For children with autism, language skills can be taught using 2-D and 3-D matching skills. Matching is the ability to see two things and recognize that they are the same. Matching skills improve concentration, train visual and short term memory, attention to detail, classification skills, and improve vocabulary. For children with autism, developing these matching skills helps them physically identify and describe relationships between objects which leads to the development of learning language skills. Matching games offer a clear end goal, which is comforting to learners and helpful for teachers and parents.
Fine Motor Skill Milestones
Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movements. Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements in our eyes, wrists, hands, and fingers. Many everyday tasks require strength, dexterity, and fine motor skills. Fine motor skills need to be learned and developed as children get older.
The explosion of apps available on tablets like the iPad has been an exciting opportunity for children with autism. It may come as no shock to parents and educators that in general, children with autism prefer and are more engaged during app-based interventions than traditional interventions. And while in the past some have feared that technology could lead to social isolation, a recent study found that a group of children with autism spoke more sentences per minute together while using iPad apps than without iPads.
Students will use Language Builder cards with the Language Builder App to practice similar matching in both a digital and physical setting.
Students will use the “Picture Identification” activity within the Language Builder app to call out the bingo prompt.
So you’ve just downloaded the new Language Builder app. That means you can throw out all your paper flash cards right? NO!! As you may have already realized through our previous blogs, we are big proponents for blending hands-on and digital learning. There are so many ways that you can combine both digital and tangible resources to support deeper engagement.
Our intent with the app is to complement, rather than replace, the physical products. We will begin a new blog series demonstrating ways to use your physical language builder cards and other Stages products in conjunction with the app.
Most early childhood classrooms are stocked with blocks, crayons, puzzles, and many other tools that support fine motor development. With the iPad becoming ubiquitous across all subject areas in the classroom, does this mean that the manipulatives and toys we once loved no longer have a place in the classroom and will begin to collect dust? One big question continues to pop up: should we replace traditional fine motor development activities and exercises for iPad apps?
Building on our theme of blending hands-on and digital learning, the holidays are a great time to utilize technology to help kids understand tradition and explore not only the world around them, but also beyond their own communities. No need to stress about how to keep your kids entertained over winter break, because this week we examine photo and video apps that help build basic language skills, Santa letter writing websites to build emergent writing skills, and a video to illustrate what magic occurs inside the oven as we bake our sweet treats this season.
This past week Stages Learning Materials fled the arctic tundra of Boston and Cincinnati to (what we thought would be) the warmer weather of Austin, Texas and SXSWedu.
What is SXSWedu? It is an annual conference filled with panels and discussions focusing on technology innovation and learning. SXSWedu brings together an audience of stakeholders from backgrounds ranging from business development, research, and policy to early childhood educators. Aside from the obvious draw of meaningful conversations and the live music of Austin, we were looking forward to hearing how technology is having an impact on special education and experiencing some of the latest innovations in assistive technology.
Are you still on the fence about letting your child use an iPad or other mobile technologies? The latest survey by Common Sense Media shows that even since their last survey two years ago, media habits of children have changed significantly. One large difference includes the average daily use of mobile devices. Time spent on a mobile device has tripled from 5 minutes to 15 minutes in the past two years.
Continuing with our series on blending digital and hands-on learning, we are going to switch focus today from one-on-one activities to ways to blend hands-on and digital learning in a whole group (classroom) setting.
Keeping in mind Beth Holland’s questions regarding appropriate use of screen time in early childhood, we will be exploring an appropriate, meaningful, and empowering way to teach kids features of 2-dimensional shapes using the VoiceThread app and various tangible 2-dimensional shape resources.
I know, I know – you just conquered Facebook so why should you even consider joining yet ANOTHER social media network? Believe it or not, Twitter is more than just a status update community. It is a great way to network and have conversations about topics that interest you. I have laid out five reasons why I think you should join Twitter.
Stages Learning Materials presents a new blog series to discuss blending digital and hands-on learning. Mixed messages abound when it comes to using technology in early childhood. In a recent Edutopia article, Beth Holland advises teachers and parents to look beyond all the negative screen time publicity and to ask themselves three questions when choosing to use digital materials:
- Is it appropriate?
- Is it meaningful?
- Is it empowering?
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be taking Beth Holland’s advice and showcasing various examples of how you can meaningfully blend hands-on and digital learning both at home and in the classroom to meet the needs of all learners. The following showcase will feature the Stages Lang-0-Learn Everyday Object photo flash card set paired with the Kid in a Story Book Maker App. After briefly introducing each product, we will suggest how your lesson can be strengthened by pairing the hands-on product with the digital product.