Thursday, October 25, 2018

Lesson: 5 Point Scale of Halloween Problems

The Five Point Scale is one of my favorite tools. It is versatile to talk about many different kinds of social observations, norms, problems and nuances; it is also narrative in form and sparks discussion about perspective taking.

So I made you a lesson! Use this Google Slides, uh, slide as a template to have kids generate examples of problems that occur on Halloween. I like the framework contained in both this TpT packet by Speechie Musings and Social Thinking's® Size of the Problem book: problems become bigger with 1) time needed to solve 2) needing help 3) someone being physically or emotionally hurt and 4) affecting other people. So, a 3 might ruin your day (time) and cause light physical or bigger emotional hurt, and you may need to talk to someone about it.

You can use humor and lightness/darkness appropriate to your group in developing examples, so, a 5 for your HSers might be "your friend becomes a zombie" where with 2nd graders maybe "a ghost decides to live in your house."

To use this template, please do not request access. That results in my getting emails...thanks. Open a browser and sign into your Google account. Go to this link. From the file menu, choose Make a copy. Then it is yours. Consider duplicating the slide or the file itself to use for many groups. Also, Tools>Explore will let you search for images to add extra visual support (e.g. "throwing up," a 3). This activity is great for pairing with a book about Halloween.

Have a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Explain Everything in Chrome

Explain Everything has historically been a great "whiteboard"/"explanimation" app allowing us to create a series of slides so to speak, with recording capabilities making animations as we draw, move images and drawings around, and speak to record narration. However, I have found their rollouts and pricing very confusing; they have had a number of versions of their iPad app and it is currently $14.99, which I believe is overpriced for education markets (I'd accept $9.99 for an app this powerful).

In any case, particularly in our school environments where Chromebooks are often available, you'll want to take a look at least at their free account now available through the Google Chrome browser. You can log in with a Google account and make 3 projects (delete-able and downloadable). Explain Everything is unique in allowing you to make stick figures and animate them- think a teched-up version of Comic Strip Conversations or Stickwriting (for social cognitive or narrative representation, respectively). One trick you need to know is to make drawings move independently, as shown below, go to the [i] inspector icon and select the items, then Ungroup.

There are many uses of a tool such as Explain Everything, and one is narrative retelling. I love books that unfold over one setting, such as The Runaway Pumpkin, in which a humongous pumpkin is pushed down a hill. Here you see an example of a recording you could make with students to retell this story:

Image from Gyazo