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  • Tools and Technology Resources | EducatingAllLearners

    TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY EXPLORE RESOURCES Explore this curated list of ed-tech tools specifically chosen for meeting special education needs and learn about additional technology resources from our alliance partners. Find tips and tricks for accessibility and ongoing development. Featured Resources. Learning Keeps Going by ISTE Brought to you by our founding partner ISTE, Learning Keeps Going provides educators with a repository of over 600 tech tools and key information about the product, costs, etc. They also offer a help desk function for educators to ask questions of seasoned ISTE educators. Special Education App List by Digital Promise A curated list of applications designed especially for complex learners from Digital Promise and the Learner Variability Project. Tech for Learners Brought to you by SIIA and the White House this site lists online learning products, resources, and services available from the larger education community, including resources for higher education.

  • EducatorResources

    Resources and Guidance Being Socially Isolated With Mental Illness: A Perspective for Loved Ones National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) It can be hard to understand the needs of loved ones with mental health issues. This blog post, written by an individual with multiple mental health conditions, explains how the social isolation of the COVID-19 crisis triggers some of her symptoms—and how her family and friends can help. RESOURCE LINK Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) The coronavirus pandemic may be affecting a loved one’s mental health, or your own, and it’s especially true for those with mental illness. This article describes symptoms to watch out for and offers practical coping strategies to help protect mental health. RESOURCE LINK Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) The coronavirus pandemic may be affecting a loved one’s mental health, or your own, and it’s especially true for those with mental illness. This article describes symptoms to watch out for and offers practical coping strategies to help protect mental health. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19 Resources for Tourette Syndrome Tourette Association of America People with Tourette syndrome and tic disorders, as well as those impacted by co-occurring conditions like ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression, can use these resources from the Tourette Association of America. It includes videos, webinars, and other resources that address issues related to COVID-19. RESOURCE LINK Navigating COVID-19 When Your Child/Youth Has a Disability Families Together, Inc. Families of students with health impairments or disabilities can use this compilation to navigate issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes resources for dealing with anxiety and remote learning, as well as issues facing those with specific impairments or disabilities. RESOURCE LINK IEP Progress Monitoring With Distance Learning University of Kansas Educators can use this IEP goal tracking sheet to collect student data during distance learning. There are options for involving parents, paraprofessionals, and students, depending on each student’s particular needs. RESOURCE LINK Caring for Your Child’s Hearing Health at Home: Guidance for Maintaining Hearing Devices, Improving Communication American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) As families shelter in place due to COVID-19, children with hearing loss may need additional help. ASHA offers this guidance to parents (available in English and in Spanish) about hearing aids, communication habits, and prioritizing regular care. RESOURCE LINK Hearing Loss and Remote Work: Advice for Effective Communication During Virtual Meetings American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) With virtual meetings a critical tool for U.S. workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, people with hearing loss may experience new communication challenges. ASHA offers tips for making virtual meetings more effective for everyone, including students and families. RESOURCE LINK Guidance for People Sheltering at Home With Swallowing Disorders American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) People with swallowing disorders may not have access to their usual treatment sessions with speech-language pathologists during the COVID-19 crisis. ASHA suggests steps to promote recovery, as well as tips to safely eat and drink to avoid rehospitalization. RESOURCE LINK 10 Ways Children With Language Disorders Can Maintain Both Physical Distance and Social Connection During the Coronavirus Pandemic American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) For children with language disorders, social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can lead to fewer opportunities to practice language skills. ASHA suggests ways to help kids interact socially during this time, including setting up video playdates, reading together, and talking about TV shows. RESOURCE LINK Zoom Meetings and Stuttering: Tips to Make Virtual Interactions More Successful American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Children and adults who stutter face extra challenges when using videoconference apps like Zoom. ASHA offers tips for making these virtual interactions more successful. RESOURCE LINK At Home With Young Children? Build Preschoolers’ Speech and Language Skills With Everyday Interactions and Activities American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) As families shelter in place, parents of preschoolers can help build their child’s speech and language skills during everyday activities at home. ASHA describes key communication skills for children ages 3–5, and offers suggestions for how parents can help. RESOURCE LINK Re-Opening Resource: Brooklyn LAB Back to School Facilities Tool Kit Brooklyn LAB Brooklyn LAB worked with several partners to develop a tool kit for returning to school buildings, consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Federation of Teachers. It focuses on health and safety and ways to update classrooms, breakout rooms, and common spaces. RESOURCE LINK Communication Supports for Children and Adults With Complex Communication Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC) During the COVID-19 pandemic, people with complex communication challenges may find it more difficult than usual to understand what is happening, to express needs and wants, and to get important information. This site offers tips and resources for these individuals and their families and caregivers. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19 Materials for People Living With Spina Bifida: Guidance During a Global Pandemic Spina Bifida Association This reference sheet for educators of individuals with spina bifida outlines academic struggles and strengths common among these students. It may be especially useful for educators and administrators who are working on distance learning accommodations for students with spina bifida. RESOURCE LINK Recommendations for School Accommodations: Physical and Occupational Therapy Muscular Dystrophy Association These accommodations and adaptations for students with muscular dystrophy are useful both for educators in the school setting and for parents during distance learning. Parents can use this list to remind them what they need to make a plan for with their child’s teachers. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19 Recommendations for the Neuromuscular Community Muscular Dystrophy Association This booklet from MDA will help teachers understand the challenges faced by children and adolescents with neuromuscular conditions. Students with conditions like muscular dystrophy may be particularly at risk from exposure to the coronavirus, and care must be taken regarding the spread of germs in the classroom and beyond. