Monday, July 24, 2017

Using Mystery Questions

This summer I tried  Mystery Questions to change things up a bit.
The kids really got into it!

Here's how we did it.

I wrote some questions about a read aloud book on index cards and placed each in an envelope. I had a small group (no more then 5 students) so there was an envelope/question for each of them. All the envelopes went into a paper sack.

I enticed them by telling them about the Mystery sack before reading the book.

Immediately after reading the book, we talked a little about what happened in the story, then passed around the sack. Each student pulled out an envelope and read the question to themselves, some students needed some help doing this and that's alright!

Students took turns reading their question aloud and answering it.Sometimes they needed a clue or they could ask a friend to help them. I cautioned everyone not to help unless they asked. That gets tricky sometimes.

Pretty simple.

Great things about the Mystery Questions
  • Opportunity to read independently.
  • Promotes language skills.
  • Easily differentiated.
  • Motivating to practice comprehension skills.
  • Everyone gets a turn.
  • Hands on/allows movement.

Let me know if you try this!



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Camping in the Classroom

My favorite theme for summer school/Extended School Year is CAMPING. 
There's nothing better, it is a natural for incorporating outdoor activities when the weather allows and it's just plain fun! 
I have done it in the past with more flair and you can see that here.

This summer I didn't try to do tents. We had quite a few kids with wheelchairs, gait walkers and so forth and didn't want to have tents unless ALL could enjoy and participate. I saw a cool idea that would have worked for us at Our Small-Town Idaho Life.  I didn't get around to getting it together THIS time, maybe next summer! Here's a picture from their blog:

Nice, right?


Another difference this summer from the past sessions was the technology. We had it available and it was WORKING.  How cool is that??

I have mentioned this before that our district is big time into digitalizing (yes yes I know that isn't a real word, but I like it). I actually know how to create a Google classroom and make slides for lessons. So I did that A LOT. The boxes of books I usually bring did not have to be carted to our summer site either because it is all online. (OF COURSE I brought some books for the students to look at, technology cannot match that experience).

There are so many books and videos online.  All I have to do is link a video or website to the slide and it is ready to go. Making a slide show for the entire day ensures nothing is forgotten. However, I am veering off the path for today. I will talk about using Google Education at another time. 

This is the group area. We sit around the campfire to listen to a book, discuss, watch a video or do a song.

For the door, we color coded the hand colors, orange for the AM students, yellow for the PM students and red for the adults.

In order to address students' individual objectives, our schedule includes a "station" time. 

For the campfire, everything is real except the fire! I initially had a battery operated candle tucked inside the tissue and it glowed. Looked good. However, a student had difficulty leaving it alone and it was removed.

This "About Me" project is very flexible, some students wrote their information and others matched and glued the letters.
Everyone had their picture in a tent on the top. The way they did the background depended on their skills. Some kids drew and colored their own, others had help placing the grass, trees, butterflies, or sun. Snipping green paper for grass is a great way to practice scissor skills!
I love these kind of activities because most students can have a hand in doing them and they are all unique.

The page is part of a Special Ed. Daily Morning work packet from School Bells N Whistles, I have found this packet to be so very very useful! You can find it on Teacher Pay Teachers here.😎

Hope your summer is going well!



Source: Emoji Me from itunes
edited by PicMonkey

Monday, July 3, 2017

4th of July Art Project

I have really dropped the ball on this blog! Each weekend I consider writing a post and always find something else to do. I haven't posted since September! 

But I have something new to talk about.....I am teaching ESY (AKA summer school). It has been pretty fun, my class has a variety of disabilities and therefore, a variety of skill levels. It makes life interesting.

This week we focused on the 4th of July. We did a fun and easy art project.

The materials you will need:

Paints- red, white and blue
Toilet Paper rolls (one for each color of paint)
Paper plates 
Black or dark blue construction paper

First, cut the toilet paper rolls.
Depending on your students' skills, draw a line to indicate how far to cut. It is always a good idea to have a model.

Spread out the fringe so it will lay flat.

Next, pour the paint in a paper plate in a circular motion leaving the center empty, this is where the center of the TP roll will be located. It won't need paint.

Now,  make firework prints!

We made a red, white and blue print for each picture. The kids also discovered that it helped to push down the fringe or they didn't get as much of the print. For those who are very sensitive to getting their fingers messy, a wet wipe/paper towel helps them to continue doing the project while they wipe off their fingers every few seconds. OR, I just thought of this: give them Q-tips to use to smooth them down.
Last, add glue for the swirls and sprinkle with glitter. The glitter pens also work great!

My class and grandchildren enjoyed this project. It was quick, easy and most importantly....FUN!

I found this great idea from Heidi at Happiness is Homemade.

Our district is using Google Education. I included this slide on our presentation for the day. I love using Google slides, it is a daily visual lesson plan. It helps keep me on track and students are tuned into the visuals.

Hope you enjoy this,
Happy 4th of July!

Source: Emoji Me from itunes store.
Edited with PicMonkey.