We are officially in the holiday season and it is my favorite time of year. Not just because I love the hustle and bustle, or the lights and presents, or even the food and family, but because I find teaching to be so much more enriching!!!
It is so great to share among the students all the different family traditions. I also enjoy watching the kids get excited about the holiday decorations…but the best part about teaching during the holiday season is learning about the celebrations of other countries during this time of year!
Alex and Wyatt learned about Las Pasadas, the Mexican tradition during Christmas time. Keeping in mind to engage as many senses as possible, we learned about Mexican Christmas by completing all of the following:
- reading a passage and answering questions
- reading from a book and discussing afterwards
- watching a short youtube film
- making the recipe for the Mexican drink “ponché”
- crafting a poinsettia
What an exciting way to read a book!
Just like watching a 3D movie, this book about bugs requires the use of 3D glasses…
Did the book have giant words that were beyond Alex’s reading level? Yes. Was the genre -informational text- challenging? Yes.
But these higher level characteristics didn’t seem so daunting with an added element of multi-sensorial fun!
I love finding resources like this one.
The Connections curriculum by The Apple Group has aided tremendously in Alex’s success this school year. The best part about utilizing Connections has been its ability to prevent any frustrations during the lesson. With Connections, there is always a solution to mistakes, and the student/teacher navigate at the student’s pace. This curriculum is also unbelievably thorough. I honestly cannot say enough good things about it!
Today we were in lesson 6 part IV: Finger Spell and Write/Build. Alex chose to build this lesson’s words using his magnetic set of letters. The steps are as follows:
- Teacher says the word
- Student repeats the word
- Student finger spells by separating the sounds of the word
- Student builds the word with letters
- Student names the letters he uses while building
- Student reads the word
- Teacher provides the word card so student may check work
Check out the video on Reaching Excellence Amongst Dyslexia’s Youtube channel: READ Videos
Currently in science we are studying rocks and minerals and kids seem to gravitate (ha!) to Earth Science… I am HERE FOR IT!
My goal with every subject and lesson is to make it as hands-on and as real-life as I can. Dyslexics and all children learn and retain so much more with multi-sensory teaching. Wouldn’t it be more fun and effective if instead of reading about rocks and minerals, we touched, smelled, and tested their hardness instead?
So I searched around for a rock testing kit and I found a really good deal on Amazon!
The kit just comes with a small pamphlet and 15 different types of rocks. In order to test the many characteristics of rocks, we added these other “scientific” items:
- Is the rock acidic –vinegar and a pipette
- Is the rock magnetic- magnet
- What is the rocks structure- magnifying glass/microscope
- What is the rock’s texture- bare hands
- What is the rock’s luster- artificial light/natural light
- The rock’s hardness- fingernail, regular nail, penny
- Is the rock buoyant- water
Needless to say the lesson was a success!
The Sky is the Limit
Last week our classroom took two science field trips. First we visited the Science Museum in Orlando, which was an incredible experience for Alex, Wyatt and Island. We spent four hours exploring four different levels of the museum!
CO2 Cars at the Science Museum
After the science museum, we headed over to a true Florida staple: Gatorland! There was a lot to learn at Gatorland, in addition to many animal encounters and shows! Wyatt and Alex loved every second.
If you’re a parent – unless you have been living under a rock (haha) – you are familiar with these activities:
- Rock Hunting
- Hiding Rocks
- Painting Rocks
Kids EVERYWHERE have seemed to gravitate to this whole “rock adventure” craze and Alex, Island and Wyatt are no different!
Today, after a successful library trip, we made our way to the butterfly garden of Okeechobee! There were lots of hidden rocks located in this “secret garden” and it really was a magical experience for the students.
Racing to the Entrance of the Library
Who misses paper maps?
If you’re like me, you miss this antiquated way of getting around. There was nothing like the smell the old paper and having to squint to see itty bitty city names! Or how about trying to figure out which way to fold the map when done with it? Those creases never seemed to line up right. Haha, okay maybe I don’t miss those maps as much as I thought…
That being said, as a teacher, I can confidently say that the importance of map skills has fallen to the wayside – thanks to google maps and GPS on smart phones. But for many students and/or dyslexics, using a paper map as a learning tool can offer many academic opportunities.
Currently, Alex is using “Which Way USA” paper maps by Highlights to explore the U.S. states and their capitals.
Paper maps are multi-sensory and therefore work amazingly for all students, including dyslexics!
- Touch- Feeling the paper, folding the paper
- Sight- Seeing the entire state and the locations of the cities
- Smell- That old library book smell of used paper
- Sound- The crinkling of the paper when unfolding it and while using it