* Tiny Tap

Despite its diminutive name, this app is HUGE!  Tiny Tap describes itself as a “social platform” for virtually anyone to create unlimited games and activities.  My focus is on its boundless application in special education.  From systematic practice of spelling rules to communication boards, this app does it all.  You want it?  You can make it!

Where to begin?  Tiny Tap allows teachers (and kids and parents) to create crossword puzzles, flashcards, brain teasers, greeting cards, games, shape puzzles, electronic books, and more.  Tiny Tap is useful for blended learning, assigning students to demonstrate their learning by creating their own activities.  A typing feature is available, so that students can type responses if required.  For the competitive kiddos, any activity can be fashioned into performance mode, with leaderboards and scores.

Tiny Tap is free but going Pro is inexpensive and allows teachers to create groups and track student performance.  The app connects easily to my Google Drive and works on Androids and iPads/ iPhones.  I am hoping they extend its use to PCs.

Here’s what the “cover” of my first lesson looks like.  I have access to artwork  (thankfully!), background images, music, gif images, sounds, and more.  I have recorded my voice on this lesson and editing is simple.

Tiny Tap.png

From teacher-made videos to tutorials on everything Tiny, Tiny Tap wants you to succeed.  You might even make money if you create some cool lessons.  Check out their blog from Valentine’s Day.  It’s packed with terrific puzzles and accompanying research.  Valentines never looked so cool.  If you are uncertain about jumping in, there are thousands of lessons available from “trusted” teachers.  Trust me, the ones I’ve seen are excellent.  Authors are also using this tool to spread the word about their books by creating digital experiences for kids as the story is read aloud.

As a novice Tiny Tapper, I am excited about the potential of this dynamite app to meet the needs of special learners.

 

 

* MELONcholy, baby

melon baby

A melancholy guy despite his posture.  His expression is blank, but those rabbits on his chest must be kicking the daylights out of him.  I decided not to crop the background for fear he’d lose his balance and fall from his MELON-colored hat.  That hat could also get loose, so we’re talking about more trouble than Dr. Suess could’ve imagined.

* Mauvelous color!

Mauvelous

You know I am getting desperate when I use a sticky note from my computer to represent a color in Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge.  And the worst is yet to come.  Look at some of the upcoming colors!  I am plotting a way to work around those days.  I  am open to suggestions.

 

color purples

#Books are Portals to Power…

Chris’ post emphasizes the reason we must start intervention early when kids have a reading disability. Terrific illustrations capture the power of making sense of words.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Books can take us to lands, real and imaginary.

Books can educate or entertain us.

Books can give us knowledge.

Knowledge is Power.

OPEN THEM

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STEP INSIDE

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SEE WITH YOUR IMAGINATION

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SET YOUR IMAGINATION FREE

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* Strasburg Mural: What’s the Word?

Can you figure out what word is printed in this mural?  I see letters but am still stuck….

In October of 2015 Strasburg had a New York City street artist who creates under the name gilf! paint our first mural in the town. What was amazing about this project is how quickly it went through…

Source: Strasburg Mural: What’s the Word?

* InspirED by EQ.org

I stumbled across an intriguing website, EQ.org, and found myself cheering!  This site offers educators an opportunity to improve their own EQ (emotional quotient/intelligence) and that of their students.  In fact, it’s hard to imagine teaching students to improve their social emotional intelligence without having a grasp on it yourself.  meditation-651411_960_720

 

The inspirED educator toolbox offers three modules on becoming an EQ educator.  The module on improving classroom EQ is particularly interesting, including topics such as how to reduce boredom in the classroom and assessing the emotional climate of your class.  All their practical suggestions seem congruent with the latest neuroscience findings on how kids learn best.  For those teachers who are already aware of brain-friendly strategies, these modules are a great reminder to USE them.  I need those reminders myself!  The EQ site also offer links to several other free courses on improving your understanding of social emotional learning.

It’s been years since researchers validated what we know intuitively: kids with better relationship and emotional skills are more likely to succeed, regardless of their intellectual prowess.  In “The Case for Emotional Intelligence in Our Schools,” Joshua Freedman writes: Several organizations have emerged to help schools and organizations implement emotional intelligence and social-emotional learning programs, including The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), The Center for Social Emotional Learning, CSEE, and Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network. 

Six Seconds, the parent organization behind EQ.org, has a stated goal of “working toward one billion people practicing emotional intelligence.”  They offer certification in their methodology, an online store for materials (and kid-friendly games), training for organizations, scholarships, and grants.  As schools struggle to eliminate the racial achievement gap, this type of intervention could prove effective. Schools should be a safe place for kids of all races.

* Coloring your world, 12 more days at a time

These are some of my favorites from Jennifer’s Color Your World Challenge through February 21.  There are SO many talented bloggers to enjoy!  Click on a link to see their photo and stories.

Feb. 11: Granny Smith Apple at Cee’s Photography (Cee is my favorite photographer!)

Feb. 12: Gray at few words- uncountable colors (this photo is soooo peaceful- how did she sneak up on this?)

Feb. 13: Green at Jennifer Nichole Wells, the originator of this photo challenge  (her photos are always top notch/ Warning: resist the mushroom!)

Feb. 14: Hot magenta at Travel With Intent (you’ll love what Debbie saw one night when a naked statue was adorned)

Feb. 15: Inchworm at Lillie-Put (a funny post that brings back memories of naughty kiddos)

Feb. 16: Indigo at The New 3 R’s: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect (I need to follow her mantra!)

Feb. 17: Jazzberry Jam at Color Your World (she did 4 colors in one post- wow!)

Feb. 18: Jungle Green at The Day After (featuring a puzzle within the photo- I still haven’t figured it out)

Feb 19: Laser Lemon at Backpacker’s Diary (another delightful combo of colors from a terrific photographer)

Feb. 20: Lavender at A Place to Wonder (this blogger drew her own picture!)

Feb. 21: Macaroni and Cheese at In the Zone (a combination of photos, writing, and philosophy)