A Dance With the Butterflies

This blog is an area for project participants to collaborate, share ideas, ask questions, etc.

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sarah Inspired Me!

Here is my audio clip! I uploaded the mp3 file on my web site and linked to it from here.

Transformational qualities of technology

How many ways can technology change the way we learn? teach? communicate? collaborate? read? write? publish? This butterfly project illustrates the many ways it is changing even the way we are learning -- and we're the teachers! I posted an audioblog that I learned how to do today. Hope you all are learning new things too. Let us know.

Improved Learning Opportunities - audio clip

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Here is an idea. Have students search images of the life cycle of a butterfly. Create a simple Excel page. Start with an egg and work backwards: butterfly, chrysalis and caterpillar. Give each stage a value of 1. Create your graph and choose pie graph. Select a section to format data series, select fill effects and then picture. Put the correct picture in each pie section. Here is a sample of the one I made. Cut it out, fasten it to a butterfly cutout with a brad and you have an instant visual the students can manipulate around in a circle to show the continuous cycle. We have a 5th grade class that has a butterfly garden out on the playground. They will be our partners for this project and can help my kindergarten kids find pictures.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

UDL and cars

I just read an article that discussed UDL and the flexibility in cars today. For example we have adjustable seats, cruise control, seatbelt adjustments, radios, CD players, tape deck, signal lights, etc. I suppose you could add the gps navigation systems and voice activated phones that are in some cars these days. The key characteristics are focused on choice and controls. The driver has choices and flexibility. He can adjust controls and ergonomics to suit his individual needs. This exemplifies what we need to be thinking about in designing UDL lessons -- create the flexibility and choices in the curriculum. It is quite a challenge to think about new and multiple ways of offering opportunities for children to learn. Can you think of other examples? How do they translate to the classroom?

UDL Question for Discussion

I just found an excellent resource on UDL. I added it to our web site.
World Usability Day
There is a link to UDL materials from U Conn that you will find very helpful.

Here's a question for discussion.
You found a very nice butterfly mobile for your third grade class to make as their culminating project. It displays the life cycle of a butterfly. The mobile comes with step by step directions written on a third grade level along with a pattern . Your objective it to teach sequencing and reinforce the life cycle of butterflies. A printed copy of the directions and pattern are handed out and students are told to work independently.
Is this a UDL activity?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

National Geographic has a new magazine out for grades K-1. I just recieved a sample of the Spring 2006 issue and it is about butterflies. The pictures are great - what you would expect from National Geographic! I am sure you could write and get a sample copy. The website is:

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Welcome everybody

Susan and I are so excited to have this project up and running. We planned it on a cold rainy day in January in anticipation of spring and getting to know new friends interested in trying new things. So we are happy that you are joining us here. We are all experimenting with new things to use with our students - text-to-speech, streaming video and audio, graphics, digital photography, and blogs. Universal design is a quest for how students learn, what interests them, and how we can provide instruction in ways that they can understand and enjoy. We are happy that you are interested in pursuing the quest with us. Everyone brings expertise to the project so the blog is a good place to share ideas and ask questions. We will all learn together and have fun doing it.

The Project Coordinators