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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Sunday, September 22, 2013

iWrite! Supporting Emergent to Conventional Writing Through the iPad

Workshop for Region IV, Houston, TX

Write!!! Supporting Emergent to Conventional Writing Through the iPad!

Transform your students' writing through support of the iPad. Learn how an iPad can help your students increase their text production from scribbling to invented spelling to persuasive essays. Explore the full writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Specific strategies for struggling students will be shared and fun apps at each stage will be demonstrated. A key focus throughout the day will be using apps to inspire writing for students who use a range of pencils, from traditional writing tools and computers to alternate pencils such as light tech alphabet flipboards and onscreen keyboards.
Student writing samples (pre- and post-) will be shared and participants will engage in brainstorming activities to customize materials for their students and curriculum.
Follow this link to register!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013



This software set provides materials to support learning through music across ages (toddler to secondary special ed songs) and topics (baby play through growing plants). It offers:
• 8 IntelliPics Single Switch Songs:
•38 Songboards to Print: What Is It, Hibernation, Laundry Song, Recycling Song, Wheels on the Bus, etc.   Each songboard includes pdfs for: layout, symbols, props, scene, goals & text.
• Make It/ Take It Project
• Sound Box Songs for consonants & vowels
• Handouts, Websites, and more!

Flyer for ordering:  Musselwhite Software Flyer

Emergent Writing Handout

WRITE ON!!  Supporting Emergent Writing Through Technology – Linking Reading and Writing!

This handout from Club 21's  Technology for the Journey Conference will be available until October 1, 2013.  Enjoy!
Emergent Writing Handout

Conventional Writing Handout

WRITE ON!  Supporting Early Conventional Writing Through Technology – Linking Reading and Writing!

Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

This handout from the Technology for the Journey Conference will be available until October 1, 2013.  Enjoy!

WRITE ON! Conventional Writing Handout

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Apps Plus . . . Pushing the Envelope!

I've been thinking about how apps so typically get under-used.  We need to really THINK about how to push the envelope to help students get more from the apps we are using.  I'll give examples with two free apps that I used today.

Evelyn is 10 and uses eye gaze to communicate.  She uses an Eco communication device with modified Words for Life language set.  She also uses an alphabet flipboard (similar to the one shown below), which she accesses through partner-assisted scanning.  She is highly motivated and very creative!!

Flora's Forest App.   This free app is a highly interactive book about a little girl who goes into a forest looking for her lost kite and has many adventures.  While the graphics are a bit busy & the text is way too small, Evelyn really enjoyed the rhyming, the music, the interactions, and the storyline.  We used her communication in the following ways:

Modeling On Her Device:  For example, her aide or I would read a page, then model comments (YUCK; LIKE THAT;  SHE IS AFRAID!) or ask Evelyn open-ended questions (WHO DO YOU WANT?  WHAT DO I DO?  WHERE SHE GO?) 

Read & Respond:  We paused often to let Evelyn make comments (LIKE; GOOD) or give directives (READ MORE;  GET).

Kids Picture Dictionary App.  This free app offers hundreds of samples for each letter of the alphabet.  In addition to vocabulary learning, we used it to scaffold writing:
We used it as follows:
a) Evelyn used her alphabet flipboard set to pick the letter she wanted to explore
b) We flipped through several pictures and talked about them, using her device
c) Then we modeled how we could add to them, writing a sentence on her device / with the flipboard, and recording the new sentence (which was then saved to the page, as a 'talking face'!)  Examples:
- Boy in 'deep' hole, grinning (HE IS HAPPY)
- Brownie (I LIKE THAT.  YUM)

d) After we modeled 3 pages, we asked Erica to pick a page to write about.  She picked the dancer and told us:  LIKE GOOD.  She also picked the doctor photo and wrote DOCTOR NO

e) Next, we gave alphabet options.  That meant that Evelyn could start with her Eco (e.g., LIKE), then pick a letter (e.g., D) and we would make guesses, using partner-assisted scanning with sticknotes (actual, or the app!) such as:  Dress?  Dog?  Dandy?

Summary.  ALWAYS push the envelope!  And check out Spedapps2 for more ideas for making full use of apps!!