Edudeaf: Connections

Key words: Instructional Strategies/General Information/K-6

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Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 22:15:45 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hello folks,

It's nearing THAT time of year. I head back to my classroom on Monday. Students shall appear on the following Monday. I'm working on a theme for my year and haven't settled it YET. One year I did, "The World Around You." Another year I did something about reaching for the sky. This year I am playing with the word CONNECTIONS. As we study our curriculum I'd like to pull out the "connections" people, places and things have with one another. Anyone have any thoughts about this? What things automatically go together or connect (just brainstorming here)? A key and a lock, pieces of a puzzle, magnets etc. More?

More than just those kinds of physical connections I plan to talk about how people are connected to others, to their land/state/country/continent etc. I want to bring out how things work together, how parts fit to make wholes, how individual parts influence other parts and how much of life is connected together (life cycle, water cycle etc).

So any more thoughts? Care to brainstorm with me or share ideas you've used in the past when talking about similar areas?

Cathy - who can't believe summer is coming to an end

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Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 19:48:39 -0500

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: DeLores

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

My deaf kids had a hard time dealing with large family get togethers due to the difficulty of understanding multiple conversations at once. My son said he had a right to know all the family stories that everyone was laughing about. I told him that half of the stories were no longer true but exaggerations. He said he had a right to know all the family lies also!

So, I wrote a letter to all my relatives (gobs of them!) as well as my husband's and asked them to write down whatever they wanted my kids to know about their lives. This has now resulted twenty years later in two huge three ring binders full of stories as well as one published book. As the years have gone by and grandparents and great-grandparents and great-aunts have died those stories they wrote are priceless.

Since deaf children often feel isolated from extended family members perhaps it might be fun and informative to have your students try to get information or stories from the oldest members of their families this year. My deaf children who are now adults feel a "connectedness" with their history and relatives it would have been impossible to have without those stories (whether they are true or not!).

DeLores Wilson
dhag@mtsi.com

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Date: Fri, 9 Aug 1996 09:15:29 -0500

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Candace Krepel

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: <960808.222114.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>

Well, not being a teacher, I haven't used anything in the past, but will happily offer my thoughts anyway.

When I was a child, school was a place where I learned what was known. The unknown was NEVER discussed. I did not realize that there were unknown areas until I was a junior in college, at the time that immunology was in its infancy. Finding out *new* stuff is really exciting, and it is that exact excitement and enthusiasm for learning that our children need to experience. Ergo, the thought I would like to offer is that new things that are reported in the media be incorporated into the classroom now, not a decade or so from now, when the theory has reached consensus, and therefore can be put in a textbook. For example, yesterday we heard that a meteorite that originally came from Mars (and has been in a glacier in Antarctica for thousands of years) seems to show evidence of microbiological life. Connections? Microbiological life on earth: pond water under a microscope, yogurt, normal flora of humans, compost heaps, and yes, disease. My starting question when I do presentations to elementary classes is: Are bacteria good or bad? The unanimous answer is always "bad." And hopefully, by the time I leave, they understand that that answer is wrong.

Yeah, I am a microbiologist.

Candy Krepel
Surgical Microbiology Research Lab, Medical College of Wisconsin
ckrepel@post.its.mcw.edu

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Date: Fri, 9 Aug 1996 20:30:57 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Rebecca Marshall

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Good afternoon..

Looking forward to school starting myself.

As far as your connections idea... what about an introductory unit on the postal system which you can use to set up a classroom post office (mailboxes) to encourage student interaction. A good idea is to allow everyone who has contact with your class to have a box (principal, terps, para's, etc.) Anyway, this is an idea for a "connections" theme.. if you are interested, I have a whole list of kids lit focusing on a postal system theme.... then this also could lead into pen pals (snail and email)...

Looking forward to other ideas.

Rebecca

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Date: Sat, 10 Aug 1996 14:05:09 -0700

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Augusta Grace

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Cathy, I teach First Grade and each year I do my classroom in a theme also. Last year I used my daughter's elephant collection to help do my room in Jungle. This year I am doing Toy Story. I have created a toy box like the one in the movie and plan on using that as a reward system for my students. I have filled it with prizes and small reward items. My daughter is in college and my students love to get her old t-shirts! We write to her as a penpal and so it is exciting for them to select one of her tees as a reward for completed work or good behavior. What grade do you teach? You might be able to use "The Rainbow Connection" somehow in your theme. That is the song from Kermit the Frog of the Muppets. Hope that helps!

