Saturday, November 8, 2008

Can I just say...WOW!

Patrick Black from Teaching All Students recently posted about the website Pete's Stuff. I just spent a couple of hours (yes, I said hours) checking out the site and it left me absolutely floored. I've seen some of Pete's stuff before on the Whiteboard Room site and my kids really liked the sensory stories we've done. His work inspired the Monster Mash sensory story I did for our Mad Scientist Party. The Pete's Stuff site is even better. The sensory stories located here are well-done, loads of fun, and thoroughy explained. Best of all, they are FREE! Pete asks for nothing in return except an email to let him know how the story went. I downloaded two to look at: Gobbin Hood and The Wizard of Oz (OK, I'm from Kansas, how could I NOT look at this one!). Gobbin Hood was a blast but I stopped in my tracks when I went through the Wizard of Oz collection. It is a COMPLETE UNIT and absolutely beautiful! Pete has done a phenomenal job of simplifying and synopsizing (is that a word?) the story to make it readily understandable to people with severe learning differences without losing the flavor or making it babyish. He has included a list of props (and where to find them, although a few of the cooler ones like the scented Vortex cubes, may be a bit tricky to get here in the States, but ooohh how cool), extension activities (art, cooking, core content), printables, and computer games for switch users (work well with touch screen too). All of it will present well on an interactive whiteboard (in fact, will present BETTER in a projected format). I always try to do something special in January in honor of Kansas Day and I've found this year's project for sure. My first instinct was to rush and try to do the unit NOW because I can't wait to share it with my kids. BUT, if I wait a couple of months I can put all the resources together including the props (I'm nearly certain I can find dolls for all the characters plus the Flying Monkeys at The Kansas Store) and effectivly plan extension activities (how do you convert UK recipe instructions to a US version and what the heck are "digestive biscuits?") AND get The Girls involved in the planning so they have some ownership and get as enthused as I already am. I will certainly be downloading ALL of the sensory stories Pete has so generously made available and implementing them with my students. It's going to be SOOOOO much fun!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the comment Alicia, I got the info from the One Switch UK blog - http://switchgaming.blogspot.com/ - you might like that one too.

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  2. Hi Alicia,

    Enjoying reading your blog - and soaking up your enthusiasm.

    OneSwitch are developing a switch lock utility for use with PowerPoint presentations. Nearly done. Also looking at a one-switch controller to enable users to step backwards and forwards at will. Please keep an eye on the OneSwitch.org.uk blog for more - be great if you could get a chance to try it out too when it's ready...

    Barrie

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  3. I read OneSwitch all the time (it's in my blog list) and am always impressed. I'll keep an eye out for the powerpoint controller. Honestly, I haven't used powerpoint much with my kids because of the accessibility issues, preferring Intellitools Classroom Suite. Both are good programs, however, depending on my goals and I've been pleased with my powerpoint efforts thus far.

    Alicia

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