Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Day 8

I spent most of the morning working on the PowerPoint game. I have been careful to make sure that there are no similar letters in the choices. Yesterday, I had to get the ZB handwriting font from Rosemary so the children would be able to recognize the letters. This is the first difficulty level-three choices, color coded (so they may be matching colors in the beginning until they begin to recognize the letters.) As usual anything I do tends to evolve into more than originally conceived. There are now two versions-the original matching game and an introductory version that doesn't have a matching feature. In the game version each letter now has a matching page and when they get it right it goes first to a page with an animated caterpillar signing thumbs up and then to a page that shows the letter and a photograph of the fingerspell handshape. Then it goes to a graphic of the fingerspell handshape. That fades into a picture of a fruit or vegetable or something related. Tomorrow we will get the ASL/English teacher to sign for that slide. Rosemary and I both feel that it is better to videotape a Deaf person signing whenever possible because it's their language.

We also discussed Bilingual ASL/English theory in terms of making the slide. We discussed sandwiching (sign the word, fingerspell it, and sign it again) as a means to connect the English and ASL. Then I had the idea to have the teacher point as if to the picture on the slide too. Rosemary explained that was chaining (Picture, sign, fingerspell and if I can the printed word.) I will add that at the end of the video. Rosemary recommended saving the game as a show because the children can click out of the PowerPoint and end it. It's great working with Rosemary. She doesn't tell me how to do the projects-she leads, discusses, and offers possible alternative choices and lets me make the final decision.

While I was working on the PowerPoint someone from Team 1-2-3 came and asked for help setting up an ELMO and a computer to use in the morning. Rosemary was videotaping the last math story (I chose to work on the PowerPoint partly because the student she was taping was not really comfortable with me around in the classroom-he hid under the desk when I asked him a question.) While I was working on that, one of the teachers asked for help setting up an ELMO, so I said I would try to do it. I got the ELMO hooked up ok but when I hooked the computer up to the projector it would not work. In the end Rosemary had to come help and she got the computer to work but we had difficulty when we switched back to the ELMO. Once it was working we told the teacher how to change between the two. When I checked in with her later it all worked fine.

After Rosemary edited the math story she posted it and made some changes to the blog. Once again we found that if you delete a picture you have to go into the HTML to delete the coding.

In the afternoon we had the videoconference. Visuals were fine when we connected but we couldn't hear them although they could hear us. Fortunately one of the staff had taken sign language so he was able to spell the students names and then they put the written question on the screen for us to read.

Both the questions asked and the answers from our students were good. The other students had lots of questions about deafness and hearing loss. Our students were not upset or offended by any of the questions and enjoyed it so much that they are planning to do it again in the fall. Rosemary let me control the screen and camera part of the time. I had a little difficulty coordinating it but it wasn't too bad. She told me afterwards that they recommend practicing beforehand.

Tomorrow we still need to videotape the ASL/English teacher and edit it for the game, setup the Smartboard, introduce the game to the preschool and evaluate it for necessary changes (to occur at a later date), work on the ending video, and setup for the afternoon presentations. If all goes well nothing else will pop-up to do.

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