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19 Video Series: Creating a Routine While You Are Stuck at Home Brain Injury Association of America People with brain injury who are staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic may find it useful to organize their days. In this video, a clinical neuropsychologist gives advice for creating daily routines, based on research and clinical expertise in working with people with brain injury. RESOURCE LINK Home Learning During the Pandemic for Students With Concussion G. F. Strong School Program (VSB), Adolescent and Young Adult Program, G. F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre Students recovering from concussion may find it especially challenging to engage in distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This tip sheet offers practical advice for setting up a workspace, creating a daily schedule, managing symptoms, and more. RESOURCE LINK How TVIs and O&M Instructors Are Handling the Challenges of Distance Learning, Part 1 American Foundation for the Blind Teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) and orientation and mobility (O&M) instructors share their experiences from distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis. In part 1, a parent describes what’s been challenging and what’s gone well for her daughter, a high school sophomore enrolled in AP classes. RESOURCE LINK How TVIs and O&M Instructors Are Handling the Challenges of Distance Learning, Part 2 American Foundation for the Blind Teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) and orientation and mobility (O&M) instructors share their experiences from distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis. In part 2, the president of the Council of Schools and Services for the Blind and a TVI and O&M instructor describe how they’ve been meeting students’ needs. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19: Families Seeking Accessible PreK-12 Remote Education National Association of the Deaf Families of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing may need to advocate for their child’s needs in remote learning, especially if their child is in a mainstreamed setting. Issues like videoconferencing, captioning, and using interpreters are included. RESOURCE LINK Adapted PE Home Activities Brad M. Weiner, M. Ed., NBCT, CAPE These resources are a compilation of ways to do adapted PE for kids with autism, intellectual disabilities, and many other differences. There are fun skill-building activities for kids from preschool through high school. RESOURCE LINK Distance Learning Opportunities Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired This compilation for parents of blind, visually impaired, and deafblind children, from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, includes information about health and wellness, family resources, working from home when your child is at home, and more. Their curriculum books for basic skills and independent living are especially robust resources. RESOURCE LINK At-home activities for your child Perkins School for the Blind Information, tips, and activities from teachers at Perkins School for the Blind can help parents keep kids engaged in learning, no matter where the lessons take place. Included are occupational therapy ideas, fun math games, and more. RESOURCE LINK What Is the Expanded Core Curriculum? Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) is a disability-specific set of skills that compensates for vision loss and is foundational to all other learning. It focuses on independence, assistive technology, vocational training, social engagement and more to prepare your child for his or her fullest life possible. Parents of students who are blind or visually impaired can learn more about its nine areas in this flyer, including career education, assistive technology, independent living skills, and more. RESOURCE LINK Virtual ExCEL Summer Camp American Printing House (APH) The Virtual ExCEL Camp will include a live hour at 2:00 ET, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and is free to all registrants. Also included will be five at-home extension activities for the camp theme. RESOURCE LINK Leader Dogs for the Blind Summer Camp Leader Dogs for the Blind Leader Dogs for the Blind offers teens ages 14–17 an awesome lineup of virtual summer camp activities. Explore guide dog travel, leadership skills, and more via Zoom, and keep the fun going all week with a game session, a private Facebook group, and lots more! RESOURCE LINK Coronavirus: Mental Health Treatment National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) During the COVID-19 crisis, some people may experience added stress, anxiety, and depression and need to seek out mental health treatment. This resource covers options such as telepsychiatry, medication, and mental health apps, along with issues related to health insurance. RESOURCE LINK Family Resources for Students With Complex Learning Needs PA Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) PaTTAN and the Bureau of Special Education have put together information to help families and professionals supporting children with disabilities in remote learning. Included are resources for academic subjects, adapted PE, assistive technology, and more for complex learners. RESOURCE LINK Four Ways to Learn About Employment Employment First Florida Job seekers with disabilities can use these resources when looking for a career that’s a good fit. The site offers online lessons, facts about employment for people with disabilities, and personal stories and videos about finding a job. RESOURCE LINK Dealing With COVID-19 When Working With People Who Have Developmental Disabilities Special educators, therapists, and families of people with developmental disabilities can find curated COVID-19 resources here. It includes graphics, videos, and more about topics like hygiene, social distancing, and learning at home, with some materials available in Spanish. RESOURCE LINK Distance Learning Resources to Support Students With Significant Intellectual Disabilities Project SUCCESS This compilation features resources to help teachers and administrators support higher academic achievement for students with disabilities. While primarily created for Indiana educators, the general resources, webinars, and virtual trainings could be useful to any educator whose students have significant cognitive disabilities. RESOURCE LINK Helping Traumatized Students Learn Trauma Sensitive Schools Students, familes and educators alike are facing stressful challenges resulting from sudden school closures and abrupt shifts to remote learning. The Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative convened a group of trauma-sensitive school leaders to listen to the many ways in which they are using the trauma lens to buffer the traumatic effects of these challenges and to guide their work in these difficult times. RESOURCE LINK Coronavirus: Building Mental Health Resilience National Alliance of Mental Illness Families and educators can use these tips from the National Alliance of Mental Illness to find healthy ways to adapt and cope with adversity and distress during the pandemic. Older students may also find this information useful for independent use. RESOURCE LINK A Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus Tolerance.Org Educators supporting students during the COVID-19 pandemic can use this information from National Child Traumatic Stress Network experts. Their trauma-informed recommendations can help educators navigate routines, communcation, relationships, well-being, and more. RESOURCE LINK Bereavement Resources Marshall Street Communities dealing with the loss of a community member can find bereavement resources here. Topics include communicating the loss to the rest of the community, supporting the family’s needs, and providing space to acknowledge what happened and how they feel. RESOURCE LINK Key Considerations for Promoting Culturally Relevant SEL During COVID-19 IES REL Pacific The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique social-emotional challenges to students across the globe. Social distancing efforts have changed daily routines, separated many students from their social support networks and, for some, have introduced and exacerbated stressors within their living environments. These social-emotional challenges disproportionately affect students who are racial minorities and from working-class families, as they are at higher risk for exposure to the coronavirus and the stresses related to social distancing efforts. RESOURCE LINK STEM Classes and Kids With Special Needs MiddleWeb STEM educators can help students with disabilities—and all students—experience success with methods like hands-on engagement, built-in stopping and starting points, and