Friday, September 30, 2011

Special Education and Student Services Newsletter for September 28

Prayers and sympathy for the family, friends, and former teachers of
Cyanna "CJ" Goessel who passed away.  CJ was a courageous young girl
who used to attend school in Medford.

1. Early Release Day
Safety training (I.C.D.D.) and Appropriate Use of Seclusion and
Physical Restraint information will be shared.  If you are unable to
attend, information will be forwarded to you for your review and
reference.  Contact us with any questions.
2:15 to 3:30 = Paraprofessionals
4:00 to 5:00 = Certified staff, parents, and community members

Dr. Greg Drake will conducting a presentation for all high school
staff at 2:15 on Thursday.  All HS special education certified and
support staff should plan on attending.  He will be doing another
presentation at 7:00 pm for anyone else interested.  Medford Sports
Booster Club and Medford School District is offering this

2. Attendant Care Services
Attendant Care Services sheets should be completed and turned in on a
monthly basis for students who are medicaid eligible and have
attendant care needs.  If you have questions, please contact Luanne
Olson or I at the District Office.

3. Suicide Prevention Training
Taylor County Prevention Council had a Suicide Prevention Training on
Wednesday.  Community members and select school based student services
team members were in attendance. We learned about the QPR model which
can be found

4. Sign Language for Educators
Option 1
We have 33 parents and staff registered for the Sign Language for
Educators Class to begin on October 3rd. NTC is teaching the class and
CLC Community Education is offering this enrichment opportunity. I
have had one staff comment "I have never been more excited for a class
than this one!"  One parent commented "thank you so so much for
offering this type of class for staff and community." This is an
enrichment opportunity so you would not place the time on your time

Option 2
NTC is offering this class again at NTC in Medford from 6:30 to 8:30
starting October 3 for anyone else interested. You would have to pay
the cost of the tuition and books for that class.

5. iPad/Educational Technology
We had 10 staff attend our monthly iPad/Educational Technology
training on Monday.  The agenda and links to all information covered
was previously sent out. Staff will be sent a copy of the applications
available for download through our school iTunes account.

6. Elementary Special Education meeting for Certified Staff
This will be held on Tuesday October 4 from 3:20 to 3:45 in the MAES
computer lab.

7. Autism Resource Team
Autism Resource Team will meet on Thursday October 6 from 4:00 to 5:00
in the MAES Media Room.

8. Taylor County EC Sub-Committee
This will meet on Friday October 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the D.O.

9. Taylor County Reality Fair
Taylor County Reality Fair will be held on Tuesday October 25 from
8:00 to 12:00 at MASH. This is our Fall workshop for high school

10. Special Education and Student Services Calendar
We now have a Special Education and Student Services Calendar on
Google that can be shared with you if interested.  This highlights and
lists all of our upcoming staff meetings and trainings.

11. Transition of Staff
Staff this year have had to learn new positions, be in new buildings,
and/or teach different curriculums. Thank you for your flexibility in
your new roles. It takes time to learn something new, but all of you
are working hard and put in extra time.  If we can help you in any
way, please let us know.

12. Read Write and Gold
This assistive technology has been purchased for use at MAMS in 11-12.
If this is successful, then we will look to purchase for MASH in
12-13.  Read Write and Gold is placed on computers allowing text,
NWEA, etc to be read outloud to students and staff.  This are many
other pieces to this curriculum as well.  This can be placed on any PC
computers in a building as we have the site license.

13. Reading Assistant (Fluency) Program
We now have site licenses at MAMS and MAES for Reading Assistant.
Individual computer licenses at SES and MASH are available.  This is a
reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension program which has shown
great success for students. Contact Mrs. Lundy or I for more

14. MADA
Medford Adult Diploma Academy is for adults 18 and older who do not
have a high school diploma.  If you have any parents or know anyone
who does not have a HS diploma, let them know about our program.
Cindy Gibson at 715-748-4620 is a good contact person.

15. Rosetta Stone
We are looking at options for Rosetta Stone at MASH to help teach
English to our ELL student.

16. W-APT and ACCESS for ELL
W-APT Screener should be administered to any new or transfer ELL
students prior to October 14.  We will need to administer the W-APT to
get results so we can order the appropriate ACCESS for ELL tests for
students which need to be submitted by October 21.

17. School Based Mental Health Counseling
Reminder that we now have school based mental health counseling for
students in school.  Our therapist is Marjorie Marksteiner and she
will be in district on Tuesdays.  We have no students yet referred for
services. If you have a student that has a need, please refer them
after discussion with the parent.

18. Long Distance Calling
We are able to put on your phones the ability to do long distance
calling for work purposes.  If you feel the need to have this option
on your phone, let me know. I have had the request in the past due to
teachers needing to call Marshfield Clinic for example on behalf of
their students.

Taylor County Early Childhood Sub Committee Agenda

Taylor County Early Childhood Sub Committee Agenda

Date: October 7

Time: 1:30 to 3:30

Location: Medford Area Public School District Office Board Room

1. Welcome and Introductions
2. W-2 Report from Human Services
3. Birth to Three Report from Human Services
4. Medford Pre-Kindergarten Families Being Involved Workshops
5. Medford Child Development Day
6. Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards Alignment with Wisconsin
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics
7. Facts and Tips for Working with Dual English Language Learners
8. Statewide Early Childhood Indicators
9. Roundtable Updates

Autism Resource Team in Medford Area Public School District

Autism Resource Team
1. Providing support to school staff and families regarding autism spectrum disorders
2. Assisting school-based teams and families with consultation, programming, and resource materials
3. Assisting school-based teams with the assessment process
4. Providing on-site observation and consultation for individual students upon request
5. Attending Autism Resource Team meetings
6. Staying current with evidence and research-based methodology, assessment tools, interventions, and resources
7. Developing skills and knowledge in autism by attending workshops and conferences

Meeting locations may change depending on specific monthly agenda which may include presentations, worktime, collaboration, etc.

Dates in 11-12
October 6
November 3
December 8
February 2
March 8
May 3

For our October 6 meeting we plan on meeting in the MAES Computer Lab by the library.

I have contemplated asking Viterbo University to offer these Autism Resource Team meetings as a credit option through them.  If this is something you are interested in for license renewal or to have on a resume, please let me know. I would then explore this option.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our students, parents, and staff members involved with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

School Based Mental Health Counseling

Medford School District is offering School Based Mental Health Services for any eligible students. Students must be at least 7, not be receiving other counseling, have mental health need, and be on Medicaid/badger care/ or parent eligible insurance. Northwest Directions will provide the counseling. Contact a School Psychologist, EBD teacher, or Joseph Greget for more info.

Sign Language for Educators Class

I would like to thank everyone for registering for the Sign Language for Educators Class.  We have 32 parents and staff who have already registered.  I hope you are excited and will find the class beneficial. This is the first time that we are offering a NTC class like this through our CLC Community Education Program. 

The Sign Language for Educators Class will start on Monday October 3rd.  It will run 3:30 to 5:30 in the Medford Area Elementary School Media Room.  Snacks and water will be provided for those in attendance.  The class is being taught through Northcentral Technical College and the Instructor is Betty "BJ" Barker (she goes by BJ).  Classes will run each Monday until November 14 (no class on October 17 due to parent teacher conferences).

The cost of the class is free for everyone in attendance.  You will receive a book that will summarize the signs and be an invaluable resource to help retain what is learned.  All costs are being covered through a CLC Community Education Grant. This is an enrichment opportunity for all school staff in attendance since it is being offered through CLC Community Education.  

Looking forward to seeing all of you on Monday as we begin our adventure in learning a new skill and way of communication.

Joseph Greget
Director of Student Services/Special Education

iPad/Educational Technology meeting summary

iPad/Educational Technology Recommendations
Our district iPad/Educational Technology team met for our September meeting. Listed below are the areas reviewed and discussed.

