choice making

  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. 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 |

  3. 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 |

  4. 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 |

  5. 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 |

  6. 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 |

  7. 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 |

  8. Solar Cooking

    Solar Cooking

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about the power of the sun and use a 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

  9. Timer
  10. Thermometer
  11. 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 |

  • Let's Talk Tarantulas

    Let's Talk Tarantulas

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn some facts about tarantulas and make their own to bring home.

    This activity addresses:

    • Life science
    • Choice making
    • Social skills
    • Fine motor skills
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step
    • TalkingBrix 2
    • 1 1/2-inch Styrofoam balls (2 for each student)
    • Toothpicks
    • White pipe cleaners
    • Shorter pieces of white pipe cleaners
    • Black, brown, and red paint
    • Painting materials (brushes, bowls, plates, locking plastic bags)
    • Pictures of a male and female tarantulas

    Preparation:

    1. Record the definition of “molting” on a TalkingBrix 2.
    2. Record the definition of “exoskeleton” on a TalkingBrix.
    3. Record tarantula facts to the Step-by-Step.
    4. Attach two Styrofoam balls together using a toothpick for each student.

    What to do:

    1. Begin by telling the class that you are going to be discussing and making tarantulas. Give them each a tarantula body to paint either brown or black. Students can paint with a brush, finger paint, roll the balls in paint, or place the body in a locking plastic bag filled with paint and shake it - make sure it’s completely zipped shut before shaking! - and set aside to air dry.
    2. Introduce the two vocabulary words “molting” and “exoskeleton” to the class and select a “Word Whiz” to activate the TalkingBrix 2 to tell the class the definition of each word.
    3. Give each student an opportunity to activate the Step-by-Step to learn different facts about tarantulas and discuss them.
    4. When the vocabulary words appear in the tarantula facts, have your “Word Whiz” activate the TalkingBrix 2 to remind the students of what the new words mean.
    5. Build tarantulas of your own making sure to use the new knowledge of tarantula anatomy. Each spider should have two body parts, eight legs, and two palps.

    • Have students determine based on the color they choose for their tarantula if theirs will be a male or a female spider.
    • Attach four legs to each side of the tarantula. To be anatomically correct, legs should all be attached to one Styrofoam ball.
    • Each student will attach eight legs and two palps to their tarantula.
    • Finish painting the tarantulas. A little red can be added to the males and a little black to the females as accent colors.

    Script:

    Molting definition: “Molting means to lose a covering of hair, feathers, or an old shell, and replace it with a new growth in the same place.”
    Exoskeleton definition: “An exoskeleton is a hard covering that supports and protects the bodies of some types of animals. The word exoskeleton actually means “outside skeleton”.
    “There are around 700 species, or types, of tarantulas.”
    “Tarantulas build their homes underground.”
    “Tarantulas eat insects, grasshoppers, and beetles. Some tarantulas even eat small birds!”
    “Tarantula’s natural enemies are weasels, skunks, snakes, and owls.”
    “One other predator that the tarantula must fear is … people. Some people actually keep tarantulas as pets, and in some countries they even eat them!”
    “Tarantulas have an exoskeleton. This means instead of having bones inside their bodies like people, they have a hard covering on the outside of their bodies. As a tarantula grows, it must molt or shed its exoskeleton.“ (Videos of this can be found online)
    “During a molting phases, a tarantula can even regrow lost legs.”
    “Their life span is up to 30 years for females 5-10 for males.”
    “A tarantula’s body can be up to 4.75 in (12 cm) long and its leg span can be up to 11 in (28 cm).”
    “Tarantulas weigh 1 to 3 oz (28 to 85 g).”
    “A female’s lifespan is up to 30-years, and a male’s lifespan is 5 to 10-years.”
    “A male tarantula is usually thinner than a female and has black and reddish hair.”
    “Tarantulas have two body parts - the cephalothorax and the abdomen, eight legs, and two pedipalps - sometimes called palps for short - that are used for feeling and moving things.”

    Keywords

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

  • Mystery Boxes

    Mystery Boxes

    In this Remarkable Idea students will be challenged to feel disgusting items in the mystery boxes and determine what everyday items are inside. The reward for completing this challenge is a meal made of dirt and worms!

    This activity addresses:

  • Critical thinking
  • Choice making
  • Sensory
  • Fine motor skills
  • Alternative methods of access
  • What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Place all the food into the containers so students cannot see what is in them.
    2. Place the “disgusting” item cards on the outside of the containers.
    3. Record “I want to touch it” and “No way!” onto the TalkingBrix 2.

