Domenica (Nikki) Dress
One of the most time consuming projects that is a regular part of the intervention specialist job is to modify or accommodate test and quizzes for students.
This typically involves enlarging the print, or white space, changing the layout of the page, adding a word bank or eliminating answer choices. When this is done well the student who is receiving the modified test has a test that looks at first glance to be the same as every other students test. Do make these types of changes often means retyping many tests into several different formats due to the lack of electronic versions.
The only way to do this currently at the high school is to have OCR software installed on your laptop, when you scan the document in. Once it is scanned in you need to click the start button in the first box and then the software will highlight in yellow words that it can not read or is uncertain of the results of the scan. The program will then provide you a work box very similar to the spell check for Microsoft Word, it which you can accept the word as is replace the word or phrase by typing into the box or you may accept one of the suggested words. Once you are done the program will prompt you to confirm complete and ask where you want it to save the document. You can save your document as a word document and then modify boards and white space from there.
Intervention Specialist Tutor
Copley High School
Are you looking for a consistently good website for a variety of worksheets on different subjects? edHelper.com has an assortment of Worksheets, Puzzles, Themes, Units, Ideas, Teacher Helpers and More. It is appropriate for PreK-3, Special Education K-12, Elementary, some Middle School, and a little High School.
The specific subject areas which are targeted are Reading and Writing, Language, Social Studies, Math, Science, Teaching Helpers, Foreign Language, Special Education, Word Puzzle Makers, Critical Thinking, and Puzzles. You can use it without a subscription, but there is a better choice of worksheets that are available if you get a “basic” or “everything” subscription. Answer Keys are always available, and sometimes there are choices in creating different types of printables.
Classroom debates encourage students to work cooperatively, think critically and analytically, brainstorm ideas, develop vocabulary, and read to support an opinion. Through research, students have to sort through a wide variety of information, identifying the main idea and deleting less important information. As students go through this process, they are utilizing skills such as questioning, categorizing, labeling and collapsing information. As information is gathered and organized, students begin focusing on writing skills and communication skills. Debates allow students to become more proficient in speaking and communicating their thoughts and opinions.
Intro: Topic and Teams
To begin the unit we first select the topic. I have the students brainstorm topic ideas that they find interesting. Every debate has two sides, the affirmative (Pro) and the negative (Con). Each side must support their opinion with facts and evidence. With all of this in mind, the students use the web to research and determine if the topics they are interested in are suitable for a debate. Can the pro and con arguments be clearly identified? Is there information available to support each side? Once the students have completed their research, they must choose one topic that they feel is best for the debate to present to the class. The class will then vote on the topic that is of the most interest. The topic with the most votes becomes the topic of the debate. The class can now be divided into two sides.
Smart Board Lesson: Evaluating Online Resources
Before the students begin gathering facts and information to support their position, it is important that they are able to identify valid versus invalid websites and information. This Smart Board lesson is an informative and interactive way to help students learn to evaluate a website for accuracy. Students will also learn about resources, other than the web, to use for research.
The great thing about all of the lessons on Smart Tech Exchange is that you can make changes and adjustments to the lessons to fit the specific needs of your students.
Research and Fact Gathering
With the Pro and Con teams established, it is time for the students to gather facts to support their point of view. I scheduled the computer lab for 3 days and give each child a “Research Template.” They can write on the template or type and attach their research to the template. Each child should have 3 to 5 resources and multiple facts. It is suggested that once they are done researching their own opinion, they research their opponent’s opinion as well and record any useful information on a separate sheet of paper.
To remind students of my expectations during the debate, I give each student a “Debate Do’s” contract which they must read and sign. The Debate Do’s are also posted in the classroom during the debate.
The debate begins with an opening statement from the Pro side, followed by the Con side. The opening statements are preplanned and should each be a 1 top 3 minute speech. They should include the side’s opinion and a brief overview of the supporting evidence.
During the actual debate, I ensure equal participation by having the students use index cards. On the front side, the students write their name and either PRO or CON. The students raise the card when they want to speak. Every time a student speaks, he or she marks a tally on the back of the card. To ensure equal participation, after three tallies, students should not speak again until all students have three tallies. Once everyone has three tallies, the process repeats.
The debate ends with closing statements, first by the Pro side and then the Con side. Each closing statement should be a 1 to 3 minute speech that restates the opinion with strong supporting evidence. The closing statements should also be preplanned.
Power Point Reflections
After the debate is over, it is time to review and evaluate. Students will express their reactions to the debate using a Power Point Presentation and a specific type of media. Suggestions for types of media include a poem, a cartoon, a billboard, a bumper sticker or a graphic that represents their opinion. The Power Point should include 5 slides: 1. Intro (topic, opinion, name) 2. Type of media (description and explanation why chosen)
3. Media (can be created on the computer or scanned in) 4. Summary of debate strengths 5. Summary of debate weaknesses 6. Closing (interesting quote, catchy phrase…)
Each slide should contain at least one graphic.
The Power Point Presentations and the actual media design are then shared with the class.
You can extend the unit and do a lesson on writing and grammar by using the Smart Board to edit the Power Points Presentations as a class.
I am currently enrolled in a Capstone Inquiry Seminar that is called: How do I teach creativity and innovation? This seminar is focusing on technology and the 21st century learning. I am exploring and applying instructional technologies within a specific content area. I am researching incorporating technology into teaching reading skills and comprehension. The purpose of this inquiry is to meet the needs of the 21st century learner.
One thing that I discovered is delicious.com. Here is some information about delicious.
Instead of having different bookmarks on every computer, Delicious makes it easy to have a single set of bookmarks kept in sync between all of your computers. Even if you're not on a computer you own, you can still get to your bookmarks on the Delicious website.
If your friends use Delicious, you can send them interesting bookmarks that they can check out the next time they log in. Of course, they can do the same for you. As you explore the site and find interesting users, you can use our Subscriptions and Network features to keep track of the Delicious tags and users you find most interesting.
See what's hot with Delicious users by checking out our popular tags. By looking at popular bookmarks for a tag, you'll be able to discover the most interesting bookmarks on the topics you're most interested in. Browse bookmarks on just about anything from the best programming tips to the most popular travel sites, all in an easy to read format.
I feel that delicious can be a really useful tool for the classroom. If you want to start having your students go on the computer and link to websites that have activities and games that work on building skills, then the list can be accessed by all students with the appropriate web links. You can organize delicious base on different subject areas and it can be very easily navigated. It could also be very useful if you have a Smart board to access all of your bookmarks. Your bookmarks can be accessed any and everywhere!!
I am also working on creating a Personal Learning Network (PLN) in the form of a Wiki site. Through research that I am doing about technology, 21st century learning, and teaching reading with technology, I am compiling data and support to be included on my Wiki site. I plan on making lessons and plans which my students will be able to access. I hope to include digital stories and comprehension questions on my Wiki site. My students will be able to access the digital stories and activities and I will be able to assess them online. This is a great resource and tool because it can constantly be updated.
Copley-Fairlawn Middle School