alternative methods of access

  1. Better Breakfast Month

    Better Breakfast Month

    Did you know that Better Breakfast Month is celebrated in September? We’ve created a Remarkable Idea to help you celebrate!

    In this Remarkable Idea we’ll show you how to integrate assistive technology to make a smoothie.

    • create an accessible learning environment
    • enable students to show what they’ve learned
    • create a yummy fruit smoothie

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | quicktalker 7 | powerlink 4 | italk2 with levels | following directions | choice making | candy corn | bigmack | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  2. Create a Colorful Windsock

    Create a Colorful Windsock

    In this Remarkable Idea, students make a windsock and watch their windsocks blow in the wind!

    This activity addresses:

    • Following directions
    • Fine motor skills
    • Science
    • Weather
    • Art
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • White construction paper (11” x 17”)
    • Crayons
    • Yarn, cut into 12” long lengths
    • Crepe paper in assorted colors, cut into 18” long strips
    • Electric stapler that can be switch adapted
    • Fan that can be switch adapted
    • SuperTalker FT
    • Step-by-Step
    • Several switches

    Preparation:

    1. Create and place a “directions” picture/symbol on the Step-by-Step.
    2. Record the Windsock directions script on the Step-by-Step, one direction per step.
    3. Record each color name on the SuperTalker FT.
    4. Create an overlay for the SuperTalker FT with various color pictures/symbols.


    What to do:

    1. Show students the sample windsock. Use the switch adapted fan to produce wind, and demonstrate how windsocks blow in the wind.
    2. Students use the Step-by-Step to give directions on how to make windsocks.
    3. Students follow the directions to create their own windsocks.
    4. Use the SuperTalker FT to select crayon colors, and crepe paper colors to use for their streamers.
    5. Students use the switch adapted electric stapler to staple the paper roll together and to staple the crepe paper strips on the windsock tube.
    6. When all windsocks are finished, students take turns turning on the switch-adapted fan and blowing the windsocks.


    Script:

    “We are going to make windsocks!”
    “Windsocks are fun to take outside on a windy day. Windsocks blow in the wind!”
    “On your white paper, color a picture of a windy day!”
    “Write your name on your picture.”
    “When you’re finished, roll your picture into a tube and staple it.”
    “Now choose your streamers, and staple several on the bottom of the windsock.”
    “Staple a piece of yarn across the top of the windsock as a handle.”
    “Now your windsock is ready to hang in the wind!”
    “Who wants to turn on the fan and make some wind to blow the windsocks?”

    Keywords

    weather | supertalker ft | step-by-step | science | following directions | fine motor skills | art | alternative methods of access |

  3. Bits and Pieces

    Bits and Pieces

    In this Remarkable Idea, students decipher clues and respond with answers as they prepare for an upcoming test.

    This activity addresses:

    • Study skills
    • Turn taking
    • Critical thinking
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Write the names of key people, events, or theories to be studied on the blank side of the large All-Turn-It Spinner overlay.
    2. Write a clue or question pertaining to each of the overlay entries on a sticky note; then cover each item written on the overlay with the note.
    3. Record the answers on the QuickTalker 12 or iPad with SoundingBoard app. You can record more than one answer per question.
    4. Create your symbols.


    What to do:

    1. A student can activate the All-Turn-It Spinner with the Jelly Bean switch to randomly choose a clue or question.
    2. When the All-Turn-It Spinner stops, read the clue written on the sticky note. The student then identifies the item he or she thinks it pertains to using the QuickTalker 12 or iPad with SoundingBoard app to reveal the answer.
    3. Students take turns reading clues and providing correct answers.
    4. When a clue is chosen a second time, students can add new information to what has already been revealed and take another spin.


    Additional suggestions:

    Use this activity for independent or small group study activities.
    Use a team format, dividing the class into two groups for friendly competition. Assign a number to each team and write the numbers on the small, blank overlay. Randomly select the group to respond with a spin of the All-Turn-It Spinner.

    Keywords

    turn taking | study skills | quicktalker 12 | jelly bean switch | critical thinking | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  4. Sight Word Seek and Steal

    Sight Word Seek and Steal

    In this Remarkable Idea, students work together as they take turns stapling together three sets of circles to make a snowman.

    This activity addresses:

    • Reading
    • Turn taking
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Write all the spelling/sight words on index cards or on the whiteboard (arrange words in a grid format).
    2. Record all the spelling/sight words to the Step-by-Step.
    3. Record a countdown on the BIGmack. When you get to zero, add a buzzing noise for effect.
    4. Determine how many points a team will need to win, then using each Step-by-Step record points (one for each step). On the last point put a congratulatory message to the winning team.

    What to do:

    1. Separate students into two teams and choose a team to go first.
    2. Choose a scorekeeper for each team or one scorekeeper for both teams.
    3. Choose a timekeeper. They will be responsible for hitting the BIGmack and starting the timer for each student’s turn.
    4. Teams or individuals from each team take turns pressing the Step-by-Step and looking for the random word given. Remind the timekeeper to start the timer.
    5. If the student finds the word before time is up, their team gets a point using the Step-by-Step – remind the scorekeeper to add a point to that team’s total.
    6. If the timer buzzes before they find the word, the other team has a chance to steal the point.
    7. Continue until you are out of words or reach the point goal.

    Additional Suggestions:
    To add a level of difficulty, you can add misspelled words to the grid.

    Keywords

    turn taking | step-by-step | reading | cause and effect | bigmack | alternative methods of access |

  5. George Washington - I Cannot Tell a Lie

    In this Remarkable Idea, students learn about George Washington and that he always tried to tell the truth. Learn about the difference between a truth and a lie.

    This activity addresses:

    • Language arts
    • Famous Americans
    • Social Studies
    • Choice making
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. On a Step-by-Step record the list of “Statements - True or False?
    2. Create a picture symbol for the words - sentence, yes, and no.
    3. Write each statement on a sentence strip.
    NOTE: These are examples of statements you can use. Add your own statements that relate more closely to your classroom and students.
    4. On the iTalk2 with Levels, place “yes” and “no” picture symbols, one on each side. On the “yes” message location, record the sentence, “Yes, that is true” and on the “no” message location record the sentence, “No, that is not true. It is is a lie.”

    What to do:

    1. Show students the pictures, and/or book, about George Washington.
    2. Explain that George Washington believed in always telling the truth and that he was very careful to not tell lies.
    3. Discuss with students the difference between a truth and a lie.
    4. Show students the iTalk2 with Levels and how to activate the “yes” picture/symbol to say “Yes, that is true” and the “no” picture/symbol to say, “No, that is not true. It is a lie.”
    5. Read several statements to students, one at a time.
    6. Students take turns reading a statement on a sentence strip, or using the Step-by-Step to read a statement.
    7. The student who read the statement uses the iTalk2 with Levels to say either “yes, that is true” or “no, that is not true.”
    8. The teacher confirms or redirects the student’s choice, and explains why the statement is either the truth or a lie.

    True or False Statements:
    1. We have a pet kangaroo in our classroom.
    2. The lunchroom will be serving alligator soup for lunch.
    3. We use scissors to cut paper.
    4. Books are things that we read.
    5. Our teacher’s name is (Mrs. Henrietta Hummingsworth).
    6. All the students in our class are wearing blue jeans today.
    7. We are at school today.
    8. We will leave school at 8:00 tonight.
    9. Today is (Tuesday).
    10. It snows in the summer.