    What to do:

    1. Combine pudding mix and milk into a large bowl. Have a student activate the mixer using the Jelly Bean and PowerLink 4 and whisk for 2-minutes, then let stand for 5-minutes.
    2. Crush 8 chocolate sandwich cookies in a locking plastic bag.
    3. Stir Cool Whip and cookie crumbs into mixture.
    4. Using a spoon, scoop the mixture into cups and refrigerate for 1-hour.
    5. Crush remaining cookies and add to the top of the cups along with gummy worms just before serving.
    6. Allow each student the opportunity to take turns feeling what is inside each container. They will use the TalkingBrix 2 to say “I want to touch it” or “No way!”
    7. Once a student has felt what is inside, allow them guess what they are actually feeling.
    Let them choose from the “actual item” cards and match them to the containers.
    8. At the end of the activity, students can be rewarded for being adventurous enough to feel what was inside the boxes by eating dirt!

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | sensory | powerlink 4 | jelly bean switch | fine motor skills | critical thinking | choice making | alternative methods of access |

  • Hangman Word Game

    Hangman Word Game

    In this Remarkable Idea, students take a spin on the classic game of Hangman by adding an assistive technology component and themes.

    This activity addresses:

    • Spelling
    • Social skills
    • Choice making
    • Cause and effect
    • Fine motor skills
    • Good sportsmanship
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Decide on your theme (decorate a pumpkin, feathers on a turkey, build a snowman, etc.) and the pieces needed (example: pumpkin - nose, mouth, eyes, stem, leaves, etc.)
    2. Record the words you plan to use on your selected communication device (example words: pumpkin, witch, bat, Halloween, etc.)
    3. Write the words you plan to use on strips of construction paper; they should be large enough to read from across the room.

    What to do:

    1. Explain the rules of Hangman so everyone knows how to play.
    - When it is your turn, you get to guess a letter for the puzzle.
    - If you are right, the letter gets added to the word. If you are wrong, the letter is written off to the side and a piece of the character is added.
    2. Each student takes a turn spinning the All-Turn-It Spinner. If it lands on a letter that has already been guessed, the student will spin again.
    3. After a student has taken their turn, they can take a guess at what the word is using the SuperTalker FT / QuickTalker / iPad with SoundingBoard or the strips of paper on the board.
    4. Once the word is solved, begin again until all words are complete.

    Keywords

    supertalker ft | sportsmanship | spelling | soundingboard app | social skills | quicktalker | jelly bean switch | fine motor skills | choice making | cause and effect | blue2 bluetooth switch | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  • Arctic Exploration

    Arctic Exploration

    In this Remarkable Idea, a sensory-based activity, students will find objects hidden in “snow” that they create from common household objects.

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step
    • TalkingBrix 2 (2) with "yes" and "no" symbols
    • PowerLink 4
    • Jelly Bean switch
    • Bowl or plastic bin
    • 1kg sodium bicarbonate
    • Approximately 2 cans of shaving cream (not gel)
    • Manipulatives for students to find in the snow (letters, numbers, colored objects, etc.) following multi-step directions

    Preparation:

    1. On the Step-by-Step record all of the objects you plan on placing in the snow.
    2. Record “yes” and “no” on TalkingBrix 2.
    2. Create “yes” and “no” symbol overlays.

    What to do:

    1. Pour 1kg (approximately 7 cups) sodium bicarbonate into a bowl and have a student activate the mixer using the PowerLink 4 and Jelly Bean switch.
    2. Add shaving cream until a snow-like consistency is achieved (approximately 1.5-2 cans).
    3. Transfer the snow from the mixing bowl to the plastic bin and add in your manipulatives.
    4. Students take turns activating the Step-by-Step and finding the object given by the Step-by-Step.
    5. When a student finds an object, they activate the TalkingBrix 2 to answer the question: “Is that what you were looking for?” If it is not what they were looking for, they may look again or another classmate could take a turn looking. Continue until all objects are found.

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | social skills | sensory | powerlink 4 | jelly bean switch | fine motor skills | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  • Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

    Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will learn about the life of the man who changed our nation, Martin Luther King, Jr., and how his ideologies are still relevant in the classroom, school, and community today.

