Monday, 21 August 2017

We Can SIGN Our ABC's Second Edition

Rose Anna Marcelli, OCT, RECE
Author of We Can SIGN Our ABC's & We Can SIGN Our ABC's Second Edition

As some of you may know, I am the Author of a book called "We Can SIGN Our ABC's". It is a book that I created in © 2013 to teach the American Sign Language (ASL) Alphabet. After becoming a Teacher and gaining valuable experiences in the field of Education, I decided to re-visit this book and make some changes, which I then created...
"We Can SIGN Our ABC's Second Edition" © May 2017. 

Top 10 Countdown of What's NEW?



As you can see in the picture above, the first edition is very colourful but not very accessible.

#10 I decided to change the font on the cover to a more legible one for easier readability.

#9 I changed the background colours for the book cover as well as the individual letters to contrasting colours so that it is more accessible for people with a vision impairment.

#8 The second edition is a hard cover book whereas the first edition was paperback.

#7 I have developed an on-line social media presence which many of you may know me as @Educate.Invest.Inspire and I have included reference to this within the back cover of the book.



#6 I have added the title to the spine of the book for easier access when it is placed on a bookshelf. You want to be able to access the book when you need it, and it would be hard to find without a title!


#5 All of the pictures are taken in the High Dynamic Range (HDR) setting, which brings added quality and detail to each photo! Photos are not edited to remain realistic.

#4 All of the photos were taken outdoors in local parks, forests, and trails to promote Outdoor Education!

#3 The pages are thicker and have a nice, silk finish which is nice to touch.

#2 The uppercase and lowercase letters that are displayed at the top of each page match how they would be written in real life. You will see a variety of fonts within these pages. I just simply couldn't stick with one font for the whole book because then the letters don't look realistic. From an Educational standpoint I chose to have each letter show how I would like it to be taught, not just because the letter looks nice in a particular font.



#1 This book contains an "Ontario Curriculum Connections" section which includes practical lesson ideas, discussion prompts, and connections to the Ontario Curriculum within the subjects of Language, Mathematics, and Social Studies. This is great for Educators to use with their students and Parents to use with their children so that they can teach them about people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. Not many books have lesson ideas AND connections to the curriculum, very Educational and user friendly!

Purchase Information


This is a great book to have on hand for your Back to School Collection!




  • Each book costs $35.00
  • Payment can be made either in person or via Paypal, in full at time of purchase (if paying by cash exact amount needs to be brought)
  • Based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
  • Pickup only from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada (unless otherwise negotiated)
  • You will receive an e-mail when the order is ready for pickup (generally 2-5 business days depending on location)
  • No Refunds
  • E-mails and phone numbers will not be used for marketing purposes or scam mail
  • Orders can be placed by e-mail to educate.invest.inspire@gmail.com using the sample order form below:

Name

Phone Number

Quantity of Books


Professional Development Opportunity

On Friday June 23rd, 2017 I facilitated a professional development session called "ASL In Your Classroom". This presentation was designed for Educators who work with children in Elementary School settings but was open to Educators who work with children in York Region. The attendees were: Teachers, Designated Early Childhood Educators, and the Principal at the host school. Below you will find the presentation topics of discussion and information that was presented. Each of these educators ended up purchasing one of my "We Can SIGN Our ABC's" books to use in their classroom, with their children, in their school's library, or to give as a gift as they saw the many benefits of using this book as a teaching tool.



