City Today - May 2011
Welcome to the May edition of The City Today!
Bringing you all the latest from Education City!
New Activities and Tools
New! Volcanoes - Science
Travel with Manu in his time machine to Pompeii to explore volcanoes and tectonic plates.
Find Volcanoes in the Science module / 6th Grade*
New! Paragraphing Tool - Language Arts
This new tool allows students to copy text and construct into proper paragraph form.
Find the Paragraphing Tool in the Language Arts module / 1st Grade*
New! Addition Facts Tool - Math
The Addition Facts tool helps students create equations to equal a specified sum.
Find the Addition Facts Tool in the Math module / 1st Grade*
New! Playground Preferences - Learn English
Help Klara determine what sports the gang likes to play on the playground. Students use visual cues to recognize the correct usage of the verb "to like."
Find Playground Preferences in the Learn English module / 3rd Grade*
*Some activities may be found in different grade levels as mapped by your individual state standards.
RENEW IN MAY AND GET A FREE GIFT
Teacher Appreciation Special Good through May 31, 2011
May is Teacher Appreciation Month!
The Education City Team knows how important your job is. We understand the obstacles you face and pride ourselves on offering a robust resource at an affordable price.
Renew in May and get a free gift!
Call us today to discuss your account and take advantage of our Teacher Appreciation Special.
Offer not valid in combination with any other offer. Promotion valid through 5/31/11.
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION
Differentiate Instruction in Mixed Ability Classrooms
It's a fact that 95% of 6-21 year-old students with disabilities are served in regular schools.* And, today, with schools seeing budget cuts and funding sources running dry, the question remains: how can we best educate all students regardless of their skill level?
As an Education City subscriber, you're already well aware of how our web-based resource supports teachers in the classroom and computer lab environments. You're also probably aware of how schools are using Education City in Response to Intervention plans. But, do you know how Education City adapts specifically for use in special education programs?
To illustrate exactly how you can extend the value of Education City into your special ed program, let's take a look at some of the challenges this group of students often face.
Mastering the Basics
For many special education students mastering the basics is of prime importance. A simple focus on remediation and reinforcement of basic skills can lead to mastery of the standard. If your school subscribes to all Education City modules, you have access to PreK through 6th grade activities, allowing you to work with a 4th grade student on 1st grade math skills. With Education City's powerful Preference feature you also have the ability to rename each grade level so that students are unaware of the year level they are working at. This allows the teacher to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms and still foster self-esteem and confidence in all students.
Changing the Pace
Depending on your student's individual needs, teachers may choose to slow down or compact the curriculum. If you match their learning speed, you will better meet their needs. Again, having the ability to differentiate activities gives the teacher the power to accelerate or decelerate the learning pace. But, Education City also offers educators the options to reformat activities to meet individual student needs. For example, you can remove the timer on activities if the presence of the clock causes anxiety, or you can reset the timer to allow the student more or less time to complete the activity.
Altering the Format
We know that everybody has a different learning style. While some learners are visual, others are auditory and some are kinesthetic (just to name a few). Channeling focus, keeping attention, and building long-term memory can be a challenge in itself. This may be easily overcome once you identify the child's preferred learning style. Education City activities support all main learning styles using colors, sound, text, audio commentary, animated graphics and interactivity to appeal to the widest possible range of users. Equally, the operating system's settings can be manipulated to increase the mouse pointer size on the screen or vary the volume of the audio files - to ramp the stimulus level up or down.
Tackling the Other Stuff
Academics are not the only lessons learned in school. Managing social situations is also par for the course. If you have a special needs student to which this applies - our PreK module fits the bill. Each theme within the PreK module consists of five activities that link to objectives and provide a real world context for the skill introduced. The activities are designed to enhance problem solving skills, social skills and encourage creativity and the awareness of the world around them. Don't ignore PreK just because you don't have early childhood classrooms in your building. It doesn't mean you student won't benefit from what the PreK module has to offer.
Putting Tools in Parent Hands
Most parents of children with special needs recognize the necessity of their involvement at home. Extending Education City into the home gives these parents an opportunity to work with their child one-on-one to reinforce what he/she is already working on in school. This sentiment holds true for any students, regardless of skill level, but may be especially important for those students with special needs. And, your parents will appreciate the school providing such a tool.
Getting the Most Out of Your Subscription
As an Education City subscriber, you have a wealth of activities, tools and data at your fingertips. Making sure your staff knows how to fully utilize everything the resource offers ensures you're making the most out of your investment with us. For more information on how you can incorporate Education City into your special education program, to add modules, or to schedule a training session - please give us a call at 800.995.5410.
*Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2010).
SEIZING TEACHABLE MOMENTS
Does the News make it into your Classroom?
Teaching history is one thing. Making your students are part of history as it happens is what we call a teachable moment. From the earthquakes in Japan to the recent news from Pakistan - people are talking and you can be sure your students are listening. Are you incorporating current events into your classroom discussions? We want to know. Please share your ideas!
We LOVE hearing what you have to say!
"I teach a K-5th grade class of students who qualify for special education due to emotional issues. My special needs students have academic abilities that run from pre-kinder to gifted. Education City is a perfect computer platform to use in my classroom. Since it is a web-based program, each of my four computers can be set to a different level or subject area. Language Arts, Science and Math activities are used daily in my classroom. The kids love Education City and I have seen how much progress they have made in academic areas while engaged, happy and learning. Education City supports my lesson in fun, engaging ways and really helps me to differentiate my instruction. For example, I can have an emergent reader working on an activity that reinforces letter/sound relationships at the same time a gifted child is working on 5th grade sciences learning about the circulatory system. I don't know what I would do without Education City in my classroom!"
-Nancy Booth, Special Education Teacher, Northwood Elementary School in California
Education City will be at the following upcoming events. Join us for an online demonstration or a quick update on what's new. We look forward to seeing you there!
Jun. 21-22 National Charter School Conference - Atlanta, GA
Jun. 27-29 International Society of Technology Education - Philadelphia, PA
Have a great month!
See you in June!
If you have any news or views for The City Today, please email us at EmilyM@educationcity.com.
Any feedback you wish to provide about Education City is always welcomed and valued.
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