So the last day of Grade 3 has arrived. This is Tim’s last day as he has now completed his teaching degree and next year moves onto the local casual rosters with the hope of picking up a full time teaching position in the area.
We always knew we only had the year with Tim in the teacher’s aide role and, while we are sad to see him go, we know there is a bond between he and Mac that will likely stick. I chuckled when one of the teachers told me about the boys at the class party and how Mac was eating green icing of Tim’s finger… like it was the most natural thing on earth.
I am really proud of Tim – he has been so open to learning and embracing the mindset we share about disability. He is going to be a very different teacher to the one he would have been 12 months ago. It is wonderful to hear him acknowledge those same sentiments. Tim has established some great opportunities for Mac that I believe will set him up for the remainder of his primary schooling in a very social and engaged way with his peers.
As a farewell gift for him from Mac and the class I had to sneak around to all the kids for them to give me ‘words to describe Tim’ and develop a ‘wordle’ which I then framed for him as a piece of art to hang on his wall. He was pretty thrilled with his wordle and the kids were blown away seeing their words turned into something so permanent and lasting.
THE WORDLE & THE LADS
Thank you Tim for the most amazing year. Mac will be working on learning about text messaging & emailing in 2013, and since he has your details in his iPad I expect you’ll be at the top of his list ;-).
The Lenovo Mini Wireless Keyboard has a built in trackball mouse. It comes with a USB dongle and works wirelessly from a distance of up to ten meters, it is compatible with Windows 7, XP and Vista (does anyone still use Vista?)
Mac’s aide this year is a Gen “Y”er and awesome when it comes to thumb typing. This little keyboard/mouse is fantastic for maneuvering around the screen without having to be in touching distance of the computer or communication device. We primarily use this with Mac’s Dynavox V (open device) and do have lots of macros set up in toolbars so much of the everyday stuff is just a click of an icon..
These little keyboards would also work really well for group time when you have the entire class sitting around the whiteboard. Just because most kids can clamber up and use the interactive whiteboard doesn’t always mean the need to.
I am sure you can waste a lot of time waiting for kids to stand up, step over other kids, do their stuff and sit back down again. Some days it might be easier and novel to hand the wireless keyboard around the group. It’s a new level of dexterity required, it’s less disruptive on those days where you just need to keep things calm and it’s great for kids in class who may not have the physical ability to get up and access the whiteboard – or might just find standing up in front of everyone a bit too much pressure.
We got ours off eBay and so far it has got a five star rating from both Mac’s aide and myself.
(We did try a bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo but found it wasn’t reliable enough with its pairing on the Dynavox. Not sure if that was a Dynavox issue or that Keyboard’s issue.)