    Keywords

    step-by-step | social studies | language arts | italk2 with levels | famous americans | choice making | alternative methods of access |

  6. Fire at These Coordinates

    Fire at These Coordinates

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will work on plotting points on a graph, and eventually determining the slope of a line from two points on a graph.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Critical thinking
    • Math
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Record the word “negative” to the TalkingBrix 2
    2. Record “Y =” to the TalkingBrix 2
    3. Record the numbers 0-5 on the Step-by-Step


    What to do:

    Level 1
    In this level, students are trying to sink ships that exist in either perpendicular or horizontal line segments.
    1. Each student will get a small piece of graph paper. The “target area” should be 5 points in each direction (100 possible coordinates).
    2. Place a divider between students if they are seated near each other.
    3. Students begin by placing their ships in either 2 dot line segment, 3 dot line segment, and 4 dot line segment. Students can use the TalkingBrix 2 and Step-by-Step to assist with placement by giving coordinates (ex. the coordinate (-3,2) would be given by hitting the TalkingBrix 2 to say the number is negative, then step through the Step-by-Step until the number 3 is reached. For the number 2, the student will cycle through the Step-by-Step until they come to the number 2.)
    4. Begin the assault. Each student takes a turn choosing a coordinate to attack. Students use the TalkingBrix 2 and Step-by-Step to give coordinates.
    5. Students continue to guess coordinates until all of the ships have been sunk. The ships must be hit on all of their points to sink.


    Level 2

    In this level, students are trying to sink one ship that exists in a diagonal, horizontal, or vertical line.
    1. In order to win, the students must give the slope-intercept formula for the line. The slope of the lines should be limited to a numerator/denominator no greater/less than (-)2 or (-)3 or the game could last extremely long.
    2. Each student will get a small piece of graph paper. The “target area” is should be 5 points in each direction (100 possible coordinates).
    3. Place a divider between students if they are seated near each other.
    4. Students begin by placing their ship (1 line, slope numerator/denominator no greater than (-)2 or (-)3.) Students can use the TalkingBrixand Step-by-Step to assist with placement by giving coordinates (at least 2 from their line) or they can give their equation using the TalkingBrix 2 and Step-by-step.
    Example: y = ½ - 3 would be:
    TalkingBrix 2: Y=
    Step-by-Step: 1
    Step-by-Step: 2
    TalkingBrix 2: negative
    Step-by-Stepp: 3
    5. Begin the assault. Each student takes a turn choosing a coordinate to attack. Students use the TalkingBrix 2 and Step-by-Step to give coordinates.
    6. Students continue to guess coordinate until one of them thinks they have found their opponents line and can give it in slope-intercept form. To initiate this process they will hit the “Y =” TalkingBrix 2. If the student is incorrect they lose a turn, if they are correct the game is over.


    Tips to speed up games:
    Tell each student which quadrants are empty on their opponents graphs (mention this may happen before the game begins, it may change their strategy). You do not have to tell students which quadrant is which (they should already know that anyway).

    You may wish to make one hit on a ship be enough to sink it.

    Keywords

    step-by-step | social studies | language arts | italk2 with levels | famous americans | choice making | alternative methods of access |

  7. Valentine's Day

    Valentine's Day

    In this Remarkable Idea, have fun with your students by creating valentines for their parents, playing a custom game of guess who, and showing them you care with a heart shaped cake.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Social skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Create your “mystery valentine box”. Paint an empty Altoid tin using pink or red paint.
    2. Record attribute questions to the QuickTalker 12 for your mystery game (example: Is your valentine a boy? Is your valentine a girl? Does your valentine have black hair? Etc.) Or create a board using the SoundingBoard App with attribute questions.
    3. Record “yes” and “no” to the TalkingBrix 2.
    4. Create your symbol overlays.


    What to do:

    Valentine’s Day Cards
    1. Using an iPad, the Blue2 Bluetooth Switch, and the camera app take a picture of each student holding out their hand and making a fist (like they are holding a large candy sucker.)
    2. Assign a camera operator to be in charge of taking each student’s picture (don’t forget to take a picture of the camera operator as well!)
    3. Before putting the iPad away, take a second picture of each student to be used in the Valentine’s Day guessing game (a close-up of their face.)
    4. Print out the pictures.
    5. Using the picture of each student holding out their fist, poke a hole large enough for the sucker stick to fit through at the top and bottom of their first, slide the sucker through the holes (it should appear as though they are holding the sucker).

    Mystery Valentine
    1. Using the pictures previously taken, cut them to size in order to fit into the Mystery Valentine Box.
    2. Randomly select a Mystery Valentine and put their picture into the Mystery Valentine Box.
    3. Select a Valentine Recipient to come up in front of the class. They should open the Mystery Box and see who is inside (don’t let anyone else see!)
    4. The Valentine Recipient will answer questions the students ask, trying to identify the Mystery Valentine. The class can ask questions using the QuickTalker 12 or SoundingBoard App.
    5. The Valentine Recipient will answer yes or no using the TalkingBrix if necessary, until the Valentine is correctly guessed. Whoever is the Mystery Valentine will be the next recipient.
    6. Play until all Mystery Valentines have been guessed.

    Heart Cake
    1. Follow the directions from the cake mix to make 1 of each shape cake (circle and square). Use the PowerLink 4, electric mixer, and Jelly Bean Switch to allow students to assist with mixing.
    2. Once the two cakes are done baking and have cooled, place them somewhere where all the students can see them.
    3. Explain that we can use shapes to make other shapes, and that by cutting the circle in half or into two semi-circles, we can make a heart.
    4. Rotate the square cake forty-five degrees and place one semi-circle on each of the two top sides of the cake to make a heart shape.
    5. Frost the cake and enjoy.

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | soundingboard app | social skills | quicktalker 12 | powerlink 4 | jelly bean switch | cause and effect | blue2 bluetooth switch | alternative methods of access |

  8. Groundhog's Day

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about Groundhog’s Day, create their own groundhogs, and eat a Groundhog Day treat.

    This activity addresses:

    • Social Skills
    • Fine Motor
    • Functional Skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • BIG or LITTLEmack
    • Jelly Bean Switch
    • PowerLink 4
    • Toilet paper roll (1 for each student)
    • Construction paper/cardstock (brown, green, white, black)
    • Black marker
    • Glue
    • Craft sticks/popsicle sticks (1 for each student)
    • Desk lamp with flexible head/Flashlight
    • Electric mixer
    • Instant chocolate pudding
    • Mixing bowl
    • Small plastic cups/bowls
    • Vanilla wafers
    • Sliced almonds (can be omitted for allergies)
    • Brown decorating gel

    Preparation:

    1. Use groundhog template page to cut out pieces for groundhogs from brown, white, and black construction paper or print groundhog template page on cardstock and cut out pieces.
    2. Record information about Groundhog Day to a BIG or LITTLEmack.
    3. Cut green construction paper in half so you have two 8.5 x 5.5 pieces (1 for each student). Make 1 inch cuts along one end. The green paper will be wrapped around the toilet paper rolls as grass with the strips sticking up over the top of the tube.

    What to do:

    Groundhog Day Activity
    1. Select a student to tell the class about Groundhog Day.
    2. Pass out the pieces for each student to make their groundhog and assist them in gluing the pieces together. Insert the craft stick between the two body pieces.
    3. Give each student a toilet paper roll and a piece of green construction paper. Assist students as necessary with wrapping the paper around the tube and gluing it on.
    4. Once finished students will be able to hold the craft stick and make their groundhog pop out of the ground (toilet paper roll).
    5. Connect the desk lamp and a Jelly Bean Switch to the PowerLink 4. Place the lamp facing towards a wall so students can take turns making their groundhog pop out of the ground to see if their groundhog sees their shadow. Students rotate between activating “the sun” and playing with their groundhogs.

