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Showing posts from April, 2011

Building Student Vocabulary

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It's inevitable. Students will complete assignments and work ahead of schedule, while others are still struggling to complete an assignment. This is one of the "laws of education." Even when we ask students to complete work for another class or read a book, what do they choose to do? Some choose to use this time ineffectively and inefficiently. Why not use this time as a time for enrichment? If you are lucky enough to have a few extra computers in your classroom, you may want to use www.vocabulary.com . Your students are given the challenge of answering a variety of multiple choice questions about vocabulary. The questions appear on a note card, giving it a classroom feel. The site has built a database of over 40,000 words and you have options for narrowing your choices down or getting clues. As you compete, you can accumulate points, making it a competition. If you create a username, you will be able to track your progress and see how your vocabulary develops. What a

Let Your Garden Grow Through Answer Garden!

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Recently, a graduate student of mine introduced me to a site called Answer Garden , which is an online brainstorming tool. All you need is a question and computers for your students to use to answer! Answer Garden makes it easy to embed on your website or just provide a link for your students to access. How do you use it? Visit Answer Garden and click Create Answer Garden In the Topic section that comes up, type your question. You may want to experiment with the More Options section, where you can add an administrative password or limit the number of answers. Click CREATE You will get a preview of your question. You may want to send the link to your students OR embed in your website. If you want to embed it in your website, simply scroll to the bottom of your page and click SHARE. Once you click SHARE, you will have the html code necessary to embed in your website. How does this relate to UDL? Quite simply, it provides another means of engagement, by providing options for express

Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression without "Technology"?

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Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression Every time I teach an audience about UDL, I always get the same question, "Do you have to use technology for UDL to work?" My answer is always, "No. It is just a tool in the UDL toolbox." Some of my participants cannot get past that. Lately I have been thinking about ways to engage students without using technology. Here are some ideas: 1. Corner Quiz Activity I enjoy giving my students statistics or trivia questions to ponder, during the beginning of a chapter or unit. Sometimes I would hand out a worksheet with questions and other times I would have the kids "shout" out answers on a PowerPoint. I always found something was missing. There were always those "quiet" or "shy" kids that just were not engaged. There were always the kids who just didn't want to "guess" an answer, because they would have to "erase it from their paper." So I took a cha

UDL Principle 2 - Providing Multiple Means of Representation through Google Docs

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Google Docs have been around for a long time, but how do they relate to Universal Design for Learning ? Quite simply, they are an excellent way of providing multiple means of representation. Google Presentations are an excellent way to create an interactive note taking experience in your classroom because students are contributing to and interacting with the presentation. All you need is a few laptops for your students, a projector, and a little bit of prep time. If I am teaching an introduction lesson, I often use a Google Presentation to get my students involved and introduced to the material. I have found that my students are more motivated when they can contribute to the information learned. Step 1: Prepare the presentation. I organize the "title placeholder" of each slide with the name of the group (group 1, group 2, group 3, etc.). You will also want to have an essential question or questions on the slide, to direct students. I have found that fill in the blank ques