Definitions
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ASL
ASL means American Sign Language
“ASL is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body
ASL is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of- hearing” (NIDCD)
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
“An impairment characterized by deficits in language and speech development because of a diminished or non-existent auditory response to sound”

Possible Characteristics of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • unable to hear or respond to sound
  • does not respond consistently to own name when called
  • often asks for things to be repeated or responds with “huh?”
  • speech is unclear
  • turns up the volume loudly on electronic devices

    Possible Needs of Students

  • referral for a Hearing test- possible requirement of a hearing aid
  • regular speech, language, and auditory training from a specialist;
  • amplification systems;
  • services of an interpreter for those students who use sign language;
  • favourable seating in the class to facilitate lip reading;
  • captioned films/videos;
  • assistance of a note taker, who takes notes for the student with a hearing loss, so that
    the student can fully attend to instruction;
  • instruction for the teacher and peers in alternate communication methods, such as
    sign language; and counselling
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Possible Accommodations, Modifications, Teaching Strategies, and Assessment
Methods
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Instructional
  • Spectronics Inclusive Learning Technologies: Apps for Special Education available for download at: https:// www.spectronics.com.au/apps-for-special-education
  • Implement strategies recommended by a teacher of the deaf, audiologist and/or speech and language pathologist, who may work directly with the student.
  • Develop and implement modified (i.e. language) and alternative programming expectation as part of the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), involving comprehension, oral language, self-advocacy, learning sign, speech, etc.
  • Use FM system (microphone that a teacher wears for students with some hearing) and Sound Field system.
  • Pair oral instructions with visual (written or pictures) and gestures.
  • Face the student when speaking (do not talk when writing on the board).
  • Frequently check with the student for understanding.
  • Allow additional time for the student to speak.
  • Allow additional time for the student to process information,
    especially if the information is new.
  • Select closed captioning whenever available on DVDs and/or
    computer options.
  • Pre-teach new vocabulary.
  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Use assistive technology and computer options.
  • Use sign language, if the student uses it.
  • Provide copies of notes.
  • Use visual cues for getting the attention of the class and for
    instruction.
  • speak slower.
Environmental
  • Items/supplies labelled in English/ child’s native language & Braille (if needed)
  • Favourable seating, where student can see teacher & board the best
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Visual schedule
  • If there is a speaker in the classroom, student should be
    seated close to audio device.
  • Use preferential seating to reduce auditory distractions and
    place student in a position to hear the teacher better.
  • Use an FM system.
  • Reduce background noise (tennis balls on chair legs, close
    classroom doors, etc).
  • Develop a pre-planned response for emergency evacuation.
  • Post a visual schedule.
  • Ensure adequate lighting.
  • Use preferential seating, so the student has a clear line of
    sight to the teacher.
Assessment
  • Provide choice for assignments (oral and written presentations)
  • Check that the student understands the test questions
  • Provide additional time
  • Allow use of assistive technology
  • Provide written instructions
Alternative Program Expectations
Social Skills Development
Awareness of self and others Appropriate behaviour
Interactive play
Positive self concept

Self control / conflict resolution / anger management
Interaction with peers and staff
Manners

Decision making
Responsibility
Positive work attitude
Social language / conversation skills Problem solving
Independent living

Language and Communication Development
Listening and Comprehension Skills Non-Verbal Communication
Social Language
General Language Functions

Expressive Language Receptive Language Conversation Skills
Functional Language

Life Skills
Life skills may be incorporated as well such as cooking, cleaning, grooming, resume building, etc. (for age group that applies).
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Resources

[PDF]Classroom Accessibility for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (The Canadian Hearing
Society)
[PDF]Education for All, The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy and ... (Expert Panel on Literacy and

Numeracy Instruction & Ministry of Ontario)
[WEB]
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/ (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) [BOOK]We Can SIGN Our ABC’s Second Edition (Rose Anna Marcelli)
[WEB] http://educateinvestinspire.blogspot.ca/ (ASL in your Classroom blog post- Rose Marcelli) [WEB] https://www.pinterest.com/rosemarcelli/american-sign-language/ (See American Sign Language

Board @Educate.Invest.Inspire- Rose Marcelli)
[APPS] https://www.spectronics.com.au/apps-for-special-education (Spectronics Inclusive Learning

Technologies: Apps for Special Education) 

Book Signing

A book signing was held at the end of the professional development session. I hand sign each copy of my books :)




I would like to end off with a little bit of Dr. Seuss...


