powerlink 4

  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. 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. 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 |

  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. 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 |

  8. 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:

  9. Critical thinking
  10. Choice making
  11. Sensory
  12. Fine motor skills
  13. Alternative methods of access
  14. What you need:

    • Jelly Bean
    • TalkingBrix 2
    • PowerLink 4
    • Mystery boxes
      Boxes or containers students cannot see inside of, such as tissue boxes, bowls with a box placed over the top, etc.
      Pictures/labels of the “disgusting” objects inside
      Pictures/labels of the actual objects inside
    • Mystery Box Contents – (These are just some examples)
      Pistachio shells – Fingernails
      Pistachio pudding with mini marshmallows – Boogers
      Grapes (peeled preferably) – Eyeballs
      Baby carrots/little sausages – Fingers
      Baby dill pickles – Witches fingers
      Jello – Brains
      Peeled tomato – Heart
      Cooked Spaghetti – Worms
    • Dirt & Worms
      1-package of instant chocolate pudding
      2-cups of milk
      1-tub (8 oz.) of Cool Whip
      15 chocolate sandwich cookies
      Gummy worms
      Locking plastic bag
      Spoon
      Electric Mixer

    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 |

  • 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 |

  • Caramel Apple Bites

    Caramel Apple Bites

    With Fall approaching and apples ready to be picked, this is a great activity to do with students. Students will have fun cooking this tasty treat!

    This activity addresses:

    • Following isntructions
    • Mearsuing ingredients
    • Functional cooking skills
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step
    • Jelly Beamer/Big Beamer
    • PowerLink
    • BIG/LITTLEmack
    • One bag of caramels or caramel bits, and caramel toppings such as sprinkles (optional)
    • 6 apples and apple slicer or knife
    • 2 Tablespoons of milk (can substitute water)
    • Toothpicks, paper plates, and small paper cups (optional)
    • Apple slicer or knife
    • Toothpicks
    • Brown and green construction paper
    • Whisk (optional)

    Preparation:

    1. Record “A tree”, “The ground” on a BIG/LITTLEmack.
    2. Record various things you can make using apples on a Step-by-Step (pies, jam, butter, muffins, applesauce, caramel apples).
    3. Cut apples into bite-sized pieces and place toothpicks in them. If you do this far in advance refrigerate the apples to keep them from turning brown. Alternatively, apples can be cut into bigger pieces and wedged into a whisk for students who may not be able to hold a toothpick for dipping.
    4. On a bulletin board or wall in the room, make an empty tree with leaves on which students can hang the plate apples they make.

    What to do:

    1. Discuss apples with the class.
    “Does anyone know what this is (hold up an apple)? That’s right, it’s an apple! Where do apples come from, a tree or the ground?” (Students use BIG/LITTLEmack to answer)
    “Today we are going to pick apples and make something out of them. Does anyone know what we can make using apples? (Students use Step-by-Step to answer)
    “Today we are going to make caramel apple bites.”
    2. Have students place caramel candies in a bowl to be melted. Measure out 2 tablespoons of milk or water and add it to the bowl.
    3. Melt the caramel candies, which can be done a few ways: Using a microwave, using a slow cooker, or a stove top. If you use a slow cooker, place water at the bottom and add the candies in a heat tolerant bowl. Students can turn the slow cooker on using the PowerLink and a Jelly Beamer/Big Beamer, but be careful not to get too close! For the stove top, cook on low-medium heat until the caramel is melted. Caution: caramel can cook unevenly and be extremely hot!
    4. Students can begin to work on their apple plates for the classroom apple tree. Using a small paper plate, students can use a red or green colors using crayons, paint, markers, paper tiles, etc. to decorate their plate.
    5. Once the caramel is ready, students can take turns dipping their apple bites into the caramel and topping of their choice. Toppings could also be placed into a cup to be poured onto the caramel apple bites. Place the finished apple bites into the refrigerator to allow the caramel topping to become firm.
    6. Hang up finished plates on the classroom apple tree.
    7. Enjoy the caramel apple bites!

    Keywords

    step-by-step | powerlink 4 | little beamer | following directions | fine motor skills | cooking skills | bigmack | big beamer | alternative methods of access |

  • Making Sunshine Shakes

    Making Sunshine Shakes

    In this Remarkable Idea, students identify the different ingredients used and follow recipe directions to make Sunshine Shakes. Students can share their opinion on if they liked the shakes or did not like the shakes.

