Monday, November 30, 2009

New Activities at Help Kidz Learn

Help Kidz Learn has three new activities up. Plus they have moved their Advent Calendar back to the front of the line up for the season.  The Advent Calendar is a good add-on to a morning meeting routine on a "Big Screen".

All three of the new games are designed to teach waiting to press the switch until a visual/auditory cue occurs.  These games are all great to teach "switch happy" users to slow down, look and listen before pressing their switch.

Coconut Shy is a switch game where you wait until a ball appears to "throw" it at the coconuts atop the sticks, no need to aim.  This game is create to teach students to wait to press their switch, in this case to wait for the auditory and visual cue that the ball has appeared.

Gophers Down a Drain Pipe is a similar game, in that it also teaches waiting.  In this case the student must wait for the Gopher to slide down the inside of the pipe and appear to whack it with a newspaper!  In both Coconut Shy and Gophers the teacher can set how long until the "reveal".

Mystery Egg is probably the simplest of the new games, students need only wait until the mystery egg pops onto the screen to press their switch and crack it open to revel a dancing character (in a way this one brought back some unwelcome flashbacks of "Teen Tunes" from the 1990's for me - I think my student will need to use headphone with this one!).


  1. I very much appreciate this site, and hope that what I have to say will be taken in the spirit it is given.

    I agree that Help Kidz Learn is a wonderful site with many great resources.

    I just want to point out that not all families celebrate Christmas, and the Advent calendar has strong religious implications. Teachers don't always know their students' families spiritual paths, so using an Advent calendar in the classroom may be (mild) offputting or even (strong) offensive to some families.

  2. Liz, of course, teachers must always use discretion and be respectful to the multicultural realities of their classroom. I think in many typical classrooms it is true that the teacher may not know how and if families celebrate winter holidays. Yet in many severe special needs classroom, and certainly for mine over the years, there are 4-10 or so students who are with the same students for many years. I certainly know the religious back grounds of my students and attempt to offer a sensitive approach to holidays year round. That might mean sticking to "winter" as a topic some years, modern winter holidays including as many religious backgrounds as I can other years or a study of the historical context of winter celebrations in different cultures(the Renaissance or the Victorian Era or even Saturnalia and a Toga party). I offer resources to teachers and others to use, or not use, at their leisure. My brother, an Autism specialist, has said of my blog that while he doesn't agree with everything I say I certainly offer resources that teachers can use right away. That's my goal. Thanks for commenting, I hope you continue to comment! Kate

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  4. Thanks Kate I am so grateful for the time you take to find and post things like this. These "waiting" games will be fantastic for my little click-o-holic!


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