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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Learning Communities profile on-site and a Low Incidence observation classroom

Learning communities for TDSB Interactive Whiteboard group claims 
There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. So why not share some information via multimedia - to meet the needs of all learning styles?
Here is a synopsis of what happens at our on-site Learning Communities with TDSB's Special Education teachers - at Burnhamthorpe Adult Learning Centre - in the West and Terraview Learning Centre in the East. There are six itinerant teachers in the A.T. department - three support the West and three in the East.
This particular video captured one of the West itinerant teachers, Lisa Mast, and a West Learning Community in action.

Learning Through Observing: An ISP  Experience (Low Incidence)

Some teachers from our Low Incidence Learning Communities (LCs), through the Group SEA claim process, had the fantastic opportunity to visit a primary/junior Developmentally Delayed classroom at Thorncliffe Park P.S. Liisa Smith, teacher, graciously opened her classroom up so that fellow colleagues within the TDSB could have the opportunity to see an IWB in action in a similar class to theirs. Along with Liisa, Sue MacVicar-Stewart, Low Incidence Consultant, also attended the session to share her expertise and knowledge.

Participating teachers observed the students engaged in functional numeracy tasks on both the IWB and at their tables using concrete manipulatives. They were impressed with the students’ level of engagement, attentiveness, and turn taking.

Students engaged in various functional numeracy concepts and activities on an IWB.
After the lesson demonstration, teachers had the chance to debrief with Liisa and Sue. At this time lesson ideas and interactive websites were shared, ideas for independent learning opportunities were discussed, and strategies for using the IWB for both a whole class lesson and as a student activity centre were explored.

Liisa Smith, teacher (left) supporting a student on the IWB during a patterning activity (Left);
Hands on task for students to demonstrate the concept of “Big, Medium, Little” (Right)

Teachers left the half-day session with lots of resources and ideas for their students and classrooms; eager to try them at their own schools. We look forward to both Liisa and Sue attending some of our future Learning Community Sessions so that other teachers can benefit from their knowledge and experience.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

S.E.A. team e-news and using the document camera to support all learners

The SEA enews (newsletter) is now on a new site!

The S.E.A. side news can now be found at: .

Get the latest information about how the S.E.A. department is supporting students with assistive technology. Subscribe so you can get the information automatically!

Using the document camera to support student learning
A document camera is the latest version of the overhead projector. Part of this year's SEA claim, current interactive whiteboard Learning Community teachers receive this peripheral during LC2 session. It's a teaching technology tool that helps to enhance student learning and provides a means that all student work can be valued and shared.

The ActiView document camera is part of this year's SEA claim.
Some ways to use the document camera

Live view - project what is placed directly under the camera
eg. prediction, inferencing from cover of the book
     -read alouds
     -sharing work, procedures broadcast on large screen
     - experiments
"Live" image of a book cover in the ActiView window.

Captured view - take a digital copy of what is projected and annotated, saved
eg. - journal or any writing, can be annotated on student work without marking up orginal paper
eg. math congress compare strategies and answers to promote thinking, questioning and sharing, One advantage of having captured work from the document camera is that the student work can be annotated on by the teacher or student and the original copy is left untouched. Or for fine motor skills support, the same paper assignment can be chunked and enlarged so a student can use the digital pen to record his or her answer.

The same cover has been captured and inserted into an ActiveInspire flipchart page for annotation and discussion.

Video capture - short, video (avi format) can be captured and replayed for use in the classroom in many contexts
The ActiView must be used in collaboration with ActiveInspire's screen recorder to get sound on the video.

eg. teacher or student presentation, practice oral communication, DPA, drama and dance etc.
Below is an example of a science experiment examining solutions.