project-based learning. Strategies for students with special needs include assuming competency, building on strengths and interests, and using assistive technology. RESOURCE LINK 25 Practical Ways to Use Google Forms in Class and at School Ditch That Textbook Educators and administrators can use Google Forms to track student performance, create lesson plans, brainstorm with colleagues, and more. Plus students can learn how to create their own Google Form–it’s a fun way for them to show what they know. RESOURCE LINK English Learners With Disabilities: Shining a Light on Dual-Identified Students New America This brief can help policymakers, advocates, and practitioners take strategic action on behalf of ELs with disabilities. It provides an overview of the separate but intersecting federal policies that govern the identification of and services provided to these students. RESOURCE LINK Assessing Language Proficiency During Extended School Closures Council of the Great City Schools These sample questionnaires can be used remotely during school closures to provisionally identify K–12 students as beginning, intermediate, or advanced English learners (ELs). Also find suggestions for supports that are appropriate for ELs, including those with disabilities. RESOURCE LINK Case Manager Closeout Diverse Learners Cooperative IEP case managers who need to wrap up their responsibilities for this unusual school year—and plan for next year—can use this checklist to be sure that students are sent to their next setting with all the information the team needs. Steps for compliance, student transfer, and caseload planning are included. RESOURCE LINK Step-by-Step Planner: UDL Lesson Design Understood Teachers can use this template to plan lessons using the principles of Universal Design for Learning. A lesson planned with UDL principles meets the needs of all students, presenting information in multiple formats and allowing students to display mastery in various ways. RESOURCE LINK GUIDANCE: USDOE English Language Learner Guidelines United States Department of Education The U.S. Department of Education offers guidances to help states, districts, and schools provide effective services to English learners (ELs), to improve their proficiency and achievement and ensure that they’re college and career ready. It can be used with the department’s guidance on IDEA to support ELs with a specific learning disability (SLD). RESOURCE LINK National Deaf Center: COVID-19 Information Page National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) Educators will find information on best practices for serving deaf and hard of hearing students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Deaf students will also find resources, such as tips for getting the most out of online learning. RESOURCE LINK Get the Life You Want: A Transition Toolbox Green Mountain Self-Advocates This toolkit offers plain language information about the COVID-19 pandemic for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It includes resources for working with support staff, getting unemployment benefits, and more. RESOURCE LINK Guidance on Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Remote Education Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools This document outlines what teachers, families, school leaders, and students need to know about learning from home. It includes recommendations and resources for creating culturally responsive-sustaining remote education. RESOURCE LINK 6 Fun Things Kids Can Read That Aren’t Books Understood If reading is a struggle, it can be hard to get your child to sit down with a book. Here are six other things kids can read—and hopefully have some fun too. RESOURCE LINK Dividing Fractions Using Fraction Strips: An Evidence-Based Math Strategy Understood Learning how to divide fractions can be really tough for many kids. Use these printable fraction strips to help students visualize how to divide fractions. RESOURCE LINK Learning at Home: Advice From Teachers Who Are Parents Understood It’s not easy transitioning to distance learning, even for teachers who are parents of school-age kids. Get tips on how to juggle two roles: teaching students remotely while also helping your own kids learn at home. RESOURCE LINK How to Break Down Communication Barriers Between Teachers and Families Understood Building a good relationship between families and schools is important. Get tips on how to break down common barriers that can get in the way. RESOURCE LINK Pathways to Practice Resources AIM Institute for Learning & Research Educators and parents can use AIM’s evidence-based literacy instruction to support children’s reading skills in a remote setting. The “Pathways to Practice” series features videos that explore literacy instruction, enabling teachers and parents to apply the principles as kids learn at home. RESOURCE LINK How to Break Down Barriers to Learning With UDL Understood This article from Understood offers educators practical steps for identifying and reducing their students’ barriers to learning. A downloadable chart outlining Universal Design for Learning principles for breaking down barriers is included. RESOURCE LINK Classroom Strategies for Comprehension Educators can use these “before,” “during,” and “after” strategies as to help students set a purpose, monitor understanding, and discuss and respond to text. Explicit strategy instruction is at the core of good comprehension instruction. RESOURCE LINK Adapted Physical Education Distance Learning Resources iLead Students with disabilities who are doing physical education at home can use these resources. They include calendars of exercises, activity logs, exercise videos, and more. RESOURCE LINK UFLI Virtual Teaching Resource Hub University of Florida Literacy Institute The University of Florida Literacy Institute developed this site to assist teachers as they explore new ways to teach foundational reading skills using technology. This site has tools and lesson templates for reading instruction and intervention with children in the elementary grades. RESOURCE LINK Behavior Analysis Practice Guidelines Association of Professional Behavior Analysts Behavior analysts will find guidance particular to their practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Documents from OSHA, the U.S. Department of Education, and professional organizations are included. RESOURCE LINK Behavior Analyst Certification Board COVID-19 Updates Behavior Analyst Certification Board Registered behavior technicians, ABA providers, and BCBAs can use this compilation of COVID-19 resources from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. It includes information about examination schedules, continuing education, and more. RESOURCE LINK PACER Center COVID-19 Resouces PACER Center Teens and young adults with disabilities and those who work with them can use this compilation of information about career exploration, employment, and vocational rehabilitation. Many of the resources can easily be shared electronically or printed out. RESOURCE LINK Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills With Children From Infancy to Adolescence Harvard University Families and educators can find out what kind of executive function and self-regulation skills are typical at what age in this overview from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. Activities for building executive skills are included. RESOURCE LINK Practical Access Podcast Drs. Lisa Dieker and Rebecca Hines, University of Central Florida Teachers, parents, and people with disabilities can get practical, real-world answers for a wide variety of common issues, from time management to online learning in this fun podcast. The hosts, Dr. Lisa Dieker and Dr. Rebecca Hines, are professors at the University of Central Florida in the College of Community Innovation and Education. RESOURCE LINK Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction Cult of Pedagogy This blog post presents an interesting way for educators to provide student-paced instruction via “playlists.” The strategy may adapt particularly well to virtual instruction. RESOURCE LINK Teach Me to Talk Teach Me to Talk Parents and therapists can find a wide range of speech-language blog posts, podcasts, and videos at this site created by a speech-language pathologist. The online shop also offers DVDs, therapy manuals, and more. RESOURCE LINK The Communication Matrix Assessment and Community