    Groundhog Day Treat – Vanilla Wafer Groundhogs in Mud
    1. Connect the electric mixer and a Jelly Bean Switch to a PowerLink 4.
    2. Follow instructions for the instant pudding, allow students to activate the mixer. (Children should not be allowed near the mixer.)
    3. Pour the pudding into cups.
    4. Give each student a vanilla wafer and two sliced almonds.
    5. Use the decorating gel to draw a face on the vanilla wafer groundhog.
    6. Use the decorating gel as an adhesive to attach the ears (almond slices).
    7. Place your groundhog in the “mud” and enjoy.

    Script:

    “February 2nd is Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day is the day where the groundhog is supposed to come out of hibernation and poke his head out of the ground. If the groundhog sees his shadow he will go back into his burrow and we will have six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog does not see his shadow that means spring is on its way. The most famous groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Today we will make our own groundhogs and we can see if they see their shadow or not.”

    Keywords

    powerlink 4 | littlemack | jelly bean switch | functional life skills | fine motor skills | bigmack | alternative methods of access |

  9. 100th Day of School

    In this Remarkable Idea, explore the number 100 and improve students’ number sense. The hundredth day of school is an exciting opportunity for students to explore the number 100 through activities, discussions, and art projects allowing students to gain a better understanding of what the number 100 means to them.

    This activity addresses:

    • Social skills
    • Choice making
    • Cause and effect
    • Fine motor skills
    • Number sense
    • Creative thinking
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Using cups, bowls, mason jars, or some other container students can see through, make pairs of 100 and non-100 items such as pennies, cotton balls, or small candies.
    2. Count and separate a set of 100 mini pretzel sticks for each student in class.
    3. Using a hot glue gun, glue 100 crayons to the top of the canvas side by side.
    4. Using school glue, write the number 100 in bubble letters on the middle of the canvas. Make sure you use a thick bead of glue to prevent wax from entering the 100 later on.

    What to do:

    Counting to 100
    1. Begin by counting 100 days with your students. Explain that there are different ways we can count.
    - Give each student a blank ten frame and allow them to fill in each box by coloring, using stickers, or a bingo dotter. Use the ten frames to model counting to 100 by tens. A Step-by-Step can be used to assist with counting by tens.
    - Ask student’s how many fingers they have, and how many students they would need to get to 100. Include toes to get students thinking about other ways to make 100.
    - Using the coins, ask students how many nickels, dimes, or quarters you would need to make $1.00. Model counting by each. A Step-by-Step can be used to assist with counting.

    Thinking about 100
    1. Using a blank All-Turn-It Spinner overlay, write talking points such as eat, walk, hold, do, etc.
    - Use a Jelly Bean switch to activate the All-Turn-It Spinner and when it lands on a category ask students to think about something they could eat 100 of, or how far 100 steps would get them, etc. This could be modified by using an iTalk2 with Levels and giving students a choice between two things (ex. Could you eat 100: Cheeseburgers or jelly beans.)
    2. Using a blank All-Turn-It Spinner overlay, write more than/less than talking points such as “When it rains do you think there are more than 100 or less than 100 rain drops?”, “At the Super Bowl are there more than 100 or less than 100 fans in the stadium?”, or “Are there more than 100 or less than 100 keys on the computer keyboards in our school?”
    - Use a Jelly Bean switch to activate the All-Turn-It Spinner and when it lands on a scenario ask students to decide whether it’s more than 100 or less than 100.
    3. Present the previously made sets of 100 and non-100 items to students and ask them to guess which container is the one with 100 in it. Use an iTalk2 with Levels to let students decide which container has 100. (record “This one has 100.” and “This one has less than 100.” on each side of the iTalk2 with Levels)

    Fun with 100
    1. Give each student a set of 100 pretzel sticks and allow them to create anything they can with the pretzel sticks.
    - Allow students the opportunity to explore the many different images they can create.
    2. Place your canvas in a vertical position (on a stand or have an adult hold it) with the crayons at the top.
    3. Connect a hair dryer to the PowerLink 4, and connect a Jelly Bean switch to it. Allow students to take turns melting the crayons on the top of the canvas.
    4. As the crayon wax melts, it should stay on the outside of the 100 leaving you with a one of a kind piece of art for your classroom made by your students.

    Keywords

    step-by-step | social skills | powerlink 4 | numbers | jelly bean switch | italk2 with levels | fine motor skills | creative thinking | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  10. Give It A Rest

    Give It A Rest

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will be allowed a few minutes to give their brains a rest in different ways.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Mental wellness
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    Seventh Inning Stretch
    1. Set up the computer, Jelly Bean, and Hitch 2 so the student can activate the switch to start the video clip.

    Balloon/Beach Ball Time
    1. Blow up balloons or beach balls and have the students hit them around the room.
    2. Record “More!” to a BIGmack so students can let you know they want more balloons or beach balls.

    Box of Tricks
    1. Create a box or bag of tricks. For extra fun draw questions marks or other symbols on the outside.

    Would you rather?
    1.Record different scenarios to the Step-by-Step and challenge students to decide which option they would rather choose.
    Examples: Would you rather ski on ice cream or swim in Jell-O?
    Would you rather go to school or go to the doctor?
    Would you rather have super strength or the ability to fly?
    2. Record “The first one” and “The second one” to an iTalk2 with Levels so students can choose an option.

    Deep Breathing
    1. Record “Breathe in (pause 2-4 seconds) Breathe out” to a BIGmack.

    Musical Movie Time
    1. Find some classical music or instrumental movie scores for your students to listen to.
    2. Many classical songs can be found here: https://archive.org/details/Best100InstrumentalSongs
    3. Set up the computer, Jelly Bean, and Hitch 2 so the student can activate the switch to start the video clip.

    Simple Tasks
    1. Record simple tasks that are appropriate for your students to a Step-by-StepExamples: Touch your nose, touch your ear, stick out your tongue, etc.

    What to do:

    Seventh Inning Stretch
    1. Let your students get a good stretch. Choose a student to be in charge of starting the video using a Jelly Bean and Hitch 2 (set to space bar).
    2. Example clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxyjkXrUzdE

    Balloon/Beach Ball Time
    1. Begin with one ball or balloon. Students can use the BIGmack to ask for more balloons or beach balls. The idea is to get energy out, not necessarily to hit the ball to or at their classmates.

    Box of Tricks
    1. Pass out random objects from the Box of Tricks and ask students what they think it is, or come up with a different use for it.

    Would You Rather
    1. Choose one student to ask the questions using the Step-by-Step, and allow the students to answer using the iTalk2 with Levels and even discuss the questions.

    Deep Breathing
    1. Choose one student to lead the group by using the BIGmack to instruct students to breathe in an out.

    Musical Movie Time
    1. Explain to students that music can be very powerful, and can even tell a story.
    2. Choose a student to start the music by pressing the Jelly Bean.
    3. Challenge students to come up with a story to match what they are hearing.

    Simple Tasks
    1. Choose a student to call out directions for simple actions.
    2. Student activates the Step-by-Step, and the class follows the directions as quickly as possible.

    Script:

    “Everyone needs time to relax, and time to have fun. Even adults. We are going to do an activity where you don’t have to work. The idea is to relax, and have fun.”

    Additional suggestions:

    Turning the classroom lights off, when done safely, can add to the relaxing nature of these activities.
    The possibilities are endless for these types of activities.

    Keywords

    step-by-step | mental health | jelly bean switch | italk2 with levels | hitch | cause and effect | bigmack | alternative methods of access |

  11. I Predict Partly Cloudy

    I Predict Partly Cloudy

    In this Remarkable Idea, students read the weather map in the daily newspaper and make a prediction of future weather based on what they have learned.

