Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In celebration of Earth Day we read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Then the entire 1st grade divided up into different groups to complete 1 piece of the bulletin board you see above. Each group represented 1 of the animals in the story.They also created a speech bubble to tell how we could help to keep our planet clean or how we could help preserve the habitats of their specific character.
My kiddos also worked on the app, The Lorax Garden, which was free for Earth Day but is now 99 cents. In this app, students help the Lorax regrow the Truffula Tree forest. This was a great tie-in with our current science unit on Organisms as we had recently planted seeds in our classroom. Students are checking on their virtual gardens first thing every morning and before recess to continue to water them and watch them grow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Today we worked on telling addition number stories using money. We put a technology twist on this lesson with great results. Each group of 3 worked on an iPad using an app called DoodleBuddy.(Individuially or groups of 2 would have been ideal, but we aren't fortunate enough to have that many iPads)
Each group member went into the the stampers and chose an item that they wanted to purchase and stamped it on their screen. They then saved their group picture to the Photo Album of the iPad. Next, students opened up an app called Educreations, which is basically an interactive whiteboard, and imported their picture from the Photo Album. 
Next students each chose a money card which had various coins on it. We grouped them into easy, normal, and challenging so we could modify for all of our learners. Students then counted the coins on their card and then wrote that amount next to their item.
After they completed this step they needed to work as a group to create a number story that would work with their items and record it using the app. 
Once everyone was done, each group presented their stories to the class using their iPad. The stories were fantastic- lots of creativity and the learning was right on target. The groups were so engaged that many of them actually had time to create 2, 3, or 4 different number stories! All in all I would say the entire process including modeling took us 35-45 minutes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month and is again offering many of their iPhone/iPad apps for FREE during the entire month of April. These are fantastic apps that use Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to teach academic, language, and communication skills to children with special needs or developmental delays. These apps are not just for children with special needs; they have also been successfully used with typical children of all ages and populations. I have personally used some of these apps with my son and had great success with them. Thank you for your generosity and for all of your great apps!

The free apps include:
Another great resource is  the Technology in (SPL) Education Facebook page. This website collects and distributes tools, hardware, and applications available for the enhancement off technology in education with a special emphasis on Special Education. This has been a great site to watch for price drops and apps gone free over the past few days.
Yesterday for example in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, I was able to get the normally priced $49 Autism Track app for FREE. AWESOME! I am excited to learn how to use it and collaborate with my spec. ed. teacher in using it in our classroom next year!