Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who is Flat Stanley?

For those of you who have never heard of Flat Stanley, he is a character in a series of books by Jeff Brown. In the first book he is flattened by a bulletin board and as a result is able to have all sorts of different adventures--including being mailed to visit relatives! Several years ago a teacher had the idea to use Flat Stanley ( FS) to promote reading and writing with students. The teacher had each student create a paper doll FS which was then mailed to another class of students. The host students journaled about their Flat Stanley's adventures and when the visit was over, mailed them back to their original owners. Since then many teachers and parents have come up with their own version of the Flat Stanley Project. In addition to language arts activities, FS can be used in a variety of ways for math ( how many miles did FS travel?), social studies ( what is the capital of California/reading maps), science, art, etc.

If you are interested in creating a lapbook about Flat Stanley you might be interested in the unit on Homeschool Share which includes minit books and a chapter by chapter guide of ideas. Live and Learn Press also has a Flat Stanley Learn 'N folder.

A16 is doing an ongoing FS project. A friend made a FS out of cloth for A16 ( thanks C! ) and FS has been making visits to friends and family. We are collecting a written journal and photos of all of FS's adventures. In addition we are making minit books and activities to go along with the book series as we read them. For example, in the first book FS acts like a kite so we read a book on kites and made a mini version. This project is easily adaptable for different ages and abilities.

Who know where FS will visit next?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

First Lapbook

A16 loves science. When he made his first lapbook back in September, he chose the topic of weather. We read books from the library and completed the weather words lapbook from Homeschool Share. With his special needs, A16 is unable to write. In order to write answers he chooses pictures from Mayer Johnson's Boardmaker software. Before starting a unit or lapbook I will print out a variety of picture words so he has lots to choose from. We then use a glue stick to paste his answers in the correct spot. He was so proud of himself when we finished this!

A Meaningful Day

After a lot of thought I decided to start a blog to showcase all the work we've been doing this year. A16 is at home for school this year and doing very well. The title of this blog, A Meaningful Day refers to a new buzzword in the disabilities community. It refers to a type of program for people with disabilites who for whatever reason are not in supported employment or workshops. Instead they have chosen to develop their own program based on their interests--to create a meaningful day for themselves. This type of program is very individulized. It can include activities like community outings, volunteering, arts and crafts programs, shopping, movies, and learning about new things of interest. It can take place in the individual's home or in a community setting. This type of program is usually implemented after high school. However, A16 and I thought now would be a good time to start.

I hope to use this blog to showcase A16's schoolwork, including lapbooks, and show how we are creating a meaningful day program.