Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pingüinos, Pingüinos--Penguin Counting book in Spanish

I've taken a few days off from blogging---in fact, I took a long weekend to visit my daughter who is banding birds on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.    She is living under very 'harsh' conditions!   Maybe I should apply for such an internship.  

Low tide on Kiawah
Now I'm back, and wanted to share the latest translation by Lindsey Leacox, a speech pathologist who also believes that our Spanish speaking EC kids should have books for their parents to read with them at home.  I realize it's not exactly penguin season, but bookmark this for later.  January will be here before you know it!  Go here for my original post about the penguin book in English.

Thank you Lindsey for taking the time to do this, and for sharing it with me!

Go here to download Spanish penguin book and icons

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cosas que hacer in la escuela--Spanish translation of "Things we do at School" Free

Obama was asked about bilingual education, especially given current climate of immigration. Obama believes that everyone should be bilingual or even “trilingual.” “When we as a society do a really bad job teaching foreign languages – it is costing us when it comes to being competitive in a global marketplace,” he said. 

It doesn't make sense to me in special education that we wouldn't provide Spanish speaking parents a way to improve the literacy of their child. At my school, EC has largely ignored the home language of the child, and forged ahead in English.  Although most of the staff can't provide native language instruction, the parents certainly can if provided the materials.  My vision here is to expand my free blog items to include a Spanish take-home library of adapted books for the parents to read with their special needs children.

Here's the next book, based on the English version of  Things we do at School.

 I want to thank Clarita Rossi, our multi-talented bookkeeper at Ephesus, for editing this. Although I know some basics, and can use Google translate with common sense, I'm not fluent or proficient in Spanish.

Click here to download the Spanish version of "Things we do at School."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Changing the mindset---Kids shouldn't have to 'earn' inclusion

I've loved my job this year.  Our school system is trending towards inclusion for all but the most cognitively disabled children!  This means, for me, now many of my children, who once were in a special class, are now in a classroom of typical peers, with resource teaching.  I've been going into classrooms and have been thrilled with how well the kids are doing!

 I've seen:
  • participation on an equal footing in 5th grade French
  • walking in line in the hallways correctly
  • a kindergarten child reading all of his classmates' names
  • kids teaching a peer with autism how to play games on the playground
  • writing sentences with capital letters, commas, and periods
  • perfect writing on the little whiteboard in kindergarten (who would have thought?)
  • regular education teachers taking ownership of the children, nurturing them in so many ways
  • typical peers raising their levels of expectations
And it's only the first month of school!  The kids have made more progress in one month than they made all last year.

As I've been going into classroom, a few things have jumped out at me.  Many, many of the 'regular' classroom population have their own set of disruptive behaviors, learning issues, and emotional problems. As I've watched, several of the children seem to be on the spectrum, with the teachers providing accommodations within the natural setting.  Why should some children have to 'earn' their way in, while their classmates (many with their own problems) are just there?  Sometimes, it's quite indistinguishable between 'my' kids, and their classmates.  Often 'my' kids are better, and unfortunately, 'my' kids are held to a higher standard than the regular population before being allowed to enter the realm of regular education.   Thank goodness that my school system is shifting in philosophy. 

Which child in the photo is the EC child?  You might be surprised.   (Hint: It's not the one acting like there's a tornado drill, which is her position every day.)    If an EC kid had done that on a daily basis, there would be an issue with inclusion.
     The lesson here is that there can not be two different standards for kids and most kids shouldn't have to 'earn' their right to a least restrictive environment.

Obviously, because of my disability, I need assistance. But I have always tried to overcome the limitations of my condition and lead as full a life as possible. I have traveled the world, from the Antarctic to zero gravity.
Stephen Hawking

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Counting Horses --Spanish version

I envision a library of take-home adapted books for our Spanish-speaking kids.   How cool would it be for the parents, when the primary home language is Spanish!  From what I've researched, kids who have a strong literacy and language base in their first language do much better in the second language which often is English.  This is true for Spanish, ASL, Chinese, or myriad other languages that I've encountered at my school.

     Apparently, I have a new friend who envisions the same library of Spanish literacy materials--Lindsay Leacox, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, who has taken the time to translate several books posted on my blog into Spanish. 

I'll highlight the first one here--Counting Horses which is a beautiful book, now translated, thanks to Dr. Leacox. I hope I can actually meet her someday!  I was thrilled that she took the time to translate, and then shared with me.  More books to follow!

