Sunday, March 30, 2014

School Lunch in London

I'm in London staying in a private home through AirBnB.  This is such a nice way to travel!  One of the perks is you get a glimpse of life here through the way your host lives.

Posting things on the front of the refrigerator seems to be common across cultures and my hostess had the school lunch menu displayed.

Here are some sample entrées....

-Organic beef and basil spaghetti
-Mexican lamb chili with rice
-Caribbean fish with mashed potato
-Shepards pie with new potato

What I didn't see? (typical American school lunch), nachos, chicen nuggets, chocolate milk

A quick internet seach revealed england has an obesity problem (24%) compared to US 35% but maybe they are ahead in combating the problem in school lunch choices.

Friday, March 28, 2014

London snippets

I know I said I would not be blogging but i couldn't resist trying out the blogger smartphone app.  I just have a few London photos.  More tomorrow.
We're staying at a cozy flat in Finsbury Park through AirBnB.  Chesp and convenient!  Plus the owners left for the weekend so it's empty!
  We spent time today walking along the Thames.  The picture is near theTower of London.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Peace Corps Update--Happiness spans the continents

Andorra, now one year into her Indonesia Peace Corps assignment, recently took a little vacation to Komodo Island.

Andorra in the middle

Her friend posted an awesome video---Andorra's not in it, but her friend is front and center in some of the frames.   I loved this video for the spirit, happiness, energy, and the music which seems to cross cultures and continents.  Enjoy!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Ants Everywhere---printable Spanish version with link to English too!

A couple of years ago, I created Ants Everywhere.  It has been a big hit (probably because everyone knows ants, and they can be everywhere!)  It's life, for better or worse!

Here's the link to Ants Everywhere in English.

I recently had a request from a colleague for a Spanish version of Ants Everywhere --
                      "Las Hormigas en Todas Partes"

I used Google translate, and then had our wonderful secretary (a native Spanish speaker) do the editing.  If anyone notices mistakes, let me know.  It's all easy to change!

You can print this, and there are icons at the end to use as a matching activity if you want. There is also a sentence strip to elicit more than one word.  There are two different prepositions---on and under. 

Have fun!

Complete book

Click here to download Spanish version of Ants Everywhere in Boardmaker

Click here to download Spanish version of Ants Everywhere in pdf
icons and blue sentence strip

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Honored and Humbled

Last week at the North Carolina Speech Hearing and Language Association dinner, Chapel Hill Snippets was recognized. 
There weren't a lot of awards presented---the list is here, so the fact that I was nominated and then deemed worthy was amazing, especially in the presence of so many outstanding, hard-working speech pathologists, who are leaders in the field. 

I'll always treasure this certificate and the memory of that evening!!!!  Thank you NCSHLA!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye ----Helen Keller

Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

This past year, I've had the pleasure of mentoring a young man with autism, Erik, in his quest to become an Eagle Scout.  His final Eagle project, after exploring different options, was to clear a lakefront at the Carolina Living and Learning Center, and embellish the area with bird houses and flower bulbs.

Bird house construction

Speaking about his project to the entire troop--a daunting task for a person with communication difficulties, but he did it!

Clearing Lake Front

Not only did he have to plan this, but he had to lead scout crews on multiple days.  This all took some patient coaching (by me) but he was delightful to work with and did a great job.

Completed Project!!!!

Last Sunday, was Erik's Court of Honor with Troop 820 in Chapel Hill, and we were all extremely proud.   Achieving this rank took years of merit badges, camping, advancement requirements, leadership positions, and meetings.  It's no easy feat for any boy, and rarely happens with scouts with disabilities.   I learned so much about scouts, autism, and teenagers while helping Erik, and will always remember this wonderful day.

Pot Luck Preparations

Boy Scout Oath and Law

Backed by the Eagles of Troop 820
Proud parents! 

Congratulations Erik!   

“Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”
Helen Keller


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Common Core--Informal Assessment based on Marzano's 1st Grade Math Vocabulary

Last week, I posted an informal assessment based on Common Core math vocabulary for kindergarten. I've given this assessment to my kids ranging from first grade to fifth grade, and the results are astounding.

As I sit in classrooms and in IEP meetings, what is apparent to me is that my students (those who are language impaired) don't have the foundations in math concepts and vocabulary to be proficient in the higher level tasks asked of them in the classroom.  I find holes in what they should have learned in previous grades and my homemade assessment based on this book validated my beliefs.

I have now created an assessment based on first grade math vocabulary from this book--Vocabulary for the Common Core.  My intent is to administer this to children who struggle in math in 2nd grade and older.  First graders are still being taught this in the regular education classroom.

My second grade students should be given both the kindergarten and first grade assessments.  Later, I plan develop one more assessment based on 2nd grade math vocabulary, and then will switch to Marzano's Common Core literacy vocabulary.  Focusing on the early grades is my goal.

   As an example of a vocabulary concept, the first screen shot to the right focuses on the word 'strategy'.  In my school, I hear teachers use this word about 50 times a day---I'm not sure my students understand it. For this assessment,  I took the word out of the math context into a familiar setting to see if kids can answer the question in a way that makes sense.  

The next screen shot on the left shows easy ways to see if the child can demonstrate a few concepts introduced in first grade.  Again, this assessment is for second graders. First graders are still learning these in the regular classroom.

There are five pages total--vocabulary is straight from the book, and assessed as simply as possible.

Let me know what you think.  I didn't include concepts that were more 'math' such as place value, and computation.  I also want to give this to typical second graders to see if they can actually answer the questions (I've been out of school for a couple of days, but plan to do this).  If typical kids can't answer the questions, this test will need changed a bit to really be a valid indicator of a gap in learning.

Click here to download my Informal Assessment based on Marzano's 1st grade math vocabulary.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Springtime Collection!

Here is another collection to make your planning go more smoothly.  Spring will come, even in the north east!  These are printables I've acquired over the past couple of years.

I'm continuing to work on a first grade common core math vocabulary assessment.  Look for that to come out in a few days.

Flowers Everywhere --printable book

Springtime Preposition Bingo
What is on the Flowers--printable adapted book

Spring Counting Adapted book
Kites over Everything

Verbs of Spring--printable adapted book