Archive for June, 2015

I demonstrated my teaching strategies to Sue Clark, Math Specialist at the Florida School for the Deaf, and Mark Largent, Curriculum Specialist at the Florida School for the Blind, at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, Florida on June 19th. I really appreciated the in-depth questions they asked me about my teaching strategies as well as taking time to find need strategies to meet the needs of their students, especially after a busy 2014-15 school year and upcoming 2015-16 school year just a few weeks away. During all of my demonstrations, including at FSDB, I always encourage administrators and teachers to ask general, challenging, and “out-of-the box” questions. I want them to be able to make confident decisions about finding strategies to meet the needs for ALL of their students.

During the morning of June 10th, I received a phone call from Anne Dardis, Coordinator of the Visually Impaired Program, in St. Tammany Parish Schools. She asked if I was in her area. I told her that I was in Covington, Louisiana and en route to my demonstrations at the LATAN in Baton Rouge and 2015 LATI Conference in Natchitoches, LA. Perfect timing! I was only about five minutes from her district’s central office.

I shared my teaching strategies with her. Ms. Dardis, like most parents, teachers and administrators, felt that my manipulatives would be beneficial for her VI students as well as for other students who are visual learners.

Based on her students’ needs for manipulatives in math, we are planning to do a 3 1/2 training in fall. For the exact date and time, please continue to follow my posts in the “Latest News” tab.

I met with Kim Esco- Collins, Coordinator at the Mississippi Instructional Resource Center at the Mississippi School for the Deaf and Blind, in Jackson, MS on June 10th. Ms. Esco- Collins stated that she is always looking for better ways to serve all students and appreciated that I stopped by her center. Based on my teaching strategies and articles I shared with her, she was willing to share them with her colleagues.

I informed her that I am tentatively planning to return to Mississippi for a low vision and blind conference in September.

I demonstrated my manipulatives to Johnathan Sanders, Special Education Technology and Strategies Services, Mississippi Department of Education, in Jackson, MS on June 11th. We discussed my teaching strategies as well as articles that I have had published recently. Mr. Sanders offered to share my information with his colleagues. Like most parents, teachers, and administrators who have never seen my Fractions 16ths manipulative, he was very complementary regarding how it simplifies difficult concepts involving fractions.

Because most his colleagues were unavailable, I sincerely appreciate for his time and help sharing my teaching strategies with them.

My scheduled demonstrations at the Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network and the 2015 Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiate North Summer Summit were definitely worthwhile. Parents, administrators, and educators received valuable information to help students during the 2015-16 school year.

Administrators at Tuscaloosa City Schools and Tuscaloosa County Schools in Alabama and Ellis State School, MS also made time for unannounced demonstrations on my way to my demonstrations.

On my back to Georgia after my demonstrations, administrators at Jackson Parrish Schools, LA, Rankin County Schools, MS, Jackson, MS Public Schools, and Meridian Public Schools, MS were also willing to listen to my teaching strategies at unannounced demonstrations on June 11th.

All of the administrators and I agreed that if our time can help at least on student it was time well-spent.

On June 3rd, I was en route to do my sessions at the 2015 IDEAS Conference. After about four hours driving, I was needing to stretch and take a short break from driving. Before I passed Bonaire Middle School in Bonaire, Georgia, I made a quick left turn and pulled into the school’s parking lot. I saw some cars, so thought I would check to see if an administrator and/ or teacher was present. I went into the main office and was greeted by Bonaire Middle School’s principal, Cynthia Randall.

It was apparent that she was busy wrapping up a successful 2014-15 school year. However, Ms. Randall was willing to put some important things on hold. I really appreciate administrators, like Ms. Randall and many others I have met around the United States, to take some time to find new ways to help their students master rigorous math standards.

Because administrators are wrapping up the 2014-15 school year and already focusing on the 2015-16 school year, I am very appreciative of Tracey Bardak, Assistant Director of Federal Programs and Special Education in Evans County Schools, allocating time to meet with me and observe many of my teaching strategies. When her teachers return for the 2015-16 school year, she is going to share the information that I left her with them.