    This activity addresses:

    • Science
    • Making predictions
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    What to do:

    1. Find the weather map in the local newspaper or online.
    2. Cut or print out the weather forecast.
    3. Repeat this activity for four consecutive days studying location of the days´ high and low pressure systems and related weather information such as sky conditions, temperatures and wind direction.
    4. On day four, students make a prediction of what the next day´s weather will be based on the trends they have observed.
    5. Record the weather forecast on the Step-by-Step with Levels.
    6. Students share the weather prediction for the next day with classmates by activating the message on the Step-by-Step.
    7. On day five, students check current weather conditions and compare them to the prediction made the day before.


    To vary the activity, study weather trends for a month or more, graph results and then use this information for a science fair display.

    Keywords

    step-by-step | science | making predictions | alternative methods of access |

  12. Math Mystery

    Math Mystery

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will use various math skills to solve a crime.

    This activity addresses:

    • Critical thinking
    • Math
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Cardboard box (for the safe)
    • Crime scene tape/crepe paper
    • Analog Clock (teaching clock, real clock, etc.)
    • Step-by-Step
    • iPad with SoundingBoard
    • TalkingBrix 2
    • Calculator
    • Various crime scene things (anything that can be placed at the crime scene to throw off your detectives)

    Preparation:

    1. Create a secret code worksheet. How the message is coded is up to you, some options include (numerical codes, transportation codes, solve the equation codes, etc.). An example message would be: To: RR, The safe is in Mrs. Swenson’s classroom. Signed, PP. Students will use this information to narrow down their suspects.
    2. Set the clock to 3:15.
    3. Record times to the TalkingBrix 2 for students to choose from.
    4. Record the script to the Step-by-Step.
    5. Print out or write on a white board the information of the 6 suspects. Students can cross off suspects that don’t fit the crime.

    What to do:

    The students will see the crime scene and must collect clues to solve the crime. Have a student activate the Step-by-Step to contact the police chief, he will give the detectives some information (you may wish to write down the 4 things he/she mentions to look for). As students progress through the activity, they will check in with him/her.

    Secret Message
    At the crime scene, there will be a crumpled up piece of paper with a message. For example: RR, The safe is in Mrs. Swenson’s class. PP
    The students must solve this piece of the puzzle to get the initials of the person in the letter.

    Broken Clock
    At the crime scene, there will be a broken clock that reads 3:15. The time on this clock is important because it will help the security guard look at the right time on the security camera.
    Students can use the TalkingBrix 2 to choose the correct time from a field of three.
    *Check in with the Police Chief with the time from the clock.*
    When the security guard checks the tape, he will see that the suspect is 6’2”.

    What was stolen?
    Left over in the safe is $13.57. The safe originally had $160.00 in it, how much was stolen? Students can use calculators or the SoundingBoard app to answer.
    *Check in with the Police Chief.*

    Script:

    “Alright detectives, we had a break in sometime last night. We don’t have a whole lot to go on. Look for clues and gather evidence. We are going to need a name, the time this happened, how tall the thief is, and how much money was stolen. I’ve faxed over a list of suspects to help you out. If you find out the time of the crime call me back, I will look over the security camera footage. Good luck.”
    “So did you get a time?”
    “Ok, just give me a minute here and I’ll see if the tape shows anything (pause) well I can’t see his face, but the suspect is 6’ 2” tall. I hope that helps. Remember we need to know who it was, and what they stole.”
    “Have you solved the crime yet detectives?”
    “Who was it and how much did they take?”
    “Good work! Why don’t you head on home for the day and rest up.”

    Character Suggestions:

      Creepy Craig Putrid Polly Queasy Quentin Revolting Ralph Rotten Roberta Stinky Stella
    Height 5’4” 5’4” 6’2” 6’2” 5’6” 4’11”
    Weight 209lbs 134lbs 161lbs 206lbs 149lbs 109lbs

    Additional Suggestions:

    Create full RAP sheets for the criminals. Cartoon mug shots can be found online.
    To make this more challenging, add extra steps students will need to solve, such as give suspect height in centimeters on the RAP sheet instead of feet and inches, provide the key for the secret message somewhere else at the crime scene, etc.
    This website will let you create a secret code worksheet:
    http://worksheetgenius.com/design.php?worksheet=codebreaker
    This can be a whole group activity, or each student can work to solve the crime independently; however, the lesson must progress as a group.
    Provide small notebooks for students to record clues.
    Choose a student to be the crime scene photographer and take pictures of clues using an iPad, Blue2, and the camera app.*

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | soundingboard app | math | critical thinking | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  13. Join and Separate - It's in the Bag!

    Join and Separate - It's in the Bag!

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will work on their number conservation and subitizing skills

    This activity addresses:

    • Beginning addition skills
    • Number conservation
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Locking sandwich bags
    • Small manipulatives (bingo chips, shapes, animals, etc.) must all be the same kind.
    • Permanent marker or masking tape
    • Number cards
    • Plus symbol card
    • Equals symbol card
    • BIGmack
    • Step-by-Step

    Preparation:

    1. Prepare sandwich bags by drawing or taping a vertical line down the center of the bag.
    2. If appropriate, record numbers to Step-by-Step for counting.
    3. Create appropriate overlays

    What to do:

    1. Place manipulatives in the bag; amount will vary depending on each student’s skill level. Show the student the side without the marker or tape line, and ask the students to count how many.
    2. Students count the number of manipulatives in the bag. Record this number to the BIGmack and place the corresponding number card on it.
    3. Turn the bag over, and have the students separate the manipulatives into groups on either side of the line.
    4. Have the student count the number in each new set they created. Place the corresponding number card on each side of the bag.
    5. Show the student that the two smaller sets can be joined to make the original number by placing a plus and equals signs in the correct spaces.

    Script:

    “Good, you counted 5. Can you separate the set of 5 into two smaller sets?”
    “Good, now we have sets of 1 and 4.” “1 and 4 make 5”

    Additional suggestions:

    The BIGmack should always have the original number that was in the bag recorded on it for students to reference in case they forget. The Step-by-Step should be used for counting.
    This activity can also be used for subtraction by taking a separated set away.

    Keywords

    step-by-step | number conservation | math | fine motor skills | equals symbol card | bigmack | beginning addition skills | alternative methods of access |

  14. Let's Talk Turkey!

    Let's Talk Turkey!

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about turkeys and create their own turkey puzzle to share.

    This activity addresses:

    • Animal recognition
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Pictures or photos of real turkeys
    • Black and white turkey template
    • White card stock
    • Crayons / markers / color pencils
    • Permanent black marker
    • Envelopes or resealable plastic bags (one per student)
    • Scissors
    • QuickTalker 7

    Preparation:

    1. Copy the turkey picture/template onto card stock (one per student).
    2. Record vocabulary words on QuickTalker 7.
    3. Create appropriate overlays.

    What to do:

    1. Show students the pictures/photos of real turkeys. Have students point out different parts of the turkey. Use the QuickTalker 7 to review parts and definitions.
    2. Give each student turkey template to color.
    3. Have each student cut their turkey into different pieces.
    4. Show students how they will then take the turkey picture pieces and put them together as a puzzle.
    5. Students put the puzzle pieces in an envelope/resealable bag and write the student’s name on the
    envelope/bag.
    7. The students can give their puzzle to another student. Each student then puts together the puzzle pieces they have been given to make a turkey picture!

    Vocabulary:

    Caruncle - brightly colored growths on the throat region. Hen - a female turkey.
    Poult - a baby turkey. A chick.
    Snood - the flap of skin that hangs over the turkey’s beak. Tom - a male turkey. Also known as a gobbler.
    Wattle - the flap of skin under the turkey’s chin.

    Keywords

    quicktalker 7 | fine motor skills | animal recognition | alternative methods of access |

  15. World Traveler

    World Traveler

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about other countries and cultures by “traveling around the world.”