Augusta

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Date: Sat, 10 Aug 1996 17:32:16 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Mcfdyn@AOL.COM

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Delores' family connections are excellent and also lead to a discussion of other kinds of connections, such as those in a classroom (with teacher, each other, whole class, etc), then to neighborhood, city, state country, etc. Some may seem to be hierarchical (eg. family, neighborhood, etc.), but it's also possible to bring in lateral examples, eg. family, classroom: neighborhood, church or community groups)

For the classroom you could research the history of your school(especially if it's older--see there must be some use for all these antiques masquerading as schools): when was it started, how did it get its name, has the name changed, if so, why, who was the first principal, how many students were there, etc.

This can lead to connections with the past and then go on to connections with the future (e.g. predict what will happen to the school, the teachers, the kids, the district, etc)

HTH

kathy
san antonio
mcfdyn@aol.com

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Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 23:43:00 BST-1

Reply-To: mthomasa@cix.compulink.co.uk

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Mark Thomas

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: <960808.222114.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>

There is a web site called Connections+ at

http://www.mcrel.org/connect/plus/

It has lesson plans and some pointers to good sites. I especially liked the language arts topic Myths, with links to Folk Tales from different countries.

Other connection ideas:
Simple electric circuits
Conjunctions - how to join two sentences - and/but/because/in spite of/although
Building bridges - spaghetti and glue or other materials
The game when you suggest 2 unrelated items and you have to find something they have in common e.g What's the connection between a table and a rabbit - they both have 4 legs, or they are both connected with food (you eat off a table and you could eat the rabbit) - well you could probably come up with something better!
Learning to tie a few knots

Sue in Scotland
mthomasa@cix.compulink.co.uk

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Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 21:00:40 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: Message of Fri, 9 Aug 1996 20:30:57 -0400 from

Excellent idea! Our school actually participates in the Wee Deliver program which is sponsored by the US Mail. Each room in the building is a "street." Each student's desk is a "house" so that each child has their own address. Each hallway is a city and the whole school is the state. We have done this for approximately the past five years.

I will be doing this and the idea of tying CONNECTIONS to it is great. I would love to have your other resources or children lit ideas that go with the idea. I'm sure I don't have those.

Thanks!

Cathy

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Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 23:43:00 BST-1

Reply-To: mthomasa@cix.compulink.co.uk

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Mark Thomas

Subject: Re: Strategies and Connections - Mindmaps

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: <960808.223706.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>

One strategy that I like and use a lot is mindmaps - they look rather like a spider with the main idea in the centre and other connected ideas radiating out on the legs. And then more connected ideas written on branches coming from the legs.(A picture would be better than all these words - and that's just what a mindmap is.)

I think they are a great way to take notes on a subject or to sort out your own thoughts (theme planning!). Most kids could benefit from using this strategy to make notes on something they are reading, or recording their research on a topic. It involves less writing than a list, makes you concentrate on a few key words rather than copying sentences verbatim from the text and gives you an instant picture of the whole concept. Colour and graphics make it even better and more memorable.

The idea was first launched by Tony Buzan and still appears in his books.

There is more info at

http://www.mindtools.com/mindmaps.html

and a FAQ and pointers to some software (try Mindmapper 1.0 )at

http://world.std.com/~emagic/mindmap.html

Sue in Scotland
mthomasa@cix.compulink.co.uk

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Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 22:31:50 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: jean wright

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: <960811.210311.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>

Another 'connections' idea that occurred to me is the 'Flat Stanley' project - I have no idea where this originated, but my pre-school relative sent a cutout doll to my mother, the paper or card doll is named Flat Stanley. The recipient is instructed to take Flat Stanley around with them for a few days or a week, then write a summary of what Stanley would have done or seen during that time, then sending him back to the child with appropriate accessories. Some of the dolls came back with post cards, hats, sunglasses, cutout animals or tools they might have used... Others, of course, got much less response. At a minimum it was a language arts and geography lesson, at best, there can be all kinds of other applications. I'm only sorry I can't give crredit to the originator - I have no idea where the idea started, but the kids enjoyed it.

All the Best,

JSWright *
Two weeks left, and counting....

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Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 00:43:34 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Connections vs Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Thanks so much for all of the great ideas on the theme of, "Connections." Reading all of the posts I have come to realize that there is really more than one kind of connections we have mentioned. The first would be the physical connection - a bridge connecting two bodies of land, a telephone line connecting two computers, etc.

