Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ants Everywhere---translated to Indonesian; free and printable

Most of you will never need an adapted book in Indonesian, but if you have followed my posts, you may remember that I came upon a delightful school in Bali for children with disabilities. 


I offered to translate some of my things, with my daughter's help. She speaks Indonesian (and is currently in the Peace Corps in Indonesia).  She took this particular book to the high school where she teaches English, and after some debate over exact wording, this is a good effort.  If some of the words are not quite right, please let me know, and I'll change them.

The title of the book in English is "Ants Everywhere".  You can find the English version in pdf and boardmaker here.

If you want the Indonesian version in pdf, click here

These are screenshots of a few of the pages.
Use the icons to have the kids practicing matching, and also you can use the icons for them to practice naming the pictures.

Have fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Let's Keep Discussions Child-Centered and Professional

I don't know about other schools, but our teachers are drowning in state and local mandated assessments, and are under a lot of pressure. Data spreadsheets abound!  Kids who are scoring below average are highlighted in red, and interventions are mandated.  Meetings happen, plans are made, teachers worry, administrators frown.

no words

The unfortunate backlash on my special children appears to be a  push out approach (meaning push them out of regular education). There is lots of talk (both in meetings and around the water cooler) about more restrictive settings, and needing a 'one on one' to be allowed in......I have no words.

Actually I do have words, and I say them, frequently, at our many meetings.  I'm a believer in the Least Restrictive EnvironmentKids don't not need to earn inclusion and I think federal law will back me up.  A very small percentage of children need a self-contained classroom-----most don't and should be educated as much as possible with their school-aged peers.  I could go into a litany of research about the benefits on inclusion in terms of behavior, communication skills, reading, and social skills, but instead, you should just watch this movie.


The above paragraphs just set the scene for this encounter. 

After discussing one child for the 50th time, a person said some things to me below.  Here are my replies.

Dear School Leader,

When discussing the educational fate of a school-aged child, please refrain from these comments.  I didn't feel like replying then, but after stewing about it, I'm taking the cowardly way out and replying here. Maybe this will help some of my colleagues and children nationwide and writing helps me to reflect on this encounter.  Your comments to me are underlined.  My replies follow.

1. You think (child) is going to go to Harvard (sarcastic look inserted here).   
My answer: I don't believe college came up in any conversations.  As a professional, I know well what the child's particular disabilities are, and I'm more concerned about what environment will promote the best behaviors for learning. I'm realistic about long term prognosis, but don't think that most regular ed peers go to Harvard anyway.

2. It doesn't matter to you. You're going to retire in two years.
 My reply:  It does matter both to me and to the kid. I'm a professional and he is my student.  No one's future at our school is certain and chances are, no one at the IEP meeting will be at the table in five years when child in question enters middle school.

3.  You just love (child). That's why you think this way.  
My reply: I feel like a broken record, I'm a professional and am not blinded by love or smiles.  I am looking for the environment that would promote the best behaviors for learning. I love lots of kids in all settings, which is why I work in a school.

The bottom line is that we need to keep this a child-centered discussion.  Personal comments about my nearing retirement, sarcasm, and jabs at my professionalism don't bode well with me.  I'm thankful that I'm at the school to advocate for all of my children. 




Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Busy Week for Dogs (Days of the Week in a fun way!)

My kids often need a bit of help understanding time, and the days of the week. It's sometimes hard for me to understand this difficulty---my week is so regimented in schedules, therapy sessions, meetings, and Google calendars that I not only know what day it is, I know it in 30 minute speech schedule increments. I know what days I don't work, and I know when holidays are.  I ask a kid what day it is though, and time is a mystery.

Here's a cute book I just made on Tarheel Reader, and have a link below for you to download and adapt. It's all about dogs and what they do on each day of the week.  It has a cute little ending---see if the kids can predict what that last little dog will do!  Have your kids sequence the icons---what happened first? second? last?  Match the icons to the days on an actual calendar.  See if they know what today actually is. Possibilities abound!

I got this idea from a book I've used with kids entitled 'Cookies Week'.  It's about a frisky cat---same pattern, very cute.

You can have the kids pose for pictures of what they do on different days of the week and publish a class book.  

Click here to download the book, free as usual.

If you have kept up with my bird banding daughter, she has arrived in Pago Pago, and enjoying herself. I need to stop worrying.

American Samoa drink

Friday, October 31, 2014

Do what you love; Love what you do!

I have one daughter in the Peace Corps in Indonesia.  Now the other is leaving tomorrow for the Pacific, too!  She'll be in the American Samoa.

Vicki has always had an extreme passion for birds and ornithology, so she will be banding tropical birds there for the Institute for Bird Populations.  It's nice to be able to do something you love in a tropical paradise!  She'll be on the island of T'au for 5 months. 

We'll miss her terribly, but this is an opportunity very few get.  I'm looking forward to lots of pictures!

Island of T'au (population 800 or so)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Getting ready for Thanksgiving--Small Collection of Free Materials and Ideas

Hi Everyone!   October ends--November begins--the year goes on.  Here is a post from last year of all of my favorite Thanksgiving things.  I'll most likely add a couple more, so check back.

----------------------------------------------------last year's post-------------------

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and if I can teach children to say thank you for their many blessings, I feel I've done my job well.  Here is a small collection of what I've shared over the past two years.  I'll be adding on, so check back.

Turkey Counting--Your kids could make a counting book--read about it here

Printable directions here

Turkeys Everywhere---printable book

Thanksgiving preposition bingo

Thanks for Thanksgiving--great book, printable icons

5 Little Turkeys--printable adapted Boardmaker book

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Make It Yourself Time (When there is no instructional money)

Here in beautiful North Carolina, there is no money for purchasing instructional materials.  It's 'make it yourself time'!   I have many of the Social Thinking materials that we've purchased from grant money, but when it comes to visual aids to actually teach the kids, we make our own.

My OT friend, Tamika, has a volunteer that made this lovely social behavior mapping poster.  We laminated it so that we can use a dry erase marker during groups, or in the classrooms as situations arise.

 I'm sharing this idea with you in case you also need to make your own due to working in a low budget environment.    Happy cutting and gluing!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Orlando Bound Soon!!!!

Once again, I'm going to my favorite convention---ASHA, this time in Orlando, November 20-22!    

I've been to Florida, never to Orlando.  Look for upcoming blog postings on:
  • Gluten-Free dining options in the area
  • Terrific speech/language presentations
  • Geocaching Events (Hubby is coming along--this is his focus)
  • Our AirBnB
  • Special ASHA events

I've been so busy lately that I have not researched exactly what I want to do there in terms of actual conference activities.  Often at conferences, I scan the program each morning, pick many presentations, and go to as many as I can.  I definitely want to seek out technology experts, social skills presentations, and anything related to evidence-based practice in language.  I'm rarely disappointed.

More to come!