Pin the apostrophe on the contraction! This comic made us giggle today. Always take time out of your day to laugh at something silly. Happy Friday!
These food dividers are a great tool for individuals with special needs. Not only do the dividers help push food onto a fork or spoon, the walls divide different types of foods and prevent then from touching—perfect for picky eaters!
Read more about the six-year old who created the dividers, and how they’re helping eaters with special needs:
“Six-year-old Ruby Lucken didn’t like different foods touching on her plate. She invented silicone food dividers and started selling them at farmer’s markets. To her family’s surprise, this simple solution is also good for people with special needs or older people who need help at mealtime.
The semi-circle cubbies suction onto your plate, but they do more than just keep foods separate. The cubbies create a “wall” to help push food onto a fork or spoon. Make sure to use a plate that is relatively smooth—raised designs or a large lip may prevent the cubbies from sticking.”
Story and video via The Grommet.
Good news: the federal government’s latest budget includes funding gains for special education, housing, and other disability programs.
Disability Scoop’s Michelle Diament reports:
The $1.1 trillion plan lawmakers approved last month boosts spending – at least a little bit – for most federal government programs that touch the lives of people with disabilities.
Most of the gains are modest especially when spread across 50 states, advocates say, but after years of cutbacks, any rise is a good sign.
“Certainly we’re happy to have any increase at all, but it’s not what you would call dramatic,” said Annie Acosta, director of fiscal and family support policy at The Arc.
“It’s starting to restore the chipping away that’s been happening since 2010,” Acosta said of the latest federal budget, which outlines government spending through September.
Specifically, the plan calls for an additional $16 million for housing for people with disabilities and increases at Social Security to improve its administrative services. The government’s respite care initiative and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s developmental disabilities efforts will also see more money.
Meanwhile, funding to states under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for school-age children is up $415 million.
Read the rest on Disability Scoop. Photo via Disability Scoop
Today’s Motivational Monday quote will really make you think… Success is all about being in the right mindset. How you think about your goals makes a huge difference in whether or not you will actually achieve them. So, this week, put your mind in the right space to get things done. You can do it!
Every Friday we love to share something that gave us a good laugh. Here’s a silly picture we found that reminded us of Chester. And, let’s be real, the internet loves pictures of cats…
Feeling a lull in your energy from that 3-day weekend? This should cheer you right back up! The graduation rate for the nation’s students with disabilities is on the rise. Shaun Heasley from Disability Scoop writes:
For the third year in row, federal officials say that the graduation rate for the nation’s students with disabilities is on the rise.
Figures released this week indicate that the graduation rate for those with disabilities hit 63.1 percent for the 2013–2014 school year.
That’s an increase over the 61.9 percent reported for the 2012-2013 school year and growth of 4.1 percent over three years, the U.S. Department of Education said.
The gains come as federal education officials are touting four years in a row of record-high graduation rates across the country with some 82.3 percent of all students receiving diplomas during the 2013–2014 school year.
“America’s students have achieved another record milestone by improving graduation rates for a fourth year,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., today’s ?#?MotivationalMonday? is straight from the man himself who broke barriers, created history, and paved the way for generations.
From time to time we post articles from The Onion, simply because they made us laugh and that made us feel better. Why? Because laughter has the power to make us happy by releasing endorphins, or neurotransmitters which are responsible for feelings of euphoria.
Include humor with instruction and student attention and recall will improve, as well as, participation in the discussion that follows it. To paraphrase Victor Borge, Laughter is the shortest distance between a teacher and a student. Good to know!
Does this rowdy child remind you of your littles? Here’s The Onion’s news account of a child interrupting a dinner party:
BOSTON—Noting his short outbursts of laughter as he charged across the house, sources confirmed Saturday that pajama-clad 5-year-old Lucas Mason made a turbulent rampage through a dinner party hosted by his parents. Mason, who reportedly hopped around the living room growling and stomping like a dinosaur in front of eight of his parents’ friends and coworkers, is said to have quickly circled around the coffee table several times before grabbing a handful of tortilla chips. Reports indicate that the preschooler then slipped between several of the guests, interrupting their conversation to regale them with a ranking of his favorite Transformers. Sources confirmed that the 5-year-old, who had removed his astronaut pajama top during his escapade, briefly disappeared from the social gathering, but soon returned dragging a bin full of plastic trucks, which he dumped on the floor in front of the makeshift cocktail bar and snack selection that had been set up on a buffet table. At press time, Mason had reportedly made eye contact with his parents and immediately gone into hiding under a chair in the kitchen.
What new teaching strategies are you planning on incorporating in the new year? Today’s share comes to you straight from a teacher at Edutopia.
Nicholas Provenzano, a high school English teacher discusses different teaching methods he likes to introduce in the second half of the new year:
“The New Year is a wonderful time to start trying some new things. You’ve spent a good amount of time with your students and feel more comfortable exploring new strategies and practices that are more tailored to their learning needs. I want to share some great ideas that you can use to change things up for the second part of the year — and that can also help beat the winter blues.”
Read the rest on Edutopia!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated their suggestions and guidelines for adolescent screen time. Anya Kamenetz of NPR spoke with David Hill, chairman of the AAP Council on Communications and Media and a member of the AAP Children, Adolescents and Media Leadership Working Group to get advice on limiting screen time for adolescents and teens:
Why new screen time recommendations now?
The American Academy of Pediatrics routinely updates all of its recommendations to ensure that they reflect the most current data. We are hoping to expedite the process for these particular recommendations in light of the fast-changing landscape of children’s media use. We understand that, as the technologies available to parents evolve, they are looking for guidance that reflect their current realities. Our goal is to release these new policy statements in October of 2016.
What are the intentions behind the new guidelines?
The intentions of all of our policy statements are the same: to translate the best available data on child health and development into recommendations that help parents, health care providers and policymakers work together to foster children’s optimal well-being.
Read the full interview on NPR. Photo via Rose Jaffe for NPR.
Do these resemble your classroom doodles? There are so many psychological benefits to coloring and drawing. Enjoy these extremely creative sketches on lined paper. These artists do not see lines as boundaries!
You made it through the first week back after winter break! Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy today’s Just for Laughs post. Happy Friday!
The cartoon reads: “Along with ‘Antimatter’ and ‘Dark Matter,’ we’ve rcently discovered the existence of ‘Doesn’t Matter,’ which appears to have no effect on the universe whatsoever.”
Schools like Meyer Elementary School (above) are now embracing their students’ tech interests and using it to their learning advantage. In today’s society where technology is woven into all aspects of life, kids are truly benefitting from developing tech skills early on. This includes Microsoft applications, like Word and PowerPoint, as well as educational apps, and photo/video editing. Students learn that honing these skills will be a valuable attribute for future employment, but it also gives them a lot of creative control of their projects.
Here’s how teachers can integrate tech in their classrooms:
Read the full descriptions in Tech Literacy: Making It Relevant Through Content Learning on Edutopia!
Video via Edutopia
Who doesn’t love a new year and a fresh start? Today, Chester shares this motivational quote to jump start your week, as well as your new year! We can’t wait to see what you can do in 2016. Stay tuned for more special education news.
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.