Saturday, November 21, 2015

Making the Library and School Events Accessible to Everyone in Our School

A couple of years ago, I came across Mrs. ReaderPants' reading incentive idea: book bingo.   I really liked her templates and easy to follow directions.  I shared the idea with two Special Education teachers in my building that teach students with intellectual disabilities in a program called PALS (People Achieving Life Skills).  The teachers really liked the idea because it encourages students to pick different types of books and provides a purpose for each visit.

This is our third year doing the book bingo program with our PALS students.  Students in the two PALS classes come in each Friday with bingo cards in hand.  We create stations in the library with books for each category and signs with clip art that matches the clip art on their bingo cards. Students select a book from a station to match the category on their bingo card.  Students check out and we take down the stations, so we can do it again the following week.  Fridays are my favorite day of the week and it's not because it's the end of the week.  Our PALS program is awesome.

Each quarter we have an exciting reading celebration for our PALS students. Both classes come in for a story, spin the library wheel and win prizes for completing their book bingo card.  It's a party for real. At the end of the celebration, students get a new bingo card with new categories.  And the library fun begins anew.

This next idea came from a casual conversation my Special Education teacher had at a conference last year.  She learned from a fellow Special Education teacher in another district about using Youtube to live stream assemblies and pep rallies into the classroom for students that are uncomfortable with the loud noises and large crowds.  I followed these instructions to get started. Our school has a verified Youtube account which is the first step.

Last school year, we streamed a pep rally with a chromebook with a built in webcam and microphone. Unfortunately, the audio did not work that time, but we could at least watch the pep rally.  I'm not sure what I did wrong that time. This school year we persevered and streamed our Veterans Day assembly using a different chromebook.  It worked great!  The event was streamed live and privately into the classroom.

Super thankful to work with the teachers in my school! I love being a part of a team that finds ways to make our library and school accessible to all of our students.

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