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Write the definitions for the vocabulary words on a large piece of paper / whiteboard / chalkboard.
    2. Create vocabulary cards for the terms: equality, leadership, selflessness, hope, and community, with symbols and words sized for the All-Turn-It Spinner.
    3. Create your symbols.
    4. Create a vocabulary board on SoundingBoard with examples of how they can apply to your community.
    5. Record each fact on the Step-by-Step:
    “Martin Luther King, Jr. was a civil rights leader, which means he promoted equal rights and treatment among all people.”
    “Some words that are associated with Dr. King are: equality, leadership, selflessness, hope, and community.”
    6. Record definitions for “timeline” and “boycott” onto TalkingBrix 2.

    What to do:

    1. Begin by introducing Dr. King and allow the students to activate the Step-by-Step to share information about Dr. King.
    2. Place the vocabulary cards on the All-Turn-It Spinner and have the iPad with SoundingBoard ready.
    3. Allow students to take turns spinning the All-Turn-It Spinner. When a student lands on a vocabulary card, remove it from the All-Turn-It Spinner and have them find the definition either on the board (if they can read) or on the SoundingBoard app. Attach the vocabulary word next to the correct definition on the board. Continue until all definitions are complete.
    4. Select a student to be the “Word Whiz” to activate the TalkingBrix 2 for the two remaining vocabulary words: timeline and boycott.
    5. Introduce and discuss the timeline of Dr. King’s life. Have your “Word Whiz” give the definition of “timeline.” Draw the timeline on the board so students have a visual representation.
    6. When you have finished the timeline, ask students how they feel they can apply Dr. King’s teachings in their community. If students are having a difficult time coming up with examples, allow them to use the SoundingBoard app with the examples you choose.

    Script:

    “Martin Luther King, Jr. was a civil rights leader, which means he promoted equal rights and treatment
    among all people.”
    “Some words that are associated with Dr. King are: Equality, leadership, selflessness, hope, and
    community.”

    Vocabulary:

    Equality: The quality or fact of being equal. The same.
    Leadership: Leading or being in charge. A guide.
    Selflessness: Devoted to the well-being of others.
    Hope: A belief that things will turn out for the best.
    Community: A group of people sharing common characteristics, interests, or leading a common life.
    Timeline: A series of connected events.
    Boycott: To avoid buying from or using a service.

    Additional suggestions:

    To help set the tone, use background music from the era or protest/freedom songs. Use Google to find a list of U.S. freedom songs/protest songs.
    Portions of Dr. King’s speeches are available online if you wish to share these with your students.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. timeline:

    Timeline of Dr. King’s life is provided. You may wish to add, modify, or remove facts from the timeline for your students.
    January 15, 1929: Michael King, later known as Martin Luther King, Jr., is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
    September 20, 1944: King begins his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
    August 6, 1946: The Atlanta Constitution publishes King’s letter to the editor stating that black people “are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens.”
    February 25, 1948: King is ordained and appointed Assistant Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
    June 8, 1948: King receives his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Morehouse College.
    September 14, 1948: King begins his studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
    May, 1951: King graduates from Crozer with a Bachelor of Divinity degree, delivering the valedictory address at commencement.
    September 13, 1951: King begins his graduate studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University.
    June 18, 1953: King and Coretta Scott are married in Marion, Alabama.
    September 1, 1954: King begins his pastorate in Montgomery, Alabama.
    June 5, 1955: King is awarded his doctorate in Systematic Theology from Boston University.
    November 17, 1955: Yolanda Denise King, the Kings’ first child, is born.
    December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to vacate her seat and move to the rear of a city bus in Montgomery, AL to make way for a white passenger. Jo Ann Robinson and other Women’s Political Council members mimeograph thousands of leaflets calling for a one-day boycott of the city’s buses on December 5.
    November 13, 1956: The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the lower court opinion in declaring Alabama bus segregation laws unconstitutional.
    December 21, 1956: Montgomery City Lines resumes full service on all routes. King is among the first passengers to ride the buses.
    February 18, 1957: King appears on the cover of Time magazine.
    May 17, 1957: At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., King delivers his first national address, “Give Us The Ballot.”
    October 23, 1957: Coretta King gives birth to their second child, Martin, III.
    September 17, 1958: King’s first book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story is published.
    September 20, 1958: During a book signing in Harlem, New York, King is stabbed and rushed to Harlem Hospital.
    October 19, 1960: King is arrested during a sit-in demonstration at Rich’s department store in Atlanta. He is released on October 27.
    January 31, 1961: Dexter Scott, King’s third child, is born.
    July 27, 1962: King is arrested at an Albany, Georgia prayer vigil and jailed. After spending two weeks in jail, King is released.
    September 28, 1962: During the closing of a conference in Birmingham, AL, a man assaults King, striking him twice in the face.
    March 28, 1963: Bernice Albertine, King’s fourth child, is born.
    April 16, 1963: Responding to advice that African Americans wait patiently for justice, King pens his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
    June, 1963: Strength to Love, King’s book of sermons, is published.
    August 28, 1963: King delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech.
    January 3, 1964: King is named “Man of the Year” by Time Magazine.
    June, 1964: King’s book Why We Can’t Wait is published.
    June 11, 1964: King is arrested and jailed for demanding service at a white-only restaurant in St. Augustine, FL.
    December 10, 1964: King receives the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway. He declares that “every penny” of the $54,000 award will be used in the ongoing civil rights struggle.
    June, 1967: King’s book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? is published.
    April 3, 1968: In Memphis, TN, King delivers his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”
    April 4, 1968: King is shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
    April 9, 1968: King is buried in Atlanta, GA.

