Part D--Vocabulary et al

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Part 4 of 4 of an Assistive Technology workshop.

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Part D--Vocabulary et al

  1. 1. Increasing Vocabulary &Other Skills with Assistive Technology Lisa Belanger PART D:
  2. 2. Before we start ….  Quickly write down the different ways you use to engage students in learning new vocabulary.  Do your students groan when they have to look up a definition or try to find a synonym?
  3. 3. Tools for engaging students Assistive technology is a great way to increase student engagement in a classroom; especially when its combined with student interest. Assistive Technology is a combination of low tech, high tech, and software that accesses learning and demonstration of content. What‟s great about? By using assistive technology you can target specific skills and content to meet individual learning needs.
  4. 4. Visual Thesauras – What is it? http://www.visualthesaurus.com/?vt I couldn’t say it better myself … The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning. You'll understand language in a powerful new way.
  5. 5. A quick look (when time permits you can click on the page below and it will take you to the website)
  6. 6. How it works Visual Dictionary offers multiple benefits as it incorporates numerous functions to meet the needs of a number of different learning styles. That‟s a lot of bang for your buck! Components and functions include:  Engaging visual display  Audio buttons for students to hear the words as well as see them  Side bar breaks words down into grammatical parts – nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs  The Educator resources page is extensive providing teacher with great ideas and lesson plans There is a cost but it is very affordable - $20 per year subscription. There is quote option if an institution wanted to purchase this for a whole school.
  7. 7. The word „simple‟.  The interactive page allows students roll over any word in the web, and find other words and meanings
  8. 8. The word „simple‟  As well the side bar explains the word in depth, while the top bar allows students to move forwards or backwards to look at the words they‟ve explored. Helping them to see the connections between words.
  9. 9. Apply it to your classroom  Take a minute and think about 2 students you know who would benefit from using a tool like Visual Thesaurus  How and why would it help them?
  10. 10. Who it helps There are numerous applications for classroom use and it benefits multiple learning styles and intelligences. Here are just a few of the learners you can target:  Receptive or Expressive Language Delays  Slow processing  Poor memory retention  Poor executive function – organizing, timelines, etc.  English Language Learners
  11. 11. How I would use it An interactive website like this is beneficial for a whole class not only LD learners. Ways in which I would incorporate this into my lessons are:  Use as part of a novel study activity – have students look up unfamiliar words and create word maps  Daily Bellwork – have a word of the day that students have to look up and print off pages to add to a „new word book‟  Word of the day – in pairs have students find and look up an unfamiliar word from the current class focus and present the word to the class  Create word webs – see example on the next slide
  12. 12. Students can create their own low tech word maps, helping to enlarge vocabulary and understand the relationships between words fantastic marvelous wonderful tremendous enormous
  13. 13. Classroom Blogs, Wikis, & Websites How creating your own class specific site supports student learning
  14. 14. Why create a blog, wiki, or webpage Class specific wiki‟s helps to keep students on track as due dates, assignments, and important info are all organized and easy to access in one place. Parents can stay on top of students workload and be informed – this maintains open lines of communication between teacher and parent. Plus, no one can say they didn‟t know what their child was suppose to be working on. You can add functions like a chat or brainstorming pages so students can support each other in their learning.
  15. 15. What is the difference A blog allows an author to create content and provide information, upload links, and post images. Posts tend to be shorter and informative. Viewers can comment on content and add to discussion. Blogs can be great platforms for discussion or brainstorming. You can add gadgets like calendars, popular posts, links to other social media etc. Wikisare a type of website that allows authors or co- authors to create a space where you can post documents, upload links and images, and can utilize multiple types of widgets like chats or IM, calendar, table of contents, etc.
  16. 16. Which one is better for you? Which one is more useful? It depends on your purpose. A wiki is interactive, and can be used to post assignments and other documents that you want students to have access to. You can create multiple pages for differing assignments or units. As well as have creating group discussions and brainstorming. A blog is great if you want to provide information that is easy to access. Blogs are great for providing information to parents, and keeping them up to date on what is happening in your classroom. They don‟t offer as many options as a wiki, but if your goal is simply to be informative then this may be the one for you.
  17. 17. Great functions  A number of sites now offer „Educational templates‟ making it easy to create and personalize your own site.  Most sites offer tutorials, quick tips, and help functions making it easy to navigate and build your own pages  There are a number of security options so that you can control who has access, monitor postings, and ensure the safety of you and your students
  18. 18. Skills students build By using a wiki in your classroom you‟re helping to develop valuable skills that will increase your students learning.  Creativity o Build creativity skills, especially elaboration and fluency. Build creative flexibility in accepting others‟ edits! o Encourage “hitch-hiking” on ideas (a type of creative elaboration and analytical thinking: If X is true, then what about Y?). o Introduce and reinforce the idea that a creative piece as never “done.”  Engagement o Increase engagement of all students. o In lieu of being passive “consumers” of their peers‟ presentations (where they doze, doze and ignore), wiki makers respond, respond, change, and improve. o Culminating projects no longer have to end!!
  19. 19.  Interpersonal o Develop interpersonal and communication skills, especially consensus-building and compromise, in an environment where the product motivates interpersonal problem-solving. o Develop true teamwork skills.  Writing o Improve the most challenging phase of writing process: revision, revision, revision! o Increase flexibility to consider other ways of saying things. o Build an awareness of a wider, more authentic audience.  Metacognition o Stimulate discussion and metacognition (where developmentally ready). o Help students articulate issues about ownership, finding, different conceptualizations of the same content. These can be sophisticated challenges, even for the best students. referenced from www.teachersfirst.com
  20. 20. Check „em out Here are a few examples to inspire you to create your wiki or webpage: http://electroniclearner.wikispaces.com/home Something I did for Special Ed Part 1 https://sites.google.com/site/specialedpart1lisabelanger/ An example for this class … http://classroomblogexamples.blogspot.ca/ Generously donated web links http://learningstrategiesgle.wikispaces.com/ http://digitizingtwelveangrymen.wikispaces.com/
  21. 21. Click on the icon to visit the any of these free site builders
  22. 22. References  www.blogger.com  Strategies that Work, published by The Peal Center http://www.pealcenter.org/  www.teachersfirst.com  www.visualthesaurus.com  www.wix.com  www.weebly.com  www.wikispaces.com  www.pbworks.com  http://www.visualthesaurus.com/  Special Thank You to Melissa Gollan-Wills for giving me permission to use the links to some of the wikis she has created.

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