Poet Prints Collaboration: Tech Tools for the Inclusive Classroom

Slide1This week I collaborated with the awesome educator behind Poet Prints, Rachel Poetker. She is an awesome, talented, and passionate Canadian elementary school teacher who, like me, loves to share her learning strategies and resources with the greater education world. You can find all her amazing curricular designs on her TeacherspayTeachers store.

As you all know I love collaborating with other bloggers -whether it is swapping resources or contributing posts I always learn something new. This week I shared some of my favourite literacy tools for an inclusive classroom with the readers of Poet Prints. Head over to her blog to check it out and be sure to poke around a bit. She has a lot of great things to share!

Uvic’s Booklum: Top Ten Books for Learning Support Teachers

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I mentioned last week that I have been connecting with educators all over the place the last several months. Awhile back the incredible librarian of the Curriculum Library at my undergrad university, University of Victoria, asked me to compile my list of top ten resources for Learning Support Teachers. Bookulum, the top ten series, was created” as a way for us to feature themed book lists recommended by experts in and around our Education and Library community.” I am so honoured to have been asked to be included. Be sure to check out the other book lists because they are equally amazing.  You can also download a PDF version of my article here.
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The University of Victoria is where I learned to be a teacher; Columbia University is where I honed the skills they instilled in me. Uvic was such good soil for me to grow in.  It was there that met some of the most talented, dynamic educators that I now have the fortune of calling close friends. So I am beyond excited to still be connect to the community -even though I live on the other side of the continent. I am loving seeing what Uvic Education is doing to impact the greater teaching community. I hope you are as inspired as I am as you peruse their collected resources and fund of knowledge.

 

Strategies for Promoting Self-Regulation in Children

My latest article is up at the Yellin Center Blog. I wrote about promoting mindfulness in children for my last Yellin Center article.  After a resounding response to the article I am expanding on the idea of mindfulness by sharing some of my favourite resources for self-regulation. I hope you find them as helpful as I do! Continue reading “Strategies for Promoting Self-Regulation in Children”

Using Chrome Accessibility Extensions

 We have been talking a lot about accessibility lately.  We have highlighted some low-tech assistive tech tools, as well as high tech resources, like Goalbook, which help teachers implement universal design for learning. We have also shared our favourite resources for special education teachers. Today, my article for the Yellin Center Blog, goes in-depth on some of the free, accessibility extensions for google chrome. Don’t forget that Microsoft and other browsers have similar features, so if you aren’t a chrome uses do a little digging into what your internet browser offers! Continue reading “Using Chrome Accessibility Extensions”

Teacher Tools: Goalbook App

My latest review is up on the Yellin Center blog.  This time is features one of my favourite tools, Goalbook.  I talk a lot about Universal Design for Learning and differentiated instruction; they are at the core of my pedagogy.  However although sound educational theories it can be tricky for teachers to find tools that enable them enact the principals of personalized learning. Goalbook is one of my continually recommended, fool proof tools for making it all happen. It allows teachers to painlessly to turn research backed practices into real time instruction.  You can head over to the Yellin Center blog to read my review, or just browse a copy of the article below.  Happy teaching! Continue reading “Teacher Tools: Goalbook App”

Using Infographics in the Classroom to Differentiate Instruction

 I have another article out for the Yellin Center.  This time I dig into how to use infographics in the classroom to differentiate your instruction and meet the core mandates of Universal Design for Learning. Below you will find my article where I discuss a few excellent, easy to use resources for making infographics.  Happy Learning! Continue reading “Using Infographics in the Classroom to Differentiate Instruction”

Freebie Friday: How to Story Map with a Free Story Map Template

I have always taught in an inclusive classroom, which means I have always taught students with diverse learning abilities. I have had a number of students who struggle with written output. As a teacher in the North American school system which Story mapping Picturerelies heavily on literacy skills it was often really challenging to assess  students’ comprehension when writing difficulties inhibited their ability to write down their ideas. As such, as an alternative to answering questions or constructing essays during reading or listening comprehension lessons I would allow my students to map their understanding.

After reading a story to my students or having them read a tale independently, I would have my students draw pictures of all the main events and details of the story, and also draw path that showed their understanding of the sequencing of each event in the plot. I would specific that each map was to include all the characters, all main events, the different settings and a key like a traditional map would. I would also ensure my students understand what the terms, plot, character and setting meant.

A PDF version Story Map template can be downloaded for free here from my Teachers pay Teachers Store. Continue reading “Freebie Friday: How to Story Map with a Free Story Map Template”

Fine Motor Control Development: Lego Build Activity

 Lego Build is an activity I developed for some of my sweet special education students. That being said, fine motor skill development is critical for children of all abilities. Making this activity valuable for general ed classrooms or home learning as well.  Students will develop their visual-spatial abilities, as well as their fine motor control as they replicate the patterns.

Image 1You can head online to extend this activity. Google has created an incredible digital Lego workspace, Build with Chrome, where your students could also build their own towers digitally.  Some fine motor movement is involved in manipulating a mouse and typing, but the digital method won’t promote fine motor development to the same degree.

In my own classroom, I have used Lego Build as an independent, stand-alone lesson for those needing fine motor practice, or as an “early finisher” or reward activity. The activity is adaptable for both one-on-one intervention sessions, as well as small group settings.  I found that my students loved the activity and excuse to make Lego “educational”, so it quickly became a reward for my students who loved to build.

Since this is a repeat activity, I laminated multiple color copies to save having to photocopy new handouts each lesson. In addition, I have had colleagues use this resource in her kindergarten general education classrooms by laminating a couple copies and storing them in her Lego bin. The resource served as a way to help inspire students who don’t feel confident building from their imagination. Continue reading “Fine Motor Control Development: Lego Build Activity”