2006 Conference General Sessions

Go to previous article
Go to next article
Return to 2006 Table of Contents


KEEP YOUR SCIENCE LESSONS OFF THE ENDANGERED LIST

 

Presenter(s)
Roxanne Butterfield
Slater Software, Inc.
351 Badger Lane
Guffey CO 80820
Day Phone: 719 479-2255
Fax: 719 479-2254
Email: roxanne@slatersoftware.com

Science lessons with visual supports for reading, writing, and comprehension!  Learn about the new Simply Science units for K-8 grades.  Free CD to everyone.

Shrinking habitats.  Endangered species.  Electricity.  Magnets.  These concepts are often difficult to teach to children with significant disabilities because they lack background knowledge and have low language levels.  With adaptations of regular education curriculum and individualized materials, these students can understand and learn science concepts.  Attendees will learn about Simply Science--Animals and Simply Science--Energy in this one-hour demonstration.

Special education teachers have been vocal in expressing a need for adapted materials in the content areas for their students.  Not only do they want the lessons, they want the lessons to also provide them a way to continue literacy instruction in the content areas.  Simply Science meets those educatorsí needs.  The complex concepts are written in simple language, and the vocabulary requirements have been reduced.  This enables children with low language and/or cognitive levels to learn the curriculum as well as work on improving reading and writing performance.

The focus of the Simply Science collection is to bring abstract concepts down to a concrete level.  Using adapted text (symbols paired with text), students with reading levels below grade level will now be able to access science curriculum taught in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade.  The Simply Science collection contains 10 units for each topic.  Since the content of the units aligns with national and state standards, teachers have ready-made materials available to them that fit nicely with the curriculum covered in regular education classrooms.

Throughout the presentation, examples of the lessons and supporting assignments that make up the Simply Science units will be shared.  There are experiments in adapted text, writing assignments which are supported with PixWriter software, interactive lessons involving peers and family, and much more.  

The materials contained in Simply Science will be shown as they relate to students with disabilities who are taught in inclusive classrooms.  One case study is described below:

John is a 13-year-old with severe physical impairment which affects speech production and computer access.  Testing of intellectual ability is inconclusive, but the observations of parents and teachers place him within the average range. John has had limited reading instruction since
most of his educational plan has focus on physical therapy and devising a means for reliable communication.  He presently communicates with eye-gaze and is learning to use a switch for scanning.  Until two years ago, John spent the majority of his day in a self-contained life-skills
classroom.

The Problem:  How do we insure John's learning within the regular education 7th grade science class?  What must be done for him to learn the science concepts, participate in class, and demonstrate his learning?

The Solution :  Many factors must be considered to insure Johnís success.  As we look at the challenges John presents, we will consider how to present lessons to him to maximize his learning.  Reading will be taught so adapted text at his reading level.  Since Johnís auditory modality is a strength, listening to the information while following highlighted words will be incorporated.  Improving writing skills via scanning options in PixWriter will be implemented.  Considering Johnís language levels, his receptive language will be built using photographs and activities involving classification, comparison, and description.  Communication and group interaction will be facilitated with projects, reports, and experiments.

The attendees will learn of other students whohave demonstrated succss in using the Simply Science materials.Each person will receive a CD of the adapted materials shown during the session.


Go to previous article
Go to next article
Return to 2006 Table of Contents


Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright