Sunday, November 29, 2009

Waiting for my orders to come in...

So I just ordered a few things last week and wanted to share as I'm really excited about getting them  I will be posting more about them after I get them and start to use them.  For now I'm just going to share the goodies that I've ordered.  So here they are... 

PcienviroprintPCI Environmental Print Curriculum: I am hoping to add this as a component to a couple of my student's language arts programs.  I like the direct connection to the communityand how I can ensure that we are looking directly at "real life" applications.  I've had making adapted books and worksheets related to envirornmental print on my "to do" list for about two years now and just have never gotten to it.  I decided to bite the bullet and use some of this year's material budget to buy this package.  I will be posting about it as we get in to it.  If you have used it, please share what has worked and what hasn't worked for you.

FunctionalcurA Functional Curriculum (from PCI): As my students get older and the population of my classroom changes, I'm starting to see a need to focus more on adaptive skills.  I have a few resources for creating a functional curriculum as well as some great links that I've found but am looking to expand my resources.  These materials looked good.  I couldn't really find anyone who had used them when looking at message boards so don't know how they are going to be "in practice".  Again, if you've used them, I would love to hear about it.  If you haven't, stay tuned for how things work in our classroom once I start to implement things from these resoures.

Switchpourer Switch Adapted Pouring Cup: I have read several blog posts about this devise and have been looking to buy it for some time.  We do a fair amount of cooking/baking in our classroom and with our growing dog biscuit business we are only going to be doing more.  I had a parent volunteer to pay for some equipment that will allow all of our students to participate in this business and this is the first thing that I had on my list of things to buy.  I know we will find many uses for it beyond the kitchen as well.  I am also looking to buy a mixer that has a dough hook that we can use with our power links as well as use Kate's flour sifting idea.  I'm still playing around with ideas for rolling out the dough.  I tried a pasta maker but it doesn't quite work.  If you have ever seen a way to switch adapt rolling out dough for cookies/biscuits I would love to hear it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

news-2-you: Happy Birthday Canadiens (November 23-27, 2009)

I got the idea to share the plans I'm making related to news-2-you from the blog entitled Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs.  Each weekend I will put up a post about the current news-2-you topic and some of the extra activities we will be fitting in during the week.  Note that not all of my students will do all of the extra activities as it is depenedent on student need and the amount of time we have in a week. If you are using news-2-you and you have some ideas that I have worked for you, please post a reply so that I can use the ideas if they are applicable to my students. Note that if I make any materials with Boardmaker, I will post them here for download as well as post them in the Adapted Learning news-2-you group.

Language Arts (Vocabulary, Literacy, Communication, Composition...etc.)
Matching Pictures of Hockey Symbols
Composition: Things we do in the winter
Switches, Computers, Adaptive Technology
Switch Skills 1: Soccer Game
Work on Mouse Skills -
100 activities - Montreal Canadiens are 100 years old - count objects to 100
Hockey Jersey Number Ordering - Download Boardmaker File Here
Science/Sensory Explorations
Hot and Cold Explorations
Social Studies/Life Skills
Winter/Summer Sports Sorting - Download Boardmaker File here
Friday lunch consisting of foods you buy when watching a hockey game: fries in a cup, hot dogs in foil, nachos in take-out boxes, snow cones...etc.
NHL Logo Bingo - Download Boardmaker File Here
NHL Logo Matching Game - Download Boardmaker File Here
Fine Arts (music, drama, art...etc.)
Life-sized paper shirts.  Fingerpaint large piece of paper and then cut out in a life sized jersey.  Cut out letters of last name and glue them on the jersey in the name.  Hang on bulletin board.
Hockey-themed music on iPod.
Adapted P.E.
Shooting pucks at hockey net.
Playing an adapted hockey game.
Community Integration
Going to arena to watch a hockey practice or game

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Think: New Lunch Program

So I've had my new student for almost three weeks now and its time to start putting some things in motion.  One of the things that I'm most excited about with this student is that we will be starting a "lunch program" with him.  I would like to eventually do this with some of my other students but figured this was a great step in to the whole idea.  We are starting on Monday no matter if we are ready or not.  I will obviously grow the program but have already put a lot of thought in to it and thought I would share the thinking part of it in this post.  Stay tuned for future posts with more details as well as posts where I put up the Boardmaker materials that I'm currently working on making :).

