Turning your laptop screen into a touchscreen with AirBar

AirBar brings the capabilities of a touchscreen to your laptop. No tools or software are required, just a simple USB plugin provides you with the ability pinch, swipe, zoom, tap and draw using your finger, a stylus or even a paintbrush.  Presently AirBar works on computers with Windows 7, 8, or 10 or a Chromebook. Just plug it in and create an interactive screen.AirBar

Minecraft breaks down classroom barriers


Who would of thought that a video game that gives kids the tools to build with 3D blocks and dig holes in a virtual reality would lead to improving skills in the classroom. Minecraft is a game of discovery, construction, and learning, and it’s being used in a variety of school settings for mathematics, physics, history, and reading comprehension. Scott McKenzie, a teacher, uses Minecraft in his classroom to help remove barriers and provide students who struggle a means to show what they know.

Pool noodles

Summer is a great time for some easy DIY projects. A summer pool noodle can be used in the classroom to help when working on literacy and math skills. Check out these quick and easy projects that can be created with pool noodles.

noodle 7noodle2noodle1                   noodle 5noodle4         pool noodle place valueResources:

  • http://www.secondstorywindow.net/home/activity/
  • http://blog.heidisongs.com/2013/09/pool-noodle-color-words.html
  • http://aneighborhoodkindergarten.blogspot.com/
  • http://literacyteachermomof3.blogspot.com/
  • http://indulgy.com/post/AvzJlTIDX2/use-pool-noodles-as-place-value-manipulative






Interactive Multiplication Tables

Create a customized multiplication table using MS Word Graph Paper.  Laminate them or put them in page protectors and use them with dry erase markers.  Even better, cover a Pringles can with the separated chart.  Twist the can to find the answers.  Thank you Cynthia Feist and Tara Jeffs, Loudoun County Public Schools for showing this cool trick on your recent TechKnowledgy Conference Webinar, Making Math and Science Accessible for All – Differentiating Instruction with Low Cost Tools.


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Making Math and Science Accessible for All – Differentiating Instruction with Low Cost Tools

Today, Dr. Cynthia Feist and Dr. Tara Jeffs, AT specialists for Loudoun County Public Schools presented an incredible webinar for the TechKnowledgy Conference.  This was a fast-paced webinar with lots of great ideas and resources about making math and science accessible.  They demonstrated low to high tech AT for math and science instruction for students with multiple learning preferences and differing abilities, for little or no cost. Watch this webinar and learn how to create: accessible math and science resources for differentiated instruction, including: scientific process and math sequence ropes; customized graph paper; graphic organizers; item banks; electronic timers; mini-offices; virtual and physical manipulatives; file folder activities; shoebox work tasks; foldables, interactive lessons and quizzes with voice; adapted books and worksheets; and, templates and tutorials. Adapt and modify curriculum using instructional materials created with Microsoft Office, free interactive online resources including Web 2.0 tools and Internet downloads, and other inexpensive and widely available materials.

The Webcast will be posted within the week on the TechKnowledgy website.  In the meantime, explore the wonderful resources they are sharing on their Google Drive (link posted on the TechKnowledgy website).

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Talking classroom posters

Last week’s TechKnowledgy webinars were a wonderful opportunity to hear how technology can be used in the classroom to enhance, develop and share concepts. Many of the ideas from Google apps to websites and strategies could be implemented with all students. One such strategy was giving the posters hanging on classroom walls a voice. Kelly Fonner suggested adding a programmable voice output button to anchor charts and posters. By allowing students to record the messages and access the information easily there is now a purpose for the posters, beyond making the classroom look inviting. What a great way to give all students access to the information found on posters or anchor charts.



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?


Free summer curriculum

Are you teaching extended school year this summer?  Looking for creative lesson plans or perhaps you will be teaching a group of students you are unfamiliar with.  Check out the free summer curriculum from the Unique Learning System.  As an annual tradition, Unique Learning System is offering a free summer curriculum for students participating in extended school year programs.  This years summer unit is focusing on summer camp activities.  It includes activities for fine motor, arts and crafts, literacy and math development.  Check it out.  Download the lessons at: https://www.n2y.com/products/unique/summerRegistration.aspx

Microsoft Partners in Learning Blog

Last week we highlighted our guest bloggers from Loudoun County Schools.  They shared their strategies for adapting books for all learners.  This week our hats go off to two other members of the Loudoun County Assistive Technology team, Tara Jeffs and Cynthia Feist. Tara and Cindy host an accessibility blog on the Microsoft Partners in Learning Blog.  This is an excellent source for finding information about meeting the needs of diverse learners in your classroom.  Check out  recent posts on developing MathLit kits and Strategies for Improving Organization and Time Management Skills.  All of the posts contain photos, videos and web links.  This blog is worth bookmarking and sharing far and wide!!