Thursday, November 15, 2012

Debrief on Module 11

     This was one of my favorite modules thus far. As I've stated before; I have never been computer savvy, but this class has been extremely helpful. If you would have asked me before this module to write a newsletter, you would have seen an instant look of panic on my face. Not only was the use of Microsoft Publisher easy to understand, but there were also many fun features to play with. I really enjoyed being creative and playing with different color schemes and formats. Every aspect was nicely laid out and I know that this will be a tool that I will one day use in my own classroom.
     The use of the sign up genius website was so quick and easy. I believe it was very practical. When planning events, so much time can go into the event itself that you don't want to take hours upon hours with different ways of informing others of the event and waiting for RSVP's. Sign up genius is a great and dependable way of informing and giving others a chance to respond.
     I haven't fully seen the use of the drop box technology in action yet, but I like the idea of it. Uploading my work to the drop box was very simple and seems like a great way to share and organize your work. Overall, I am beginning to see more and more how technology can simplify work while making it more enjoyable! 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Social Stories

               Watching the videos and reading the articles was my first interaction with social stories. I must say that I am very impressed with the idea and its applicable use in the classroom. As Cori More says in the article Digital Stories Targeting Social Skills for Children With Disabilities: Multidimensional Learning, "Children develop with different strengths and weaknesses, but many children with disabilities experience deficits in social areas." The point of social stories is to address these deficits with the children and help them overcome barriers. Social stories have the potential to teach students certain tasks and appropriate actions and reactions in different situations. They do not have to take time away from learning as they are short and to the point.
                Learning about the different aspects of social stories and the way sentences are designed was beneficial to not only creating my own story, but understanding the language that is used in stories created by others. It's important to use language that the student understands and the entire story should be written from their perspective. When making a story you should consult and allow the student your addressing to work alongside you. When using effects you don't want anything distracting the student away from the essence of the story itself. When you work alongside a child you can easily see what things work and don't work. 
                The behavior that you choose to address in the story is of great importance. As the healing waters website says "The idea is that the child rehearses the story ahead of time, with an adult. Then, when the situation actually happens, the child can use the story to help guide his or her behavior." It's important to begin with the end in mind. Knowing what behavior you are targeting and why you believe it's important for the child to overcome it will give you motivation to create a useful story and potentially reach success.
                I came up with the idea for my social story from my own experiences and observations at the daycare I work at and the school I observe in. Waiting in lines, especially for non interesting tasks like washing your hands can be a huge issue. The students I had in mind when creating this social video was a student with autism. He struggled with waiting in line, because he felt that he would get behind or miss out on tasks. His feelings of anxiousness causes him to act out in line and become very irritable. This behavior would often lead to many issues with classmates and regaining focus when it was time to get to work. The use of the social video shows this student the appropriate behavior to display in line and assures him that he will not be missing out on anything. Enjoy!