Word of the Month
inclusion: Inclusion is the act of including someone in something, like a school, classroom, club or team.
"We shall never know the all the good that a simple smile can do." - Mother Theresa
We often refer to the part in Out of My Mind when Melody is describing that when the weather is nice, she sits outside to watch the "regular" kids play. She says that it would be nice if somebody would say, "Hi," but instead they "get treated like [they're] invisible."
I have had a few students tell me that since we read this and have had these discussions, they have seen people with disabilities while out in our community and have smiled and said hello.
Our students are awesome!
Melody's admiration of Stephen Hawking and frequent mention of his name throughout Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind, allowed us a great opportunity to introduce him to our students. It also gave us another avenue to discuss how important it is to not judge a book by its cover and how you should never underestimate someone, including yourself.
Given the latest ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that was highly publicized over the summer, many of the students have already heard about this disease, but they weren't familiar with Mr. Hawking's advancements in science nor his brilliant mind. Click here for a short video biography about this man that some say is the smartest man alive today and possibly the smartest man we've seen since Albert Einstein.
Alex the Parrot
In 1977, graduate student Irene Pepperberg walked into a pet store and bought a year-old African grey parrot. Because she was going to study him, she decided to call him Alex--short for Avian Learning EXperiment. At that time, most scientists thought that the bigger the brain, the smarter the creature; they studied great apes and dolphins. African greys, with their walnut-sized "birdbrains," were pretty much ignored--until Alex.
His intelligence surprised everyone, including Irene. He learned to count, add, and subtract; to recognize shapes, sizes, and colors; and to speak, and understand, hundreds of words. These were things no other animal could do. Alex wasn't supposed to have the brainpower to do them, either. But he did them anyway.
Accompanied by Meilo So's stunning illustrations, Alex and Irene's story is one of groundbreaking discoveries about animal intelligence, hard work, and the loving bonds of a unique friendship. (Summary from Amazon)
Different Types of Communication
Over the next few Fridays in November, with the help from UCPLA and Kim from Signing Time Academy, the students will be learning that many individuals with developmental disabilities also have hearing loss. There are a number of UCPLA residents that use American Sign Language, hearing aids and other adaptive technology to communicate.
Alex the Parrot, by Stephanie Spinner sends the message that we shouldn't underestimate the power and capabilities of another living being. The students were introduced to Alex's story and were shown the video in the Safeshare link above.
November is going to be an incredible month! We will be learning some basic ASL signs via Skype from Kim at Signing Time Academy. We will also get to meet Bear, the therapy dog and his trainer, Robyn Zelden. As we celebrate career week at our school, they students will be introduced to the careers associated with therapy animals and ASL interpreters. Author and UCPLA client, Leigh Baker will also be coming to share her book with the students.
We Traveled Over 15,000 Miles Without Ever Leaving Camp Read Smore
In October, we Skyped with friends in North Carolina (Mystery Skype), the Bahamas (with Jillian Morris to learn about sharks) and Kenya, Africa (to simply say hello and ask/answer questions). Scroll down to learn more about these incredible experiences.
In addition, Mrs. Tafoya's class traveled even farther in their participation of the Global Cultural Video Message Exchange. We shared videos answering cultural questions across the states and across the globe to Greece, India, Africa, Venezula, Austrailia, Canada and more! Still shots from Mrs. Tafoya's class videos can be seen below. Click here to watch videos shared from around the world! (Click on the location tags to see videos.)
Happy Birthday Jillian!
We Skyped with some new friends in Kenya, Africa!
Mystery Skype with 4th Graders From California to North Carolina
October is Oz Month and Finally Time to Celebrate Our Wonderful Readers!
October is Oz month at Camp Read Smore and Ms. Sutton and I are very excited to finally celebrate our Wonderful Readers of Oz! In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, last June, we gave students a challenge for their summer reading (see video above). Any student who moved up one reading level over the summer would be invited to a special screening of the Wizard of Oz at the end of October. Rumors around the Emerald City that many NACP students have moved up in reading levels have proved to be true! 140 students will be celebrate their reading successes together in just a few days!
The images below were taken from our special Oz trivia videos that the students were shown each week during Oz month. They feature the biggest Oz fan IN THE WORLD, Ms. Sutton. Check them out and see if you learn something new about the books and the film! You will find the links under the image below.