We also shared our district itunes applications that we currently have.  If you need the list, let me know.

1. A Classroom Transformed by the iPad: Larry Mitchell's 5th Grade
Class - Search through Youtube

2. A catalog of iPad apps for teachers and students

3. iPad in Education Livebinder

4. 10 Revolutionary Apps to Help Autistic Children

5. High School iPad Apps List

6. iPads in the Classroom

7. Add a Google Calendar to your iPad
Want to add your Google Calendar to the iPad's Calendar app? No
problem. In Settings open Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Add an account
and tap on Other. Tap on Add CalDAV Account and enter your Google
Account credentials (the Server is Exit the Settings
app and tap on the Calendar app and all your events should appear. By
default all calendars are displayed, but you can tap on the Calendars
button to choose which ones are shown.

8. Mobile Learning for Special Education: What's the Bigger Picture?
A four step process to develop a mobile learning initiative for
special education

Want to add your Google Calendar to the iPad's Calendar app?

Want to add your Google Calendar to the iPad's Calendar app? No
problem. In Settings open Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Add an account
and tap on Other. Tap on Add CalDAV Account and enter your Google
Account credentials (the Server is Exit the Settings
app and tap on the Calendar app and all your events should appear. By
default all calendars are displayed, but you can tap on the Calendars
button to choose which ones are shown.

If you would like add additional google calendars to your iPad calendar: go to - Then you can select which calendars you would like on your iPad.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Making a Difference

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. 'Really?' she heard whispered. 'I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!' and, 'I didn't know others liked me so much,' were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in

Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. 'Were you Mark's math teacher?' he asked. She nodded: 'yes.' Then he said: 'Mark talked about you a lot.'

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

'We want to show you something,' his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket 'They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.'

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

'Thank you so much for doing that,' Mark's mother said. 'As you can see, Mark treasured it.'

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, 'I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home.'

Chuck's wife said, 'Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.'

'I have mine too,' Marilyn said. 'It's in my diary'

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. 'I carry this with me at all times,' Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: 'I think we all saved our lists'

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

And One Way To Accomplish This Is: Forward this message on. If you do not send it, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do something nice and beautiful.

If you've received this, it is because someone cares for you and it means there is probably at least someone for whom you care.

If you're 'too busy' to take those few minutes right now to forward this message on, would this be the VERY first time you didn't do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?

Taylor County Literacy Council on Oct 24

The next meeting of the Literacy Council will be Monday, October 24, at
7:00 PM. We hope to have responses from our grant applications by then.
In partnership with the Medford Adult Diploma Academy, one-on-one tutoring
is again being offered to MADA adults who need the reading help.  We will
also be advertising another Just Words class to be offered this fall.
Cindy Gibson & Laurie Prochnow

Consent to Bill Medicaid Services

This year, due to changes in requirements by Medicaid, current special education students were sent a Consent to Bill Medicaid form in the mail along with a copy of Parent and Child Rights documentation.  You will not need to have parents sign this form at IEP meetings.  Only newly qualifying students will need to be presented this form for consent.  Thank you for your help both now and in the past.

Special Ed and Student Svs Newsletter for September 23

Special recognition to all of our staff who help teach and provide support to our students with autism spectrum disorder.  Each of these students provide their own unique challenges (behavioral, academic, social, communication, sensory, etc) but also tremendous rewards. The patience, persistence, and positivity of our district staff in helping our students with autism achieve is excellent.  On behalf of them, I thank you.  You are all remarkable individuals.

1. iPad/Educational Technology Training
Tuesday September 27 from 4:00 to 5:00 at the D.O.  Agenda was sent out earlier in the week.

2. Safety Training for Staff and Students
Mr. Everhard will present safety techniques through his I.C.D.D training.  I will share information on Appropriate Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint. If unable to attend, please review the information forwarded to you.  Contact me for questions.

Thursday September 29 - MAES Media Room
2:15 to 3:30 for Paraprofessionals
4:00 to 5:00 for Certified Staff and Community Members

3. Reading Assistant Training
September 29 at 2:15 to 3:15 in the MAES Computer Lab. If you would like to attend this instead of Safety Training, please let me know.

4. Special Education and Student Services Calendar
There is now a Special Education and Student Services Calendar through Google Calendar that can be shared with you if interested.

5. Suicide Training on Wednesday September 28
There will be an one hour suicide training as part of Taylor County Prevention Council.  Several Student Services Team members have requested to attend.

6. Consent to Bill Medicaid Services
This year, due to changes in requirements by Medicaid, current special education students were sent a Consent to Bill Medicaid form in the mail along with a copy of Parent and Child Rights documentation.  You will not need to have parents sign this form at IEP meetings.  Only newly qualifying students will need to be presented this form for consent.  Thank you for your help both now and in the past.

7. School Leaders Advancing Technology in Education (SLATE) Conference
December 5 (pre-conference) through December 7 in Wisconsin Dells.
I will be attending the conference - if you are interested in attending, let me know or I will share the information with you.

8. Pre-K meetings
I will be meeting with Pre-K teachers on the following dates:
8:00 am on October 14th, November 11th, December 9th, January 13th, February 10th, March 9th, April 13th, and May 11th.

9. Wilson Reading Level II Certification

Wednesday September 28 from 3:30 to 5:30 in MAES Computer Lab

10. AIMS Web Contacts
If you have questions about AIMS Web or entering data - good contact people are Kari Dahlby at SES, Jessica Sherfield at MAES, and Jessica Martin at MAMS.

11. WKCE Testing Information

The Fall 2011 testing window for the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) is October 24 – November 25.

Information on Assessment Accommodations is at:

Information regarding the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities is at:

FAQs are at:

12. Taylor County Literacy Council
The next meeting of the Literacy Council will be Monday, October 24, at
7:00 PM. We hope to have responses from our grant applications by then.
In partnership with the Medford Adult Diploma Academy, one-on-one tutoring
is again being offered to MADA adults who need the reading help.  We will
also be advertising another Just Words class to be offered this fall.
Cindy Gibson & Laurie Prochnow

13. Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics for Students with Disabilities
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education has released a policy clarification document designed to have positive impacts on physical education programming for students with disabilities.  The 20-page report contains suggestions to increase physical education and extracurricular athletic opportunities, including accessibility, equipment, personnel preparation, assessment strategies and curriculum, which may be helpful for your PE teachers.  You will find it at

14. Attendant Care Services - Medicaid Billing
Reminder that Attendant Care Services should be submitted on a monthly basis for students that have attendant care needs and are medicaid eligible.

15. Schedules
If you have not already done so, please forward me your schedule of pullout/inclusion classes.  Forward me your aide schedules as well. I will start doing 3 minute walk throughs next week.

16. National Career Readiness Certificate
All of our Alternative High School Students will be asked to complete the National Career Readiness Certificate to increase their employability skills.  NCRC is offered through ACT, Inc.

17. Building Special Education Meetings in October

Oct 4 3:20 at MAES, Oct 11 3:20 at MAMS, and Oct 18 3:20 at MASH

18. The Cat in my Car Engine
Congratulations to Renni and Carol Wieman who have officially adopted the Cat who was in my Car Engine this summer.  Hello Morley Caddy Wieman!

19. Autism Resource Team meeting
October 6 at MAES from 4:00 to 5:00 pm

20. Certified Staff Evaluations
I have 19 certified staff evaluations to complete in 11-12.  I will be doing some of the 45 minute formative observations earlier in the year to be able to complete all of them.

21. Student Teaching
Kellie Keene is a special education assistant at our Alternative High School.  She will be doing her regular education student teaching during 3rd quarter.  We will be trying to fill her spot there without hiring someone for the quarter.

