Tech Ed 4 Kids Partners with Parents, Students, and Teachers to Measurably Propel Student Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
My middle son just started a special research program at Oak Ridge National Lab (Yep, I’m proud of him)… that being said, on the way back from taking items down for him to move in we listened to TED talks. One I just had to offer an opinion on was about procrastination. Some of my family definitely love to procrastinate. I have to admit though I’ve never been able to understand it, so the talk was interesting…
The Talk’s Premise
The person giving the TED talk described procrastination as knowing that something needs to be done, but then a monkey comes along and says wait you have plenty of time, look at this shiny object that we really can look up. For example, do Penguins really live in South America? As the procrastinator ventures down the rabbit hole, the task doesn’t get completely until suddenly it’s an emergency and a panic monster shows up. The speaker seemed to think this is really everyone, just some people hide it better… But I don’t really think so….
From the Non-procrastinator’s view point, what it appears to them, is that the person putting off what they are doing doesn’t really care that the item gets done, is lazy or thinks that if they don’t do it the other person will do it for them. I’m sure you can see where this raises the frustration in the NP person’s mind. What goes through their mind is, if I get this done now, I can relax in after and have a break before having to turn it in, move, travel, or whatever the task is for. Like arriving early and having that time to sit and just have a chance to read in the car, it’s a break for a few that is SO rare. With a NP living with a procrastinator though, what happens (and especially add in mom guilt), and you get a person that gets even more frustrated because they work getting ready and then as they are ready to take a break and relax for a minute, already upset that the person that should have helped just sat there on the computer or whatever, the procrastinator suddenly gets up and starts running around trying to do everything in the few minutes left – leaving the NP feeling guilty if they sit down for a few minutes (even though they have spent possibly hours getting ready). Any comments though, will earn a reply of why did you start so early?
I can’t honestly say I’ve found a way to deal with this issue, but I did have to share.
This book is about David that can’t sit still in class.
David doesn’t know how he ends up in such situations. At the time, it just seems like a great idea.
All the reviews on Amazon are good, and I totally agree! It reminds me a little of my middle son who if he sees a button he must press it. It’s like an irresistible urge strikes him. But in this case David is in class and annoying the teacher.
For me it highlighted the difference in types of learning for kids. Some children learn better lectured in a classroom, but many learn better for by ‘doing’ and interacting. So many great ideas so little time.
I help with the local hands on science museum and see it all the time – where kids come in, try things, and leave excited about everything they have tried. They also remember more of what they learned!
This is one of four books in the series about children who learn differently. Each of the books explains different learning challenges (dyslexia, difficulty with timed tests, handwriting and ADHD) in kid friendly lingo. The only problem with this book is that it’s not as easy to share and pass around to everyone you know. I would love to pass a copy to the teachers we interact with.
I just received a link to an article on paying for treatment and the cost of learning disabilities. With my son we have been super lucky to be in an area with great resources available to us. (The Kelly Autism Program at Western Kentucky University is amazing!) – But many families are not in that position. We’ve also been lucky that we haven’t faced the need for extensive specialized treatment. Going to The Clinical Education Complex, the Kelly Autism Program and having Early Intervention met their goals to help my son function in a society that thinks differently and has different social cues and norms than he functions under. I won’s say everything has been champagne and roses, but it has definitely been made easier than it could have been without early intervention and the assistance of all the great organizations in our area. In many areas the cost is astronomical – I just saw on a special report about people paying almost $20,000 just for a special needs dog! I can’t even fathom the cost. Add to that ABA therapy, speech and all the additional treatments that many parents are faced with and it can be a huge burden. Then you add in respite care so that parents can have a break, and the counseling many parents don’t get when they feel the guilt for seeking some self care time.
Many states and not for profits have grants available for special needs children (and adults). You can find organizations for everything from iPads, treatment, dogs, and more. For Example Paws with a Cause is an organization that helps kids with autism get service dogs. There are so many great organizations out there it is definitely work checking into, especially before just paying out of pocket!
My son loves watching youtube videos. It’s one of his methods of stimming. He likes watching the videos of other people playing his favorite games like minecraft. We have his computer set up right beside our television in the living room, so that whether we are working on our computers, watching television, or just sitting in the living room – we can see his screen. Lately he has added headphones – great for us to watch television, but not so great to hear the language on the videos. He does understand about the language and good and bad words, so I’m not as worried about that part. What concerned me turned out to be the videos I like to watch.
Sometimes I pull up videos that I find funny and he loves to come over and watch them with me. My favorite is Kristina Kuzmic! I love her videos! I also love Leann and Michelle think they are funny! Though my little one objects to the video It’s all about the Bed (It includes No Snuggles and he loves Snuggles). I think it’s great though! The other that I pull up more often is the Holderness family which I thought was funny. They do have some humorous videos, thinks like slime after slime…. Just for fun I also have to mention Jonathan Coulton that has the video Code Monkey. His videos aren’t really for kids but for an older geek, I like pulling them up just for me.
As my mother came to visit recently I decided to pull up videos that I had watched and go through some of my videos. As I went through videos – using Apple TV on our living room TV I found that one of my favorites that features a family had a few videos that I couldn’t play for my son. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but we had been discussing the negative attitude our little one was getting toward school and all the sudden I was seeing videos from families I watch that were telling how hard math is (algebra) and though funny, how much work homework is – making it look like torture. I found myself stammering and trying to explain how important math is, after the video claiming it will never be used in life. We had watched some that were funny like “My wife comes home in an Hour”, so now I’m torn.
