To Siri, With Love

Have you ever used Siri to ask directions, silly questions, facts on a specific topic or the meaning of life? One 13 year old boy with autism has found a friend in the Apple Personal Assistant known lovingly as Siri. He has found answers to questions pertaining to his special interests, love, marriage and friendship while conversing with Siri. This New York Times piece is a heartwarming story of technology and humanity coming together to create a relationship that fosters communication in our 21st century world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/fashion/how-apples-siri-became-one-autistic-boys-bff.html

Newsela

Newsela is a chrome app that publishes daily news articles at 5 reading levels from grades 3-12. You can explore a library of high-quality, engaging nonfiction text for your students. Topic areas include war and peace, science, kids, money, law, health, arts, and sports.   Newslela is free.

Download Newsela in the Chrome App Store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/newsela/bfpeiapdhnegnfcfkdfihabadngjagfj

Not all diets are created the same

When is a diet not interested in the foods our kids eat? When it is a “sensory diet”.  A sensory diet does not center on the foods our kids eat but rather on the activities they use to help modulate their bodies.  Check out http://www.yourkidsot.com/blog/a-sensory-dietnothing-to-do-with-food for a list of over 100 activities to help meet the many sensory needs of kids.

Flipping for Adpated Books

Adapted books are a wonderful resource allowing all students opportunities to build literacy skills through accessible books.  Keeping all of the components of an adapted book together however can be a bit of a challenge.  This video shows how one teacher organized the pieces of a book by creating a flip out page allowing for a choice board and sentence strip to remain attached to the body of the book. When finished the choice board and sentence strip flip back inside, creating a book that is easily stored with all of the pictures neatly tucked inside.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLIEm_DnzLY

4th Annual Virtual TechKnowledgy Conference

 

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The 4th Annual Virtual TechKnowledgy Conference 2014 kicks off November 5 with a  keynote address by Kelly Fonner, “Broaden Your Students’ Educational Horizons through Assistive Technologies”.  On November 6 & November 7 tune in to hear the sessions “Free Technology Tools for Struggling Readers” and “Free Electronic Books and Software for Struggling Students”.  Registration is free.  Future sessions will be held in February, April and September 2015.

For more information click here.

Six year old gets prosthetic arm built with a 3-D printer

My husband saw one of the first 3-D printers at the International Machine and Technology Show in Chicago in the 1980s.  It made a small engine part as a demonstration.  Now, years later, a group of students at the University of Central Florida have made a prosthetic arm for a six-year old boy with a 3-D printer at the cost of $350!!  Imagine the possibilities!

Read more to learn about future plans for this six year old and 3-D printers

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Retractable Clothesline

Capture               clothesline

Using a retractable clothesline allows for a variety of activities to reinforce math and language arts skills.  Students can stand, walk  or wheel along the clothesline to order numbers, skip count or create number patterns in math.  Given a set of words they can create sentences, put  words in abc order or practice spelling.  What other ways can you think of to use a clothesline in your classroom?

 

Using a Picture Schedule in the Art Room

Visual schedules provide students with consistent cues about their daily activities. Schedules help create a structure that enables students to anticipate what will happen next and potentially reducing anxiety as well as calmness between transitions. Mini schedules can help guide an activity to completion by giving a visual outline of what is expected when completing a particular task. Picture schedules however are not just for the self-contained classroom. Take a peek at this video to see how one art teacher implements picture schedules to help build student success in her classroom.

http://www.theartofed.com/2013/09/27/how-to-create-and-use-a-picture-schedule-in-your-art-room/