Each week, the older students in our school read an adapted news article. When I started working with some of these teachers, I quickly realized that the article was not accessible for all students. Most of the teachers are still learning Classroom Suite and needed additional supports to be able to create materials every week for their students. In order to support these teachers, I created a template and how-to guide to make these switch accessible articles. (more…)
Music can be a great motivator, especially for students with visual impairments. Amanda and I have been creating simple music activities in Classroom Suite that provide students with the ability to choose what music they want to listen to while working on switch scanning. For some of these students, this is also an opportunity to find out what their musical preferences are. I have made a few “mixtapes” that include R&B, classical, pop, country, and rock. We quickly discovered each student’s preferences (Pharrell’s “Happy” wins hands down for almost everybody).
After showing one of these “mixtapes” to a parent, she was excited to attach switches to her daughter’s headboard for her to choose the classical music she wanted to listen to before bed.
Here is an example of a Taylor Swift “mixtape” made for one of our older students.
Recently, I made a template for teachers and therapists to make their own “mixtapes”. i thought I would share the template and directions on the blog as well.
Continue reading for the downloadable template and directions.
In the spirt of Thanksgiving, here are the top five AT products we are thankful for!
- Language Based AAC Systems – Of course those made it to the top of the list! We are so grateful to see our students using devices like the Accent 1000 with Unity 84 Sequenced, Spanish Unity, or CoreScanner; the iPad with the LAMP WFL app; and the Tobii I Series.
- TAP-it – We first saw the TAP-it at Closing the Gap in 2014 and have been thankful ever since! It’s an adjustable touch accessible learning platform that differentiates between unintentional and intentional touch! Because it is adjustable (height and angle), has a military grade screen, and is on wheels; it has been an amazing asset at our school. It allows students with severe physical disabilities to access a touchscreen they would otherwise be unable to reach!
3. Classroom Suite – A great way to make switch accessible activities for your students. We have had a great time making and using switch accessible books! We’re also thankful for this alternative pencil for our students with severe motor issues.
4. Loc-Line – We love this budget-friendly way to mount our AAC systems and switches!
5. Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro – What SLP isn’t thankful for Boardmaker?! It’s the go-to for making print based materials with picture supports and with Speaking Dynamically Pro you can make awesome interactive materials!
What AT products are you thankful for?
*Thanks to Whimsy Workshop Teaching for their Thanksgiving ClipArt!*
A YouTube video can be an excellent addition to a lesson. When used at the beginning of a lesson, videos can grab student interest and provide context for what the students will be learning about. Videos can also be used to enhance the meaning of text, maintain lesson momentum, and provide additional opportunities for communication.
Many schools prevent users from accessing video websites. In order to circumvent this problem, you can convert the video to a file format that can be saved and embedded in programs such as PowerPoint, Boardmaker, and Classroom Suite. There are hundreds of websites that have this capability but my personal preference is Online Video Converter.
Continue reading to learn how to convert YouTube videos for classroom activities.