Friday, September 26, 2008
September is winding down and some of the trees are turning red. There are so many things I want to teach my students, but I am restricted for the first time by curriculum. I have loved being in special ed because the curriculum always stemmed from the IEPs. Looking at what children should know by the ages of three, four, five and six, I was free to notice what was going on around me and point it out to the children. Language, math, science and social skills were reflective of the season, although taught at a level appropriate to each child. Now I find myself teaching a curriculum without textbooks and the first thing I do is look for worksheets. I have always said I don't like textbooks or worksheets, but students who are "busy" really settle down when they have something to do with their hands. Thank goodness I have access to technology and technology skills. To the best of our ability, we have done a Webquest on ancient civilizations, made graphs in Numbers, written letters in Pages, inserted pictures into Keynote and attempted animations of a life cycle and food chain in Scratch. Today we visited Tumblebooks and read How I Became a Pirate. Next week, I hope to show a video on Mesopotamia from United Streaming and edit a video of the kids showing What We Do in School. We have started Reader's Theater and I hope to show the kids how to videotape themselves and edit the tape so they can take a DVD home and show their family. We also videotaped each other reading at the beginning of the year.