How to encourage my son to watch videos that he will find funny but don’t include things that make school, math, and science sound like torture? There are lots of great videos out there. I still love Kristina Kuzmic’s videos – she’s super encouraging for moms. I’d love to hear about more like them. I’m including the Large Hadron Rap that has been out there a while.
Anyone have any videos that are fun to watch about mom life and encouraging that don’t discourage STEM?
For the holidays, one of the gifts we got for the little one was Circuit Maze and I have to admit I love it! Circuits is port of the fourth grade curriculum here, so it ties in well with the future of what will be going on in school. The game though is well designed and easy to learn! Our little one spent hours trying to complete the puzzles.
They start with beginner cards that provide what should be on the board to start and what to add to the board. Kids then figure out where to add the extra pieces to make the lights come on. We did go through a set of batteries and already have to change them once since starting the game.
I’ve since searched and found more games by ‘thinkfun’ and they all seem to be just as fun!
The game though isn’t designed for multi players – It’s really a one player at a time, with everyone else watching to see if you succeed to make the light come on.
As a side note: As an autism mom since this is not a competitive game – it went really well. My son did get frustrated a couple times and get upset… but it wasn’t at a level that we didn’t work it out with him and he came back to it – which is rare for a game.
The Indy Children’s museum has built on a lot since we started going. The have a lot of really cool exhibits. We only were able to see a few in the couple hours time we had – though we made it to the exhibit to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. There are lots of great opportunities to research everything and then go visit – or visit to spur interest and then research everything.
The Terra Cotta Warriors were found in China and were an army that included horses, standing guard over a huge (38 square mile?) tomb. The warriors when exposed to the air immediately had issues with their paint flaking, so the main portion of the tomb has not been opened. Each warrior had amazing details and was unique even to their hair. The museum has exhibits allowing you to try excavating artifacts, reassemble warriors that have fallen to pieces, learn how the paint was made and used to restore the warriors with all the exhibits being hands on.
Captain Kidd Exhibit
Right next to the Terra Cotta Warriors is another archeology exhibit, but this one includes items from under the sea. The exhibit includes a video showing how the ship was found and why it’s thought to be the ship of Captain Kidd as well as Captain Kidd’s history and how his ship ended up sinking where it was found. At the back of the exhibits you can visit the lab and see some of the parts that have flaked off of the remains found. The museum includes a canon taken from the shipwreck that has been soaking to get off the accumulation that has collected under the sea.
The dinosaur exhibit is one that would excite any kids! It includes large animatronic dinos for the kids to see what the dinosaurs might have looked like real size. The museum includes a lab to see the fossilized remains of footprints and learn more about what is currently known about the dinosaurs. The dinosaur exhibit is one of our favorites every time.
Beyond Spaceship Earth
Even with our limited time we had to check out beyond spaceship Earth. the exhibit includes an example of the International Space Station. The exhibit showed how the astronauts sleep, exercise, and communicate with home. It was really interesting, but I can’t imagine staying in a small space like that for an extended period of time – and they sleep standing up attached to the walls. Around the corner they have an exhibit for the Titan rocket. If you stay for the show to learn more about the Titan, the seats even vibrate!
There was so much more that we didn’t have time for, though we did see some of the blown glass exhibit. The food court does have very limited hours too – we missed the hours, but luckily we were able to get some grapes for our little one (no lunch day). For us there was an hour time change, so we had arrived fairly late and only had two hours. With that we only really saw the three exhibits with plenty more left to see on another visit. The museum includes a transformer in the entryway, a branch of the local library, and a huge dinosaur that has peeled up the roof to look in – so even if you don’t pay to go into the museum exhibits, there is still a few things to keep a child amused. Living only an hour or two away, it’s a museum we get a membership to each year.
They are currently adding a set of sports exhibits onto the outside – opening in March.
My little one loves streaming youtube videos. He can sit for long stretches at a time watching videos of people playing games like minecraft telling how they have played….
I have a few videos for moms that I love! So I thought I would share them.
Kristina Kuzmic is one of my favorites. She is inspiring, but also she has videos showing some exagerations of real life. If you have ever walked into the bathroom over and over to find the toilet paper roll empty or had to get a sippy cup with different temperatures and types of cups of water over and over at night trying to get your kids to go to bed, she totally understands!
Leann and Michelle think they’re funny – The first of their videos I saw was If You’re my Friend then You’ll Buy This! I loved it. I think I know someone that sells everything listed. Their current video is – It’s time to dust off the elf. Their videos all show things that are so common in our lives. They are just taking off, mainly on facebook, but I have no doubt they will get there!
The Holderness Family – This whole family gets involved. They have even tried some videos on giving up technology for a weekend. Some of their latest include, His Presents are Dumb and one on Christmas Jammies 2017.
When I’m playing a lot of these, my little one stops and has to watch with me. The only one he doesn’t like is Leann and Michelle’s It’s all about the Bed when they talk about No Snuggle since he loves to Snuggle…. Every so often I take a break and watch one with the little one!