step-by-step

  1. Create a Colorful Windsock

    Create a Colorful Windsock

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

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

    Preparation:

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


    What to do:

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


    Script:

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

    Keywords

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

  2. Sight Word Seek and Steal

    Sight Word Seek and Steal

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

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

    Keywords

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

  3. George Washington - I Cannot Tell a Lie

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

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

    Keywords

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

  4. Fire at These Coordinates

    Fire at These Coordinates

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Preparation:

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


    What to do:

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


    Level 2

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


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

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

    Keywords

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

  5. 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 |

  6. 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 |

  7. I Predict Partly Cloudy

    I Predict Partly Cloudy

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

    This activity addresses:

    • Science
    • Making predictions
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    What to do:

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


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

    Keywords

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

  8. Math Mystery

    Math Mystery

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

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

    Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

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

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

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

    Script:

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

    Character Suggestions:

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

    Additional Suggestions:

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

    Keywords

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

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

    Join and Separate - It's in the Bag!

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

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

    Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

    Script:

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

    Additional suggestions:

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

    Keywords

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

  10. 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 |

  11. 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 |

  12. Healthy Hands

    Healthy Hands

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

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

    Preparation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Additional suggestions:

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

    Keywords

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

  13. Solar Cooking

    Solar Cooking

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

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

    Optional

  14. Timer
  15. Thermometer
  16. Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

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

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

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

    Vocabulary:
    Hypothesis
    Conclusion
    Control
    Variable

    Script:

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

    Additional Suggestions

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

Keywords

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

  • Sensing Patterns

    Sensing Patterns

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

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

    Preparation:

    1. Create your TalkingBrix 2 identification cards.

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

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

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

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

    What to do:

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

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

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

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

    Vocabulary:

    AB pattern
    ABB pattern
    ABC pattern

    Additional suggestions:

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

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

    Keywords

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

  • Eating Healthy Foods for a Healthy Lifestyle

    Eating Healthy Foods for a Healthy Lifestyle

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

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Smoothie Ingredients

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

    Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

    Script:

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

    Vocabulary:

    Dairy
    Grain
    Vegetable
    Fruit
    Protein
    Fats & oils
    Empty calories

    Additional suggestions:

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

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

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

    Keywords

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

  • 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:

  • Creative thinking
  • Listening skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Number recognition
  • Patterning
  • Alternative methods of access

  • What you need:

    Leprechaun Math

    Mischievous Leprechaun

    Trap a Leprechaun

    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 |

  • Let's Talk Tarantulas

    Let's Talk Tarantulas

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

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

    Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

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

    Script:

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

    Keywords

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

  • 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 |

  • 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 |

  • 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 |

  • Showtime!

    Showtime!

    In this Remarkable Idea, students can take be part of the school talent show. Whether that be introducing the acts through a communication aid, or looking after the special effects. Here a Student can control the background pictures for the show as students perform.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Visual follows
    • Turn taking
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Create symbol for switch showing Projector
    2. Create symbol for Step-by-Step showing singing
    3. Record script on Step-by-Step
    The script really depends on the acts taking part, but examples could be:

    • “Let’s all welcome on stage _______ who’s going to perform for you a song called ________”
    • “Let’s all give a big hand in appreciation for a great song there by _______”

    What to do:

    1. Check the acts and scripts and design a PowerPoint slide show around this.
    2. Connect the projector, computer, Step-by-Step and switch to the Hitch. It’s important at this time to connect the switch to the correct port on the Hitch and assign the Hitch to the correct function for changing the slides.
    3. Record the introduction of acts on to the Step-by-Step.
    4. The student can now use the Step-by-Step to introduce the acts and the switch to change the slide show at the appropriate time. These tasks could be split and done by two students if more appropriate.

    Keywords

    visual cues | turn taking | step-by-step | hitch | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  • Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

    Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

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

    This activity addresses:

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

    What you need:

    Preparation:

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

    What to do:

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

    Script:

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

    Vocabulary:

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

    Additional suggestions:

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

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. timeline:

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

    Keywords

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

  • Creature Features

    Creature Features

    In this Remarkable Idea, students work together in learning groups to answer questions about their favorite animal.

    This activity addresses:

    • Turn taking
    • Social skills
    • Reading skills
    • Science
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Preparation:

    1. Create a picture symbol overlay for the BIG or LITTLE Step-by-Step that represents asking a question. Create your overlays.
    2. Record the following messages to the Step-by-Step:

    • What color is the animal?
    • What size is the animal?
    • Where does this animal live? (e.g. on land, in water, in the air)
    • What does this animal eat?
    • How does this animal move?
    • Why did you choose this animal?

    What to do:

    1. Start by explaining to the students what they are about to do. A common script would be, “Today we are going to learn about animals. We will divide into groups of three and discuss an animal that you choose. One person will be the reader who will read the group a question about the animal you have chosen. Another student will be the recorder and will write down your group’s answers. The third person will be the reporter and they will share with the class what your group discussed.”
    2. Divide the class into small groups of three students. Each group chooses a reader, recorder, and reporter.
    3. Put all of the pictures of animals on a table and let each group pick one picture. The students will work together to answer the questions about their animal.
    4. The reader will read the first question. For students needing assistance with speech, they can use the Step-by-Step to communicate with their group. Students in the group will discuss amongst each other and the recorder will write down their answer. Repeat this step until all questions are answered.
    5. Bring all of the students back together. The reporter will share their group’s animal photo and answers to the questions about the animal they selected with the class. As the students share their information the teacher can also add fun facts about the animal.

    Keywords

    turn taking | step-by-step | social skills | science | reading | alternative methods of access |

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