Saturday, August 19, 2017

Educational Links 8/20/17

Study: Early Intervention Pays Off Quickly

A Day in the Life of a Child With Sensory Processing Issues

Brain Imaging Studies Seek Signs of Autism Before Birth

Should Literacy Instruction Be a Constitutional Right?

6 Things Policy Makers Should Do to Protect Student Data in the Era of Personalized Learning

Google Tutorials

Music That Focuses the Brain

Research indicates that music strengthens areas of the brain that, in a child with ADHD, are weak. Music strengthens the auditory, visual/spatial, and motor cortices of the brain. These areas are tied to speech and language skills, reading, reading comprehension, math, problem-solving, brain organization, focus, and attention challenges.

Cooking Chili in Our Special Ed Class

No, no, no Three Alarm Chili! Let's stick with templado.
Supremely versatile cooking tool.
 It is high school football season here in SoCal, and our Special Day Class is going to cook some chili--not the fancy,  competitive kind found in Chili Cook Offs--no, just pretty straight forward chili. At least until we get our STEM garden going and we have our own veggies and herbs.

Although we are considered a Life Skills class (Moderately/Severely Handicapped for Grade 9 and 10), we don't have access to a kitchen. So we will use a slow cooker and rice maker.

Woo-hoo, we're getting a new ricemaker!
I put rice on the lesson plan because my years living at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, gave us a marvelous chili experience (with Zippy's Chili being a fast food franchise and the chili was always over rice.)

We will follow the simple recipe on the seasoning packet. I will ask the students to see if parents have a special recipe for chili--lots do--but we are keeping it simple.We will check the weight measurement of beans and tomatoes. We will measure the rice and liquid. We will discuss temperature and time.

We will discuss courtesy and custom while eating.

Then we will plan the space for laying out a buffet style restaurant in our room, and sampling the chili in our classroom, at desks. Counting number of diners, and what each will need to eat. Laying items out, checking the flow of movement from chili to desk.

Time, again will be a consideration--actually, we will discuss these topics integrated throughout our academics for a few days prior to the event. Planning, recalling, estimating time--all important executive functions we work on every day. Discussion at large, talking with peers, executing the plans: all are marvelous opportunities to develop communication goals.

How to handle food while cooking, serving and eating? Wash hands. Don't forget the cleanup. Hygiene and sanitation. Clean, clean, clean.

We will follow the recipe on the seasoning packet, except for the little red onions from my own backyard herb/veggie garden. The students are starting their own Recipe Books, and will begin with this recipe. I am hoping they will report back on variations of chili from discussions at home. We can compare.

I will report back on our cooking project.

I am developing complete lesson plans for PDF on this series of activities for Cooking in a Special Ed Class: Chili and Rice. These will be available on my website. Will let you know when they're up!

My sweet little red onions from the Melanie Link Taylor Teaching Garden--including evidence of seeds--to be included in our classroom chili.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Educational Links 8/19/17


Shifting from Books to Technology in the Classroom

Using PBL to Meet C3 Social Studies Standards

Tech Finder: Expert-approved apps & games for your child

Normalize Setbacks By Asking Your Kids For Advice When You Struggle

6 Opening and Closing Routines for New Teachers

If later school start times are better, why aren't they more popular?

3 Areas of Executive Function

Executive functions let people plan, organize and complete tasks. Here’s a closer look at the different areas of executive function and the skills they affect.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Educational Links 8/18/17

Digital Note Taking Strategies That Deepen Student Thinking


Improving Social Emotional Skills in Childhood Enhances Long-Term Well-Being and Economic Outcomes

Back to School Anxiety

Plan a Parent Engagement Night That Sets You Up for Success

Learning is social and emotional; our classrooms should be too

ADHD is usually apparent from the first day of school, whereas dyslexia is often not recognized until fourth or fifth grade, when the shift is made from learning to read to reading to learn.” How to tell the difference, and get help.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Educational Links 8/17/17

Critical Knowledge: 4 Domains More Important Than Academics

My New Year Challenge: The Kind Classroom

Keep It Simple: Do These 4 Things Every Time You Teach

Reflections and Suggestions for First Year Teachers

How Libraries Can Turn Stories Into Maker Projects

Learning Disabilities: What They Are (And What They’re Not)

Building Students' Cognitive Flexibility

In today's world, the skillsets of cognitive flexibility are more critical and valuable than ever before. These skillsets include:
  • Open-minded evaluation of different opinions, perspectives, and points of view
  • Willingness to risk mistakes
  • Consideration of multiple ways to solve problems
  • Engagement in learning, discovery, and problem solving with innovative creativity

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Educational Links 8/16/17

Celebrate the Solar Eclipse with these Classroom Resources

Technology in the Classroom: How to Assess Writing

Children Learn Best From Storybooks When Characters Are Realistic

The Impact of Student-Created Apps

In addition to all the marketing, graphic design, website building, and content creation activities that take place when you create an app, the students are learning brainstorming and social entrepreneurship.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Educational Links 8/15/17


The ADHD Homework System That (Really) Works

The Best Resources For Planning “Learning Stations” – Please Add More

Autism May Reflect Excitation-Inhibition Imbalance in Brain, Study Finds

Math Skills: What to Expect at Different Ages

7 Essential Ingredients Of Project-Based Learning

What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Social And Emotional Skills’?

There is also new research indicating that school-based interventions to promote social and emotional skills have large, and long-term, positive impacts: an average of $11 for every dollar invested, according to an analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (which is a supporter of NPR).

Sunday, August 13, 2017

...just saying...

Educational Links 8/14/17

4 Soft Skills Needed to be Successful in STEM

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain

Evaluating Your Child for Dysgraphia

How to deal with a principal who just doesn’t “get it”

27 Ideas For Students That Finish Their Work Early

The Power of Mindfulness


Not all educators are won over by the bells and whistles that come with edtech.  Many teachers feel threatened by technologies that aim to “replace them,” and cannot keep up with the training and the push that comes from within the schooling system. According to eSparks Learning, teachers regardless of age or experience level harbor doubts about their ability to successfully use classroom technology.  So, if teacher’s skills and technology are to exist in harmony, there needs to be a balance. We need teachers’ talents and at the same time encourage them to start looking to the future.