As we’ve learned from a lot of our classes so far, the field of Special Education uses a lot, and I mean a lot, of different acronyms. One of our classes this semester started out with a little “pre-test,” which was simply a sheet of paper, front and back, full of acronyms, and we had to fill in the ones we knew. Needless to say, there were more than a handful that I did not know, but I’m sure by the time I graduate from this program, I’ll be an expert and be throwing around acronyms like nobody’s business. This first tweet I found features an article with a ton of different acronyms used in Special Education and their meaning. Not only is this a great resource for me as a special educator, but it’s also a phenomenal resource for parents of children with disabilities. Going to their first IEP meeting can be super overwhelming because of all the jargon the IEP team uses, so having this list of definitions can be quite helpful.
The process of starting any piece of writing is always the hardest. Whether it be a project, a blog post, or a paper, getting started is the toughest part for me. Once I start, I can usually find a good flow and finish the assignment, but time and time again I find myself stuck at the beginning. This teacher developed a simple pre-writing strategy to help students start their writing and keep it focused. Students tend to ramble on and add in “fluff” to make their writing sound more eloquent and advanced, but in reality, a simple and succinct essay is better than one filled with a lot of useless detail and large vocabulary. As a teacher, I want to teach my students this. My teachers always emphasized that we should avoid fluff and just stick to the point, but when you get stuck, you just start to ramble and hope the idea comes to you. This strategy, POET, stands for Purpose, Organization, Evidence, Thesis. These are the four steps students need to remember when writing an effective outline: list all the things the task asks of you (purpose), determine the method of organization that suits your evidence and purpose (organization), record your evidence for each element of the purpose (evidence), and review your evidence and purpose by writing a 1-2 sentence response that answers the purpose with insight (thesis). This strategy does not cover every base of a well-written paper, but it’s definitely a good start, and sometimes that’s all you need.
I don’t have too much to say about this tweet because it’s pretty self-explanatory, but it’s SO COOL. Basically, the article lists different websites that allow you to take your students on a field trip—virtually! If your class doesn’t have the budget or the time for a field trip, these sites are perfect. Some of the sites allow you to travel to every country, while others are more specific. One of the sites leads you through a field trip on Mount Everest with the use of real aerial views. Another site allows you to take a panoramic virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. I had no idea these existed and I think they are a great resource for any teacher. These sites could be particularly helpful for special educators because field trips can present much more of a challenge for students with disabilities in regards to access and travel. Being able to attend these tours virtually could be much more beneficial.