    This activity addresses:

    • Geography
    • Social Studies
    • Cause and Effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Sponges
    • Tempera paint
    • Ink pad
    • Glue
    • Craft foam sheets
    • Wood block
    • Passport – (you can find many variations online if you search “kids passport activity” choose one that is suitable for your students)
    • Art materials –(crayons, colored pencils, markers, construction paper, scissors, glue, etc.)
    • Trays/containers (for paint)
    • PowerLink 4
    • Camera/iPad
    • Blue2 Bluetooth switch
    • CD player
    • Hitch 2 (optional)
    • Jelly Bean switch (optional)

    Preparation:

    Create the passports
    1. Take a picture of each student for the passport. Students can assist with this using either:
    The camera app on an iPad/iPod with a Blue2 Bluetooth switch as the shutter button.
    The webcam on a computer with a Hitch 2 set to mouse click and a Jelly Bean switch as the camera shutter.
    2. Print out their picture in a size that will fit in their passport.
    3. Print out a passport for each student.

    What to do:

    Each student, or group of students is assigned a country. Students should create brochures for their country that include information about it: flag, culture, notable landforms and bodies of water, music, history, type of government, money, language, etc.

    Creating your visa
    1. Create a stamp for each country’s unique visa. Stamps can be as simple as the first letter of the country’s name, or students can make their own. Using the foam sheets, have students cut out the stamp designs that will then be glued to the wood blocks.
    2. Using a mixture of 3 to 1 of tempera paint and glue to make “ink” for the stamp. Place a piece of sponge in your paint container and cover it with the “ink” of each country’s stamp.
    3. When tourists come to your country, be sure to stamp their passport!

    Creating your passports
    1. Have students glue their pictures into their passport, then sign and date them. Alternate ways to sign their name could include a name stamp, letter stamp, or digital signature.

    Travel Day
    1. Students can play music for their country. Using a PowerLink 4 and a CD player, have students take turns playing music from their countries.
    2. Presentations can be given to teach the travelers about each country. See Adapted Presentations Remarkable Idea for some tips.

    Script:

    “We will be taking a trip _____ (in the next few days, weeks, months) to various countries around the world to learn about different countries and cultures.”
    “Has anyone ever traveled outside of the country?”
    “There is a special book or document that you need to travel to other countries, does anyone know what this is called?”
    “When you arrive at a country you they give you a visa.”

    Vocabulary:

    Culture – a way of life of a group of people.
    Passport – a form of identification used when traveling to other countries.
    Visa – a stamp or document that allows you to enter or leave a country

    Keywords

    social studies | powerlink 4 | jelly bean switch | hitch | geography | cause and effect | blue2 bluetooth switch | alternative methods of access |

  16. Elementary, My Dear Watson

    Elementary, My Dear Watson

    In this Remarkable Idea, students test their knowledge of chemical symbols by identifying the name of the element, its molecular weight, and its location on the periodic chart.

    This activity addresses:

    • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Write the chemical symbols to be reviewed on the blank side of the large overlay for the All-Turn-It Spinner.
    2. Divide the blank side of the small All-Turn-It Spinner overlay into three sections and label them element, molecular weight, and location on periodic chart.
    3. Create an overlay for the QuickTalker for each chemical symbol. 4. Record each chemicals description on the QuickTalker.

    What to do:

    1. Have students take turns activating the All-Turn-It Spinner using the switch.
    2. Students can use the QuickTalker to discuss the chemicals.
    3. Students can find the chemical on the periodic chart.
    4. Take turns until all chemical symbols have been reviewed.

    Keywords

    switches | science | quicktalker | chemistry | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  17. Sensory Monsters

    Sensory Monsters

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will create Halloween themed sensory decorations for your classroom.

    This activity addresses:

    • Choice making
    • Fine Motor
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Clear containers with a lid (mason jars, baby food jars, pasta sauce, plastic water bottles, etc.)
    • Black and white foam or construction paper
    • Warm water
    • School glue
    • Glitter
    • Food coloring- green and orange (mixing red, yellow and blue food coloring to create these colors is fine)
    • Hot Glue Gun
    • Super Glue
    • Battery operated scissors
    • TalkingBrix 2

    Preparation:

    1. Find a picture of a ghost, Frankenstein, and pumpkin.
    2. Create TalkingBrix 2 overlays of a ghost, Frankenstein, and a pumpkin.
    3. Record “Ghost”, “Frankenstein”, and “Pumpkin” onto the TalkingBrix 2 and place the picture with the corresponding TalkingBrix 2.
    4. Clean out the jars you will be using.

    What to do:

    1.Assist students in cutting out the pieces for the Sensory Monster they choose:
    Pumpkin: eyes, nose, and mouth
    Ghost: Eyes, Mouth
    Frankenstein: eyes, pupils, nose, mouth (the eyes should be made out of white foam)
    Stitches (optional)
    2. With assistance from an adult, use the hot glue gun to glue the pieces onto the jar to create the character.
    3. Fill each jar with warm/hot water, leave room for glue.
    4. Allow students to add glue to the jar until the desired consistency is reached or record “More” and “Stop” onto the TalkingBrix 2 so students can tell you when they have enough.
    5. Add food coloring (green for Frankenstein, orange for pumpkin, none for ghost).
    6. Add glitter until you have the look you desire.
    7. An adult should glue the lid onto the jar using either super glue or the hot glue gun to avoid messes later.

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | fine motor skills | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  18. Election Day

    Election Day

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about elections from start to finish by participating in a class or school election.

    This activity addresses:

    • Choice making
    • Social skills
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Box/divider/tri-fold poster for voting booth
    • Craft materials for campaign posters, buttons, etc.
      - construction paper
      - markers
      - glue
      - paper clips
    • Tissue/shoe box for ballot box
    • Note cards for voting ballots
    • Name stamp for each candidate
    • Step-by-Step
    • TalkingBrix 2
    • Battery operated scissors
    • My Art Spinner
    • PowerLink 4
    • Bubble Machine

    Preparation:

    1. Record the steps of an election to a Step-by-Step.
    2. Record the vocabulary word definitions to the TalkingBrix 2.

    What to do:

    1. Designate a “Word Whiz/Word Whizzes” to activate the TalkingBrix 2 for each of the vocabulary words:
    Candidate
    Nominate
    2. Allow students to take turns activating the Step-by-Step to learn about an election.
    3. Tell the class that they are going to participate in their very own (classroom or school) election.
    4. Decide how candidates will be nominated. If more than one classroom is participating in the election, this may be tricky. An alternative to nominating candidates from the class would be to create two characters to act as candidates.
    5. Create campaign materials for each candidate.
    6. Create campaign posters with pictures and slogans using construction paper, markers, My Art Spinner, etc.
    7. Create campaign buttons by decorating button-sized construction paper. Tape a paper clip on the back so supporters can wear them!
    8. Have candidates pass out their campaign materials for supporters to wear.
    9. Allow candidates to choose a position (they can choose to run on a platform for real issues such as going green/alternative fuels, education, creating jobs, etc. or a more fun theme such as a pizza party, ice cream party, etc. Just make sure you come through on this promise or you might have some angry voters!)
    10. Hold a “debate” where students announce their “platforms.”
    Record the “platform” each candidate is running for on the TalkingBrix 2 for each candidate.
    The candidates take turns activating the TalkingBrix 2.
    11. Hold the election.
    Set up a voting booth using a box, tri-fold poster, or divider.
    Place name stamps and next to each candidate's picture in the voting booth.
    Place index cards next to a shoe box or tissue box to collect the votes.
    12. Tally all the votes. When you announce the winner, select someone to activate the radio (with victory music) and Bubble Machine (using the PowerLink 4) for the victory party.

