop alternative in the classroom.

From an educators stand-point, the updated options that are available on the iPad 2 will make it an even more popular device to use in the classroom.  Here are the new options and how I think it will impact the education world:

Faster Processor

The iPad 2 has a new duo-core processor.  This will allow students to process data at a faster speed without much lag time.  Students can create projects and multi-task smoothly with this faster processor rather than using it to surf or passively learn.  This will also allow app developers to create more robust apps that will be an advantage when teaching complex material in the classroom.

Camera

The iPad 2 has two cameras, one at the front of the device and one on the back.  This will allow students to take pictures and videos on the iPad 2 for class assignments.  The new apps, iMovie, Photo Booth, and even Face Time can be used by the students to produce polished, innovative projects.

Lighter weight & Longer Battery Life

The iPad 2 is lighter than the original iPad.  This increases the ease of portability even more.  The battery life has also been increased by 1 hour.  The iPad 2 has a 10 hour battery life.  This is one of the best selling points for its use in school.  Students can use the iPad for a full day of school without ever having to charge the device.

Video Mirroring

There is now no need for any teacher to have to “jailbreak” their iPad.  The original iPad had no way of connecting to a projector.  This was a disadvantage to teachers who wanted to use the device to show students movies, apps, or lessons on the iPad.  Now, the iPad 2 can connect to a projector using extra accessories, the Digital AV adaptor or the VGA adaport.  This will allow teachers to connect their iPad 2 to either a projector or television (even HDTVs).  These accessories also allow the iPad 2 to be charged during the presentation.   What is displayed on the iPad 2 will be mirrored onto the larger screen.

iPad Smart Cover

Reading various sites online, there was not much buzz about the new cover that Apple has created for the iPad 2.  However, as a teacher, I thought it was a great invention.  The new Smart Cover, when placed over top of the iPad 2, automatically turns the device into sleep mode.  When removed from the top of the iPad 2, it can be used as a stand.  It fits great and aligns perfectly making for an easy transition between use and non-use.  For the classroom, it will save battery life when students are not using the device along with providing a protective cover when not in use.  This will be useful between transitions of students needing to focus on the teachers’ directions and not using the iPad 2 to when the students can then use the iPad 2 for the classroom lesson.

There are also many successful features that Apple has incorporated from the iPad to the iPad 2.  The new device has the same pricing point as the original, along with the one-touch off and on options, and accessibility features for individuals with disabilities.

The iPad 2 will be a big hit both in and out of the classroom.  I’m very excited to see the impact that it will have on education over the next year.

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Lead the Way! President’s Day Activities for Students

President’s Day Activities

President’s Day is on Monday, February 21st.  This holiday was originally celebrated to honor President Washington’s birthday.   It is now held on the third Monday of February every year.  On this day, Americans honor all presidents.  This date was chosen because of the proximity to both President Washington and Lincoln’s birthday.  Many states will hold parades and other ceremonies honoring the presidents.  The name of the holiday varies from state to state including President’s Day, Presidents’ Day and Washington’s Birthday.  Typically, schools are not in session on this day.  However, there are many creative language arts and social studies activities to tie into your classroom curriculum.

presidents

Middle School Activities

One activity that students could complete to learn about President’s day is by completing a Web Quest.  A Web Quest is a guided online scavenger hunt to answer questions and completing worksheets while learning about topics through researching provided links online.  Scholastic also provides an interactive web hunt, similar to a Web Quest, for students to learn about presidents.

Fact Monster has a President’s Day page written for children that explains the history of the day.  It explains how different states will celebrate this day in different ways depending on the presidents that may have impacted their community.  There are also many more links to facts pages about presidents, inaugurations, impeachments, biographies, elections, and history.

Elementary School Activities

Elementary students could visit a virtual museum about Lincoln and Washington.  The museum contains images and facts written in a language easy for kids to understand.  There are several activities that go along with the museum visit including creating a KWL chart, a Venn diagram, treasure hunts, quizzes, and additional presentations.  The activity I liked the best was being able to show the students an animated map of when the states were added to the United States.

Kaboose provides links to craft connections for teaching about President’s Day.  Some of the ideas were very creative and fun  and would tie in with the virtual museum trip.  These include making a pretzel log cabin, cherry tree, finger puppets of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln hats, and old glory flags.  Other links on this site include activities, games, printables, and facts about the presidents.

School Family has printables for President’s Day.  There are coloring sheets, word scrambles, writing prompts, and poems.  This site has printable pages of all of the presidents.  An idea for a class activity would be to have the students color pages for each president and then have the students write a few facts about the presidents on each of the pages.  They could then be hung in the classroom or on the bulletin board.

Links for Other President’s Day Lessons & Activities

1.        The Teacher’s Corner President’s Day Activities

2.       Suite 101 President’s Day Lesson Plans

3.       Classroom Activities for all February Holidays

Article by Laura Ketcham

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The Florida Educational Technology Recap

The FETC was an energizing 3-day experience with immersion into education technology.  Everyone was buzzing about iPod’s and iPads, educational apps, cell phones, and what the future may hold for these devices in the classroom.  Sessions with “i” in the name filled up quickly with many attendees creating their own seats on the floor.

conference

Edmodo

One of the great additions to the conference was the integrated use of Edmodo.  Edmodo is a free social networking site for teachers and students.  Presenters used this website by creating groups to post their materials, including their presentations, websites, and other useful links.  Their presentation pages were also used as a conduit for the users in the session to ask questions or add more information in real-time as the presenter was speaking. Attendees can join their sessions (called groups) through a group code.  Also, attendees who were unable to attend the session could then still receive the materials and the feedback from the session over the web (including those who didn’t even attend the conference).

Check out group codes FC0321, FC0492, and FC0269 to review and receive great resources and information.  Over the next few weeks I plan to see what other ways that this website can be integrated in both building my PLN and if it could be useful for my classroom and students.

Resources for Younger & Special Needs Students

This year, there also seemed to be more sessions geared to educating younger students pre-k-2 and special needs students.

One of the websites that I learned about that would be great to use with both sets of students is Kerpoof Studio.  Kerpoof is a free website created by Disney where students can create movies, drawings, and online story books.  They have a lesson plans page with ways that you can incorporate their online programs into the classroom through standards-based activities and extensions.  For younger students they can play the spell a picture game.  As they spell words correctly, it is added to their digital drawing.  The objects can then be moved around the page to build a scene and can then be printed to share in the classroom.  There are so many possibilities of ways to use this website in the classroom. (Edmodo join code:  FC0491)

A great session I attended for special needs students included apps that address social skills, schedules, and mathematics.  The presenter, Shannon Sullivan, works with special education students in the greater DC area and maintains her website about apps via www.ipads4kids.com.  On this site you can find a wide list of apps sorted by subjects and needs for the students.  There is also an area for other educators to share their favorite apps that they are using with their students.  Check this site often as it is frequently updated.

There was another session on the use of iPod’s and iPad’s in the special education classroom that has many resources posted on Edmodo (Edmodo join code:  FC0501).  One key point that they make about the iPad as a tool for the special education classroom is that it is portable, adaptable, and even socially acceptable.  It also has built in accessibility along with the power of the apps.  You should definitely check out their presentation on Edmodo and the associated website Mobile Learning 4 Special Needs.

Please check back for more resources that I’ve learned from FETC over the coming weeks.

Article By Laura Ketcham

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