    This activity addresses:

    • Following instructions
    • Measuring ingredients
    • Group work
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step
    • Jelly Beamer
    • PowerLink
    • iTalk2 with Levels
    • Blender
    • Measuring cups and spoons
    • Spoons
    • 1 Cup or glas per student
    • Shake ingredients
      - orange juice (1 cup)
      - pineapple juice (1/2 cup)
      - banana (1)
      - vanilla yogurt (1/2 cup)
      - vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)

    Preparation:

    1. On a Step-by-Step with the “recipe” picture/symbol, record the Sunshine Shake Direction Script.

    • “We’re going to make refreshing, fruity Sunshine Shakes today!”
    • “We’re going to take turns adding ingredients.”
    • “First, somebody can measure out 1 cup of orange juice and pour it in the blender.”
    • “Now someone needs to measure out 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and add it to the blender.”
    • “We need 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt. Who would like to measure and add the yogurt?”
    • “Who wants to peel a banana? Put the banana in the blender after it’s peeled.”
    • “We need someone to measure out 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and put it in the blender.”
    • “Now we’ll take turns using the blender to blend together all of the ingredients.”
    • “When the shake is finished, we will pour it into cups for everyone and drink it”.

    2. Plug the blender and the Jelly Beamer into the PowerLink 4.
    3. Create a large “shake” picture/symbol card.
    4. Create “like” and “don’t like” pictures/symbols, two inches in size. Place one on either side of the iTalk2 with Levels. Record the messages, “I like the Sunshine Shake” and “I don’t like the Sunshine Shake” on the respective message locations.

    What to do:

    1. Show students the “shake” picture/symbol card. Explain to students that they are going to make Sunshine Shakes.
    2. Ask students to say what they think they will use to make a Sunshine Shake, and what a Sunshine Shake might taste like.
    3. Show students the different shake ingredients. Students name or identify each ingredient.
    4. Students take turns using the Step-by-Step to read each of the recipe direction steps to the class.
    5. Students take turns following the directions to complete each recipe step. When the blender is needed, students activate the Jelly Beamer to turn on the blender and blend up the ingredients.
    6. Students each drink a sample of the Sunshine Shake.
    7. Students use the iTalk2 with Levels to say if they liked the Sunshine Shake of if they did not like the Sunshine Shake.
    8. The teacher tallies on the board how many students liked the shake and how many students did not like the shake. The students count up the number of tallies under each different choice.

    Keywords

    team work | powerlink 4 | measuring | jelly beamer | italk2 with levels | following directions | alternative methods of access |

  • Forever Blowing Bubbles

    Forever Blowing Bubbles

    In this Remarkable Idea, students can collaborate and perform a great experiment using bubbles!

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Spatial awareness
    • Working in a group
    • Measuring distances
    • Forces: speed of fan vs. distance traveled
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • BIG or LITTLEmack (with symbol for bubbles)
    • Jelly Beamer and a href="https://www.ablenetinc.com/original-receiver" target="_blank">Original Receiver 2 (one with symbol for fan one with symbol for bubbles)
    • PowerLink 4
    • Bubble machine and bubble solution
    • Symbols for fan and bubbles (2)
    • Electric fan
    • Newspaper
    • Tape measure
    • Something to mark distance labeled 1,2, and 3

    Preparation:

    1. Plug the Bubble machine and fan into the PowerLink 4.
    2. Create bubble and fan symbols.
    3. Link the Original Receiver to the Jelly Beamer transmitters for the Bubble machine and fan plugged in to the PowerLink 4.
    4. Record ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ on BIG or LITTLEmack.
    5. Put newspaper on the floor to keep it from getting slippery with bubble solution.

    What to do:

    1. Have the students decide on first setting for fan.
    2. Turn on the Bubble machine.
    3. Turn on the fan.
    4. Have a student play ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ on BIG/LITTLEmack.
    5. Let the bubbles blow until the poem is finished.
    6. Record which bubble travels the greatest distance and mark the spot where it lands with the first bubble marker.
    7. Measure the distance from Bubble machine to tin can. This is recorded against the speed setting of the fan.
    8. Repeat process using different speed settings on the fan and different positioning of the Bubble machine.
    9. Re-position the fan angle and speed. Record which fan position and speed has the greatest effect on distance traveled.