    Script:

    “In order for an election to take place, there needs to be candidates.”
    “Candidates are people who are nominated to participate in the election.”
    “Once a candidate is chosen, they have to campaign for votes. To do this, they make T.V. commercials, make speeches, and do other things so people know they are a candidate.”
    “On election day, all the voters go to their polling place and cast their vote for the candidate of their choice.”
    “After everyone has voted, all the votes are counted.”
    “In a Presidential election, voters elect electors to vote for the president for them.” (optional)
    “The candidate with the most votes wins the election.”
    “A candidate is a person who is trying to be elected.”
    “To nominate means to choose someone as a candidate.”

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | social skills | powerlink 4 | choice making | cause and effect | bubble machine | alternative methods of access |

  19. Old Time Radio

    Old Time Radio

    Podcasts are a popular media in today’s society, but they are certainly not a new concept. In this Remarkable Idea, your students will create their own radio show or podcast.

    This activity addresses:

    • Communication skills
    • Technology
    • Teamwork
    • Critical thinking
    • Creative thinking
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Optional Hardware

    • Microphone

    Free Resources

    • Sound Effects – YouTube or BoundBible.com (There are a lot of other sites, just be sure they are free. Sound effects can be expensive!)
    • Software – AudacityTeam.org (free audio recording/editing program)
    • Archive.org – listen to old radio plays (you can also search the internet for “old time radio”)
    • iTunes store/Stitcher.com – download/listen to free podcasts
    • genericradio.com – (free radio play scripts)

    Preparation:

    1. Decide on a format (Radio play, top ten music countdown, news show, talk radio, movie/book review, etc.) for your radio show, or a script from a radio play that is appropriate for your classroom and students. If you choose to come up with an original radio play, decide on some appropriate themes or settings for your students.
    2. Download “Audacity” from AudacityTeam.org to record and edit your radio show.
    3. Find some appropriate podcasts/radio shows for your students to listen to. This will give them an idea of what your lesson is all about.
    4. If you have a radio play in mind, you may wish to gather your sound effects and record them to your chosen communication device (SuperTalker FT/QuickTalker (7, 12, 23, Freestyle)/TalkingBrix 2/TalkTrac)
    5. Record the shows music intro to a BIGmack
    6. Record sound effects to your chosen communication device (SuperTalker FT/QuickTalker (7, 12, 23, Freestyle)/TalkingBrix 2/TalkTrac)
    7. Set up Audacity to record with the Hitch 2 and two Jelly Bean switches.

    • Open Audacity and go to preferences > keyboard
    • Change the shortcut for “Record” from the letter “R” to the number 0
    • Change the shortcuts for “Stop” and “Play” from the space bar to the number 3 (they share a shortcut)

    8. Plug in your Hitch 2 and Jelly Bean switches so the Recording Engineer can control the recording.

    What to do:

    1. Begin by discussing the history of home entertainment (video games, TV, radio, etc.)
    2. Play some examples of old radio shows. Ask the class if they know anything that is popular now that is similar; discuss podcasts.
    3. Play an example of a podcast.
    4. Assign roles to students and give them scripts (be sure to add symbols and marks so students know when it’s their turn to talk or to use a particular sound effect):

    • Recording engineer (the person who presses record and stop)
    • Sound designers/sound effect specialists (they will choose sound effects and add them to the show when necessary)
    • Actors/DJs/Show hosts
    • Writers (if applicable, maybe all students will be writers, maybe you will not have any writers)

    5. Record the shows music intro to a BIGmack
    6. Record sound effects to your chosen communication device (SuperTalker FT/QuickTalker (7, 12, 23, Freestyle)/TalkingBrix 2/TalkTrac)
    7. Do a read-through with your class so they can practice reading and using sound effects/music at the right time. (You may wish to record the rehearsal).
    8. On the Air! Record your show (you may need to record multiple times to get everything right.)
    9. Edit the show - you may wish to do this together as a class and ask their opinions. Do you need more/different sound effects or music? More commercials, less commercials? etc.
    10. Once you have a finished product, “export” your project from Audacity and allow your class to listen to their radio show.

    Script:

    “What are some things you like to do for fun when you’re at home?” Someone will inevitably say watch movies, TV, or play video games.
    “Before video games and television, people used to listen to the radio for fun. There used to be shows, kind of like the ones on TV that you would listen to and mentally picture.”
    “Podcasts are like radio shows that you can listen to whenever you like. They do not have a set time limit.”
    “We are going to be creating our very own radio show or podcast in our class.”

    Vocabulary:

    Podcast
    Soundscape

    Additional suggestions:

    To make recording easier for your and your students, consider recording everything separately and combining it later.
    - Record commercials in advance.
    - Record dialogue, sound effects, and music separately.
    Most if not all laptops have a built-in microphone or webcam. You can use this to record your show (Audacity will allow you to import audio from a video) or you can use an external microphone.
    Burn a copy of the radio show to a disc or distribute them digitally so your students can share the show with their families.

    Keywords

    technology | team work | talktrac | talkingbrix 2 | supertalker ft | quicktalker freestyle | quicktalker 7 | quicktalker 23 | quicktalker 12 | jelly bean switch | hitch | critical thinking | creative thinking | communication skills | bigmack | alternative methods of access |

  20. Pumpkin is a Fruit?

    Pumpkin is a Fruit?

    During the month of October, we use pumpkins for decorations, but what else can we do with pumpkins? In this Remarkable Idea, students learn that a pumpkin is more than just a decoration, it’s a fruit!

    This activity addresses:

    • Plant science
    • Social skills
    • Choice making
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Cookies

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Glaze

    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 1 tablespoon melted butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Orange food coloring

    Preparation:

    1. Record fruit facts to a Step-by-Step.
    2. Record each definition to the TalkingBrix 2.
    3. Find pictures or play food of fruits and vegetables (common ones and others discussed in this activity)
    4. Attach the fruit and vegetable pictures or manipulatives to the All-Turn-It Spinner.
    5. Preheat oven to 350°

    [su_heading class="small"]What to do:[/su_heading]
    1. Begin by designating a “Word Whiz” to define the vocabulary words.
    2. Introduce the vocabulary words for this activity “fruit” and “vegetable”.
    3. Allow students to take turns activating the Step-by-Step to share the “Fruit Facts” with their classmates.
    4. Tell the class that today you are going to make cookies with a fruit: pumpkin.
    5. Make the cookies, allow students to assist with mixing using the PowerLink 4 and Jelly Bean switch connected to the electric mixer.
    6. Grease the baking sheet.
    7. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
    8. Beat sugar and butter in mixer bowl until well blended.
    9. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Slowly beat in flour mixture.
    10. Place onto a cookie sheet.
    11. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges begin to firm.
    12. Allow to cool before drizzling glaze over the top.
    13. To make glaze combine powdered sugar, milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, orange food coloring.
    14. Split the class into teams and allow each team turns to activate the All-Turn-It Spinner. When it lands on a fruit or vegetable that team must answer the question, “Is it a fruit or a vegetable?” If they have trouble you can give them a hint. Example hints: “This part of the plant has seeds.” “This is the leafy part of the plant.”
    15. If keeping score award 2 points for a correct answer, 1 point for a correct answer after a hint has been given.
    16. Take the cookies out of the oven to cool. Once cooled place a sheet of wax paper on a table with a cookie at the center. Put some glaze on a large spoon and allow students to drizzle it over the cookies.

    Script:

    “A fruit is the part of the plant that contains the seeds.”
    “A vegetable is the parts of the plant that do not contain the seeds such as the stem, leaves, roots, and flower buds.”
    “Common fruits are apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes.”
    “Did you know that avocados, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins are also fruits.”
    “Common vegetables are lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and beets.”

