jelly bean switch

  1. 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 |

  2. 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 |

  3. 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 |

  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. 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 |

  6. 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 |

  7. 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 |

  8. 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 |

  9. 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 |

  10. St. Patrick's Day Fun

    St. Patrick's Day Fun

    In this Remarkable Idea, students celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with food, games, and even build a trap to try and catch that pesky leprechaun!

    This activity addresses:

  11. Creative thinking
  12. Listening skills
  13. Fine motor skills
  14. Number recognition
  15. Patterning
  16. Alternative methods of access

  17. What you need:

    Leprechaun Math

    • Numbers/attribute blocks/etc.
    • All-Turn-It Spinner
    • Jelly Bean switch
    • Leprechaun figures/chocolate gold coins
    • Rice
    • Vinegar
    • Green food coloring
    • Locking plastic bags
    • Lucky Charms cereal

    Mischievous Leprechaun

    • Green glitter/St. Patrick’s Day confetti
    • Small jars/plastic bags
    • Green jelly beans
    • Green washable paint
    • Tape
    • Small shoes
    • Caution tape/police tape
    • Blue2 Blootooth switch

    Trap a Leprechaun

    • Box
    • Green paper for wrapping box
    • Pencil
    • String
    • Leprechaun bait (gold coins, green items, etc.)

    St. Patrick’s Day Bingo

    Preparation:

    Mischievous Leprechaun
    1. Leave trails of glitter or confetti around your classroom.
    2. Make small messes and rearrange things, and leave green shoe prints all over the classroom.
    3. Place jelly beans in small bags or jars and label them as “Leprechaun poop”.
    4. You could also place caution tape at the doorway of the classroom and create a fake police report for students to fill out together.

    Be creative so your students really feel as though a Leprechaun has messed up their room!

    Leprechaun Math
    1. Dye your rice green by combining a ratio of 1-cup of rice to 1-tablespoon of vinegar, along with as much food coloring as you need to get to the desired color in a plastic bag. Allow the rice to dry once it has adsorbed the green color.
    2. Place objects (numbers, attribute blocks, etc.) into the green rice bucket.
    3. Using an All-Turn-It Spinner blank overlay, write (or place pictures) of the objects you wish for your students to find in the rice.
    4. Add Leprechaun figures or chocolate gold coins as a surprise for your students.

    St. Patrick’s Day Bingo
    1. Find/create a St. Patrick’s Day bingo card.
    2. Record each bingo space to a Step-by-Step.

    What to do:

    Mischievous Leprechaun
    1. When your students come into the classroom in the morning, allow them to explore the classroom and see the mischief the Leprechaun has caused.
    2. Allow students to take “crime scene photos” using a Blue2 Blootooth switch and an iPad.
    3. Search for clues and make a list of anyone whose desk or locker was messed with.
    4. File a “police report” with your students. Ask them to describe things they found in the classroom. If your school has a security guard, see if they can assist with this activity.

    Leprechaun Math
    1. Identifying numbers/shapes/etc.: Allow students to take turns spinning the All-Turn-It Spinner and finding the correct number/object in the rice.
    2. Patterns: Pass out Lucky Charms marshmallows to each student (you may wish to only use two or three different shapes). Make an A/B pattern and challenge your students to match the pattern. For advanced students. challenge them to create their own patterns or match more complex patterns.

    St. Patrick’s Day Bingo
    1. Pass out a bingo card to each student.
    2. Select a caller to activate the Step-by-Step.
    3. Play until you have a winner. (Chocolate gold coins make a good prize)

    Trap a Leprechaun
    1. Allow students to decorate the box as well as place drawings around the area you plan to place the trap.
    2. Tie the “Leprechaun bait” to the pencil and use it to prop the box up.
    3. After the students have gone home for the day, remove the bait and replace it with a note that says “Better luck next year!”
    4. Leave the trap in “tripped” condition.

Keywords

step-by-step | patterns | numbers | listening skills | jelly bean switch | fine motor skills | creative thinking | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  • 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 |

  • Word Game

    Word Game

    In this Remarkable Idea, students take a spin on the classic word game 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 the Word Game 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 |

  • Here Comes Fall!