Communication Matrix Families and professionals can use this free assessment tool from the Communication Matrix. It helps them easily understand the communication status, progress, and unique needs of anyone functioning at the early stages of communication or using forms of communication other than speaking or writing. Recommended by WestEd. RESOURCE LINK Managing Severe Challenging Behavior in the Home During the COVID-19 Crisis Autism New Jersey Many families with a child who has autism are on their own during the COVID-19 crisis, with little or no day-to-day assistance or guidance. This blog post gives some proactive strategies for managing behavior and ensuring safety. RESOURCE LINK In-Home Suggestions for Parents During Quarantine Autism New Jersey Families of children with autism have diverse needs, concerns, and priorities, and they’re impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in different ways. This blog post offers tips and strategies for modifying the home environment, providing visual supports, and more. RESOURCE LINK Free Sample Books, From Friends on the Block Friends on the Block These free resources are created especially for beginning and struggling readers, including those with dyslexia, learning disabilities, and cognitive disabilities. They can read these books with a teacher, tutor, family member, or peer. Like with all controlled text, it is important to pair with more natural stories for listening activities. RESOURCE LINK Distance Learning IEP Template blogsomemoore Parents can turn IEP goals into home-based activities during distance learning with this template from a leading inclusion expert. The site also has resources to foster inclusion beyond the specific focus of distance learning. RESOURCE LINK EXAMPLE: Introducing IContinue Learning Plan iLearn Schools Administrators, teachers, and case managers in charter schools can use this charter network’s comprehensive COVID-19 plan to get ideas for their own. Plans are included for their special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and members of the child study team. RESOURCE LINK Teacher Guide to Online Learning Michigan Virtual Teachers with limited experience in online and distance learning can use this get-started guide as an overview of best practices. It offers recommendations about technology and tools, supporting diverse learners, plus lessons learned from educators who have taught online. RESOURCE LINK Teacher Guide to Online Learning Michigan Virtual Teachers with limited experience in online and distance learning can use this get-started guide as an overview of best practices. It offers recommendations about technology and tools, supporting diverse learners, plus lessons learned from educators who have taught online. RESOURCE LINK Sample Virtual IEP Meeting Agenda Parent Center Hub IEP team members can use this sample agenda to prepare for their next virtual IEP meeting. Roles, norms, and steps to follow are included. RESOURCE LINK Sample Virtual Meeting Agenda (Spanish) Parent Center Hub IEP team members who speak Spanish can use this sample agenda to prepare for their next virtual IEP meeting. Roles, norms, and steps to follow are included. RESOURCE LINK Self-Reg Toolkit: 2017–2018 Individual Tools The Mehrit Center Adults working with kids on self-regulation skills can find downloadable tools here. A self-regulation rubric, suggestions to reduce stress, and examples of ways to restore energy are included, along with discussion guides and more. The homepage also profiles a video series about self-regulation during COVID. RESOURCE LINK Support for Kids With ADHD During the Coronavirus Crisis Child Mind Institute Kids with ADHD may find remote learning especially challenging. Find out how to support kids who are struggling with being cooped up at home and having a different way of attending school. RESOURCE LINK Wrightslaw: Resources for Special Education Law Wrightslaw Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities. Their COVID-19 resources include informations about waivers to rights under the IDEA and Section 504, IEP meetings, and more. RESOURCE LINK Why and How to Celebrate Your Child’s Focus “Wins” During Distance Learning Understood Many kids who struggle with focus have a hard time with distance learning. Learn how celebrating even the smallest focus “wins” can help motivate your child. RESOURCE LINK Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets IDEAs That Work IEP team members can use these tip sheets about the technological aspects of virtual IEP meetings. Q&As cover hosting and participating in meetings, and what to do before, during, and after your meeting. RESOURCE LINK Virtual Expanded Core Education Learning (ExCEL) Academy for Students With Visual Impairments Paths to Literacy Daily webinars and lessons at this site are created for students with visual impairments. Paths to Literacy is collaborating with the American Printing House for the Blind and CalState University to present this programming. RESOURCE LINK The 4 Digital Learning Tips Every Special Education Teacher Needs to Know Noodle Special education teachers as well as general educators can use these best practices for distance learning. Parents will also find tips for supporting digital learning. RESOURCE LINK Resources for Providing TA During the Pandemic National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) Useful, relevant resources from state deaf-blind projects, NCDB, and other sources offer information about providing distance technical assistance (TA) while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find fact sheets, best practices, and more virtual TA ideas. RESOURCE LINK Literacy for Children With Combined Vision and Hearing Loss OCALI Disabilities Center Individuals interested in literacy instruction for children with combined vision and hearing loss, multiple disabilities, and other complex learning challenges will find in-depth information here. The site organizes useful, relevant resources from state deaf-blind projects, NCDB, and other sources to inform distance TA while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommended by WestEd. RESOURCE LINK Occupational and Physical Therapy Home Program Activities The Inpired Treehouse Therapists, teachers, and parents looking for OT that can be done at home will find resources to support and promote developmental skills for kids. Activities for dressing, writing, using scissors, and more are included. RESOURCE LINK Family Engagement: Supporting Students With Disabilities During COVID-19 Marshall Street Educators can give their students’ families useful materials about how they can support distance learning. There are also resources to help educators to plan online lessons, adapt IEPs for distance learning, and communicate with families. RESOURCE LINK American Foundation for the Blind COVID Resource Hub American Foundation for the Blind These resources have been compiled for students and adults with vision loss to use during the COVID-19 outbreak. Topics include online learning, accessible medical devices, work-from-home solutions, social gaming, staying connected with others, and more. RESOURCE LINK Homebound for Adventure Homebound for Adventure Kids can listen to these podcasts and then do orientation and mobility (O&M) activities in their home and neighborhood. An O&M instructor created these fun activities for mapping, identifying landmarks, and picking up clues like sounds, smells, and temperatures. RESOURCE LINK Distance Learning for Proficient Communicators National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) These resources on providing instruction to students with deaf-blindness during the COVID-19 pandemic specifically focus on students who are proficient communicators. Many of the items were suggested by experts in services for students and adults who are deaf-blind, deaf/hard of hearing, or blind/visually impaired. RESOURCE LINK Collaborative for Inclusive Education Podcast Collaborative for Inclusive Education In these podcasts, special populations practitioners share how they’ve transitioned to emergency remote learning. Topics include data-driven instruction, creating an inclusive environment, and more. RESOURCE LINK 8 Tips for Conducting Virtual IEP Meetings Edutopia IEP teams can use digital tools to hold virtual IEP meetings. Get tips for scheduling, preparing, and conducting meetings when it’s not possible to meet in person. RESOURCE