I'm a special education teacher.
A monthly column that reviews trade books.
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Sat, Mar 09, 2019 4:34 PM in science lesson utilizing kite flying
I'm interested in creating a lesson that has to do with the science involved in kite flying and would like advice or input from you. I have high school students at various levels of skill development (special ed) and all of them are below grade level, so even a lesson intended for 6 grade on up can be adapted for my special day class. My students have many academic challeng...
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Sat, Mar 09, 2019 4:15 PM in engaging activities
My 10th grade Biology class will be dissecting an owl pellet. It's easy to incorportae a food chain lesson with that (i.e. owl - mouse - grain or carnivore - herbivore - plant). There are lot of materials for that on the internet, such as worksheets, charts, examples of food webs and other stuff for a lesson on that, all hitting NGSS and common core standards.
Tue, Mar 05, 2019 9:03 PM in Humor in the classroom
I used puzzle/riddle algebra worksheets that have corny jokes as the answer. A lot of times the answer is a play on words. Not all the students find them funny, but they know by now if the riddle's answer does not make sense, they calculated a probelm incorrectly and will self-correct their worksheet. (Personally, I like the corny jokes.)
Check out this website for algebr...
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Our Zoo to You
Thu, Feb 07, 2019 2:06 AM Visiting classroom pet
The article talked about an outreach program at the Folsom Children’s Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Lincoln, Nebraska that loans out animals to classrooms for students to observe and study. The program loans out various domesticated animals, such as geckos, snakes, legless lizards, horned toads, ringneck doves, ferrets, hedgehogs, African brown millipedes, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches for six weeks at a time during the zoo’s off season. The zoo still maintains ownership, and provides veterinarian care for all the animals. Classrooms are required to collect data daily on the animal for the zoo and submit it online. The article goes into more length about requirements, guidelines and lesson suggestions. I think this is an incredible program! It sounds like so much fun. I have considered having a classroom pet, but was hesitant to make that kind of commitment. The article did caution that many teachers have admitted participation in this program was time consuming and takes commitment. I wish my local zoo had such a program.
Teaching Through Trade Books: May the Force Be with You!
Thu, Feb 07, 2019 1:30 AM Inquiry-based Learning
This article reviewed two trade books. The first, Go, Go, Go! Kids on the Move by Stephen R. Swinburne is about stimulating young students’ interest in basic physics (force and motion) using their own body’s movement. I like the idea of that because I feel students need more physical activities when learning for a greater meaningful connection to what they are studying. Sometimes physics can be so dry. However, kinesthetic learning is a fun way to learn. The other trade book, Why Doesn’t the Earth Fall Up? And Other Not Such Dumb Questions About Motion by Vicki Cobb is about questions student’s ask that may be used to lead them to authentic science investigations to discover the answer. I enjoy reviews like this column because it helps me to find books I would not normally be aware of. With no few bookstores around, I can’t browse the way I used to. Selecting books online can be difficult because you don’t get to leaf through the pages. This column did an excellent job of selecting two useful trade books.
Methods and Strategies: Teaching About Animals
Wed, Feb 06, 2019 11:59 PM Taxonomy
I selected it because I was interested to know what conceptions the author would write about. They were predictable. Students and adults listed and categorized many of the same animals, such as dogs and cats. They focused heavily on vertebrates, specifically mammals because those are the animals that immediately come to mind. By the end of the article, the data she collected from her sample of students and adults reinforces that most people have limited knowledge of the animal kingdom and taxonomy. In my experience as a special ed teacher, not many of my students understand the difference between reptiles and amphibians. For example, they know about frogs but think a salamander is a reptile because it looks like a lizard. Yet frogs and salamanders have more in common than do salamanders and lizards. This article makes me wonder how many adults think the same way as my students. Perhaps that is because most people have seen more lizards than amphibians in their lives?
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