Fall Host classroom Math three-part lesson and the document camera examples
The document camera can be used in many of the parts of the three-part Mathematics lesson. Below are some examples of Math congresses done during Host teacher sessions. In the below example Mentor teacher Stacie Berman from Dunlace P.S. has five of her students' calculations projected on the whiteboard during a host classroom session in November. As each example was discussed, the specific image was resized large to fit the screen and reordered to be on top and covering the other examples.
How can I represent money amounts? (P/J HSP)
In the Warden P.S. example, Mentor teacher Shailesh Maharaj's students can discuss and annotate images captured with his document camera. During this fall host classroom, the student discussed her problem solving method long after the classroom manipulatives were cleaned up.
Solving word problems (J/I HSP).

What is the algorithm? Following a Math Gallery walk in Jack Levy's Junior Gifted classroom at Three Valleys P.S., a student picked an example of a strategy that is different than his own to share and discussed the work. The example was captured and enlarged so that his peers in the classroom can see.
This blog entry illustrates just of the few applications of the document camera, in collaboration with the Interactive whiteboard and ActiveInspire software that promotes student learning. All students learning styles can be supported using visuals, sound and multimedia. Student work is valued and shared. For students with low vision, the digital images can be enlarged, while for students with memory processing difficulties, work that was captured can be saved, printed out and revisited on the IWB again and again.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Ways to access the Interactive Whiteboard

Ways to support accessing the Interactive Whiteboard

Many Special Education Teachers in TDSB are discovering the different ways to use the Promethean Board as a tool to support student learning. In the classroom, teachers and students often use the ActivPen and touch (finger) to access the Promethean Board. We wanted to remind you that there are other ways to interact with the Board that might make participation for all students more accessible. Below you will find some suggestions of other ways for teachers and students to interact with lessons and activities on the Promethean Board.

Button on pen = right click

Finger (touch)
Touch Options in ActivInspire:
• touch turned off
• touch as select (pointer) only
• full touch 

(use touch with any tool in ActivInspire)

ActivWand helps students reach the board (great for students in wheelchairs). NOTE: you need to press button on wand to select objects on the board. (button = left click)
Adding foam tip (taken from a microphone) to ActivWand reduces noise when wand touches the board (great for students with sensory sensitivities).

Allows student or teacher to interact with the Promethean Board from anywhere in the room. The ActivPen you use with the Slate is the same as the ActivPen you use with the Board.

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse
Allows student or teacher to interact with the Promethean Board using the wireless mouse or type in text using the wireless keyboard from anywhere in the room.

ActivPen in Tennis Ball
Students can grasp tennis ball with two hands and interact with the board. This is great for students who have difficulty holding a pen.

ActivPen in “Squishy” Ball
Students can grasp “Squishy” ball with one or two hands and interact with the board. This is great for students who have difficulty holding a pen.

Click the link to download your own copy of the above document created by the SEA team:
Ways to access the Promethean IWB

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Mentoring the Interactive Whiteboard Learning Communities


Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. ~ John Crosby

We are very fortunate to have some former TDSB Interactive Whiteboard Learning Community (LC) members acting as mentors for our current LC teachers. This opportunity gives experienced interactive whiteboard (IWB) users the opportunity to share their successes and challenges with using IWBs whilst offering support to new IWB users, to help them build on their own expertise. The "Come Back and Swim with Us" SEA team project is new this year. In total, there are 20 special education teachers from east and west regions TDSB participating as a mentor this year.

At a recent Learning Community for teachers who teach students with Learning Disabilities, mentor Michael Azzopardi from Millwood Junior School shared a Science lesson that he taught his students using the IWB.

Michael is displaying a graphic organizer used by a student in his HSP class on the IWB.
Michael demonstrated how picture clues were provided to the student along the left-hand side of the IWB. The student was then able to use the pen tool to jot their point form notes on the graphic organizer provided.

Michael then showed how student work could be captured, using a document camera, to help with editing student work. Michael had the students use “digital whiteout” by selecting the pen tool with white ink to erase their error. Students then chose a different colour to write in their correction. Michael found that more students were able to catch their own errors when their work was displayed on the IWB.

Modelling the editing process: Michael demonstrating how student work was captured using the document camera so that students could edit their own work on the IWB.

This sharing of best practices inspired many of our current Learning Community members to appreciate the different ways the IWB and peripherals can support student learning.