    Keywords

    step-by-step | social skills | plant science | jelly bean switch | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  21. Healthy Hands

    Healthy Hands

    In this Remarkable Idea, students learn about things they can do to stay healthy and stop spreading germs.

    This activity addresses:

    • Social skills
    • Personal hygiene
    • Cause and Effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step
    • Grass frosting decorating tip
    • Pastry bag
    • Frosting (various colors)
    • Vanilla Wafers

    Preparation:

    1. Record answers for discussion, such as: Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze preferably with your elbow or shoulder, cover your mouth when you cough, keep things out of your mouth that don’t belong there, don’t eat things off of the floor, table, etc. to the Step-by-Step.
    2. Record steps of “proper hand washing” to the Step-by-Step.
    3. Find pictures/take pictures to match the steps of proper hand washing.

    [su_heading class="small"]What to do:[/su_heading]

    1. Begin by introducing your vocabulary word “germs”.
    2. Ask your students if they can think of some things that we can do to prevent germs from spreading. Students can use theStep-by-Step to get involved in the conversation.

    Proper Hand Washing
    1. Use the Step-by-Step to help students remember the process and a timer for the 20-seconds.
    2. Get your hands wet with clean running water from the sink
    3. Apply soap
    4. Rub you hands together to make bubbles. Make sure to get the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
    5. Wash for at least 20-seconds.
    6. Dry your hands using a clean towel or hand dryer.

    Ingesting Germs
    1. Now that the students know a little about preventing the spread of germs, they get the chance to ingest them.
    2. On the Step-by-Step, record the colors of the frosting you have.
    3. Students press the Step-by-Step, and then decorate their Vanilla Wafer(s) to make their own “germs”. The grass tip will give the appearance of a hairy germ; don’t forget to add the eyes! How many eyes the germs have is up to you.

    Vocabulary:
    1. Germs: a microorganism, or something that is so small you cannot see it without a microscope that can cause you to become sick.

    Additional suggestions:

    These clips from MythBusters show how easy it is to spread germs (warning: each video is preceded by a 30-second advertisement.)
    http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/slow-motion-sneezes/
    http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/flu-fiction-minimyth/

    Keywords

    step-by-step | social skills | personal hygiene | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  22. Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th)

    Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th)

    Every year on September 19th, people around the world celebrate “International Talk Like A Pirate Day”. This Remarkable Idea includes activities students can participate in and have fun celebrating this wacky day with a wide range of activities that will engage all learners.

    This activity addresses:

    • Team-work
    • Social skills
    • Sensory engagement
    • Cause and effect
    • Following multi-step directions
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Pirate Ships

    • Small milk cartons
    • Straws
    • Hole punch
    • Tape/Glue
    • Construction paper
    • Battery Operated Scissors

    Ship Race

    • Aluminum tray/gutter with end caps/Rubbermaid tub (for racing area)
    • Water
    • Blue food coloring (optional)
    • Fan
    • Jelly Bean
    • PowerLink 4

    Treasure Hunt

    Pirate Parrrty
    Pirate themed snacks could include: Chips Ahoy, Goldfish crackers, Sand buckets (vanilla pudding topped with crushed butter cookies or golden Oreos), gold chocolate coins, seawater (blue or green juice), etc.

    Preparation:

    1. Record clues for the treasure hunt onto the TalkingBrix 2. Place one at the X location on the treasure map which gives students a clue to the next location, place the next TalkingBrix 2 with the next clue at that location (repeat as appropriate).

    What to do:

    Pirate Ships
    1. Have students use the Battery Operated Scissors to cut squares of construction paper for the sails of their pirate ship.
    2. Assist students in cutting one side of the milk carton off.
    3. Glue or tape the straw into the inside of the milk carton, punch two holes into the construction paper sail and slide the paper onto the straw.

    Ship Race
    1. Fill your container with water (optional: add blue food coloring to the water)
    2. Place students pirate ships into the water and give each student a straw to blow their ship across the water or use a fan connected to the PowerLink 4 and a Jelly Bean switch to blow the ship across the water. (Caution: Do not place the fan too close to the water)
    3. Allow all students the opportunity to race each other.

    Treasure Hunt
    1. Show students the treasure map.
    2. Students follow the map to find the location marked by the X on the map.
    3. When students arrive at the X they press the TalkingBrix 2 and hear the clue to the next location (ex. There be no treasure here! That scalawag Mrs. Johnson the Red must have taken it!) Students solve the clue and proceed to the next location.
    4. Students eventually find their way to the location of the treasure.

    Treasure ideas:
    Set up the Pirate Parrrty with food and drinks in your classroom while the students are on the treasure hunt. The final treasure location can be back in your classroom.

    • Prizes or costumes for the students
    • Pirate themed movie
    • Gold chocolate coins

    Additional materials, lesson plans, and even Pirate talk apps can be found at the International Talk Like a Pirate Day website here: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/teachers.html.

    Keywords

    team work | talkingbrix 2 | social skills | sensory | powerlink 4 | jelly bean switch | following directions | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  23. Solar Cooking

    Solar Cooking

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about the power of the sun and use the Scientific Method to conduct an experiment.

    This activity addresses:

    • Science
    • Choice making
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • TalkingBrix 2
    • Step-by-Step
    • Something to cook in your oven (nachos with shredded cheese, smores, toast, Pop-tarts, etc.) Be cautious when using meat or eggs as they may not cook at a high enough temperature to be safe for consumption.
    • Pizza box
    • Old newspaper
    • Clear packing tape
    • Plastic wrap
    • Aluminum foil
    • Black construction paper

    Optional

  24. Timer
  25. Thermometer
  26. Preparation:

    1. Write your vocabulary words in a place where all students can see them.
    2. Record definitions of “Hypothesis” and “Conclusion” to TalkingBrix 2.
    3. Write the steps of the scientific method onto the board, and record them to a Step-by-Step.
    - Ask a question
    - Construct a hypothesis
    - Test with an experiment
    - Analyze Data and draw a conclusion
    - Communicate the Results
    4. After the vocabulary definitions are no longer needed, record “Correct” and “Incorrect” to the TalkingBrix 2 so students can share their results.

    What to do:

    Test with an experiment
    1. Cut a flap out of the top of the pizza box, leave a “hinge” for the flap. Bend the flap back and cover the inside of the flap with aluminum foil.
    2. Place plastic-wrap across the hole left by the flap on the outside of the box and tape the edges down. You want to make this as airtight as possible.
    3. Place some sheets of newspaper in the bottom of a pizza box and around roll up sheets along the sides for insulation. Cover the newspaper with black construction paper, this will help to absorb heat.

    Cook
    1. Place your chosen food on the black construction paper in the center of the box. (Optional: Place your thermometer in the Solar Oven). Close the lid (Optional: Start the timer)
    2. Place the Solar Oven outside in the sun. Use tape to keep the flap open. Position the Solar Oven so that the aluminum foil can catch the sunlight and reflect it onto the marshmallow.
    3. Place a control food near the Solar Oven.
    4. Wait. (Optional: Record the temperature at set time intervals.)

    Analyze the Data
    1. Compare the control food and the variable food (you can also take pictures to share later).
    2. Allow the scientists to further analyze the results by eating the food.

    Communicate the results
    1. Each scientist should review the data collected to determine if their hypothesis was correct or incorrect. Students can use the TalkingBrix 2 to communicate their results. (Remind students that having a correct or incorrect hypothesis is neither good nor bad, but part of the scientific process.)
    2. Optional: Chart the progress using the temperature and time data collected.

    Vocabulary:
    Hypothesis
    Conclusion
    Control
    Variable

    Script:

    “The sun’s energy can be converted into heat and electricity. Today, we are going to use the energy from the sun to cook some food.”
    “A hypothesis is an idea that has not been proven but leads to further study.”
    “A conclusion is a decision reached by reason.”