    Keywords

    vocabulary | talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | soundingboard app | social skills | history | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  • Pumpkin Patch

    Pumpkin Patch

    In this Remarkable Idea, students learn about pumpkin patches and carve their own pumpkin.

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Carving materials

    Decorating Materials

    • Paint
    • Glitter
    • Other miscellaneous art supplies
    • Black self adhesive vinyl
    • Die cut
    • Battery operated scissors

    Preparation:

    1. Choose pumpkins suitable for your students.
    2. Create the “Pumpkin Patch.” This can be a section of the classroom, outside in the grass, or if you’re using mini pumpkins, a large box filled with leaves, shredded paper, etc.

    What to do:

    1. Allow students to choose their own pumpkin from the “Pumpkin Patch.”
    2. Hollow out each pumpkin.

    • Using a knife, an adult will start begin by cutting the top of the pumpkin. Once there is enough room, remove the knife and replace it with the electric carving knife.
    • An adult will plug the electric carving knife into the PowerLink 4 as well as a Jelly Bean switch.
    • Students activate the switch to turn the electric knife on while an adult guides the knife.
    • Once the top is cut off, clean out the inside using a spoon or your hands. Allow students to each take a turn pulling the insides out of the pumpkin.
    • Dispose of insides (if you plan on toasting the seeds, set them aside).

    3. Allow students to choose the shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, star, or rhombus) of the eyes, nose, and mouth for their pumpkin using a SuperTalker FT or have students randomly choose shapes for their pumpkins using an All-Turn-It Spinner and a Jelly Bean switch.
    4. If carving pumpkins, guide electric knife while the students activate the Jelly Bean Switch for the a href="https://www.ablenetinc.com/powerlink-4-north-america" target="_blank">PowerLink 4 (save the pieces you cut out for later). If using self-adhesive vinyl, assist students with the battery operated scissors (a die cut can also be used to cut more complex shapes) to cut out the shape of their choice (save the scrap paper for later).
    5. Once the pumpkins have been “carved” allow students to use the paint, glitter, and other art supplies to finish decorating their pumpkins.
    6. Once all students have finished decorating their pumpkins use the pieces you cut out of the pumpkin or the scraps of vinyl and challenge students to find the match for each shape.

    Keywords

    supertalker ft | social skills | powerlink 4 | jelly bean switch | fine motor skills | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  • The Science of Color

    The Science of Color

    In this Remarkable Idea students will learn about and use the Scientific Method to conduct an experiment involving colors.

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    Dye water with the red, blue, and yellow food coloring, place into ice cube trays, and freeze. At least four of each color will be needed.
    Write your vocabulary words in a place where all students can see them.
    Record definitions of “hypothesis” and “conclusion” to TalkingBrix 2.
    Record the colors purple, green, and orange onto the Step-by-Step.
    Record the steps of the scientific method onto a Step-by-Step.
    - Ask a question
    - Construct a hypothesis
    - Test with an experiment
    - Analyze data and draw a conclusion
    - Communicate the results

    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:

