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Autism and STEM Education

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 1.49.10 PM.pngIn an article from Science News, August 15, 2011 entitled Inflexibility May Give Pupils With Autism Problems In Multitasking which discussed primarily deficiencies, namely, how students with autism stick rigidly to tasks in the order they are given to them. According to the research, the students had difficulty with ‘prospective memory’ or remembering to carry out their intentions, thus it was concluded that this attributed to the challenges they face. My mind immediately shifted to what I have observed in schools and which brought me to share a few techniques that may enhance memory and multi-tasking with Autism students. One of the most important aspects of teaching a student who has Autism is the idea of what is going on in their world and how to multi-tasking in order to focus on a variety of tasks throughout the day.

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National Proofreading Day

Laptop Work-10.jpgNational Proofreading Day is March 8, 2017. The purpose of the day is to promote mistake-free writing. If you are anything like me, you may be familiar with several editing marks and you would definitely love to be able to use them on social media posts! The reality is that we (the public) do judge individuals based upon their writing skills. Maybe we shouldn’t grammar-shame, but every individual is provided with an education that will improve their writing skills if they choose to take advantage of it. Students should be aware of the image they are projecting by any of their writing selection structures, whether that be on resumes  or social media posts. There may not be much we can do about the content, but we can teach the importance of proofreading your writing and editing as needed. The following website has many resources that can assist you with this: http://nationalproofreadingday.com/

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National Grammar Day Ideas

Little-Asian-Girl-With-Computer.jpgNational Grammar Day is a great way to get students excited about writing! Students often spend much of their time texting that they often forget the importance of apostrophes, punctuation, and the art of writing. Today we will discuss contractions, punctuation, and online writing tools.

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The Flipped Classroom: Benefits Students with Special Needs

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 12.08.57 PM.pngHow does Flipped Learning benefit students with special needs? In 2009, Cole and Kritzer wrote an article in Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28 (4), 36-40, titled Strategies for success: Teaching an online course explains that the reason the flipped model is considered a strength amongst educators is that it allows for a more efficient use of class time. “. . . In the flipped classroom, students can get the most out of class time by spending it on practical application, not on inactive lecture.” Cole and Kritzer add that lecture content can be provided through electronic means, and this modality allows teachers to improve the quality of their video lecture or short instruction to a manageable length with an emphasis on important points and less extraneous information. For example, teachers support and enhance lessons by assigning reading selections through an eBook library, such as Big Universe, on specific subject matter content material in areas taught throughout the quarter. In doing so, students read ahead and prepare for active learning in the classroom, whether a writing activity, classroom discussion, or project-based learning, this is just one example of the framework in a flipped classroom model.

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Freedom Writing: Students Expressing Ideas About Current or Controversial Events

to-write-774648_1920.jpgHow can we support kids as they process their feelings about current or recent events happening in our world? Today’s students had a front-row seat to school shootings, terrorism events, political conflict, and drug-related deaths for example within recent years, and they might have feelings of confusion, fear, or frustration. Educators have to navigate discussing these conversations and encourage students without promoting their personal views. Though it may be challenging to do, you can take these moments that have real impact students’ lives and make it a teachable moment for students.  Here’s how I’ve done this in the past when working with my students.

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Freedom Writing: Students Expressing Ideas About Current or Controversial Events

to-write-774648_1920.jpgHow can we support kids as they process their feelings about current or recent events happening in our world? Today’s students had a front-row seat to school shootings, terrorism events, political conflict, and drug-related deaths for example within recent years, and they might have feelings of confusion, fear, or frustration. Educators have to navigate discussing these conversations and encourage students without promoting their personal views. Though it may be challenging to do, you can take these moments that have real impact students’ lives and make it a teachable moment for students.  Here’s how I’ve done this in the past when working with my students.

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STEM Integration- Celebrate National Inventor’s Day

desk-912577_1920.jpgToday we will be discussing STEM and the process of implementing it into your teaching. Many schools are using STEM to enrich their students. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This is not a program that is implemented in schools, but a philosophy based on problem-solving. By doing STEM activities, you are promoting problem-solving skills. These components are vital to teaching 21st century skills that  involve your child’s ability to cooperate, collaborate, and communicate. You can build these skills and teach STEM through everyday activities. National Inventor’s Day is celebrated on February 11th. We will brainstorm ways to get ready! These activities are meant to be simple, yet exciting to your preschool all the way to your high school students. Students will learn that by working together through their answers it promotes life-long learning and leadership.

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Safer Internet Day

aHKb3UyL.jpg.partHow many individuals do you know that do not utilize the Internet in any form or fashion? I would say that you would be hard-pressed to name even one. The Internet has taken over our society. Although it has its pros, there are also cons. We’ve seen an increase in cyberbullying as well as the broadcast of material previously thought to be private. How do we prepare our students to utilize the Internet effectively and safely? One way is to acknowledge Safer Internet Day that is celebrated on February 7 this year. This day of recognition began in Europe over a year ago. It was designed to promote the safe and responsible use of the Internet and other digital technology to children and young adults. Safer Internet Day was officially recognized in the United States in 2012, but became a highlighted day of recognition beginning in 2013. This year’s theme is “Uniting for a Better Internet.”  The idea is to recognize and feature good deeds and leadership of children and young adults. Some ways that you can get your students involved:

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Creating A Makerspace Learning Environment

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 2.54.10 PM.pngThe Maker Space is a learning environment where children, teens, adults, and families can tinker, design, and create together. Customarily, ideas range from wood working, plaster casting to electronics and 3-D printing, and the movement encourages experimentation, open-ended exploration, and belief that making mistakes is a great way to learn. Over time this new fade is based on the premise that individuals can solve problems when given the opportunity to “tinker.” A maker space challenges and inspires youth to become design thinkers and innovators.

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