22. MADA
We will be sending letters to candidates who have dropped out of school over the past 10 years information on our Medford Adult Diploma Academy.  We expect to have another graduate within a month.  We had 2 more adults enroll this week.  Adults can enroll at anytime. 

23. Read 180
It is challenging to learn and implement new reading programs. It takes additional time and effort.  I would like to thank and recognize Sue Laher, Rachel Doleczalek, Kathy Budzinski, Beth Van der Berg, and Nikki Gripentrog as our Read 180 primary teachers and current/past paraprofessionals for all their efforts.  Thanks to Oralee Dittrich for her continued support and past implementation as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011-12 Indicator 13 Assessment

From Wisconsin DPI
In June, LEAs were notified that beginning with the 2011-12 school year all LEAs, including independent charter schools, will assess postsecondary transition requirements on an annual basis. For the 2011-12 school year, LEAs will meet the Indicator 13 assessment requirement in one of two ways:
•By participating in the development of DPI’s online transition IEP tool, or
•By participating in the Indicator 13 Assessment.
LEAs who volunteered and were selected to participate in the development of the online transition IEP tool were notified via e-mail on September 9.  If your LEA was not selected to participate in development of the online tool you must still complete the manual Indicator 13 Assessment.  The Indicator 13 Assessment must be completed by November 15, 2011.  Instructions for the Assessment are available at  If you have any questions about the Indicator 13 Assessment please contact Paul Sherman at 608-267-9157 or, or Wendi Dawson at 608-266-1146 or

Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics for Students with Disabilities

From Wisconsin DPI:
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education has released a policy clarification document designed to have positive impacts on physical education programming for students with disabilities.  The 20-page report contains suggestions to increase physical education and extracurricular athletic opportunities, including accessibility, equipment, personnel preparation, assessment strategies and curriculum, which may be helpful for your PE teachers.  You will find it at

WKCE for 11-12 Information

From Wisconsin DPI: 
The Fall 2011 testing window for the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) is October 24 – November 25. The WKCE brochure will be shipped to the district assessment coordinator along with other test materials during the first week of October.  The WAA-SwD brochure is online at:  Please assist in the distribution of these brochures to parents of students in grades 3-8 and 10 to ensure that students are prepared for the testing window. DPI offers additional information on accommodations, the WAA-SwD and frequently asked questions, which will be helpful for new staff.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Early Release Day September 29 = Safety Training

Don Everhard will train staff on his Intelligent Conflict De-Escalation and Defense (I.C.D.D.) safety techniques. Here is a You Tube video that shares some background information:

There will be information on DPI requirements on the Appropriate Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint of Students in Special Ed

2:15 to 3:30 for Paraprofessionals
4:00 to 5:00 for Certified Staff, Parents, and Community Members

Medford Area Elementary School Media Room

Monday, September 19, 2011

Related Services as part of an IEP

Related Services as part of a Special Education Student's Individualized Education Plan could include, but not be limited to:

Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
Speech Language
School Psychological Services
Guidance Counseling Services
Mental Health Services
School Health Services
School Nursing Services

WI Framework for Education's Future Centers on 4 Powerful Questions

Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers State of Education Address:

Framework for education's future centers on four powerful questions:

1. What and how should kids learn?
2. How do we know if they learned it?
3. What do we do when they don't?
4. How do we pay for it? 

The entire article can be found at:

Annual Notice on Suicide Prevention

Annual Notice on Suicide Prevention

Last year we had a current and former student who were a victim of suicide and several others that were in danger. This was a challenging time for staff, parents, and students.

Thank you for providing students with encouragement, kindness, and support to meet their learning, emotional, and social needs. Continue to deposit them each day with this as this helps build them up more and more. You can and do make a difference for them.

Each September we provide our Annual Notice on Suicide Prevention which is aligned with Suicide Prevention month.  The following are resources that are available to help you and the students.

(Suicide Prevention Policy JHH)
The Medford Area Board of Education recognizes that suicide and suicide tendencies among youth are continuing problems in the schools and communities of the nation.  The board also recognizes that it is not a problem that it can deal with alone.  Communication and cooperation within the school district and between the home, school, and community is crucial.

The Board of Education has established Suicide Prevention Policies (JHH and JHH-R) in an effort to take positive steps toward preventing childhood/adolescent suicides and to outline procedures by which students can receive professional help and support in the following three areas:

1. Prevention: To develop within the Medford Area Public School System a suicide prevention curriculum and to provide an ongoing inservice process that provides all staff members with basic information about, and a recognition of, the signs of suicidal behavior;

2. Intervention: To take affirmative action when an immediate referral is warranted and to understand the emergency procedures when a referral is made;

3. Postvention: To provide for the needs of students after an act of suicide has taken place. 

Attached are Youth Suicide Prevention Resources from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. You are encouraged to review them.  I can provide you with District Policy JHH-R with more specific information.

Department of Public Instruction
Here is a link to the DPI information and resources:

Student Services Team
Don Everhard = School District Safety and Crisis Coordinator
Louann Stanton - MASH Guidance Counselor
Terry Lybert - MASH Guidance Counselor
Jackie Strick - MAMS Guidance Counselor
Jessica Martin - MAMS and MASH School Psychologist
Barb Krenz - MAES and SES School Psychologist
Sue Eloranta - MAES and SES Guidance Counselor
Jill Koenig - School District Nurse
Rich Burghaus - School District Police Liaison Officer

For more information - please contact a Student Services Team member, Building Principal, or myself.

Thank you,

Joseph Greget
Director of Student Services and Special Education

Suicide Prevention Training on September 28

On Wednesday there will be a Suicide Prevention training as part of our Taylor County Prevention Council meeting. Professionals are invited to attend if interested and available: 

From Prevention Council Chairperson Peggy Nordgren: Michelle Armbrust and Jenn Meyer have attended a suicide prevention training and are willing to share the information.  This was something that was brought up several meetings ago.  They are planning on an hour presentation.  There should be plenty of time for questions and announcements. 

Prevention Council is on Wednesday September 28 at 9:00 am at the Medford Area Public School District Office.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Choice Reading at High School - Video

Choice Reading at MASH as featured as part of our Curriculum Connection at a Board of Education meeting.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Medford Alternative Programs - Curriculum Connection Video

Medford Alternative Programs were featured on this Curriculum Connection Video

Check out this video on YouTube:

Reading Interventions in Medford Schools Video

Here is our Curriculum Connection video on Reading Interventions in the Medford Area Public School District that was featured at our September Board of Education meeting.

Check out this video on YouTube:

iPads in the Classroom - Curriculum Connections

Each month the Medford Area Public School District at the Board of Education meeting features a different Curriculum Connection.  January 2011 featured iPads in the Classroom. 

Check out this video on YouTube:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Families Being Involved Workshops for Pre-Kindergarten in 11-12

Families Being Involved Workshops for Pre-Kindergarten in 11-12

October 21st - Pumpkin Carving 8:30-9:30am @ MAES

November 18th - Bowling 8-9 and 9:30-10:30 @ Sports Page

December 9th - Cookie Decorating 1:30-2:30pm @MAES

January 20th - Movie 1:15-3:00 @ SES

February 24th - Science Fun 1:30-2:30 @ MAES

March 16th - Swimming times TBA @ MASH

April 26th - Week of the Young Child Family Potluck Dinner and Dance 5:00 to 7:00 pm @ MAES

May 18th - Petting Zoo 9-10am @ MAES

AIMS Web for 11-12

1. Try to complete Benchmark Testing for Grades K-8 by October 1
2. Every other week Progress Monitoring will begin week of October 10
3. Teachers will enter Benchmark Scoring into AIMS
4. Early Literacy and Early Numeracy will be used for K-1 special
education students
5. MCAP, MCOMP, and RCBM will be used for Grades 2-4 special education
6. MCAP, MCOMP, RCBM, and MAZE will be used for Grades 5-8 special
7. Special education teachers can determine if a student would be
better measured through Math Fact probes then MCOMP probes.
8. AIMS Web Training on Monday September 19 from 3:30 to 4:00 at MAMS.
9. Contact Jessica Martin or myself if you need help entering
benchmark scoring or setting up progress monitoring schedules.
10. I can forward you Benchmark Probes if needed.
11. Benchmark Probes are administered at a child's grade level.
12. Progress Monitoring probes can be administered at a child's grade
level or their instructional level.
13. I have copies of 11-12 Aggregate Norm Tables for each probe.
These norms can be used to set up goals for AIMS Web and IEP goals/
14. Students that might be referred for LD evaluation should be
progress monitored on a weekly basis.
15. Special education teachers have the discretion to determine if a
probe is appropriate or not appropriate to use with a student.  Most
sped students should be assessed through a benchmark and/or progress
monitor probe until they have met their goals.

