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Friday, 28 February 2014

OneNote Across the Curriculum at Tecumseh P.S.

Tecumseh Continues to Thrive

Tecumseh students, under the direction of Miriam Taylor (classroom teacher) and Jarelle Christie (Child and Youth Worker), continue to show the many ways that OneNote can be used throughout their school day to support their organization and learning. Tecumseh is part of the Microsoft OneNote Pilot that has been initiated this school year in TDSB. The students have explored many of the features of OneNote through the training sessions provided to them and have applied these skills to support all areas of their schooling. At their last session, the students explored various ways to use tables and tagging in their daily school work.  

Display of the various ways students used 
OneNote to support their Speech Arts.
One student used the Draw Ribbon to create a graphic organizer to outline his speech (left), then used the Copy & Paste feature to collect research for his topic (right).
Students realize the power of using pictures/images
 to support their learning and understanding.
This helps me to understand. This part is the most helpful because I have difficulty with it (reducing fractions) and this helps me remember."
Another example of a student using OneNote to support their
organization and understanding of various concepts.

One student showed how easy it is to search for information within their OneNote Binder by using ‘tagging’ and then creating a tag summary to sort the tags.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Using videos to engage special education students

Engaging Students Through use of Videos

Using videos in your lessons helps students visualize key concepts, aids in their comprehension and helps to create meaningful learning experiences for students. 

Inserting videos (that have already been downloaded and saved) into ActivInspire is a great way to use videos on your Promethean Board. 

For instructions on how to insert a video into your Flipchart please watch our YouTube video tutorial:

One website where you can download educational videos is Learn 360.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Using the IWB to Engage Students in the GLE class

Krista Petersen at Lawrence Park Collegiate welcomed visiting teachers from our Secondary GLE/ASD Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) Learning Community to observe a lesson integrating IWB technology.  Visiting teachers observed a grade 11/12 GLE lesson focusing on the benefits of traditional vs alternative education for the special education student.

Students, first, brainstormed what education meant to them using a collaborative graphic organizer on the IWB.  Krista, then, used an embedded video link to the TEDTalk by 13 year old Logan LaPlante, “Hackschooling Makes Me Happy” to have students reflect on and generate background knowledge about alternative education.

Students then responded to quotes from the video and open questions to encourage a rich discussion about their beliefs regarding education.  The use of the ActivExpressions ensured that all students participated and had a voice in the discussion.

It was exciting to see the level of engagement and participation exhibited by the students in the lesson.  The students were clearly involved in their learning and are looking forward to researching in preparation for their class debate on the merits of traditional vs alternative education.
Thank you to Krista for providing the opportunity for the visiting teachers to see the IWB tools in action to encourage engagement and participation in the GLE classroom.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Supporting Reading Comprehension and Theory of Mind Development: Primary Autism ISP

IWB Learning Community – Co-Teaching at White Haven P.S.:
There was no better way to spend Valentine’s Day than co-teaching with Ms. Tse’s primary ASD class at White Haven Public School!
Together, Jackalyn Tse and Itinerant Resource Teacher, Christina Mathura co-planned and co-taught an engaging lesson on reading comprehension. The abstract concept of understanding what was read, can be challenging for many students with diverse learning needs. For this lesson, Ms. Tse chose to use the familiar text of “The Three Little Pigs” as a spring board for comprehension and theory of mind development.

Theory of Mind
According to researchers Dodd, Ocampo and Kennedy (2011), when reading with young children with an ASD asking questions that are factual and/or sequence-based is commonly practiced, however, posing perspective-thinking/emotionally-aware questions serves to support theory of mind development, and overall results in the development of strong reading comprehension skills.

Lesson Examples
Students used Actions on the page to help support them in recording their thinking. Student choice was built in as students had the opportunity to choose how they would like to interact with the IWB.
With one simple touch - directly from the flipchart page, students could choose either the:
-     Sound Recorder
-     Pen
-     Highlighter
-     Eraser (if they made a mistake)
By having the Actions live on the page, students do not have to navigate to the Toolbox to access the tools needs, and prompts/suggestions of tools are made visual and concrete.

Here, one student chose to demonstrate his thinking using the Drag/Drop Actions of the Pen/Eraser tools:

Similarly, another student chose to demonstrate his thinking using a Current Selection Action - the Sound Recorder:

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Microsoft OneNote pilot project: teacher LC1 & Blantyre P.S. session 5

OneNote project Learning Community 1

The Assistive Technology team’s Microsoft OneNote’s pilot project phase 1 teachers met at Terraview Learning Centre on Tuesday, February 18 for their first Learning Community session.

During the Intermediate teacher session in the morning, participating teachers shared strategies, successes, and features of OneNote that have supported their respective special education students with organization and learning.

The phase 1 teachers also brought work samples to share. While phase 1 continues, phase 2 is just beginning, and phase 3 teachers will be gathering for their initial Meet and Greet session on Monday.

In this photo, Mr. Wong, from Macklin P.S. shares a Math section of his student’s notebook and discusses how they use the software to solve problems.

Blantyre P.S. OneNote student session 5 recap

A day after the excitement of the phase 1 teachers' Learning Community of sharing, Ms. Klayman’s class at Blantyre P.S. had their fifth session. Trainer Dustin Jez had the students review how to use tags in OneNote as well as reflect on which tools they use often to complete their digital binders. The concentration of the session was on using OneNote to support research including the use of templates built into the software.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Math Mission: Using Assistive Technology and Desire2Learn to support Math Communication

(Click on the images to see more detail.)

