Morning Meeting Ideas

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teachersk, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I couldn't find the post that Zoom had asked for more details on my morning meeting (we call it "Morning Focus") - but I figured I'd dish out a little info here, in case anyone was interested. I saw the other morning meeting thread but didn't want to hijack.

    The morning is always the hardest time to get the kids on track because it's really a "transition" into the complete structure zone that is my classroom. I found that when the kids had a VERY set routine to follow (which could vary within itself, but follow the same general idea each day) - the kids did VERY well because they knew what to expect (very TEACCHish of me because I've always been a TEACCH person).

    Anyway, every year, I make my kids "Morning Focus" books (in elementary school they were "Morning Circle" Books). They have all of the different things we talk about and do during Morning Focus.

    This year, they are going to have:
    Calendar (day, date, month, year)
    Weather (identifying different weather as well as current weather outside, identifying temperature via window thermometer)
    Important people (teachers, therapists, principal, mayor, governor, president)
    Important places (our city, state, country, and continent)
    Independent Living Skills (word of the day)


    Basically, I make a page with moveable (velcro) pieces for each "section" of Morning Focus. The kids go through with me and put their pieces on. The lower kids have errorless pieces (the only option is the right one) and the higher kids have to choose the right pieces (have to find the Monday piece on Monday, have to find the sunny piece when it's sunny outside, etc.)

    Will add more later... the kid I am summer tutoring just decided that computer lab time is up! I will be back after he goes home. This is my quick moment to get some forum time in. :)
     
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  3. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Aug 5, 2010

    I'm doing a survival sign of the day. I'm having a hard time finding appropriate pictures. Neither my SLP or my school has Boardmaker. I know there is a free trial. If I download the free trial, will I be able to get enough survival signs off it to use it?
     
  4. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Aug 5, 2010

    WFL, you could always just use "google images." On the left side menu, just click on "options" and you can pick clipart only - you can even be color specific! For example, if you google an image of a stop sign, you can use the options to show you every online pic of a clipart purple stop sign.

    Or you can also use the BM trial. The pics are very limited tho. My trial ran out or I'd look for ya.

    I like the idea of a survival sign of the day. But I didn't think there were that many!
     
  5. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    I made some flash cards to go with the Edmark "Signs Around You" curriculum, I could send them to you if you want, WFL.

    It's a word doc, they are 3x5 cards. If you feed your inkjet printer with 3x5 flash cards, they print out very nicely!

    I have both the pictures (icons of signs) as well as the words (for matching games or reading practice).
     
  6. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    It's a huge file. Might have to send it to you in chunks! It's 56 pages!
     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Click here for the Signs Around You flash cards

    (They are in a Word 2008 doc, so you need the new word to look at them... every time I tried to save it in the older format, it crashed my Word, so not sure what's up with that...I think you could open it in google docs and save it to an older word file, if you don't have the new word...)
     
  8. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Amazing resource! Have you considered selling it on teacherspayteachers.com?


    A little off topic, but how do you like the Edmark Signs Around You thing? I am thinking of getting it for 2011-2012. What level of students would you use it with?
     
  9. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    WFL-

    It comes as a part of the set, "Functional Word Series."

    I love it. I am an Edmark fan, though. Lots of people hate Edmark- but I have found it to be the tried and true method of teaching sight words to kids, even low kids.

    I teach middle school kids. I have 5th to 8th graders in my classroom, they range in functioning levels.

    My student who is the lowest reader learns the words at a much slower rate than the rest of the students, but he still learns them. I think he learned about 20 words for the year (still awesome for a kid who couldn't read when I got him, and what better words to know than the bathroom signs, poison, etc.)

    My other guys are all about a K-1 level more or less and they did about a word a day. Every once in a while we'd get hung up on something (like escalator versus elevator) -- and we'd spend some extra days on those words. I love Edmark because it's so great to be able to have data to reflect on. I continuously assess their levels so that I can see if there is regression after breaks, summer, etc.


    There are two books for each of the four categories. The categories are

    Signs Around You
    Grocery Words
    Fast Food/Restaurant Words
    Job Words

    We did words 1-50 for Signs, 1-50 for Grocery, and 1-50 for Fast food this year. We will start with 1-50 for Job words, and then move back to the beginning to do 51-100 for each of the other sections. I thought it was good to go that way so we didn't go overboard with sign words or grocery words, but they'd know some from each category.

