District Administration - May 2008 - (Page 18)

BRIEFINGS Curriculum MANY CHILDREN WITH AUTISM have difficulty processing language verbally, but they are very good at understanding visuals. The Monarch School for Children with Autism, which opened in Cleveland in 2000, will make its teaching methods available to all public schools this summer through new Visual Language Learning System software, which will be produced by its spin-off company, called Monarch Teaching Technologies. For many autistic children, the key is to use visuals consistently and frequently so that they can organize their day, share basic wants and needs, and, most importantly, engage in daily conversations. Th is is difficult for most educators because of the preparation time required, and it’s almost impossible to do in the ever changing class environment. “That’s why we needed to harness technology to help teachers create these individualized visuals,” says Debra Mandell, director of the Monarch School. The new Monarch Teaching Technologies’ software system will allow teachers, parents and therapists to create By Ken Royal Visual Language for Students with Autism anxiety for students with autism. Monarch’s Visual Language Learning System software, which will be available in standalone and Web-based versions, encourages teachers and parents to use visuals frequently and consistently. Having the visual language transportable will make it easy to change a child’s visual schedule anywhere and at any time. On a trip to the store, for example, a parent might represent to the child that they are going to buy milk, juice and eggs, but when they get to the store the parent might find additions to the list are necessary. Those changes could be represented by using the software and representative visual language on a notebook computer. At school, by using the software’s natural language curriculum, students will be able to develop strategies in subject areas. There are visuals for each academic area to help students understand the language of core curricula concepts. The software’s benefits may go beyond students with autism to possibly help students with cognitive reasoning or other learning disabilities, and even ELL students. Students with autism have a new visual language software using Monarch methods. individual visual supports for children that they can have available to them all the time—at school and at home. “By making this electronic, teachers and parents in every state can use the visuals we’ve created by keyword-searching our collection,” says Terry Murphy, CEO of Monarch Teaching Technologies. Typical daily activities can create a lot of National Mathematics Advisory Panel’s Final Report THE NATIONAL MATHEMATICS Advisory Panel was formed in April 2006 by President Bush to clarify and provide mathematics’ achievement instructional requirements needed in grades pre-K8. In March, the U.S. Department of Education released Foundations for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. “This report represents the first comprehensive analysis of math education to be based on sound science,” said Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. According to the report, proficiency in the areas of whole numbers, fractions, such as symbols and expressions, linear and quadratic equations, functions, algebra of polynomials, and combinatorics of finite probability. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and state tests should focus on and represent the panel’s “Critical Foundations of Algebra.” Margaret Spellings comments on the National It suggests textbook publishers ensure Mathematics Advisory Panel’s final report. mathematical accuracy and strive for and geometry and measurement, which more compact texts. “There is a critiare critical to algebra success, should be cal need for stimulating and supporting, goals. It recommended that school alge- through federal funding, of additional bra consistently be understood in terms high-quality research to address this of the “Major Topics of School Algebra,” major national challenge.” District Administration 18 May 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - May 2008

District Administration - May 2008
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Letters
News Update
Security Update
Curriculum Update
Inside the Law
District Profile
Administrator Profile
Book Excerpt
Addressing Food Allergies
Algebra: Changing the Equation
Stopping MRSA
Resources to Support Disabled Learners
Web Tools: The Second Generation
How Well Does This Web Site Work?
New Products
Speaking Out
Supervisor’s Opinion
Professional Opinion
Leadership Books
Research Center
Calendar of Events
Products Showcase
Understanding the Times

District Administration - May 2008

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