Last week we headed to the Catskills for the most perfect, cozy, blissful weekend escape. My nerdy inner elementary school teacher was as about the relaxation and she was about the setting of Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain in the real. To give a little context to my unabashed enthusiasm, when I taught grade 5 I devised an entire My side of The Mountain unit plan. It is hands down one of my favourite novel studies to do with a group of upper elementary school students. The story is set in the Catskills, and centers around the theme of survival in the wilderness. So as you know I believe in experiential learning. So naturally when I was teaching in the Northwest I made sure to infuse activities that got my students out in their natural environment to ensure the book really came alive. It really is one of the best books to create interactive, authentic learning experiences around. So while away this past weekend, I snapped a handful of pictures throughout our trip that I can put together in a slide presentation for fellow teachers to use to help their students visualize the setting of My Side of the Mountain. It is now up on my Teachers pay Teachers store. Continue reading “My Side of the Mountain Novel Study”
My best graduate course at the moment, bar none, is Computer Applications in Education. It is no secret why I am so enamored by this course – I love technology. Ed Tech is my most pervasive professional interest. My technological inclinations have led me to sit on my school district’s Educational Technology Advisory Committee, as well as be apart of a research team at my university that created and lead professional development workshops on how to integrate and utilize different educational technologies into ones teaching. Personally, I strive to include an array of modalities into my curriculum but I do rely heavily on modern technological tools to create my own handouts (like the ones below), as well as construct a curriculum that engages and stimulates my students.
As for this particular course, it has a special education focus, with a heavy emphasis on UDL and assistive technology. Each week we focus on a novel technology that we get to test out and play around -some I have experience with and some are brand new. At the moment we have been asked to adapt a previous unit plan to include assistive technologies in order to better meet the needs of the exceptional students in our classrooms. We opted to use my fractured fairytale unit which focuses on story retelling and imaginative writing. Below you will find a few of the resources and handouts I devised (using great educational technologies) for this unit that I thought I would share. Continue reading “Teaching Moments: Fairytales and Story Retelling”