    Script:

    Recording of ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ into BIG/LITTLEmack.
    “I’m forever blowing bubbles.
    Pretty bubbles in the air.
    They fly so high, nearly reach the sky.
    Then like my dreams, they fade and die.
    Fortune’s always hiding.
    I’ve looked everywhere.
    I’m forever blowing bubbles.
    Pretty bubbles in the air.”

    Keywords

    team work | spatial awareness | shapes | powerlink 4 | numeracy | littlemack | jelly beamer | forces | cause and effect | bigmack | alternative methods of access |

  • A Windy Day at the Races

    A Windy Day at the Races

    In this Remarkable Idea, students learn about wind - what it is and what it feel like. They will compete in relay races taking turns using a switch-activated hair dryer to blow a leaf (or other object) down to the FINISH line.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and Effect
    • Anticipation
    • Group work
    • Turn Taking
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step (2)
    • Jelly Beamer
    • PowerLink4
    • “Wind” picture/symbol card
    • Various lightweight objects such as cotton balls, tissue paper, plastic straw, etc.
    • Two plastic/fake leaves
    • Two long tables
    • Hair dryer (2 - each with an extension cord)

    Preparation:

    1. Plug each hair dryer (with extension cord) and Jelly Beamer into the PowerLink4.
    2. On two Step-by-Steps, place a “cheer” picture/symbol and record words of cheer/encouragement such as “Go, go, go!”, “You can do it!”, “Blow that leaf!”, “Don’t give up!”, “You’re doing great!”
    3. Set up the PowerLink4 on or near one of the long tables, and place each hair dryer at the same end of the tables.

    What to do:

    1. Show students the “wind” picture/symbol card.
    2. Explain to students that “wind” is something that we feel, and it’s a type of weather.
    3. Use a hair dryer to have students experience what “wind” feels like.
    4. Put different lightweight objects on the table, and demonstrate how the wind will blow the objects.
    5. Tell students that many times, outside, the wind will blow around leaves.
    6. Show students the two hair dryers and Jelly Beamer. Show them how to activate the switch to turn on the hair dryer and blow a leaf from one end of the table to the next.
    7. Students on each team take turns activating the switch to turn on the hair dryer and blow their leaf from one end of the table to the next and back. A
    8. While a student from each team is blowing the team’s leaf, the other students on that team take turns using a Step-by-Step to cheer on their team member.

    Keywords

    turn taking | team work | step-by-step | powerlink 4 | jelly beamer | cause and effect | anticipation | alternative methods of access |

  • Bowling Fun for All

    Bowling Fun for All

    In the Remarkable Idea, students will have great fun throwing a ball against the bowling pins to knock them down!

    This activity addresses:

    • Turn Taking
    • Numbers
    • Teamwork
    • Cause and effect
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Connect the leaf blower to the PowerLink 4 (have power link set to timed and adjust to suit)
    2. Connect the iTalk2 with Levels to the PowerLink 4.
    3. Record cheering and words of commiseration on the iTalk2 with Levels.
    4. Connect the iTalk2 with Levels to the PowerLink 4.
    5. Record numbers 1-8 on QuickTalker 12.
    6. Create your bowling pin picture symbol for the iTalk2 with Levels, and QuickTalker 12.

    What to do:

    1. Place leaf blower on the floor and place pieces of wood to form a track.
    2. Record numbers 1 to 8 on QuickTalker 12 with overlay showing 1-8 symbols for numbers.
    3. Set bottles/bowling pins.
    4. Place ball near blower and use the iTalk2 with Levels the blower on and BOWL!
    5. Count how many pins were knocked over and press the appropriate number on the QuickTalker 12.
    6. Use the iTalk2 with Levels to either cheer or commiserate depending on the number of pins knocked down.

    Additional ideas:

    Record “Get set and go” on the QuickTalker 12.
    You can record additional phrases like:
    “Wow how many did I get?”
    “That was great, can’t wait for another for another turn”
    “Wow great shot”
    “Ahh, that was close, better luck next time”

    Keywords

    turn taking | team work | quicktalker 12 | powerlink 4 | numbers | italk2 with levels | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  • Staying Warm Like Penguins Do

    Staying Warm Like Penguins Do

    In this Remarkable Idea, students simulate the insulation of a penguin and how they keep warm in the cold. They can then go on to make observations about the outcome and discuss the outcome they observed.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Visual follows
    • Anticipation
    • Group work
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Create two-inch pictures/symbols of “cold” and “no.” Place the pictures/symbols on the iTalk2 with Levels and record “This feels cold” and “No, this does not feel cold” on the respective locations of the iTalk2 with Levels.
    2. Record the science script on the Step-by-Step.