LINK Virtual IEP Progress Monitoring Guidance Marshall Street During remote learning, educators continue to monitor their students’ progress toward IEP goals. This article discusses questions to consider, how to use existing resources for progress monitoring, and ways to foster a strong partnership with students’ families. RESOURCE LINK Virtual IEP Meeting Guidance Marshall Street Educators holding virtual IEP meetings can use these suggestions to help the process go smoothly for all. Included are checklists of important steps, plus guidance about using technology equitably and maintaining professional behavior and appearance. RESOURCE LINK Supporting Student Collaboration in a Virtual Setting: General Education and Small Group Services Marshall Street Teachers facilitating student collaboration during remote learning will need to explicitly teach and model new skills. This resource outlines planning lessons, modeling collaboration skills, and providing feedback. RESOURCE LINK Sustaining Engagement of Students with Disabilities in Distance Learning Environments Marshall Street Teachers can learn new strategies for keeping students with disabilities engaged during remote learning. This resource offers step-by-step tips for connecting with students, and encouraging and monitoring their participation and attendance. RESOURCE LINK Supporting Teachers With Accommodations and Modifications in Distance Learning Environment Marshall Street Teachers whose students have IEPs need new ways to implement accommodations and modifications during virtual learning. This resource includes suggestions and best practices, plus tools that can be used directly by the student. RESOURCE LINK Small Group Virtual Instruction: A Quick Guide for Service Delivery Marshall Street Teachers in virtual learning environments will need new ways to lead small group instruction. This resource gives pointers for different models of instruction, differentiating instruction, anticipating barriers, and more. RESOURCE LINK Providing Supports to Students With Low-Incidence Disabilities Marshall Street Educators and families of students with low-incidence disabilities face barriers in maintaining important structure and routines when schools are closed. This resource includes a discussion of family partnerships, communication with students, and instructional delivery strategies. RESOURCE LINK Creating Accessible Virtual Learning Environments for Students With Disabilities Marshall Street Teachers making online materials accessible for students with disabilities can start with the tools already available on their classroom platform. This resource gives tips for using those tools, guidance for creating accessible content, and more. RESOURCE LINK Literacy for Children With Combined Vision and Hearing Loss OCALI Disabilities Center Individuals interested in literacy instruction for children with combined vision and hearing loss, multiple disabilities, and other complex learning challenges will find in-depth information here. The site organizes useful, relevant resources from state deaf-blind projects, NCDB, and other sources to inform distance TA while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommended by WestEd. RESOURCE LINK Resources for the Three Rs for At-Home Learning and Re-Entry: Relationships, Routines, and Resilience Turnaround for Children Families, educators, and service providers can use these resources to work on building relationships, creating and maintaining routines, and building resilience. The materials are useful for at-home learning and also for re-entry when school buildings open again. RESOURCE LINK Supporting the Whole Child During At-Home Learning Diverse Learners Cooperative This resource outlines five ways that educators can address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their students. It offers strategies for behavior goals, social interactions, executive functioning, and more. RESOURCE LINK Transition Resource Tables Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Professionals, students with disabilities, and their families can use this listing to find low-cost and no-cost web-based transition resources. The table format lets users find materials related to self-determination, employment, postsecondary education, and more. RESOURCE LINK DCDT Webcast Resources for COVID-19 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Educators working with teens and young adults with disabilities can find tools for distance learning in this collection from the CEC’s Division of Career Development and Transition. This will be of interest to those working with students who, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, are exploring career interests. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19 Resources for Chief State School Officers for the Education of Students With Disabilities Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) This resource for educators of students with disabilities, provided by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), has links to virtual learning guidance from state education departments and local school districts. It also features information from local and national professional organizations. RESOURCE LINK I See You. I Care. How Can I Help You Grow? Charter School Growth Fund Educators doing 1:1 check-ins with students during remote learning can use this strategy for giving culturally responsive, asset-based feedback. This model can be particularly useful for students with disabilities or learning differences. RESOURCE LINK Why Captions Provide Equal Access National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) Educators who use captioning technology can find out about different types that are available, as well as alternate accommodations to captions. This may be particularly helpful for IEP teams as they work to provide access during virtual learning. RESOURCE LINK IDEA Illinois: Remote Learning Resources Illinois Digital Educators Alliance (IDEA) Illinois Digital Educators Alliance (IDEA) compiled webinars and resources to support educators in planning and delivering virtual learning. Included are strategies for special education, speech, OT, and other related services, as well as learning calendars and links to accessibility guidance for Apple, Google, and Microsoft programs. RESOURCE LINK Remote Learning for Educators, From ReadWorks ReadWorks As educators and families adjust to remote learning, these research-based ideas and tools can support student growth in reading comprehension. These webinars and videos may be particularly helpful for schools using the ReadWorks platform. RESOURCE LINK Maintaining Routines at Home Diverse Learners Cooperative This guide offers practical suggestions for how families can create and maintain routines at home. It includes a sample visual schedule that can be adapted for individual student and family routines. RESOURCE LINK Tips to Decrease Anxiety of Diverse Learners Diverse Learners Cooperative This guide helps teachers, counselors, and other school staff work with students and their families to ease anxiety during distance learning. Students learn words to express what they’re feeling as well as coping strategies to use at home. RESOURCE LINK Special Education Services Tracker Diverse Learners Cooperative Case managers or school teams can use this tracker to monitor students’ engagement with distance learning and to provide accommodations. Options include ways to track teacher time; small group, individual, and consultation services; and changes from the original IEP to remote IEP services. RESOURCE LINK Guide to Selecting Alternative Service Models During School Closure Diverse Learners Cooperative Educators looking for ways to meet IEP service mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic can explore framing mindsets and options here. Sample service scenarios show what interventions and related services could look like when provided remotely. RESOURCE LINK Supporting Learners With Significant Disabilities: 5 Ideas for Virtual Education McGraw-Hill via Medium This post lays out five ways to support students with complex needs in virtual learning. It includes suggestions for check-in topics, as well as practical strategies for working with families and partnering with paraprofessionals. RESOURCE LINK Kent ISD Distance Learning Supports for Students With Disabilities Kent ISD Educators striving to make virtual learning