...so who wants a copy? :)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

MHPS's 2nd Annual Math Night

On Thursday April 27th, 2017 Moraine Hills Public School (MHPS) hosted their Second Annual Family Math Night which was a huge success!



For those of you who are unsure of what Math Night is, "Math Night is a fun, shared experience that promotes family involvement with math, builds strong family-school partnerships, creates a sense of community, and connects family engagement to student learning" (Family Math Night, 2016).


Re-Visiting



Last year I had the opportunity of participating in this evening through facilitating the "Bear Tracks" math game in the Kindergarten room with my teaching partner at the time, Trista Dutt. If you would like to see more about last years event please scroll back in the feed to my blog post entitled, "First Annual Family Math Night" where you can see how it all began.

The Team


This year, I excitedly took on a leadership role as Chairperson for the event which was a huge honor and great experience for me as a new Teacher. I worked alongside many wonderful staff, including: my Principal Deborah Snow, my Vice Principal Jonathan Weisinger, fellow Teachers, DECE's, Teacher Candidates, and Student Volunteers to co-plan and implement a fun-filled evening with a focus on learning important skills in Mathematics!

This post will highlight the steps that we took in the planning and preparation of our event, as well as showcasing the many stations and activities that MHPS had to offer!

The Process



It is best to begin the planning at least 1 month and a half- 2 months before the event to ensure we have enough time to plan, prepare, and implement effectively. Once you have your volunteers you can host weekly/bi-weekly meetings to determine who would like to facilitate what activity. During these meetings we also determined what materials and resources we had in our school and which materials needed to be purchased. We kept track of all of these lists and information in a Google Drive that was shared with all participating staff members. Once we knew what needed to be purchased, I would purchase the items and then submit the receipts. Each staff member was asked to prepare materials and a one page parent handout for their activity. I created a template which the staff filled in, so that we could maintain consistency in information presented and appearance (Templates were a staff request). Any signs, posters, and name tags were created by our grade 6, 7, & 8 students whom we refer to as our wonderful "Creative Team" whom I supervised during lunch recesses. We invited parents through an electronic survey which informed us of the number of families and children attending per household. We also sent out a paper reminder in class to ensure that we are reaching all of our families, even those without computers or smart phones. After each meeting I sent out a meeting summary and weekly goals so that everyone stayed connected, informed, and on track.

The Event

Our staff volunteered their time after school to help set up their activity or station. The event began at 6:30p.m. and ended at 8:30p.m. During the event, everyone was not just facilitating their activity but interacting with parents and modelling a positive mindset towards mathematics and learning!












Our VP recruited a STEM team which provided various challenges and of course... GIANT LEGO! 


Within the York Region District School Board and our Moraine Hills School Community, we recognize the importance of Mental Health Awareness and two of our staff members (on the Equity and Healthy Schools Committee) ran this station at our event. It allowed our students and their parents to learn about different strategies to help them cope with stress. It also provided them with an opportunity to reflect on if they have found or would find it to be helpful for them to utilize when they were feeling stressed. We also sold Smencils, which were scented pencils and all proceeds were donated to CAMH which is a centre for addiction and mental health.


Resources


For more information about Math Night, as well as obtaining parent handouts and resources, please visit: www.familymathnight.com

For more information about Mental Health & Mathematics, please visit: http://bit.ly/mentalhealth_math (this is a YRDSB resource, must be an employee to access)


YRDSB Networks



Our board encourages educators to share their thinking and learning, as well as their students' thinking and learning through using the following hashtags:

#YRDSBMATH

#YRDSBMH 
(MH=Mental Health)

My Reflection



I felt that this event went very well because of our amazing TEAM! Each of you pulled your strengths and resources together and dedicated your time to help such a positive event and I thank each and every one of you! It was amazing to see all of the pieces come together. It was also nice to see a big turnout because this means that we have a lot of parents in our community who are willing to receive resources and supports to build connections between the learning at school and the learning at home. I would most definitely take on this role again and continue to co-plan and facilitate Family Math Nights for each year to come!

~Rose Anna Marcelli, OCT, RECE