Monday, December 9, 2013

Sketchup is the neatest software application I discovered in my recent course on Instructional Technology for aspiring educators. It is a free download for educators, and is so easy that the kids will probably outpace their teachers in discovering its capabilities after only a few uses.

I used Sketchup to help me make a model of what "1000" and "1,000,000" looks like for a place value assignment. 

However, there are any number of other uses for Sketchup, including designing a robot, making a map to scale of the classroom or a room in one's home, or even recreating ancient architecture. So often, we talk about concepts in schools that are just beyond the student's ability to imagine. It is one thing to see a picture of the pyramids in Egypt, but another entirely to try to recreate the process of building one on a site like Sketchup!  The solid engagement that the students exhibit in the case studies on their website is another reason why I feel this software is an excellent addition to any classroom. It is made available to K-12 schools across the country for free!. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Unique Kids

This is a blog about my unique kids, and me!

Some of my kids are really mine - I am their mother, and there are EIGHT of them. (Heh. I always love shocking people with that.) Three have had autistic spectrum disorder diagnoses, three had dysgraphia and dyscalculia, and two are just hyper and super smart. (Isn't it nicer to call them that than ADD??!! I am probably ADD too. ) The best ideas we learned from our own family, I will post here.

Some of my kids are given to me at school, where I am working as a substitute teacher right now while I earn a degree to teach "for real." I especially love the hard cases, the kids who no one seems to know what to do with. I am learning more so that I can be a good teacher, but as I learn important things to help all kids, I will post them here.

Some of my kids are given to me at church, where I teach religious education. That is one of my favorite things to teach, about my faith. We use a lot of games, and a lot of interactive activities so that everyone can learn and everyone has fun. I will post my best games for learning the Catholic faith here, too.