Getting Comfy with Coding Technology
I was awarded a transition grant which gave me the opportunity to get technology, coding tools, and seating for my classroom. Working in a Middle School Special Education classroom I am able get to know my students an learn about their interests. One thing my students are constantly talking about is coding.We constantly hear of jobs being created in the field of coding, so why are we not teaching these concepts in our classrooms? I would like to implement a section of coding and hands-on learning into my classroom curriculum. Using coding robots you are able to teach a number of concepts from math, reading directions, following steps, and creativity, in ways that will excite our students. Not only is this something my students would be very interested in learning, but can also be essential in working toward their goals for the year. Using projects such as LEGO programmable robots, Ozobot Bit Coding Robots, and Let’s Start Coding Ultimate Coding Kits my students will be able to learn and understand the basics of coding. These products also are able to expand as the students understanding of coding grows. You can start out making basic coding sequences such as go forward that later can be changed to make the robot complete elaborate motions and tasks.A majority of my students come to the middle school not quiet reading on a middle school level. Not only would the iPads be used for coding, but also basic reading and math skill development. Using various apps on an Apple iPad my students will be able to independently practice their reading skills through fun and interactive programs. Along with reading apps, there are a number of math apps that work on a variety of skills from basic addition and subtraction, all the way up to the slope of a line. Not only will these apps be useful in the special education setting, they will be essential for my students in the general education setting during inclusion time. Using programs such as iMovie and voice memo on the iPad, my students will be able to record themselves presenting information for a class project. This would be very useful for my students who struggle with “stage fright” or suffer from anxiety associated with presenting in front of their peers. Being in middle school means lots of reading of text books and chapter books for class, with an iPad students are able to access programs such as Learning Ally which will read certain text and chapter books to the student as they follow along on the screen. With headphones, it would appear to any other student that they are reading a digital version of the same book, while in reality the book is being read to the student. This is great for allowing the student to stay in the general education setting and complete the work without one-on-one assistance. With the technology and coding products, I was able to get new seating for my classroom. My classroom chairs were almost 20 years old and were in no state to be used by my students. I got new rolling chairs, a futon, portable floor laptop holders, floor pillows, a padded rug, and inflatable empire chairs. This gives my students comfortable seating to get their work completed.
Sew to Speak and Learn
Many adults in today’s society are unable to sew by hand or operate a sewing machine. Many years ago, most adult women and many children were taught and well equipped with this knowledge and skill so much that they were able to create many of their own clothing, quilts, toys, and make repairs to their clothing in just a few minutes. I witnessed my own grandmother doing these tasks daily. When working with middle and high school students, it is often difficult to find games and activities to keep them interested and engaged that incorporates many aspects of learning. Sewing would be a wonderful way for them to be creative using a hands-on-learning approach that requires many educational subject areas such as mathematics, history, and life skills.