Sign Language for Educators

This class will begin on Monday October 3rd at 3:30 in the MAES media
room.  This is being taught by NTC and run through our CLC Community
Education Program.  Registration is limited.  Contact Luanne Olson or
I for registration at 715-748-4620. There is no cost.  Program will run for 6 weeks on
Mondays through November 14.

Special Education and Student Services Newsletter for September 16

Special Education and Student Services Newsletter for September 16

Many staff this year are in a new role whether it is a new position,
program, building, teaching different grade, and/or teaching different
subject. Sometimes this change can be difficult or it can be an
exciting change for the staff member.  If there is a way that I can
help you in your new role, please let me know.  We do appreciate the
flexibility that each of you show in your new roles this year.  I
personally have the utmost confidence that the new roles will be
successful.  I say that because each of you are so skilled, talented,
experienced, and/or eager to learn, but also because you care so much
for the students and their achievement.

Ethan Z
We are very excited to have First Grader Ethan Z - a homebound
medically fragile student attend school for the first time on Friday.
Ethan transferred to Medford last year. Please make him feel welcome.

Tyler T.
We are excited to have Tyler T attend school longer at MASH.  He will
be in Read 180 during 3rd and 4th hours.

Attendant Care Services
Teachers need to complete Attendant Care Services Sheets on students
that receive close to 1:1 support, have attendant care needs, and are
medicaid eligible. Luanne has sent out the medicaid student eligible
list.  This is a great revenue to support our special education
programming and staffing for students.

1. Try to complete Benchmark Testing for Grades K-8 by October 1
2. Every other week Progress Monitoring will begin week of October 10
3. Teachers will enter Benchmark Scoring into AIMS
4. Early Literacy and Early Numeracy will be used for K-1 special
education students
5. MCAP, MCOMP, and RCBM will be used for Grades 2-4 special education
6. MCAP, MCOMP, RCBM, and MAZE will be used for Grades 5-8 special
7. Special education teachers can determine if a student would be
better measured through Math Fact probes then MCOMP probes.
8. AIMS Web Training on Monday September 19 from 3:30 to 4:00 at MAMS.
9. Contact Jessica Martin or myself if you need help entering
benchmark scoring or setting up progress monitoring schedules.
10. I can forward you Benchmark Probes if needed.
11. Benchmark Probes are administered at a child's grade level.
12. Progress Monitoring probes can be administered at a child's grade
level or their instructional level.
13. I have copies of 11-12 Aggregate Norm Tables for each probe.
These norms can be used to set up goals for AIMS Web and IEP goals/
14. Students that might be referred for LD evaluation should be
progress monitored on a weekly basis.
15. Special education teachers have the discretion to determine if a
probe is appropriate or not appropriate to use with a student.  Most
sped students should be assessed through a benchmark and/or progress
monitor probe until they have met their goals.

Taylor County Mental Health Coordinator
I am announcing my promotion to Mental Health Coordinator at Taylor
County Human Services on August 29th. I wanted to contact you to let
you know that I would like to continue our contacts and continue
receiving your newsletters in my new position. I feel that
collaboration with the school is essential for Human Services success
in the community. I will continue to focus my counseling career on
youth, so I will likely have contact with you and other school staff
in my new position.

Thank you,
Amber A. Fallos MSE, BSW
Developmental Disabilites Coordinator

Taylor County Developmental Disabilities Coordinator
The new DD Coordinator will be Cheryl Ketelhut, Cheryl is replacing Amber Fallos in
that position.

Positive Reinforcement
Thank you to each of you that go out of the way to positively support
each other through words or actions on a regular basis.  Sometimes
just a little extra support like that can make a world of difference.
Working in special education is hard enough, but having support from
others can make it better.

Temporary Support
Jake Lutkovsky had been working from 6:30 to 8:30 am on our sped bus.
He will now temporarily work until 1:00 pm. This increase in hours is
due to longer days at MASH for Janet Jurgens who is needed to help
Tyler T.

Speech Language RTI
If extra time is needed to train staff (Marla, Kari, Pre-K Assistants,
Tammy) on Speech Language RTI, please let me know.

Kellie Keene
Alternative HS assistant Kellie Keene is working on her special
education and regular education teaching license.  She will need to
complete her regular education teaching license during third quarter
in a Grade K-6 room. Her special education practicum experience will
be at our alternative high school.

Northwest Passage - Mental Health Counseling
Our school based mental health counselor Marjorie Marksteiner will be
in district on Tuesday September 20.  I will take her to the buildings
starting around 9:00 am. We have referred our first student to
Northwest Passage for mental health counseling.

iPad/Educational Technology Training
September 27 at 4:00 pm at the DO

Wilson Reading Level II Certification Online Course
September 28 at 3:30 in MAES Computer Lab

Early Release Day
Don Everhard will present information on safety for staff and students
from 2:15 to 3:30 and 4:00 to 5:00 for staff in the MAES Media Room on
September 29

Sign Language for Educators
This class will begin on Monday October 3rd at 3:30 in the MAES media
room.  This is being taught by NTC and run through our CLC Community
Education Program.  Registration is limited.  Contact Luanne Olson or
I for registration. There is no cost.  Program will run for 6 weeks on
Mondays through November 14.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Special Education and Student Services Newsletter for September 14

Thank you
There were staff left with bruised arms, scratches, soreness, and pulled hair this week after several incidents with a student.  Even while staff were left sore, they continued to help and support each other and the student showing him kindness and love even when he was most angry. Everyone continued to work together to try to help the student and each other as well.

After 6 plus years in the district I continue to be amazed at what an excellent staff we have teaching and supporting our students with disabilities. Words can not adequately express how lucky we are to have both our veteran and new special education staff who have chosen to work here in Medford.  Thank you for all that you provide all of our students and each other. You do make a difference every day helping a student or each other through a kind word, action or support.

Early Release Day
Early Release Day is being held on Thursday September 29.  Don Everhard will conduct our annual training on Safety for Staff and Students.  Support Staff from 2:15 to 3:30 and for interested certified staff or community members from 4:00 to 5:00. These are held in the MAES media room.

Sign Language Class for Educators
This class will be taught by NTC and is being run through our CLC Community Education Program.  There is no cost for those in attendance.  Community, staff, and parents are welcome to attend.  Contact Luanne or I for registration which is limited. Classes will start on October 3 and run until November 14.

AIMS Web Overviews
AIMS Web overview tonight September 14 at MAES in the computer lab from 3:30 to 4:00 or Monday September 19 at MAMS  from 3:30 to 4:00   I can help you set up your progress monitoring and benchmark students and schedule for the year.

Northwest Passage - Mental Health Services
Marjorie Marksteiner will be our school based Mental Health Provider.  She will be in district on Tuesday September 20 starting at 9:00 am.  I will be taking her to the buildings to meet our student services, sped, and administration.

Audiology Services
Melinda Brahmer will be in district on Friday September 16 at 9:00 am at MAES and then MAMS.

