Monday, April 27, 2009

Photos and Adapted Physical Education

Hurdling with the hounds!

Tug of War
with an alligator!

My project for the MAT program
For my Individualized education plan (IEP) I decided to teach my mentor how to post photos highlighting events for special needs students that take place here in the Valley. I then took it a step further and showed her how to make photos more interesting by using Photoshop. Above are two examples of our creations.

As an Adapted PE student teacher, I visit up to ten different schools and see as many as 75 students a week. I thought it would be exciting for students and parents to have a site to post and view all the different activities that take place throughout the year.

My first step was to find an audience to teach how to display photos of k-12 special needs students participating in events here in the Mat-Su valley. My mentor, who believes she has a disability with using technology, volunteered with enthusiasm. We decided to start with posting pictures of Mat-Su Funday for the primary level. My hope is to inspire my students and their parents to post pictures of many school related events on Picasa for all to view. I chose Picasa because it is easy to use and it is available for anyone with internet access. I think it is a perfect location for people to visit and check out what is happening and to post comments about photos they see.

Then, to make it more exciting, I decided to teach her how to use Adobe Photoshop. I think it would be great if more teachers and students learned how to use photoshop to spice up their photos and start their own Picasa web album to share with friends, family and the world-wide-web. Click here to view lesson plans for using Picasa and Adobe Photoshop.

Projects from the beginning


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Professional Online Community

I joined the online chat forum and news letter. This site is great for educators interested in local, state and national news and issues from preschool to 12th grade. I found this community helpful and intriguing because it focuses on topics that relate to everyday experiences in my life. I found reading transcipts of recent webinars very helpful because I don't usually have time to participate in live chats. This site gives you the opportunity to post questions that are discussed by leading experts in their particular fields. Often, webinars focus on technology, state policies and books of special interest to educators. I look forward to seeing what the next topic of discussion will be. To view current, or past forums and participate in discussions, scroll down under community. Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Internet Resources

Being a PE teacher, coach and athlete, I've discovered many helpful resources in the health and fitness realm.
When I need fresh ideas for lessons plans, review standards/rules, or just want to keep up with what's happening in my field, I navigate these sites to add to my schema.
Listed below are several of my favorites I frequent.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Digital Story

Jimi and Mary Able's Journey

This story is designed to highlight various instances in United States history relating to the disability movement. The main character in the story, Jimi Able, was born in 1938, the same year President Roosevelt established the March of Dimes. The story follows the Able family and outlines historic moments that have improved the quality of life for many people. Jimi’s mother and father go through many changes throughout the story.
In the end, they realize having a child with a disability can be a very normal experience, especially with the help of a society that treats all people as important individuals.

Story Rubric
Story Map
Story Script
YouTube Video

Monday, February 16, 2009

Article Assessment 2

Assistive Technologies for Reading
Ted Hasselbring and Margaret Bausch
Assistive technology can help students with learning disabilities struggling to master grade-level work in inclusive classrooms. It is staggering to learn that approximately half of the six million students receiving specialized services for an identified disability are learning disabled. Studies have shown that assistive technologies are far more commonly used with students who manifest physical or sensory disabilities than those with learning disabilities.
Hasselbring and Bausch describe two very interesting computer software applications that support learning disabled students in reading material at grade level: Read & Write Gold and READ 180. Both have produced amazing results.

Reference Points:

1. Read 180 strengthens students' reading experiences and skills by supplying "anchor videos" giving overall background for various topics.
2. Read & Write Gold uses synthetic speech to read text aloud while a student watches the text scroll on a computer screen, and includes features to help hesitant writers compose.
3. “Instructional technologies are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition.” (Richard Clark, 1983).
4. Improved learning for all students depends on the quality of the instruction. Currently, students with special needs are being educated in inclusive classrooms where they are expected to perform grade-level work but not always given specialized support.
5. Teachers are searching for ways to educate students with disabilities more effectively. New technologies make it possible for students with disabilities to learn from good instruction.
6. When assistive technology is used creatively and skillfully, it can help any student achieve results never imagined.


Since technology is just about everywhere, and in every classroom, teachers need to become more aware of the possibilities. They can do this by reading articles like this, networking with colleagues, and experimenting with students. Sometimes, you won't know until you've tried a certain technology on a struggling student. It might take time and patients for some people to adapt, but in the end the reward of seeing the light bulb go on is priceless.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Article Assessment 1 (Spring 09)

The Overdominance of Computers
Lowell W. Monke

We have just discovered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities of technology.
My generation (Gen X) had the opportunity to experience the evolution of breakthroughs first hand. The increase of technology in our lives is generating many question relating to educating the next generation. Questions like: How can we maximize the computer/internet to be a beneficial tool?
What ages do children begin to learn how to efficiently use high-tech tools?
Lowell thinks that before young students actually use technology, they should acquire social skills like: self-discipline, moral judgment, and empathy in order to use technology effectively.
Monke states that computers/internet are powerful tools that require self-discipline that young children and adolescents don’t yet possess. He claims that in order to mature and to fully understand what they view on computers, students crave human contact experiences. Monke believes children need to experience social nuances that give them more insight to real life situations in order to have the skills to differentiate from cyber reality. He does not want to banish computers from schools, but to be more conscious of use, and possibly limit the duration they are used. Lowell advocates slowly integrating technology into classrooms after elementary school and focusing more on it during the last two years of high school. Continue Overview

Monday, December 8, 2008

Education Philosophy

My personal philosophy about education is an ongoing process. I don't think it will ever stop evolving because every life experience gives me a new perspective that opens many doors.
I enter with an insatiable desire to learn more about human nature and a child like curiosity that accepts things the way they are in this moment.
I enjoy sharing my experience with others and feel that everyone we meet has something to teach.
The actual role of a teacher is a shifty experience because I believe we are all full time students of life on this floating phenomena called Earth.