    Additional Suggestions

    This experiment will work better on a day with a high UV index. If you live in the United States, the UV index can be found by using the tool here: http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise/uv-index

Keywords

talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | science | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  • Sensing Patterns

    Sensing Patterns

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will explore patterns using senses other than sight.

    This activity addresses:

    • Patterning skills
    • Five senses
    • Critical thinking
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • TalkingBrix 2
    • Step-by-Step
    • Cards/pictures to identify each TalkingBrix 2 (labeled AB pattern, ABB pattern, ABC pattern)
    • Cardstock
    • Glue
    • Sandpaper
    • Foam pool noodles
    • Utility knife
    • Various candies/food – (jellybeans, M&Ms, Reeses Pieces, Skittles, Fruit cut into small pieces, etc)
    • Small containers/paper cups
    • Acrylic Jars .20oz
    • Various extracts (vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, lemon, etc.)
    • Various herbs/spices
    • Cotton balls
    • Instruments
    • Animal sounds
    • Letter sounds
    • Something to tap a pattern with (pen, ruler, drum stick, etc.)

    Preparation:

    1. Create your TalkingBrix 2 identification cards.

    Touch/Feel
    1. Cut a piece of cardstock in half so you have two pieces that are 8.5” x 5.5”.
    2. Cut 3 small squares out of the sandpaper.
    3. Glue sandpaper onto the cardstock, leave spaces for the other unit (sandpaper, blank space, sandpaper, blank space, etc.). A small line of glue can be placed and allowed to dry between each unit to denote each unit.
    4. Create more cards using different textures (aluminum foil, felt, dried glue, different types of paper, etc.)
    5. Label cards AB pattern, ABB pattern, ABC pattern
    6. Cut the pool noodles in half lengthwise (you should have two semi-cylinders)

    Taste
    1. Cut up small pieces of fruit or other foods you wish to use.
    2. Place into small cups/containers

    Smell
    1. Place a cotton ball into each jar and add a few drops of the extract of your choice. (Add more drops to increase the strength of each fragrance).
    2. You may wish to mark the bottom of the jars for easy identification later.

    Hearing
    1. Record a pattern to the Step-by-Step using animal sounds, letter sounds, or a simple sound (example: the sound of a Morse code).

    What to do:

    Touch/Feel
    1. Allow students to feel the pattern cards (you may wish to have them close their eyes!).
    - Once the student has had a chance to feel their card, challenge them to identify the type of pattern: AB, ABB, or ABC.
    - Students may use TalkingBrix 2 to assist in identifying the pattern.
    2. Place the semi-cylinder pool noodles on the floor in a pattern (Example: 1 by itself, 2 close together, 1 by itself, etc.)
    - Students each take a turn rolling over the pool noodles.
    - Once the student has had a chance to roll over the pattern, challenge them to identify the type of pattern: AB, ABB, or ABC.
    - Students may use TalkingBrix 2 to assist in identifying the pattern.

    Taste
    **ALWAYS BE AWARE OF ALLERGIES BEFORE ALLOWING STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ACTIVITY.
    1. Organize the cups/containers of food/candy into a simple pattern. (Example: M & M, Reeses Piece, M & M, Reeses Piece.)
    2. Have the student close their eyes then hand them the cups for their pattern one at a time.
    3. They taste each cup until the pattern is finished.
    4. Ask them to identify the type of pattern: AB, ABB, or ABC that you created with the food/candy. Students may use TalkingBrix 2 to assist in identifying the pattern.

    Smell
    **ALWAYS BE AWARE OF ALLERGIES BEFORE ALLOWING STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ACTIVITY.
    1. Ask the student to close their eyes (so they can’t see the pattern) and have them smell 4-6 (depending on the pattern) smelling jars. (Example: vanilla, peppermint, vanilla, peppermint.)
    2. Ask them to identify the type of pattern: AB, ABB, or ABC that you created with smelling jars. Students may use TalkingBrix 2 to assist in identifying the pattern.

    Hearing
    1. Have students activate the Step-by-Step and ask them to identify the pattern that they hear. Students may use TalkingBrix 2 to assist in identifying the pattern.

    Vocabulary:

    AB pattern
    ABB pattern
    ABC pattern

    Additional suggestions:

    For the Hearing patterns section, if you choose particular sounds to use (animals, letter, etc.) you can ask them identify what they heard in addition to the pattern.

    Also for the hearing patterns section this could be a nice intro to learning about Morse code and the complex patterns that make up this form of communication.

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | sensory | patterns | critical thinking | alternative methods of access |

  • Eating Healthy Foods for a Healthy Lifestyle

    Eating Healthy Foods for a Healthy Lifestyle

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about food groups, empty calories, and some yummy healthy snacks.

    Note: Always be aware of allergies before serving food to your students

    This activity addresses:

    • Health
    • Cause and effect
    • Critical thinking
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Smoothie Ingredients

    • Juice (100% fruit, no added sugar)
    • Plain Greek yogurt (no added sugar, and the main ingredients should be milk and live active cultures)
    • Vegetable (Kale or spinach work well)

    Preparation:

    1. Write each of the five food groups (Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Dairy, Protein) on the All-Turn-It Spinner overlay.
    2. Record at least 2 examples of each food group to the SLITTLE Step-by-Step Choice with Levels. (example: Cereal, toast, strawberries, blueberries, celery, broccoli, chicken, nuts, yogurt, milk)

    What to do:

    Intro:
    Discuss the five major food groups using the real life examples (ex: toy fruits and vegetables, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal boxes, pictures of a gallon of milk, yogurt, etc.). These should be familiar items for your students.

    Ask students for examples of each food groups. Use the LITTLE Step-by-Step Choice with Levels so all students can participate in the discussion.

    Hands On
    Using the All-Turn-It Spinner and Jelly Bean, have students take turns spinning and giving examples from the group you land on.

    Use the materials you collected for your discussion or have students use the LITTLE Step-by-Step Choice with Levels.

    Expanded Discussion
    Some students may have given examples of foods earlier in the lesson that do not fit into the five major categories. Discuss fats and oils, as well as empty calories with them.

    Putting this knowledge into practice
    Give examples of some healthy snacks that your students could try at home then make smoothies with them.

    As you add each item to the blender, ask the class which food group that item belongs to. Use the PowerLink 4 to operate the blender.

    Smoothie
    ½-cup yogurt
    1-cup fruit
    ¼-cup juice
    ½-cup vegetable

    Discuss which food groups are missing. (This discussion could be tricky because the yogurt could fit the criteria for two food groups.)

    Enjoy!

    Script:

    Empty calories are foods that don’t provide our bodies with very many nutrients. Some examples of things we might eat or drink that are empty calories are (Soda, candy, cookies, cake, etc.)

    Vocabulary:

    Dairy
    Grain
    Vegetable
    Fruit
    Protein
    Fats & oils
    Empty calories

    Additional suggestions:

    Additional healthy snacks you could use instead of the smoothies:
    Peanut butter and apples
    Low-fat cheese and salt-free pretzel sticks (push the pretzel sticks into cubes of cheese like toothpicks and serve as an Hors D’oeuvre)
    Ants on a log (Celery sticks with peanut butter spread inside, topped with raisins)

    An alternative for the intro activity would be to record the five food groups to TalkingBrix 2 and have students attempt to place the correct TalkingBrix 2 with each food example. You could add a level of difficulty by not telling them which ones are right or wrong and simply telling them they have __ out of 5 correct, they then try to fix their mistakes.

    More information, as well as diet plans for people of all shapes and sizes can be found at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | health | critical thinking | cause and effect | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

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