Community Outings at MAES
Cathy Venzke will be organizing and planning community outings for students at MAES.  These will begin in early October.

Speech Language RTI
We have aligned several special education staff to help with the implementation of Speech Language RTI activities.  Kari Dahlby will help at SES.  Marla Hemke will provide 1 hour of support each day.  Tammy Damm will be used on Fridays.  Pre-K assistants will be trained in those classrooms.

Attendant Care Services Sheets
Reminder that Attendant Care Services Sheets need to be completed on students with these type of needs through Medicaid Billing.

State LD technical assistance guide has been updated.  A paraprofessional can implement RTI activities at the HS level under the direction of a certified staff member.  Previously it had been only a licensed staff member.

iPad/Educational Technology Overview
Our first one of the year will be held on Tuesday September 27 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the D.O.

Wilson Reading
We had 11 Medford and 3 Wisconsin Rapids staff trained to teach Wilson Reading this week.

Just Words
Carol Wieman, Chuck Prihoda, Jill Chasteen, and Judy Mader are attending Just Words training in Eagle River today and tomorrow.

My Cat
Sounds like Renni is winning over her mom Carol Wieman.  Renni has agreed to many of the contract terms over the span of her lifetime that Mom has set aside.  Looks like Renni might be adopting "Caddy" my cat from my car engine who is currently at Humane Society.

AIMS Web Benchmark Testing Dates
September 1 to October 15.

RTI Students Referred for LD
RTI students referred for a learning disability under special education should be progress monitored on a weekly basis.  This will help us get in compliance with upcoming RTI model in each of our school buildings. We are still under the IQ-Academic Discrepancy Model.  I would like to adopt the RTI model at MAES, MAMS, and SES either prior to or at the start of the 11-12 school year. I would like to wait for MASH until certified staff and support staff are aligned to deliver services.

Medford Adult Diploma Academy
This is a partnership between Medford Schools, CLC Community Education, and NTC.  Classes run on Tuesday-Thursday Nights from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at NTC in Medford. Anyone over 18 who needs a HS diploma is eligible.  Contact Cindy Gibson or I for more information.

NWEA Testing
NWEA testing began this week at MAES, MAMS, and SES.  We will need to do NWEA testing for special education students in Grades 9-10 at MASH. Students should be receiving accommodations in accordance with their IEP.

Read Write and Gold
We will be purchasing Read Write and Gold as assistive technology support for students at MAMS.  This will be installed and used to help students with reading challenges prior to start of Winter testing period for NWEA. This will be our pilot and then look to install at MASH in 12-13.

Blogs and Websites
Recognition to Brenda Ann McNary, Brittany Zenner, Albert Laverne Leonard III, and Jill Chasteen who all have either new blogs or websites.  Nice work.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Use of iPads in 10-11 by the Medford Area Public School DIstrict

I have started using the calendar to help organize myself.  It is very handy to be sitting at home in the evening and look up something related to what we are talking about or learning in class while sitting in the living room and without taking out the lap top.  Because of its size, it is easy to take to meetings and use for taking notes.
Calendar:  organize daily meetings
You Tube: look up videos on curriculum/subjects
Pandora: download music for playing in classroom
Child Timer/PresntTimer: timing activities or timed assessments in the classroom
Safari/Google: internet access

iPads are used more for drill and practice with math skills by most of my students.  Many of my students need extra practice and any time it can be disguised as anything but work they are excited!  When we get to money problems and telling time, I will be able to incorporate the use of the iPads with our math curriculum and use it during instruction.
Coin Counter: students check answers to math problems from workbooks
Math Ninja: drill and practice for basic math facts in an exciting format
Math Bingo: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division basic fact drill and practice and assessment
Math Board: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems
Clock Master: telling time
Times Tables: multiplication practice
NineGapsLite: math puzzles with addition, subtraction and multiplication

iCardSort is the only application that I use regularly as part of my  reading instruction.  As I continue to search for downloads, I am sure I will be able to find more applications to use for reading, including more phonics programs and comprehension activities.
iCardSort: Wilson word cards for each substep/phonemic concepts that students can read, manipulate and sort
Toy Story, ToyStory2, 3 Pigs, Enorm Carrot, Jingle: Interactive books

Written Language/Spelling:
We are just starting to use the applications as we now have enough iPads for each student to be able to use on during pull out instruction.
Story Builder: prompts students with questions to create a story using correct sequencing
SpellBoard: spelling quizzes with assessment data for each student
iSentence: Sentence structure
Hangman, Boggle, Scrabble: word games
Treasure Hunt: word families, spelling, logic
FlashGram: grammar, sentence structure
StoryKit: storybook creator

Readiness Skills:
Many of these apps I use with a Kindergarten student with Down syndrome.  It is great to be able to switch activities quickly and keep her on task with out having to put away materials and get out new materials.  She seems very motivated to use the iPad.
Alphabet Fun-letter flashcards
Alpha Baby Free-colors, shapes, letters
DottyShapesxl-dot to dot shapes
PocketPhonic-letter sounds, sounding out closed syllable words
Bubble Phonics-letter/sound relationship
PreschoolIMM-memory game with various categories of items
Whimsy: board puzzles
Colors Tool: color flashcards
Learning Pad: number & letter flashcards
FlashcardsHD: shape, numbers, colors, alphabet, transportation, bodies and things flashcards, word match and spelling game
Paint Letters: letter formation
ColorMatch: matching cards with the same colors (not a memory game)
AnimalsCount: one to one correspondence, counting, number recognition
iWriteWords: letter/number formation

This is an area that the speech/language pathologist and I work on together to enhance communication skills of our Kindergarten student with Down syndrome.  We use sign language as well as a communication board to enhance her limited vocal communication.
Proloquo2Go: alternative individualized communication board
TapToTalk: communication board
ASL: sign language- letters, colors
Sign 4 Me: sign language-type in word or phrase and it demonstrates the sign

I have two students who check in/check out each day due to behavior issues.  On days where they earn five out of five stars, they each pick a classmate and take care of a virtual fish tank.  When done, the classmates name a fish in the tank after themselves.  When the tank is full of fish from the class, a larger reward party is planned.  If they finish cleaning the tank early, the students are able to pick a game app to play.
Tap Fish: virtual fish tank EBD students are responsible for
Blue Block: game of strategy and logic
Busy Harbor: game of strategy and logic
Stories2Learn: social stories
Air Hockey, Checkers, UNO, FourInARowF, Glow Hockey, TicTacFree, Angry Birds: Rewards for good behavior, homework completion, and Game day Friday
BubblePopper: popping bubbles on bubble wrap for packaging-stress reliever

iPads are a great tool to have in the classroom.  Teachers are able to manage them, download applications as needed (with approval if there is a cost involved) and do not need a lot of technical support to use them with students.  The students are very motivated and enjoy working on them.  The wide variety of applications allows for their use over a variety of curriculum areas.  The smaller size as compared to a computer or lap top allow for their use on a desk in addition to other materials like notebooks, textbooks, etc.

There are only a few limitations to working with an iPad that we encounter currently.  Having access to wireless in limited areas in the building mean our students still must leave the classroom to work with certain applications such as Tap Fish.  Once wireless is in the classroom, these applications could be used more frequently or in conjunction with other activities.  Currently we are not able to print from our iPads which means we must email student work to our desktop computer to print.  Without the wireless internet connection is available, we will be able to do that right in the classroom, allowing students immediate access to their work in final form.

The final limitation is just plain time.  It is difficult to explore and refine use of applications in addition to the other responsibilities we have as professional educators.  There is not an easy solution to this problem.  As with all technology, the more you use it, the easier it is to use.  The more we are able to research and incorporate the iPads into our instruction, we will find it easier to search and find what we need to help our students be successful.  It is just figuring out what to remove or decrease from our current planning time to insert time for exploring or planning with the iPad.