    Here Comes Fall!

    In this activity students will conduct an experiment called chromatography to see the different colors in a leaf, and discuss why leaves change color in the fall. In addition to this experiment, students will use fall colors to create marbled leaves.

    This activity addresses:

    • Following directions
    • Sensory experience
    • Science skills
    • Science of bubbles
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • BIGmack or LITTLEmack
    • Jelly Bean
    • My Art Spinnerr
    • Battery Device Adapter
    • Adapted scissors
    • Leaves
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Small glasses/jars (baby food)
    • Coffee filters/filter paper
    • Hot water
    • Pencils/sticks (one per student)
    • Shaving cream
    • Baking pan
    • Finger paint
    • Construction paper

    Preparation:

    1. Cut out leaf shapes from the construction paper.
    2. Record the word “Autumn” on a BIGmack or LITTLEmack.
    3. Record “red”, “orange”, and “brown” on BIGmack or LITTLEmack so students can choose their colors.

    What to do for chromatography:

    1. Students can use the adapted scissors to cut a leaf into small pieces, and place them into the small glasses.
    2. Older students can use the scientific method and develop a hypothesis as to what is going to happen.
    3. Teacher adds a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the glass - enough to cover the leaves is fine. The alcohol will slowly change color from the chlorophyll in the leaves. To speed this up, place the glasses in a hot water bath.
    4. Students can use the adapted scissor to cut strips from the coffee filters.
    5. Attach the coffee filter strips to a pencil. Place pencil over glass so that strips hang down into the alcohol. After 30 – 90 minutes, bands of colors will be noticeable on the coffee filters.

    What to do for the art project:

    1. Place shaving cream on a table or in a baking pan and put fall colored finger paint (red, orange, brown) on top of the shaving cream.
    2. Allow students to swirl the paint around a little (not too much that the colors mix) and add glitter or other decorations.
    3. Place leaf cut outs or construction paper on the shaving cream.
    4. Students that cannot participate with the shaving cream and finger paint can paint their leaves using the My Art Spinner and Battery Device Adapter with a Jelly Bean.
    5. Once the paper is face down in the shaving cream lift it off, and scrape any excess shaving cream from the paper. Allow them to dry.
    6. Students can then play in the leftover shaving cream to draw pictures or practice writing.

    Scripts for activity:

    1. “Very soon the season will be changing from summer to fall. Another name for fall is autumn. Does anyone know what happens to the leaves on the trees in fall?”
    2. “Do you know why the leaves change in the fall? Plants have pigments in them that determine their color. Leaves have the pigment chlorophyll in them that make them green as well as another other pigments called carotenoids. Chlorophyll makes the leaves green while carotenoids can make the leaves yellow, red, or orange.”
    3. “When the weather is warm the tree produces a lot of chlorophyll which is why the leaves are green. As the season changes from summer to fall the weather cools down and the tree produces less chlorophyll, this is when we get to see the colors from the carotenoids.”
    4. “Today we are going to perform an experiment that will hopefully show us some other colors in our leaves, besides the green we see when we look at them.”
    5. Students can then play in the leftover shaving cream to draw pictures or practice writing.

    Keywords

    sensory | science | littlemack | jelly bean switch | following directions | bigmack | alternative methods of access |

  • 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 |

  • Adapted Presentations

    Adapted Presentations

    Giving a presentation is a great way to share knowledge with a large group of people. This is also a skill that, through assistive technology, students of all abilities can participate in. This activity will demonstrate three ways to assist your students in making and giving presentations.

    This activity addresses:

    • Social skills
    • Turn taking
    • Public speaking
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Choose a presentation topic. Topics about what a student activities or about their family can help engage family members in your student’s education.
    2. Choose the appropriate presentation method: Poster, PowerPoint, SoundingBoard (iPad)

    What to do:

