Friday, January 11, 2019

A Story of Shapes

Last year, I started using the new Navigating the Zones kit with some of my groups, an extension of the Zones of Regulation curriculum. This interactive tool focuses on matching situations to feelings/Zone changes and- what I have always felt was the whole point of the curriculum- tools to regulate oneself given a challenge during the day. This is framed as a "Zones Pathway." Around the same time I started working with a HSer I had previously had in a group, this time with more of an academic language focus. I like to think I am not extremely boring, so was somewhat flummoxed when he nodded off 3 sessions in a row. It turned out this was happening across the day, due to an exhausting transition to a new school and involvement in sports. Google Slides came to the rescue as a venue to work this out by interactively creating a visual support and transfer the Zones Pathway concept to a venue engaging to him. Particularly the Slides feature of shapes was useful. Use the toolbar at the top to choose a rectangle, drag it out, and color code it using the paint can. The cool thing about shapes in Slides and Drawings is that you can double-click in them and they become a text tool:

My student enjoyed taking the reins in this activity and quickly creating the shapes himself and added text as we discussed. The tools came from an article we quickly searched for: "strategies to stay awake in class." He evaluated each and decided which ones might work for him to try.

An additional tip: if you locate a graphic organizer you like to use, if there is an image of it, you can insert it in a Slide, place shapes over it and the image/graphic organizer becomes typable. Of course working in Google Suite offers all kinds of opportunities to create and share templates with students and groups.

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