Kris Brandner – Special Education Teacher at Stetsonville Elementary School

There are several ways that I have used the I-pad for my speech students. 

Proloquo2Go: This is a valuable app for our students who are unable to communicate.  There are three students that this app will benefit to better communicate their wants and needs.  It has also been used to assist a student with communicating her frustrations and responding better to staff.
Tap To Talk:  A simpler version of Proloquo2Go, this app has been used for a younger student to teacher her the basic concepts of PECS.  She did very well with this and appears to understand the how to communicate while using the app to request.
Read Me Stories/ Story Kit/ Enormous Carrot: These simple stories have been used with my elementary students for comprehension, story retell, and sequencing of the story presented.  “The Three Bears” on Story Kit has not only been used for what is mentioned above, but also compare and contrast to the original story of “The Three Little Bears.”  “Enormous Carrot” has also been used with some of my articulation for bombardment when they are learning the initial /k/ sound.
Kindergarten Apps: Although I have not used all of these, in the future they can be used for language skills of answering /wh/ questions.  The “emotions” app has been specifically used for a student who has a hard time understanding emotions.  She is to first identify the emotion, while it is covered up at top, and then she is to identify what could cause someone to feel that emotion.
Magnetic Alphabet: This app is used for my younger students, much like the magnetic boards from “Wilson Fundations.”  The student is to discriminate the sound provided and choose the correct letter to eventually spell a word.  The word will usually have the phoneme that is being worked on.
Air Hockey: This app is used my stuttering students.  Considering he stutters most when he is excited, this app is to create excitement and is to then generate conversation during and after the game.
Artix Pix Full: This is a valuable app for any ST.  Aside from being very compact and portable, this app provides most phonemes in all positions.  The therapist can manipulate what position and the phonemes that are being worked on.  I use this app for my articulation students while using either flashcards or memory.
Blue Block: This app has been used simply to reward or give a student a break after he has been compliant with the ST and has participated in therapy.
Chalk board/ Doodle Buddy/ Drawing Pad/ Glow Draw: This app is used simply as a white board would be.  It is used for answering questions, providing schedules for students, or drawing pictures.
Checkers/ Chess/ Uno: Both of these apps have been used my student that stutters, he is to explain his move while playing the game as fluently as possible.  The checkers is also used with one my students with autism to reward or to follow verbal directions.
Crazy Symon/ Bubble X plode: These apps are also used with my student who stutters.  He is to verbally express every move he is going to make while quickly pressing the bubbles in “Bubble X Plode” or the buttons in “Crazy Symon.”
Sign 4 Me:  This app is used to look up signs for a student who has minimal verbal skills and learns through sign paired with verbal language.
Talking Tom/ Talking Roby:  The student is to record himself/herself and afterwards monitor their speech with Talking Tom/ Talking Roby.  This is especially used with one of my elementary student who stutters, as she also stutters when she is excited.  These apps increase her excitement and therefore allows for increased practice under these circumstances.
Cookie Doodle: This app is used for following one-three step directions, either with making the cookie or designing a cookie.
Word Slam: This app is used with my students in Middle School to assist with fluency and voice output.  While playing the game they have to remember their strategies to accomplish their goals.
Sentence Builder (iSentence): This app is used with my students to better understand correct grammar, especially of helping verbs.
Story Builder: Story Builder is used to aid with sequencing of a story as well as answering questions when presented with a carry phrase.  The complexity of this app increases when the student is to complete the sentences and pictures to having to create their own story with only pictures.

Eliza Decker - Speech Language at MAMS and SES

I have four students who use the I-Pad.  One of them has gotten to the point where he is able to start it and find the program that he likes.  He really focuses on Toy Story.  On his own he was able to find different features to it such as coloring on the pages.  He also really likes the Doodle Page.  He creates quite the pictures.  For math he uses the program kid's math.  It is very motivating to him.  He will try to count using the program.  He has also used the Dots 4 program which also helps him in number recognition and order of numbers. 

One of my other students really enjoys the stories. This includes Toy Story, The Three Little Pigs, and Fuel4Fin.   He often smiles which is really nice, because it is not something that he does very much any more.  He also really enjoys the farm flip program.  It makes the animal sounds and this tickles him.  He likes watching the Forest Friends, because the characters move in it.  The I-Pad just brings a different world to him to experience in that the graphics are so real. 

Another student  really enjoys the Whimsy puzzle a great deal.  He does not take to new things very well and so I was leary to work with him on it.  He loves puzzles and so I showed him Whimsy.  Then we did it hand over hand and then he did it by himself.  He went from accomplishing it in a minute to accomplishing it in seconds.  It is so rewarding to him.  He also enjoys the I Hear Ewe program.  He giggles when the sounds come out.  This student is not a book lover at all and would push the books away.  For the I-Pad stories he listens to the story and attends to the visuals.  He also has touched independently for the Art of Glow. 

Finally, one of my other students is really into Toy Story and so the stories are great for her.  She has troubles focusing on activities at times, but she really looked at the story.  She also really looked at the Art of Glow and would touch the screen by herself.  She has watched the program of bubbles which is simulated bubble wrap.  She likes the real thing and is not quite sure about this program. 

Overall the I-Pad has offered the kids an interactive form of learning.  It is fun to explore the different programs and see the light in the student's eyes.

Brenda Ann McNary – High School CDS and Autism Teacher

I am currently letting my children take turns using it during free play (which has resulted in many an argument).  After x-mas break I have a parent volunteer coming in (Rachael Loucks for our EC sub comm) and she will be using it to work with children (one on one) who are struggling with vocabulary and other skills.  I would like to be able to use the ipad during center time but would need 3 more (for a total of 4) in order to make that work.  I've also been trying to remember to use it while introducing our letters and numbers but I've found that after 7 years I'm so used to they way I've taught in the past that I forget to use it even though its sitting right there! 

We currently use the computer lab for a half hour each week (with both classes getting a half hour) and the children love that!  We also have 3 classroom computers available to them during free choice time which makes sharing and taking turns much easier.  I'm just having a hard time finding time to work the ipad in (with all the other things to teach) and the fact that I only have 1 for use with 18 kids usually means I'm using it while they are watching when I do remember to us it during class. 

Amanda Langdon – Stetsonville Elementary Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Shari came up with a good idea the other day for my students that are on edge and need to calm down.  We are starting to use the IPADs for a way to slow their minds down and refocus off of the negative behavior that they were engaged in .  I am also looking into applications to use for my Applied Biology, since its not usually in the curriculum to do actual disections, I am thinking there will be an application that deals with that specifically.  I believe after Christmas we will be focusing with more hands on learning for this group. 

Personally I slowly been trying to use it for scheduling.  I had been using my email calendar, but I am hoping this is even more convenient.

Nathan Bluhm – High School Emotional Behavioral Disabilities Teacher

I currently use the Ipad's at least 2x's per day, sometimes more depending on how I use it.  All three students have scheduled computer time and during that time we have reviewed skills for writing, math, reading, and item identification.  In addition I use it to calm the children when they are upset; For this they use some of the cause and effect type of programs.  These cause and effect programs are also used to teach the students how to use the Ipad.  Th Ipad is used as a motivator to encourage students to finish their academics as well as to transition from one activity to the next.  A timer program is used for this, in addition for a reward they often choose games and stories.

I use the Ipad's during CLC time as a motivator to get homework done.  The students usually pick item identification, puzzles, stories, games, and skill reviews for writing, math, and reading.