more accessible for students with disabilities will find step-by-step sheets, daily tips, and links to resources. This site is an example of how districts can provide guidance and tools for educators. RESOURCE LINK Resources to Support Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education During the COVID-19 Outbreak Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division for Early Childhood The Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood offers resources for supporting students in early intervention and early childhood special education during remote learning. It features articles, videos, webinars, and more for educators, as well as stories for children. RESOURCE LINK Offline Choice Boards: How Are You Integrating Offline Learning Into Your Online Class? Catlin Tucker A choice board can help students with and without disabilities engage with online learning activities at home. Teachers can get ideas from the sample choice board and then create their own using the included template. RESOURCE LINK School of Strength Special Olympics Special Olympics has developed a series of fitness videos designed to get people with disabilities moving at home. They’re led by six Special Olympics athletes and feature WWE star Becky Lynch. RESOURCE LINK Vocabulary Board for COVID-19 Coronavirus Temple University This vocabulary board with words related to COVID-19 can be used by those using symbol-supported communication. The board can be laminated so it can be sanitized. RESOURCE LINK Collaborative Teaching Virtual Instruction Tips Florida Inclusion Network Co-teaching pairs are taking their collaborative practices from traditional classrooms to virtual formats. Get suggestions for how various models of co-teaching can be used in distance learning for both general and special education. RESOURCE LINK School Responses to COVID-19: ELL/Immigrant Considerations Colorín Colorado How can ELLs—including those with disabilities and other challenges—and their families access school communications and closure plans related to COVID-19? Here are some considerations to help educators, schools, and districts. Recommended by WestEd. RESOURCE LINK The EnvisionIT (EIT) Curriculum The Ohio State University EnvisionIT (EIT) is a free, evidence-based, standards-aligned, college and career readiness curriculum for students with and without disabilities in middle and high school. The teacher-guided, digital curriculum focuses on helping students develop key literacy and career skills needed for the 21st-century workplace. Recommended by WestEd. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19 Resources for Interpreters National Association of Interpreters in Education This resource center addresses issues related to educational interpreting during the COVID-19 crisis. It contains helpful links to guidance documents as well as interpreter-specific resources for distance learning. RESOURCE LINK Deafverse, From the National Deaf Center National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) Deaf teens can try out Deafverse, the first online game entirely in American Sign Language. The web-based game is designed to support self-determination skills, such as working with interpreters, advocating for access, and requesting accommodations—and it’s fun. Recommended by WestEd RESOURCE LINK Assistive Listening Systems 101 National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) Schools and students both have responsibilities regarding the use of assistive listening systems for deaf and hard of hearing students, in the classroom and remotely. This resource offers helpful guidelines, explanations, and tools that can be used in the process of team decision-making and implementation. RESOURCE LINK Remote Speech-to-Text Services National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) IEP teams can use this easy-to-read document to help them think through what is needed for remote speech-to-text services. Remote captionists (or transcribers), equipment, and audio- and videoconferencing software are discussed. RESOURCE LINK Remote Access Services: Tips for Students National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) Students using remote access services like interpreters and captionists can use these tips to have a successful experience. This resource suggests important things to discuss with the service provider as well as some troubleshooting basics. RESOURCE LINK Remote Access Services: Student Evaluation Template National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) Institutions can use student evaluations of remote services to ensure that they’re providing what students need. This evaluation template gathers structured input from students regarding the quality of the technology and the communication access services. RESOURCE LINK Remember Accessibility in the Rush to Online Instruction: 10 Tips for Educators National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) "These 10 tips from the National Deaf Center can help educators and institutions make sure that everyone has access to the same course content during these challenging times. Tip #2: Remain flexible, because it won’t be “one size fits all.” RESOURCE LINK Texas Autism Circuit Toolkit Autism Circuit Educators of students with autism can use these downloadable, ready-made visual supports and tools. There are evidence-based tools in four categories: behavior, communication, social, and classroom organization. RESOURCE LINK Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) TSLAT’s resources are geared toward educators, but parents and others find the material valuable, too. Its 90+ online courses, teaching manual, video gallery, information on autism evaluations, and more are free and available to all. RESOURCE LINK Aurora Institute Learning Continuity Readiness Assessment Aurora Institute This resource provides a comprehensive list of questions to help districts and schools assess their readiness to address continuity of learning in emergency situations. RESOURCE LINK 20 Learning Activities for Kids Understood This compilation of resources from Understood includes links to skill-building and strengthening activities that families can incorporate into their remote learning environment. Educators can integrate into home instruction or share with families for support. RESOURCE LINK Conducting Virtual IEP Meetings: A Guide for School Teams During the COVID-19 Outbreak Diverse Learners Cooperative (DLC) This provides a resource for IEP teams to use as they navigate virtual meetings. The guide includes a sample agenda with questions to think about as you plan, a "how to," and issues to consider around technology. RESOURCE LINK Lesson Plan Templates (Grades 3-5) for Students with Disabilities on Share My Lesson Platform American Federation of Teachers (AFT) This is a collection of free, downloadable lesson plans and resources that can be adapted and used for online learning. Search parameters include grade level and subject area, and includes topics relevant to students with disabilities. RESOURCE LINK Equity Considerations During and After COVID-19 School Closures National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) This document contains guiding questions and suggestions for school psychologists to use in keeping equity at the center of service delivery systems during COVID-19 (and beyond.) RESOURCE LINK eLearning Coalition Accessibility Page State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) This page contains resource links to support the implementation of accessible materials, many tailored to online learning. It includes a section with suggestions tailored to different types of school staff. RESOURCE LINK Accessibility: Policies State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) These pages provide definitions, guidance and resources related to accessible instructional materials. This information can serve as a primer to staff new to online accessibility concepts. RESOURCE LINK Navigating the Shift [to Online Learning] Annual Report 2019 State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) This comprehensive report explores how different states were navigating the shift to online learning as of 2019. Links to state plans and online resources can provide helpful examples to teachers. RESOURCE LINK Landmark School Remote Teaching Resources Landmark Outreach Professional Development Curated by a school in Massachusetts that