 Click here to download the Spanish version of 'Counting Horses'. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Las Hojas de Otoño--printable Spanish 'Fall Leaves' book and icons

Recently I received an email from a bilingual SLP who said she had translated some of my books into Spanish.  I really hadn't thought about providing these in other languages, but I do know that some of the Spanish-speaking kids I've worked with don't have adequate literacy materials at home.  I'd like to have a library of take-home adapted books in Spanish for those children, and any others out there from all over.

The dilemma is that I took two years of Spanish in high school, and have dabbled in it a bit online, but I'm not at all proficient even at the basic level.  My books in English are not high level, though, in terms of language, and Google Translate is a wonderful resource.  Once I've created a book, I have several friends who can check the grammar, and even better---I have all of my new blog friends who can send me corrections. 

Since it's fall (almost), I translated a book I had in English--"Fall Leaves"

Original version

I changed the grammar from the English slightly, so instead of using 'can be' on every page, in the Spanish version, I went with 'son (are)'.

Please let me know if you see glaring errors.  I also debated about the word for 'brown'. Apparently, there are several.

Spanish Version

These are the icons to make it more interactive.

This book would go along nicely with the traditional
fall theme.  Print it out, read it, send it home--have both English and Spanish side by side.  Possibilities abound!   If my readers like this, I'll translate some more of my things. It's actually a lot of fun to do!

Click here to download the Spanish version.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stump Speeches at Morgan Creek

 My husband and neighbors organized a really cool "Meet the Mayoral and Town Council Candidates Forum" at our house, right in our front yard.  The candidates were a wonderful, dynamic group of people!

I've included links and names below.

 Mark Kleinschmidt---current mayor of Chapel Hill, and running unopposed for another term.

George Cianciolo--running for town council

Sally Greene--past two term council member and appointed to the current  town council.

 Ed Harrison--incumbent town council member
 Loren Hintz-- seeking his first term. 
 Gary Kahn--also seeking his first term
 Paul Neebe--seeking his first term on the town council.
    A Google search revealed this interesting article.
 Maria Palmer--familiar to many, seeks her first term.
 Jonathan Riehl--seeks his first term
Amy Ryan--seeks her first term on the town council

One candidate for Town Council, D.C Swinton, could not attend this forum due to prior committments.

I am not endorsing any one particular candidate here.  I just wanted to put names with faces, and appropriate links.  If there are any web pages or links that would be more suited to a candidate, please let me know in a comment, or email (speech40@gmail.com) and I will change it.

I would like to thank all of the candidates who came to this, and the neighbors who attended and asked such thought provoking questions.  I would especially like to thank my husband, Dave, who spearheaded the whole production.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Five Red Leaves--printable book (Free as always)

How was your week?  Mine was highs and lows.  I visited my new granddaughter (now 6 weeks)  (obviously a high).  A former student of mine, a beautiful shining light, passed away (pretty much as low as it gets). School started (a high).  North Carolina General Assembly (a low).  Sorry if I haven't posted.

I'm wanting to post a 'Fall Collection' soon, as collections seem popular, and I want to be able to provide teachers and SLPs with free stuff, so to get ready for fall, I found an idea tonight and then used Boardmaker for this book.  Boardmaker, by the way, is generously provided by my school system.  If you don't have it, write a grant or ask for it.  Expensive--yes, but I honestly don't know how I functioned before I got it.  I used to hand draw my communication boards (of course, before Google images).

Books during speech therapy (for those of you who wonder why) are great for everything--in this case, phonemic awareness, integration with literacy/math goals, vocabulary, concepts of print, rhyming....the list could go on forever.   If you are working on articulation, just the 'L' sound alone should hook you. 

So, here are screen shots of the book.  I haven't tried it out yet (weekend and Labor Day interferes with school attendance).  In all honesty, I got the poem and adapted it from Boardmaker Share and written by Elise Klink. This was a great poem.  Thank you, Elise!

Mine is paper; Boardmaker Share version is meant for interactive Smartboard.  Mine is hands-on interactive--on selected pages, attach a leaf with velcro---be dramatic when the kid takes it off!   Key velcro pages are clearly indicated with the book. 

Click here to download the book in Boardmaker

Click here to download the book in pdf

Looking forward to fall!  Thank you, everyone, for following my blog! It means a lot to me.