    • “Penguins can stay warm in places that are very cold.”
    • “We are going to do a science experiment to find out how penguins are able to stay warm in very cold temperatures.”
    • “First, we’re going to find out what it feels like when our skin touches ice.”
    • “Everybody, grab a plastic bag, but don’t fill it. Put it on your arm or on your hand.”
    • “Now take a plastic bag that’s filled with ice, and set it on top of the plastic bag on your hand. Does your hand feel cold? Each of you will have a turn to tell the class if your hand feels cold.”
    • “Now we’re going to find out what a penguin feels when it touches the ice.”
    • “Penguins have little straws under their feathers that hold air. We are going to put a bag of air on our hand. Everybody, grab a bag that has air inside, and put it on your skin. Now pick up a bag of ice and set it on the bag filled with air.”
    • “Does your skin feel cold? Everybody will get a turn to tell the class if their skin felt cold or not.”
    • “Our experiment is all done now. Who can remember why penguins stay warm on the ice and in very, very cold weather?”

    3. Fill plastic bags with ice, one bag per student.

    What to do:

    1. Show students the pictures of a penguin and the penguin climate.
    2. Explain that penguins are animals that live where it is very cold all the time.
    3. Ask if anybody knows how penguins are able to keep from freezing in the cold weather.
    4. Reads the science experiment script using the Step-by-Step or follow the instructions of the teacher.
    5. Students place an empty plastic bag on their hand, then a bag of ice on top of that.
    6. Each student uses the iTalk2 with Levels to say if their hand feels cold or not. Explain that this is how our skin feels when it touches ice - ice makes our skin feel cold.
    7. Explain that now they are going to experience what a penguin feels when it touches ice.
    8. Connect the hair dryer, PowerLink and Switch. Use these to blow air into the resealable plastic bag and seal them. Make one for each student.
    9. Place the bag with air inside of it on the back of the students hand. Explains that penguins have little straws under their feathers that keep air inside them, just like the bag keeps air trapped inside of it.
    10. Place a bag of ice on top of the air-filled plastic bag.
    11. Uses the iTalk2 with Levels to say if their hand feels cold or not. Explain that this is how a penguin feels when it’s feathers touch ice.
    12. Explain that the bag with the air in it keeps the cold ice away from our skin, so it does not make our skin feel cold. Remind students that penguins have little straws under their feathers that are like pockets of air that keep the cold away from their skin in the same way.

    Keywords

    visual cues | team work | switches | step-by-step | powerlink 4 | italk2 with levels | cause and effect | anticipation | alternative methods of access |

  • Let's Make Hot Chocolate

    Let's Make Hot Chocolate

    In this Remarkable Idea, students can collaborate to make a delicious hot drink, which they can then go on to drink and share. This task is a great team builder.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Team work
    • Turn taking
    • Social scripts
    • Following directions
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Record scripts to SuperTalker FT, iTalk2 with Levels, or Step-by-Step

    • I would like hot chocolate
    • Can you measure the milk and pour it into the container
    • Now we need to heat the milk (NOT TOO HOT!)
    • Now we need to add the chocolate
    • Can you put it in the blender and I’ll turn it on
    • Now let’s serve it to everyone

    If drinks to be offered around then following scripts could be used on a Step-by-Step:

    • Hello, my name is____________ what’s your name?
    • Would you like some hot chocolate
    • We made it ourselves
    • Here you are
    • Is it okay
    • OK thanks bye!

    What to do:

    1. Connect the blender to PowerLink and the PowerLink to Jelly Beamer
    2. Measure and pour milk into microwave safe container
    3. Heat milk to desired heat
    4. Add chocolate powder
    5. Pour chocolate milk in the blender, blend for 1 to 2 minutes.
    6. Add marshmallows
    7. Serve drinks using Step-by-Step to offer drinks.

    Keywords

    turn taking | team work | supertalker ft | step-by-step | powerlink 4 | jelly beamer | italk2 with levels | following directions | cause and effect | 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 |