The Mission:  As a class, we will walk around our school looking for patterns.  Using your iPod Touch, take pictures of patterns that you found in our school.  Choose your favourite 3 pictures.  Import the pictures into Notebook and explain the patterns using math vocabulary.

The Mission: The students in our class are going to have a Fraction Pizza Party. If a small pizza has 6 slices; a medium has 8 slices, a large has 10 slices and a party pizza has 20 squares. How many of each pizza should be ordered so that each person gets 2 slices? How can it be shared equally? 

The Mission:  Look at a page in your favourite magazine that has both advertising and information.  Which area is greater?  How do you know?

The Mission:  Use a number cube to generate ordered pairs.  Create a piece of coordinate artwork using the ordered pairs. Label the ordered pairs.

The Mission (note how the teacher used colour coding to chunk instructions and to help students focus on key information): 

Draw a bar graph for this story:
At a recent winter fun day:
- a lot of people tobogganed
- even more people skated
- not too many built snow sculptures
- the least number of people worked on a snow fort

Friday, 14 February 2014

Host teaching session at Maryvale P.S. - Jr DD class

As our Learning Communities progress, more teachers are participating in our job-embedded learning opportunities by co-planning, co-teaching, and hosting fellow LC teachers as observers.  On Friday February 7th, Rob Lovering Spencer, Jr DD teacher at Maryvale PS hosted a group of fellow DD teachers to observe a very patriotic Winter Olympics-themed lesson that was co-planned and co-taught with East Itinerant Resource Teacher, Etienne Mercieca.  

Mr Lovering Spencer was very careful to include elements that would allow his students to connect to the lesson, including visuals, the use of the sound recorder, and embedding video. He also found a creative use for the document camera by using it to allow the students to be able to see themselves on the Promethean board while following the movements being described in the video.  Rob differentiated his lesson to suit the needs of his various students by allowing them different ways and opportunities to engage in the lesson.  

Mr. Lovering Spencer inviting his students to share what they already
know about the Winter Olympics using the sound recorder.

A student sharing his thoughts
using the Sound recorder.

Mr. Lovering Spencer has now captured many of his students’ ideas. All students' voices are being heard and honoured.

Rob demonstrates his enthusiasm for the lesson. Students are given the choice of the wand or microphone to participate in the lesson.

A student uses the pen and eraser tool to reveal the words describing the picture. Mr Lovering Spencer also recorded his voice reading the words so that students could play the words to hear them, providing auditory support in the activity.

Observing teachers went away on Friday afternoon with a copy of the lesson, but more importantly, a number of new ideas to take back and try in their own classrooms. Thank you, Rob, for agreeing to host teachers from our learning community and thank you to you and your students for providing such a rich and insightful afternoon!

Opaleye LC teachers observing Rob’s lesson (from left to right): Rita De Pompa, Sumithiraa Arif Ahamed, and Hamideh Vassegh. Also at far right, Low Incidence Consultant, Sue MacVicar-Stewart, who also participated in the observation.

Monday, 10 February 2014

FOS Partnership: Using Read and Write Gold to Differentiate Writing Instruction

Teachers from Thorncliffe Park P.S.and Valley Park M.S. met with Deanna Cape, FOS Special Education Consultant, Christine Harvey Kerr, SEA Consultant and Valia Reinsalu, Itinerant Teacher for Assistive Technology for their third PLC.  The session focused on using Read and Write Gold software to support students with writing.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Using ActivInspire to Explore Patterns

Margot Meijer, an MID teacher at Charles G Fraser, co-planned and co-taught an introductory lesson on patterning with Itinerant Resource Teacher Andrea Statton.  Ms. Meijer wanted her students to be able to identify that patterns repeat, have a core and that patterns are predictable. For this lesson, students were focusing on patterns involving shape and colour.  Ms. Meijer also wanted to create a lesson that utilized more technology to promote student engagement and to demonstrate student learning.

A student identifying the core of the pattern.

Using ‘dual user’ in ActivInspire, students are able to work together to create a colour pattern.

A student shares what they have learned using the wireless keyboard.

Student share what they have learned about patterns. Some students type their responses using the wireless keyboard, while others share their thoughts orally, as the teacher annotates using the pen tool.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Supporting the research process using Read and Write Gold - FOS PD

Family of Schools PD: West Region 4 
Using Read and Write Gold to Support the Research Process

"The (WR4) Assistive Technology Session was so informative. They provided practical and simple ways to help all students with the research process through using Read and Write Gold. As teachers, we're always striving to effectively support our students and Read and Write Gold is a tool that we can integrate on a daily basis so easily!"
- Cindy Ray, MART, Broadacres Junior School

This week Itinerant Resource Teacher, Christina Mathura and Family of School Consultant, Waheeda Khan-Fitzpatrick collaborated to support the use of Assistive Technology throughout West Region 4. At this session, special education teachers and MARTs were provided with hands-on/exploration-based professional development on the ways in which they could use a variety of Read and Write Gold tools to support the research process for the students they support.

The Read and Write Gold tools discussed included:

1. Using the Word Prediction tool to support students in creating their own writing/thoughts from their researched material. In your Word Prediction Options – you can even select the Speech Option of “speak when mouse pointer hovers over word”. This provides students with auditory feedback in order to understand the words suggested in their prediction box.

2. Using the RWG Highlighters to highlight important information from multiple websites.

3. Using the Collect Highlights tool to organize all of your colour-coded highlights from multiple web pages into a Microsoft Word document.