    1. Have a student activate the a Step-by-Step to share the steps of the scientific method with the class so you can discuss them. When you come to one of the vocabulary words, have your “Word Whiz” define them using the TalkingBrix 2. One student can be assigned the extra duty of “Lab Assistant” to take photos of the experiment in progress with the camera app on an iPad/iPod using a Blue2 Switch. The resulting pictures could be made into a bulletin board with the results of the experiment so students can present their findings with more people.
    2. Allow students to choose a hypothesis using the All-Turn-It Spinner and complete a hypothesis using the Step-by-Step:
    - When the yellow cubes melt and mix with the blue cubes, I hypothesize the water will turn the color ___________.
    - When the blue cubes melt and mix with the red cubes, I hypothesize the water will turn the color ___________.
    - When the red cubes melt and mix with the yellow cubes, I hypothesize the water will turn the color ___________.
    3. Label the cups/jars and place 2 ice cubes of 2 colors (2 red + 2 blue, 2 blue + 2 yellow, 2 yellow + 2 red) into each corresponding cup/jar and allow to melt. Place the cups/jars in the sun or near a heat source to speed up the melting process if you don’t want to wait overnight.
    - To add another level of difficulty, use different amounts of ice cubes in cups or all colors and challenge students to think about what will happen with those cups.
    - Another fun addition would be to create a time-lapse video of the ice cubes melting. This can be done with an iPad with iOS 8 or digital cameras.
    4. Once the ice cubes have all melted, students can record their data, and use the TalkingBrix 2 to tell the class if their hypothesis was correct or incorrect. Remind students that having a wrong hypothesis is not a bad thing, many scientists have had wrong hypotheses.

    Keywords

    talkingbrix 2 | step-by-step | social skills | choice making | cause and effect | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  • Mother's Day

    Mother's Day

    In this Remarkable Idea, students will make flower vases and paper daisies with a special message for Mother’s Day.

    This activity addresses:

    • Choice making
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    * iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.

    Preparation:

    1. If using a plastic bottle, carefully cut off the threaded top portion of it.
    2. Write “I love you because…” somewhere on the vase and make sure to leave room for the student’s handprint.
    3. Record different options for the students on the QuickTalker 12 or create a SoundingBoard. Some options could be: “you take care of me”, “you play with me”, “you are funny”, etc.
    4. Cut petals for the daisies (approximately 1.5-in. ellipses, 45 per vase) using white construction paper.
    5. Cut 1-in. circles out of yellow paper (unless you plan to make these using the computer)

    What to do:

    Vase
    1. Begin by creating the vase using the milk chug bottle/vase/mason jar. Have students put paint on their hands and make a handprint, or two if there is room, on the vase. Allow to dry.

    Flower Centers
    1. Using an iPad, the Blue2 Bluetooth Switch, and the camera app, take a picture of each student. 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!
    2. Using the QuickTalker 12 or the SoundingBoard app, allow students to choose 4 phrases for the center of the daisies.
    3. Using a computer, resize and print the student’s picture in the shape of a circle with a 1-in. diameter. Type the student’s chosen phrases and print them into 1-in. yellow circles, or write them in the center of the yellow circles.

    Flowers
    1. Begin making the flower stems by rolling green construction paper around the pencils. These will need to be long enough to poke out of the vase. Make one longer for the student’s picture.
    2. On the back of the flower centers, glue 9 petals on each center.
    3. Glue the stems to the back of the flower centers. Place the flowers in the vase.
    4. Crumple pieces of black construction paper and place your paper “dirt” in the vase.
    5. Use a hot glue gun to glue everything in place.

    Keywords

    soundingboard app | quicktalker 12 | fine motor skills | choice making | blue2 bluetooth switch | alternative methods of access |

  • Father's Day

    Father's Day

    In this Remarkable Idea students will make containers with a picture and special message for Father’s Day.

    This activity addresses:

    • Choice making
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    * iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.

    Preparation:

    1. Record different options for the students to the QuickTalker or create a board using the SoundingBoard app. Some options could be: “I love you because you take care of me”, “I love you because you play with me”, “I love you because you are funny”, etc.
    2. Sand down and paint the Altoid tins using white spray paint.

    What to do:

    Interior Cards
    1. Using an iPad, the Blue2 switch, and the camera app, take a picture of each student. 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!
    2. Using the QuickTalker 12 or the SoundingBoard app allows students to choose 4 phrases for the special messages in the tin.
    3. Using a computer, resize and print the student’s picture to the size of a business card (3.5” x 2”). Print the student’s chosen phrases onto cards (3.5” x 2”).

    Tins
    1. Using an iPad, the Blue2 switch, and the camera app take a picture of each student. 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!)
    2. Using the QuickTalker 12 or the SSoundingBoard app allows students to choose 4 phrases for the special messages in the tin.
    3. Using a computer, resize and print the student’s picture to the size of a business card (3.5” x 2”). Print the student’s chosen phrases onto cards (3.5” x 2”).

    Keywords

    soundingboard app | quicktalker 12 | fine motor skills | choice making | blue2 bluetooth switch | alternative methods of access |