Monica DeGroot – Grade 1-4 Autism and CDS teacher

In the 5th grade special education room, we use the I-PADS for many different uses. We program the students spelling words into an application on the I-pads. Each week, students can then practice writing their spelling words and then the answer will pop up on the application. We also use chalkboard as a way of creating interest for math. Students will use the chalkboard application and other similar applications to show their work on example problems or for homework problems in math. We also use other math, reading, and spelling applications as supplementary material when students are done with all of their work or if a student is at too low of a level for the Saxon math intervention program that we use. Students also have access to a variety of different strategy applications that are great for problem solving and critical thinking. The I-pads in the fifth grade classroom are also used for communication (dragon, Emotions, Feelings [all apps]) to help students express their thoughts and feelings in non-verbal ways. Students also can write/journal/type about their day and how they feel using a variety of different applications. In the future, we hope to continue to learn more about the I-pads and how to implement them in new ways. We want to use them in the inclusive classrooms and we also hope to use them more for the specific math and reading interventions Medford Area Middle School provides. For example, with recently receiving wireless internet, students can use the internet to research a science project or use online materials that go along with intervention programs (i.e. V-Math Live).

Ryan Brown – Grade 5 Special Education Teacher

Ipad Usage

My students and I are really enjoying our ipad and the opportunities it provides for a new type of learning.  I use the ipad to see how my students are progressing with their math facts as well as to practice the new concepts they are learning in math.   I have incorporated into part of my English lesson, especially the sentence builder and story builder app.  My students really enjoy using it and to them it seems like a game instead of an actual part of our lesson.  I use the iCardSort app for important vocabulary for the different subjects I teach.  I also put the words from Wilson in this app and on Fridays we play Wilson games with it.  

I am starting to use it more with my inclusion classes for notes.  I look forward to getting more applicable apps for the inclusion classes I am in.  It does seem like some of the apps either too simple for my students or too advanced, but I am looking more into the different apps available and I look forward to being able to put apps into our budget for next year. 

My students defiantly enjoy “playing games” on the ipad.  If they are caught up on all their homework and are not missing anything I allow them to use certain apps that I approve such as boggle, scrabble,  WTD, tangram,  blue block, math ninja, and math magic.  They see this as a game, but at the same time they are using their brain and stretching it.

I also use the ipad for my professional development in terms of the pages app as well as the list maker app.   This does help me take notes for my students in inclusion classes.
Overall, we love our ipad and are so thankful for it.  I will continue to be researching new apps for my students and implementing them into our classroom.  In the future it might be beneficial to have wireless internet, but thank you so much for this new teaching tool.

Rebecca Gauthier – Grade 6 Special Education Teacher

Hi Joe,

This is an excerpt from a technology piece I wrote for graduate credit regarding the use of Ipads in the classroom.

iPads in the Classroom
What I have observed is that students love the technology. Staff is excited about having “the world at their fingertips” so to speak. I have a classroom full of students with disabilities ranging from dyslexia to Autism. Each one of my students has individualized ability levels and needs. I have found that the iPad allows me to differentiate lessons based on students’ disability and need. I have four iPads in my classroom. There are a variety of ways that I can utilize my iPads. The students can learn collaboratively or individually. What I like is that each student can work on a different lesson or level individually and as long as they aren’t sitting right next to another student they are unaware of the other students learning. This is beneficial because in the past I have had to try to explain to another student why they can’t work on the same project or lesson because it is too difficult or too easy for them.  If I am using the iPads for a collaborative lesson it provides lots of opportunity for verbal exchange among students. This communication is extremely beneficial for students with Autism.

It seems as though students are just programmed to use the iPads. They get the technology in their hands and it only takes children minutes to understand the concepts and learning begins to take place.

What I have observed about staff is that they are excited to collaborate with their new found learning tools. I appreciate our time to discuss applications and their uses from other teachers in my district. I am also happy to have gone to the SLATE conference where I was able to obtain a variety of strategies for my students from other educators.  I would say that the implementation of iPads in my school has been successful to this point in advancing student learning. I would also say that based on the information I learned at the SLATE conference this is only the beginning of the journey we are going to partake in with involving technology in our classrooms. I see iPads, iPods and other mobile devices as going from being labeled as technology to being labeled as the way we teach.

Misty Galli - EBD Teacher

iPad uses in Occupational Therapy

Therapist clerical duties:

To document: mileage, type up reports, MA Billing,

I use it to access my calendar to schedule meetings and times I need to meet  with students or staff that alter from my original schedule. 

I uses the calculator to document percentages on almost all treatment sessions so I can quickly document improvements. 

I plan to start documenting my monthly charting starting next month.

Student uses:

I work with a student in the classroom and she is not willing to do anything extra that the whole class is not doing.  For example if we are working on a project where she needs to write the beginning sound, she will only write that sound one time.  She is often completed on time and will not practice with me as we wait for her peers to finish up.  Once I brow the ipad in for her to practice on using one of the chalkboard or paint apps she was very willing to try additional tasks that her peers are not doing.  This has made our treatment time very productive. 

Students use a variety of the puzzle apps to learn visual motor skills.  These are motivating for students.  I have seen a student with excellent attention to task when using the iPad.  When she is asked to put an interlocking physical puzzle together she requires moderate assistance with verbal cues to look at her pieces and continue to work.

Students are learning how to use Dragon Dictation to produce written language.  They are motivated to try to get the device to type what they are saying. They are actively engaged and trying to correct mistakes and wanting to beat their percentage of getting their words typed correctly on the first attempt of verbally stating their phrase or sentence.  

Students use the iPad to develop fine motor control.  I have used the mazes for students to isolate their pointer finger and then control their hand and arm movements and work on their visual motor skills.

I have students use the drawing apps to draw pictures with details.  Sometimes I draw them first and have them copy depending on their skill level.  Students are excited about drawing even if it is hard for them. 

I have students trace the D'Nealian style font letters in an app for practice before we use pencil and paper. 

Students are very excited and work hard when they know they have an opportunity to play a game on the iPad as a reward.  

Caroline Radlinger – Occupational Therapist

January 10, 2011

We use the ipads in the following ways:

-          Word processing…..One of the recent projects is the students wrote descriptive paragraphs on an app. they use. They also had to present their app. to the class and show classmates how to use them.
-          Drill and practice especially with math facts
-          Learning to use current technology
-          Researching a variety of topics….accessing the web
-          Communication (autistic students)
-          Viewed a  few vidcasts  tutorials” (ex. Tie shoes)
-          Read books
-          Current events
-          Conversions
-          Created a video for a Thank you to the Lions

There is such a wide variety of apps that almost any skill that you want to teach to students can be taught or enhanced by the use of the ipad.

I think one of the advantages that our special education students benefit from is that they have an opportunity to use the technology when, for the most part, the general education students do not. This gives them an advantage when the ipads are used to work on general education curriculum.  The general education students are also more enthusiastic about working with the special needs students.  The cool factor! 

Carol Wieman - 7th Grade Special Education

iPad Use:

The iPad's have been a very motivating tool with students.  They are very excited about the opportunity to use the iPad's.  We have used the iPad's with PBIS.  We have used the iPad's to help calm students down in a variety of settings.  We have used it to get students calmed down at lunch so they would eat lunch.  We have used them at time when students are very upset and not willing to talk.  Once they were calmed down they were willing to talk.  We let some students use the iPad once they are finished with lunch so it keeps them out of trouble in the lunchroom.  We have used them on field trips to have a tool with us if one of our behavioral students needed a change of pace.  I have used them in the groups I have taught for PBIS.  We really enjoyed having the Auto-B-Good videos on our IPad's.  They are an excellent tool for PBIS because they are so mobile.  You can take them to the student, take them where they are needed.  As the PBIS coach I have been able to work on my work in a variety of settings.  It is a quick way to check and respond to my email.  It is a nice way to keep my work at my finger tips!