serves students with language-based learning disabilities, this page contains resources and best practices to help schools and educators structure remote learning to support all students. Links includes tips for common student support needs, including reading comprehension and written expression. RESOURCE LINK School Virtually University of Kansas & University of Hawaii This site provides information for educators and parents as schools make a quick switch to distance and online learning. School Virtually provides tips on designing online instruction, using technology tools, and supporting students with disabilities and language learners. RESOURCE LINK Fact Sheet: Impact of COVID-19 on Assessments and Accountability under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act The US Department of Education This fact sheet from the US Department of Education discusses the potential implications of COVID-19 on state assessment and accountability systems. This fact sheet also addresses other considerations regarding the use of federal funds under ESEA. RESOURCE LINK Guidance: Letter to Education Leaders on Preventing and Addressing Potential Discrimination Associated with COVID-19 The US Department of Education This letter, from the DOE's Office of Civil Rights, discusses stereotyping, harassment, and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students. RESOURCE LINK COVID-19 American Sign Language (ASL) Hotline Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD) This page contains a brief explanation of Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD)’s American Sign Language (ASL) Now hotline, administered by Connect Direct. This service has a team of deaf agents who are both fluent in ASL and trained to provide important information about coronavirus to help curb confusion and misinformation. RESOURCE LINK Kids Stories in American Sign Language (ASL) DPAN-TV This compilation of videos includes American Sign Language (ASL)-signed books as well as original stories submitted by children. RESOURCE LINK Checklist for Teaching Deaf Students Online National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) This checklist for teaching deaf students online helps educators meet the important needs of their students and ensures compliance with the law. RESOURCE LINK Evidence-Based Mathematics Resources for Educators Sarah Powell, PhD This site contains evidence-based mathematics resources for educators by an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. It contains links to YouTube video examples of how to apply evidence based strategies to teach math concepts. Recommended by WestEd. RESOURCE LINK How to Support Diverse Learners at Home: Essential Guidance for Parents & Caregivers The Learning Innovation Catalyst This resource contains recommendations for educators to assist parents in better understanding the learning needs of their children and how to best support them at home with remote learning. Available in English and Spanish. RESOURCE LINK Accessing Inquiry Emerging America This site and professional development (funded by the Library of Congress TPS program since 2011) supports the teaching of Students with Disabilities in History and Social Science. RESOURCE LINK Supplemental Learning Activities Collier County County Public Schools (CCPS) This resource contains weekly e-learning plans for a school district, including modified curriculum access points, as well as college-, career-, and life-ready and transition activities. It contains practical activities that teachers and service providers can send to students to keep students engaged. To find the modified curriculum access points, scroll to the grades and topics listed. Note: Teachers should plan these with families to provide support in implementation. RESOURCE LINK Supports for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities Arkansas Department of Education This resource provides ideas on how to connect learning to the daily activities happening within the home for students with significant cognitive disabilities. It can serve as a helpful compliment to educator-provided remote instruction. The resource is well organized by grade span, provides choices for individualization, alternative options for students who do not read, and reflects appropriate and evidence-based teaching strategies. It also provides a sample daily schedule for families with and without access to technology. Note: some activities require additional support from a family member to transition between activities and keep the student on task depending on their level of need. RESOURCE LINK

  • Growth Mindset and Mindfulness at a Distance

    Growth Mindset and Mindfulness at a Distance by Juliana Urtubey, supported by co-teacher Jessica Penrod We are a Title I school and have a wonderfully diverse population. Eighty-five percent of our students are Latinx, coming from all over Central and South America and the Caribbean (mostly Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Cuba, and Colombia). We also have students who are Filipino and Vietnamese. Many are emerging bilinguals, and it’s vital that we embrace their linguistic and ethnic identities. Our school community is family and neighborhood centered. Most of our students live in the community and can walk to school. The families in our school are supportive and are friends with each other. A few years ago, my co-teacher and I decided to rethink our resource classroom so that we could better support our students’ academic and social-emotional needs. My co-teacher teaches the kindergartners through second graders, and I teach the third through fifth graders. Co-teaching has allowed us to better cover IEP meeting responsibilities and to provide one-on-one behavioral and emotional support, while also tending to both the primary and intermediate resource learning groups. We also have worked together to create an approach to growth mindset and mindfulness that supports our students’ social and emotional growth and well-being. We’ve found this approach invaluable for supporting our students during the move to distance learning. Growth mindset is the belief that intelligence can be developed. A fixed mindset, on the other hand, is the belief that abilities don’t change. We adopted a growth mindset model because of its transformative power on students with thinking and learning differences. It gives everyone a fair chance to highlight their strengths and to focus on areas that need improvement without judgment or pressure. When students feel that it’s safe to take risks and make mistakes, tremendous learning occurs. Additionally, students need to have metacognitive structures in place so they can learn from their mistakes. Students who hold a growth mindset feel smart when they invest effort and engage with challenging problems, and they’re more likely to be resilient and ask for support when they face a challenge. The growth mindset model combines brain science with mindfulness to empower all learners to understand their strengths and build from their understanding that everyone is a learner. It’s key that the growth mindset model be incorporated holistically into all parts of the school day. For it to take hold in the classroom, it should be the lens through which all learning takes place. A central part of the framework is understanding that growth mindset is an attitude and a practice you have about yourself. An important aspect is the power of “yet.” For example, “I may not be able to multiply fluently yet. I’m working on repeated addition. And soon, I know I’ll be able to multiply with a deep understanding.” Growth mindset is also about students being accountable to themselves by learning to recognize and take care of their own holistic needs. A big part of this is learning to take care of social-emotional and behavioral needs. Understanding that all behavior communicates a need, and relying on the principles of growth mindset, in our classroom we encourage our students to take the lead in their own social-emotional growth. This means that we consistently provide tools, strategies, and practice for students to learn about and identify emotions, assess how particular emotions make their bodies feel/respond, learn to implement calming strategies to allow their brain to come up with solutions, and practice enacting those solutions with the help of an adult or peer if necessary. Growth Mindset and Mindfulness at a Distance Learning