Another is things which actually make a connection such as a plug and an outlet, a light bulb and socket, a key and a lock etc. Yet another is those of connections of people to people, people to history, people to the land etc.

And still another is what was brought up in the idea of what is a connection between a rabbit and a table - both have four legs. These two things do have something in common. Do we call this a "connection?" I don't know. Guess it all depends upon HOW we define connection.

However, all of these concepts I believe are important. And it is the more subtle of these that children who are deaf often miss or don't understand. Thus it is critical that we teach children these areas of thinking and understanding.

Guess I really need to do more research and reading than I'd originally thought. But, I think it will be a fascinating topic to learn more about. I'd appreciate any thoughts or ideas folks may have on this topic.

Cathy - who never dreamt there could be so many connections

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Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 06:21:53 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: randey

Subject: Re: Connections vs Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Suddenly came to mind for me was that song I'm sure we've all heard at one time or another...... "the hand bone is connected to the wrist bone, the wrist bone is connected to the...." Can't say I remember all the words, but I'm sure that would be a great one to use somewhere down the road. :)

randey

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Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1996 15:08:01 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Melanie Drolsbaugh

Subject: Re: Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In a message dated 96-08-11 22:32:41 EDT, JWright writes:

> Another 'connections' idea that occurred to me is the 'Flat Stanley' project -

This sounds similiar to the 'Travelmates' project which originated in Kansas - the credit goes to Judy Dollard. It began with each student picking their own doll or stuffed animal to be his or her Travelmate. A dog tag with a class picture was placed around the Travelmate's neck. On one side of the dog tag were the school's name, address and phone number; on the other side was a brief statement of what the project was all about. Included in the statement was a request that the Travelmate be returned to the school by April 15. (It's a good idea to begin this project at the beginning of the school year) Students either sewed or bought backpacks to be attached to the travelmate. The backpack was where the diary was kept, and the diary was where the details of the Travelmate's journeys were recorded. On the cover were the words "Passport to the World," along with these instructions:

"Dear Friend: Please sign my diary. Include places I've been and sights I've seen. A souvenir, or best yet, a photo of you and me together would be wonderful! My only form of transportation is from person to person, so please pass me on.

Sincerely,
(Travelmate's name).
P.S. Please assist me in sending home an occasional postcard!"

On the first page of the diary, students wrote a few sentences about themselves and the kind of community they lived in, etc, etc.

The adventures began with a trip home to the student's family. The family's job was to find someone traveling between Thanksgiving and X-mas - be it near or far, be it Dad, Grandma, or a neighbor. After a traveler was found, the traveler handed over the Travelmate to a flight attendant who passed it on to other travelers.

Students knew their travelmate's whereabouts because people sent them postcards, or even gave them phone calls! During the Travelmates' absence, students used Writer's Workshop to create marvelous tales about their friends. Others wrote about what they believed was actually happening.

This project was ideal for incorporating multicultural literature and geography. Students had on-the-spot reading, geography, historical or current events, science and math all rolled into one with each new piece of correspondence. Students discovered how humans interact with their environment in different cultural and geographical regions. People often included information about time zones, population count and size of a particular area. Students compared this information with what they knew about themselves and then began to apply, interpret and speculate on global connections.

Most of the Travelmates returned from their journeys - the diaries were full of fabulous information about their worldly adventures, and the backpacks were often overflowing with treasures (stamps, foreign currency, etc).

Students honored Travelmates who had not returned yet with a Missing in Action poster, complete with pictures of the absent Travelmates and their owners.

Well, there's lots more that I can tell you about the Travelmates project. If you are interested in more info, just send me e-mail. By the way, I'm new to this list.

Melanie - a beginning teacher still out there looking for a job. :)

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Date: Sun, 18 Aug 1996 22:58:00 BST-1

Reply-To: mthomasa@cix.compulink.co.uk

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Mark Thomas

Subject: Re: Connections vs Connections

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: <960812.005254.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>

On reading Cathy's summary of the kinds of connections, I thought about another kind of connection that didn't seem to fit into any of the categories mentioned - Cause and effect. i.e. the connection between what you do (or don't do!) and the consequences that follow.

From a scientific point of view, the link between the two events could be a Law of nature. Or a more personal approach - how I treat people affects the response that I get back.

Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major