In my classroom my special education students have been very excited about the opportunity to use an iPad.  It has been nice having the students learn about a device that is on the cutting edge.  It is amazing how quick and good they are at using them.  In my room I like having them to let the students practice their math and reading skills.  We also enjoy having the programs where they can practice their spelling words and writing skills.  For a reward the kids love playing the games.  They enjoy listening to the music when we are working on special projects.

For my own professional use it has been very useful for my PBIS data collection, writing up information needed, checking and responding to email much more efficiently, using it assimply a notebook. 

I am excited to continue to learn about all the things I can do with my students and myself as a professional.  I enjoy the iPad classes Joe offers each month.  Very helpful to us!  What a great tool for the Medford School District to purchase!  The opportunities are endless!!

Richelle Woller – Grade 3 Special Education Teacher

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to use the new ipad in my special education program.  The students are eager to explore the different programs available.  The programs that have been downloaded thus far are interesting, clever and cover a wide variety of academic areas that meet the needs and interests of my students.   One student in particular, likes to work with the ‘Under the Sea’ program.  This program is great because when I have 4 students at a time, we adapt it so each student can play regardless of their math ability.

I have attended one of the after school enrichment opportunities and found it to be helpful in presenting the basic information regarding the educational possibilities of using the ipad in the classroom.  I plan on attending the next such meeting later in January.

As I continue to work with the ipad and see how responsive students are with it, I am encouraged to look for additional ways to incorporate the use of the ipad with standard academics which will enhance student learning.  Currently, the students are very motivated to complete daily assignments in order to be able to use the ipad.  When students work together with an ipad app, they have been willing to share and take turns, allowing for a cooperative learning experience.

Having the ipad as part of our educational program has been a positive element within our day.  I look forward to learning more about how this tool can be used effectively to increase student learning.

Marla Hemke – Response to Intervention and Learning Disabilities Teacher

What do I use the iPad for?

            As an Early Childhood teacher, there are many uses that I have for the iPad I recently received to utilize in my classroom.  First and foremost, it is a wonderful teaching tool that is extremely versatile.  With my Early Childhood Special Education students, many of the apps that I use to work on specific academic skills are games.  From Dino and Animal Match to Connect Four, these applications allow the students the opportunity to learn turn taking skills in addition to focusing on academic concepts such as matching, colors, shapes, numbers, vocabulary, etc.  Applications such as Animal Count verbally count how many objects there are as the child touches each item and then encourages the student to find the correct number.  Alphabet applications such as Pocket Phonics and Bubble Alphabet allow the students to learn letters and letter sounds as well as how to write the letter and use letters to create words.  All while allow the student to have a great time and not even realize that they are learning in the process.
            Seeing as how many of my students have Speech and Language Delays, I often utilize the iPad as a communication device.  Proloque2Go has been extremely useful, especially with students who have Down Syndrome or student with Autism.  This application allows the child the opportunity to express his/her wants and needs without a meltdown occurring because of not being understood.  TapToTalk is also a good application that allows the Nonverbal students on my caseload to use the iPad as a communication tool.  In addition, seeing as how I have a student who is deaf on my caseload, the Sign 4 Me and ASL sites have been phenomenal in helping me learn how to communicate with this student.  She is becoming more and more comfortable at school and I believe that is a large part to the fact that she feels she is able to communicate with her teachers and peers more effectively.
            Some of the students in my classroom receive Occupational Therapy services.  While the iPad can’t work on every fine motor skills, such as cutting, it does allow the student to work on their writing and puzzle skills.  Applications such as Alphabet Tracer and Dots 4 Tots focus on the student using their finger to trace a letter or connecting dot-to-dot activities to create a shape.  Therefore, it not only works on the fine motor aspect but it works on academic skills as well.  Whimsy and Puzzle Snakes helps students learn how to complete multiple piece puzzles.  Applications such as HandPaint, Glow Draw, and Art of Glow allow the students the opportunity to draw their own pictures with an added twist.  There are so many great ideas to help our students continue to work on these skills. 
            Finally, there are some students this year who have presented me with behavior issues that I was not fully prepared for.  The iPad has been extremely handy while working with these students.  Using the Koi Pond, Bubble Popper, and Talking Tom Cat applications may help calm a student down when a huge meltdown is in progress or at least allow them to transition from a regular education classroom to a resource room where the meltdown will not be witnessed by their peers.  The Grouchies, Feelings, and Auto-B-Good are wonderful applications that have helped some of my Kindergarten students start to think about their own feelings and the decisions that they should be making.  The iPad has also allowed the students to draw the rules themselves.  We then can transfer those drawings to a Word Document and print it out for the students to use as a reminder of how they should behave.
            Overall, the iPad has been an extremely wonderful resource to have in my classroom and I am grateful that I have been given the chance to utilize it in my classroom.  The versatility, effectiveness with students, and organization of this technological tool has been phenomenal.  Thank you for such a great opportunity!

Amber Fettes – Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Ways I Use the iPad
Regular Education/Inclusion:
  • Reading/English:  Assigned Books or books of choice in Reading class are on the iPad and motivate students to want to read since they can read using the iPad library app.
  • ScienceThe Elements App and the Planets app.  Jeanine and I are working on developing a lesson to use the iPads with all students in the classroom, separating them into groups of 6, differentiating abilities and using the iPads to answer questions on the planets, volcanos, rocks, etc.
  • Social Studies – Sara and I are going to work together to use the 6 iPads in the class with all students.  Thinking of apps such as this day in history, library of congress.
  • Math/Science – Conversion Apps, Calculators, Formula Apps help our inclusion students.

Pull Out Classes
  • Math – instead of doing timed facts in our workbooks, we choose Mathboard or other math apps that will give them math problems to complete.  If they get 100%, they score it on a chart.  Provides a lot of motivation and incentive to do well.  Also use doodle buddy app for whiteboards to show their work during my instruction and while they are working on their assignment.  They can use the conversion apps and calculator apps when allowed.
  • English – use the Dragon App for writing papers or summaries.  Once wi-fi is available, I’d like to have them have the option of completing their Teenbiz articles and their blogs on the iPads or computers.

I’d like to explore more options, but again, there is a time factor.  Also, I am finding great apps that can be used.  I’m taking the class on iPads in the classroom as part of my Master’s program and hoping to gain more knowledge from others and the instructor on how to incorporate them into the curriculum.  Also, I’m finding more ways to use them as I talk with general educators about how they can use them with my students in the classroom and the many apps available for subjects like Science and Social Studies.

Jill Chasteen  8th Grade Special Education

I am finding that the iPad is one of the best therapy tools to have.  It is
there at my fingertips when I don't have time to locate or prep materials.
It is fun and motivating.  Here are some of the ways I'm using it:
Articulation (ArtikPix, Talking Tom)
Grammar/Syntax (ISentence, ICard Sort, Cookie Doodle, ITalk)
Semantics/Vocabulary (too many to name - Sight words, ABA flashcards,
ICommunicate, Farm Flip, Interactive books, etc.)
Question Asking/Question Comprehension (Guess 'em, Super Why, Story Builder)
Literacy Skills (iCard, Story Builder, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, Jingle,
Super Why)
Autism (Cause-Effect such as Fluid, Air Harp, Line Art, Virtuoso, Talking
John, Tom, and Robby, Animal Sounds, Bubble Wrap, Wheels on the bus, Forest
Friends, etc.)  I even had one student tolerate playing Air Hockey with a
Reinforcement/Motivation:  I like to use simple activities during therapy by
having kids take a turn after they've produced a sound, word, sentence, etc.
(Coin Toss, Tic-tac-toe, Connect 4, Checkers, Dotty Shapes, etc.)
I use the iPad for internet access.
I'm working on trying to utilize Dragon with a couple of my students -
unfortunately, not being able to access Wi-Fi interferes with this.
I use the dictionary and calculator.
My goal is to increase my use of the iPad for notetaking, report writing,
e-mailing, etc.

Ann Jochimsen