    The materials are repetitive and to be honest, a little dry. BUT they are perfect for teaching the skills because my kids love them. They know exactly what to do. I used some of the cut and paste worksheets and turned them into file folder games by cutting the pieces out, laminating the sheet, and adding velcro. They are able to practice the comprehension of the words in their independent work stations.

    Some of the words are downright.... old-fashioned, but because it's a cumulative program, if you don't know it, you'll get it wrong every time it appears, so it's better just to teach it. That's the only negative side of it. But, what does it matter if the kids learn the words "Coca Cola" and "submarine sandwich" - lol.

    So there are a few random words that I probably wouldn't have otherwise taught, but because the program is from the 80s / early 90s, it is what it is.

    I give it a thumbs up, though. :)
     
  10. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Oh, they are not good for non-verbal kids because of course there are not signs to go with them.

    I did some of the receptive stuff with my nonverbal kids but couldn't really follow the edmark protocol (expressive receptive, multi-sensory, etc.) due to their not being a way to expressively read the words, as there is in the earlier edmark programs.
     
  11. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    To give you more of an idea of what kinds of kids.....

    I have two completely nonverbal students who learn some of the words receptively (touch bathroom, touch poison, etc.) but don't use the actual Edmark program).

    I have two "low" students who are doing pre-academic stuff (letter ID, number ID, color ID, matching, body parts, etc.) and they are the ones who learn at the slower pace but are still able to do Edmark.

    The rest of my students are all doing simple addition, reading regular sight words, able to read K-1 level books/texts, know their letters, numbers, all the basics, etc. They are the ones who do the Edmark word each day (approximately). It works the best with these students, but the lower ones are still able to do it too.
     
  12. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 5, 2010

    I use Edmark Level 1 with some of my students and do like the program for the ones that I'm using it with.

    For my non-verbal older students I'm really liking the PCI Environmental Print Curriculum because it comes with visuals that you can use for point to or eye gaze to answer types of questions. BUT IT IS NOT REALLY A READING PROGRAM. Its more a literacy program. We use it with students to work on answering questions about stories and exposing them to community signs but not really much by way of sight words. The ones who can do sight words we do Edmark or Bridge (very old program) with.

    I also have a couple of students who are working on a phonics based reading program right now. I am not convinced that we have the right program for them yet.

    I have looked at the Edmark functional vocabulary a couple of times and think that as my Edmark students get older I may have to explore that more :).
     
  13. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    I love the functional word series, if you can't tell. :) All of my kids have IEP goals derived from the Edmark FWS.
     
  14. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 5, 2010

    teachersk - Its good to know someone who uses it because I've looked at it a few times and if I ever decide to look at it more seriously (not this year as I've already spent all that they will let me spend - lol) I know who to talk to.
     
  15. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    M2M- If you want me to copy a few of the pages and send them to you, I could do that so you could try it with your kids you're thinking about using it with...

    I always wish they'd do that before I spend $500 on a curriculum. You never know if it's even going to work with your population! Luckily, this works very well for us and we will continue to use it until we know all 400 words :)
     
  16. btteach

    btteach Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Teacher sk, regarding non-verbal students-

    My students (grades K through 2) fall in the 1st two groups you described from your classroom: non-verbal and very, very low. Which Edmark program would you recommend for the 2nd group (the very, very low?) and in your experience is this something I might be able to search for, used, on e-bay?

    Also, re: my non-verbal group, do you have any suggestions for appropriate pre-reading/reading/literacy programs for these kiddos? I want them to be working on more than discrete trial programs all day long, and am thinking about using task cards @ TEACCH stations to promote functional independence.
    Sorry for the long reply, thanks for reading....
     
  17. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    I would recommend Edmark Level 1, as it gives non-verbal kids an opportunity to respond to the expressive tasks via sign language. It comes with a sign language manual and allows you (and your paras) to learn each sign with the kids if you don't already know them. You can also move at a very, very, slow pace, as needed, to progress through the program. The K-2 level is perfect for Edmark Level 1 because a lot of the words are words you'd learn in other reading programs. They are the words that are most commonly found in stories, I believe.