General Notes
  • This student is on a GFCF (Gluten Free Casien Free) diet so I have come up with a formula for what should be in each of his meals.  If there was no specialized diet, the formula would come from having a balanced meal including the different food groups.  For this particular student (who is a teenaged boy and a good eater) the formula is: a protein (eggs, meat, beans...etc.), a vegetable, a fruit, a nut or seed and an "extra".  Extras consist of a variety of things including treats, GF pastas, fruit gummies...etc. 
  • A visual recipe binder would be used - starting with a few things and then growing it as we find recipes that the student likes.  The binder would be divided in to sections based on the types of foods (listed above) so that the student can choose items from each section.  Each recipe would also include ingredient lists that are made up of PEC symbols (these would be used in the production of a shopping list).
Thursday Morning Process
  • The student would spend some time each Thursday morning (with the assistance of a learning assistnt) planning out his meals for the following week.  The formula would be used to make a meal plan.  There will be a visual that is used to map out the week.
  • Once the meal plan is laid out an ingredient list will be made (again using a visual board) by taking the ingredient PECs from the recipe page and putting them on to the list.
  • The student and learning assistant will then go through the ingredients that they have at the school and sperate the ingredient list in to "already have" and "need to buy".  The "need to buy" list becomes the grocery list.
  • The grocery list gets split in to types of groceries (produce, meats, canned/dry goods...etc.) so that it is easy to use in the grocery store.
Friday Morning Shopping Trip
  • On Friday mornings, the student and learning assistant will take city transit to the grocery store. 
  • At the grocery store, they will locate all items they need and then go through the check-out and pay for the items.  Long term we are looking at setting up a bank account for this student so that he can take money out of a bank machine and properly store it in his wallet or else pay with his bank card.
  • Once the student and learning assistant return to the classroom they will unpack and work on proper food storage of items.
Larger Recipes and/or Baking
  • We will find time during the week to make things that take some time or are baking types of things.  These things will be stored in single serving containers so that they can be used for future weeks as well.  Time will be dependent on what is in the meal plan in any given week.
Each Day at Lunch
  • Student and learning assistant will go about making the lunch - gathering materials, following visual recipe.
  • Student will enjoy the lunch and then do all the clean up involved with the lunch.
Possible Menu Using Above Formula:
Turkey sandwich (use GF wrap or bread)
Orange Wedges
Carrot sticks
Corn chips
Hot dogs and beans
Steamed Beans
Mixed Nuts & Seeds
GF Baking (made at different time)
Cucumber Slices
GF Pancakes
GF Chicken Nuggets
Fruit Smoothy (frozen fruit)
Cherry Tomatoes
GF French Fries
Ground Turkey or Hamburger
Snack Mix with raisins and/or berries in it.
Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions
Snack mix with nuts seeds and cereal in it.
GF Pasta and Pasta Sauce

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday's Weekly Comments

I had to comment to Kate's Video Blog of the Day post on her blog (Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs).  I love this idea and it has really made me think about making morning gathering time more age-appropriate for my older students.  I am refocusing their time to work strictly on teen culture types of things (music, videos, movies...etc.) and communication skills (with adaptive technology obviously added in there).  I will continue to work with some of the students on the tradition morning gathering things (calendar, weather, communication books...etc.) but I'm really seeing the need for something different for several of my students.  This post gave me the boost I need so stay tuned for a post about the changes I'm making to morning meeting :).

I recently found this great blog entitled The Autism Teacher.  As I was digging through it, I found a post titled My classroom's physical set up.  What a classroom!  Some great ideas for materials and organization that I'm still processing but had to post a thank-you about all the food for thought that this teacher gave me.  Wow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday's Motivation: Seeing Ability in Disability

This one has a special personal meaning for me.  Just over ten years ago I adopted my son Mikey who happens to have Down syndorme.  He has been my greatest teacher through the years.  My life path has changed as a result of being his mother.  I am so blessed.  As teachers we sometimes get caught up in what we can teach others but I think its important to always stop and think about what others can teach us.  This video is a reminder of the things that I learn everyday from each of my students (weather they can voice it in a traditional way or not).