    PowerPoint
    1. Assist students to find pictures on the internet, or use pictures provided from home in the presentation (use a BIGtrack 2 for students who have difficulty with a standard mouse).
    2. Headings and short phrases can be typed into the presentation (use a BIGKeys keyboard with a rigid keyguard for students who have difficulty with a standard keyboard).
    3. Remember that any effects added to a presentation may require additional mouse or switch clicks. Too many extra clicks can make a presentation a daunting task for some students.
    4. Before presentation time, the student should decide what they want to tell the class. Chosen phrases or information can be recorded on a Step-by-Step or directly into the PowerPoint presentation (using a microphone) for presentation time. Playing audio directly from PowerPoint will require additional clicks and the student must be able to alternate between two switches to effectively give his/her presentation.
    5. These PowerPoint directions apply to PowerPoint 2013 - To record directly into PowerPoint click on the “Insert” tab, and towards the upper right hand corner click audio and select “Record Audio…” in this box you can name the audio file and record it.
    6. Once you have recorded your sound, move the speaker icon out of the middle of the frame so it doesn’t block the picture. Right-click on the speaker icon, choose style, then select “Play in background” this will play the sound upon opening the slide in presentation mode so the student does not have to click the
    play button.
    7. At presentation time plug a Hitch computer switch interface into the computer and set the switch to the “space bar”, this will allow the switch to advance the slides.
    8. In Power Point, launch presentation mode.

    SoundingBoard
    1. Assist students to find pictures on the internet, or use pictures provided from home to create a poster on the chosen topic (Doing this directly on the iPad will save time, but may be more difficult for some students. Pictures can be found on a computer and emailed to the iPad, or a services like DropBox can be used to sync pictures with the iPad).
    2. Before presentation time, the student should decide what they want to tell the class.
    3. Once all the pictures for the student’s presentation have been saved to the iPad and presentation dialogue has been decided on, open SoundingBoard App and click “+ Add Board” in the upper right hand corner (To make this easy for the students you can have them name each board in their presentation by number).
    4. Name your first board, and select a picture for the board (using numbers for the pictures as well can make giving the presentation much easier) by clicking “Select Image for Board List”. Choose Pick from Symbols Library (if using the number system), click “Numbers”, click the image of the “1”, and click save in the upper right-hand corner.
    5. You have the option to record a prompt message for your student at this point.
    6. Click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner to proceed.
    7. Click “Add Image”.
    8. Click “Add Image” in the upper left-hand corner then click “Pick from Photo Library” and add the first image the student would like to share with the class.
    9. Click “Message Name” to give the image a title that other students will see when the image is shown during the presentation. Click “Save” in the upper right-hand corner when finished.
    10.Record the first line of presentation dialogue to accompany the picture by clicking “Record Message” (the iPad will automatically begin recording) press top when you are finished recording.
    11.You have the option to record a prompt message for your student at this point.
    12.Click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner when finished. At this point, you have the option to add a second picture or save the board. If you add another picture the student will have to choose between two (or more) pictures while giving the presentation. If this is the best option repeat the process of adding an image and sound recording. If you want you student to only have one image on screen at a time you can click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner to save the board.
    13.At this point, your board should be visible in the “User Created Boards” list. To use other images in the presentation add another board by repeating the process. When ALL your boards are completed (In “User Created Boards” you will have 1, 2, 3, etc.) you need to click on “Edit Boards” in the upper Left-hand corner. Begin with 1, click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner (this first screen should not need editing).
    14.Click the image for the students presentation (not the “Add Image” button) choose Edit on the pop-up menu.
    15.Click “Link Message to Another Board” and choose “2” (or whatever you have named the second board in your presentation).
    16.Click the arrow in the upper right hand corner 2 times to bring you back to your main boards screen. Repeat this process until all your presentation boards are linked.

    Poster
    1. Assist students to find pictures on the internet, or use pictures provided from home to create a poster on the chosen topic (use a BIGtrack 2 for students who have difficulty with a standard mouse).
    2. Headings and short phrases can be typed on the computer (use a BIGKeys keyboard with a rigid keyguard for students who have difficulty with a standard keyboard).
    3. Print out pictures and cut them to size using the battery adapted scissors.
    4. Before presentation time, the student should decide what they want to tell the class. Chosen phrases or information can be recorded on a Step-by-Step for presentation time.

    Keywords

    turn taking | step-by-step | soundingboard app | social skills | public speaking | jelly bean switch | hitch | blue2 bluetooth switch | bigtrack 2 | bigkeys | alternative methods of access |