    The only pre-requisite skill for Edmark is that the students are able to match. I have some suggestions for you if you get Edmark and find that the students have trouble tracking each reading row (you will know what I mean if you get Edmark).

    I have some alternative strategies that I've used with my lowest students to give them the "pre-req" skills they need to be successful with Edmark.

    If you have the money, I would check into ELSB (Early Literacy Skills Builder) by Attainment Company. It is a reading program (pre-literacy skills) for VERY low functioning and slow achieving students. It's research based, comes with a guide on how to implement it, and its really fun. The kids love it. It is geared towards 5-10 year olds with significant disabilities.

    You'd be more likely to find the Edmark program (level 1) on eBay, than the ELSB, though. ELSB is fairly new, that's why!
     
  18. btteach

    btteach Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Thanks for the reply, teachersk,

    I appreciate the ideas. You mentioned strategies you utilize with lower functioning kiddos to get them ready for Edmark 1 (pre-requisities). What types of strategies, generally speaking, do you use? Are they your own or do you follow a pre-determined curricular map? Thanks for reading, again, and for the insight.
     
  19. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Are you familiar with the Edmark curriculum and the protocol for teaching reading? I am guessing that you are not - but forgive me if I am wrong!

    Basically in Edmark, there is a row of words. The very first few lessons have a letter or word on the left and you have to "match" it by finding the same one in the row.

    It starts out with pictures, moves to forms (squiggly lines, etc.) then to letters, then to random groups of letters, then to words.

    This is how the child is "trained" to "match" the same from the column on the left to the row to the right.

    I have had students have a hard time understanding that the expectation is to take the item (letter, picture, shape, whatever) in the left column and find the same one on that row. For some students, a visual cue helps them decipher this picture (the target picture) from the choices. I have some transparent pattern blocks (I think they're meant for an overhead projector...) - but you can see through them. The yellow one works the best. I place the yellow shape on top of the target shape (which denotes which one the child is supposed to find). Then, I physically prompt the child to move the shape to the one that is the same.

    So, the row might look like this:

    A ------------------B J K L A
    (The first letter or picture is always the target picture that the child has to find the same of).
    So I would put the shape on the A, and physically prompt the child to move it over to the A, and then clap. The reason for the clap is so that the kids don't scroll - and so that the teachers know when there is an "end" to their choicemaking. This has worked nearly 100% for me with kids that have previously been unsuccessful with Edmark. You have to remember that the low kids might spend an entire year on the "pre-reading" exercises, and that's OK - as long as they are making progress, that's all that matters in my mind!

    Another thing that you can do if the shape over the target picture is still too hard, is to copy the Edmark pages and cut out the pictures. You can hand the target picture to the child, have him match the first one (which shows you what you're matching) and pick up the piece to match the second one. This all probably makes very little sense without seeing the Edmark curriculum....

    But, to explain this method - you would do the same thing as before, but instead of the colored transparent shape overlay, you have the actual matching letter or picture.

    A---------------B J K L A

    This time, you'd hand the student a laminated little card of the A, physically prompt him to place it on the A, then on the second A. Then take his hand and point to the first A, say "find the same" and prompt him to find the second A. You do this over and over again, fading the prompts as much as possible. Eventually, the kids pick it up. I did this for nearly 2 months with a kid and it just clicked one day.

    Later in the curriculum, the child learns to find the same by visually looking (not requiring any transparent shapes, matching cues, etc.) - and they can begin to receptively identify words.

    Hope this wasn't too confusing!
     
  20. btteach

    btteach Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2010

    No, not confusing,

    Thanks for the explanation. I have created my own reading/writing curriculum for the past 7 years as district purchases of programs like Edmark are out of the question, so you are right, I do not know much about the program specifically-only that teachers I very much respect utilize it in their curriculum. Since I am moving from early primary to upper primary grades 4 & 5, (just found out today) I would like to wrap my head & hands around a new program for this new (to me) age group. I appreciate the feedback!
     
  21. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2010

    Bumping up for the Tims, who asked about morning meeting time.
     
  22. SPECIALEDMAN

    SPECIALEDMAN Companion

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    Aug 12, 2010

    Great info.! All of it!!
     

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