goals I can name and identify my emotions. I can brainstorm strategies to calm my brain and body. I can talk about my emotions and feelings. Keywords growth mindset, ADD, ADHD, autism, resource classroom, inclusion, social and emotional learning, wellness Transition to distance learning Activities Face to Face Typically, we teach growth mindset and the associated brain science at the beginning of the year. We do this so that growth mindset is part of our norms, expectations, and routines. Teach the parts of the brain important for learning: amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Work with students to practice naming and identifying these locations in the brain. Facilitate think-alouds about how the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex are interrelated and codependent. Use the metaphor of “flipping the lid ” to demonstrate the power of managing our emotions and reactions. Model growth mindset behaviors and language throughout all lessons and interactions. Redirect students when they use fixed mindset thinking. Remind students that all fixed mindset thinking is temporary and just a few quick steps away from a growth mindset. Praise students based on actions and processes rather than results. Set up an area of your room where students can go to manage their behaviors and emotions. Set up systems to allow students to ask for help in this area or to self-soothe with soft pillows, glitter bottles, stress balls, or yoga cards. At a Distance Since we don’t have our classroom posters and growth mindset area from our physical classroom, we are now more explicitly teaching growth mindset. Each day, we reserve 20 minutes to review, practice, and discuss different growth mindset and mindfulness practices: Warm up: Breathing exercises Square, triangle, and circle Buzzing bee (see resources below) Listen to song (“My Favorite Things”) Display lyrics, highlight chorus: “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.” Pose question and facilitate an open framed discussion What strategy do you think the song is trying to teach you? How do you think it will help? Reteach: Roles of amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex in learning The amygdala is the “scaredy cat” that sounds the alarm to the brain to react; we can train our amygdalas to respond accordingly. The prefrontal cortex is the part of our brain that helps us plan solutions. The hippocampus stores our memories and strategies. Tips: How to generalize calming strategies Review breathing strategies. Practice naming emotions. Share brainstorming solutions for problems we face and big emotions we feel. Materials Face to Face Brain poster (you can make your own or use the one included in your purchase of the MindUP Curriculum) Calming corner (rug or mat, pillows, emotions poster, glitter bottles, yoga pose cards, and other calming tools) At a Distance Song lyrics Images of breathing exercises (see below) Individual journals Strategies Face to Face Teach various breathing techniques, as different students will prefer different techniques. Remember that the calming corner is never used as a punishment. Ideally, students will recognize when they need a break to calm down and go on their own. You can also suggest they go to try out a calming strategy. Set up a way for students to nonverbally communicate to you if they need help identifying their emotions, selecting calming strategies, or brainstorming a solution. When students say or do something that demonstrates a fixed mindset, like “I can’t do this” or “this is too hard,” or when students “flip their lid,” redirect them using growth mindset language. For example, “I see that you’re feeling frustrated because the work may be challenging. Remember that while you are not able to do this yet , with some help and a growth mindset, you will be able to do it.” Then help the student take one step toward solving the problem. It can be asking for help, asking for the directions again, taking a deep breath, etc. At a Distance Square, triangle, and circle breathing strategies (From Coping Skills for Kids) Buzzing bee breathing strategies (From Your Therapy) 5-4-3-2-1 feelings chart (Strategy for students with ADHD and autism) What worked well The children loved singing! I thought maybe the older students would feel shy or reluctant to sing along, but they loved it. Keeping it simple helped students keep the strategies “in their pockets” while they’re at home. Encouraging students to talk to each other builds independence. Students are able to help each other process. I really enjoyed how the students supported each other. I was surprised by I was surprised by how my students generalized the growth mindset and mindfulness frameworks into our distance learning. Many students are already—without my help—using their strategies at home. One student is showing her cousins who live with her the calming yoga poses and stretches that help her. I was surprised by how my student with ADHD was able to attend the class without any need for redirection or breaks. In fact, she led the breathing exercises the following day. She felt empowered by her ability to help her peers feel ready to regulate their emotions and bodies. One of my students with autism was able to accurately capture how naming his favorite things helped him feel grounded. He generalized the vocabulary so well when he shared that “remembering my favorite things reminds me that I can be grounded and keep my amygdala and prefrontal cortex in check!” Next time I’ll try I’ll explicitly talk about how growth mindset and mindfulness can help children think in terms of collective solidarity during the COVID-19 crisis. Growth mindset supports students in being mindful of how they’re feeling—and also how others may be feeling. This is critical in building global responsibility. I want to build a bridge for this by discussing small ways we can all lend a hand during this crisis. My big picture takeaways Students shouldn’t be afraid of their emotions or frustrations. When someone feels a “big emotion,” that’s an opportunity to learn a calming strategy that can replace anxious thoughts and feelings. The more calm our students feel, the more learning and creativity they can express. I’ve also learned that for the deepest understanding, it’s absolutely critical for students to work toward doing this independently. A growth mindset is itself something to which the power of “yet” applies: “I’m not ready to use a particular strategy without any help yet, but I’m getting there.” If you’re considering setting up a growth mindset classroom once we return to our face-to-face classes, you’re in for a treat. One of the best things I’ve learned through this framework is that you get to be a learner right along with your students. You don’t have to be a pro at mindfulness or a brain scientist. Take cues from your students’ interests and allow yourself to be humble. It’s powerful when educators help normalize the “big emotions” students feel by sharing their own experience with those “big emotions.” Right now is a great time to set up these practices through virtual and/or asynchronous learning platforms. I’ve found that using these strategies is a great way to support students and their families during these uncertain times. Remember to start small and embrace the power of “yet”! About the Author L. Juliana Urtubey holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in bilingual general and special elementary education and is a National Board Certified Teacher (ECYA/Exceptional Needs Specialist, 2018). Currently, she teaches resource at Crestwood Elementary in downtown Las Vegas, where she is warmly known as Ms. Earth due to her work in beautifying the school with gardens and murals. She leads the development of the outdoor garden classroom, runs a weekly garden club, and leverages the garden as a welcoming space for families. Juliana is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards teacher fellow, a Teach Plus fellow, a member of the Nevada Department of Education Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Committee, and a professional learning facilitator with the Nevada National Board Professional Learning Institute. She is a 2018 Rogers Foundation Heart of Education winner, a recipient of the 2019 CPLC Esperanza Latina Teaching Award, and a recipient of the HEAN Teacher of the Year (NV). < Previous Next >

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