Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lauri Carpenter Share's How She Uses Unique Learning Systems at Del Mar Heights Elementary (DMUSD)




Lauri Carpenter and her awesome Paraeducators.  They work tremendously well as a team!

Lauri Carpenter is a Moderate/Severe Education Specialist at Del Mar Heights Elementary School. Lauri uses the Unique Learning System (ULS), which aligns with the Common Core. She uses Adobe Acrobat Pro to adapt ULS materials to provide additional differentiation for students.  Instead of highlighting specific, topic-based nouns during the ULS lesson, Lauri emphasizes and focuses on "core/power" words such as: different, said, story, because, temporal words: morning, night, and core question vocabulary words such as: When, Who, How, and What.  In doing so, she facilitates a higher degree of generalization of learned vocabulary and comprehension across environments and activities.   This empowers her less verbal students with access to more vocabulary for expressive output across a range of communicative functions.  


Realizing that watching videos is highly motivating to many of her students, she presents the ULS story of the week on a flat screen monitor.  She prefers to use this method over SMART boards or projectors because she found that her students were more  engaged when focusing on something that they are used to (TV).  Students are engaged from the start and, therefore, more willing to participate. 

Watch how Lauri incorporates the ULS theme in a math lesson.

Lauri learned how to use QR codes in the classroom at one of  NCCSE'S Technology Summer Institutes. She uses them as an interactive part of her circle time to create a deeper understanding of the concepts presented (days of the week, months of the year, and weather).  By using these various forms of AT during circle time, Lauri increases her student's level of engagement and peer discussion of the topics

See how Lauri uses QR codes during circle time

You can find light/low-tech to high-tech options being used in Lauri's classroom!

 A job well done team!



The First Ever Ability Awareness Week at Capri Elementary! (Encinitas)

Capri held it's first Ability Awareness Week January 25-29, 2016.  It was organized by Jen Simons.  She's a parent and the Special Education Liaison for Capri.  She asked if we could host a table during lunchtime at both the main area (grades 1-5) and the kindergarten area.  Students were able cycle through and learn about/experience various technology used by students with varied abilities (including text-to-speech, speech-to-text, Alternative Augmentative Communication and switches).  We were happy to be a part of it!


Jen Simons (Special Education Liason for Capri) & her boys


  
  


Jen Inaba, School Psychologist and Debbie Burke, Ed-Specialist (pictured above-left) were both crucial to this event along with Nancy Jois, Kindergarten teacher (pictured above-right).  Nancy organized the "Kindness Challenge"