Use a Spreadsheet to Help Students Hone Sorting Skills

Yes! It’s important to understand the process of alphabetizing. If a student is struggling with alphabetizing it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t know how to alphabetize. Putting items in order can sometimes prevent students from completing a main objective presented by multiple step directions. Why stress the student who struggles when there is another choice they can use to complete the task?

Google Sheets has become my new support tool to teach my students how to use. Instead of taking the time to alphabetize by hand have the student enter the data into a sheet. Then highlight the column and choose the data tool. In the data tool there are several different sort options. The student will pick the option which best represents their needs.

Next time you have a student struggling with sorting a list try this out. You may be surprised when the student completes all the tasks presented to them to be completed in a classroom lesson.

Alphabetize Google Sheets

Using Google Slides to Provide Visuals Cues

The world is made up of all different people with a variety of needs. Some students may respond better to visual cues versus auditory. The visual learner may respond in unexpected ways when auditory overload occurs. One way to support the  student with successfully completing a task is with visuals supports provide by using a Google Slide Deck.

The Google Slides can be presented to the student through the use of a tablet.  The Special Education Teacher, or Teaching Assistant prepares a slide deck for the student to scroll through independently for following directions to complete tasks presented by the Classroom Teacher.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE

CLICK HERE TO COPY TEMPLATE

Google sheets can be a valuable tool for Maintaining Student’s Agendas

Here is a list of some reasons why I feel a Google Sheet Agenda is Practical for Students and Teachers to use.
  1. Sheets can be embed into a webpage (it automatically updates with every change)
  2. It can be published as a webpage (w/Auto Updates)
  3. Double click the date column and a calendar pops up. Then double click the date to see what happens (TIMESAVER for Some Students). Just might be a motivator for the young person who likes using gadgets.
  4. Positive reinforcement for maintaining schedules. Due to my K-12 Experience I noticed many students are challenged with using hardcopy agendas to maintain their schedules. This is an important organizational skill for the child’s future.
  5. Add a speech to text APP and the student may accomplish a task they avoided in the past.
  6. The agenda can be modified for the younger student.
  7. Graphics can be added to support the visual learner.

Discovered Visual On-line Dictionary which Verbally Pronounces Words

It is amazing how excited I get when discovering new website links. Today I stumbled upon Merriam Webster’s Visual Dictionary On-line. This dictionary shares pictorial definitions along with a selection of vocabulary words for the content area in which the  vocabulary word is used. The other feature I really like is the student can click on a speaker to hear how to pronounce the words. This is a really great support and resource to share with the students. One thing I like most about this dictionary website is the way it differentiates the definitions to support all users! Websites like this are great resources to use because it supports the students with becoming an independent learner!

Here is a sample view for part of a page in the geology section of the Merrian Webster’s Visual Dictionary On-line. You can check out this site here: Merriam Webster Visual Dictionary On-line.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 11.01.40 AM

Technology Can Support All Learners!

Over the years I’ve heard this question asked, “Why do you think technology is good for supporting the students” Here is my answer:

  • Technology can differentiate instruction
  • Supports the low reader
  • Helps student to maintain focus
  • Provides action for the kinesthetic learner
  • Supports the sharing of ideas
  • Let’s not forget the visual, audio, video, interactive and etc… supports

Keeping this in mind I hope to integrate technology in new and exciting ways to support the students. Here is a sneak peek of a project I’m working on.

As part of my position I maintain supplemental notes for supporting students of exceptionalities. This year I’m planning on sharing a virtual notebook with the students. I hope this provides study information to support all the different learning styles.

Now do you understand why technology can support the students?