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Whiz Kids

What it is: Whiz Kids is a new site developed for autistic children.  It was designed to give these kids a fun place to develop life skills.  All of the games and videos have high production values, making them engaging and impressive, they feel as though you have stepped into a Pixar movie.  Through this one portal, you get 16 interactive and therapeutic games.  The games help kids develop essential life skills like empathy, recognizing emotion, making decisions, coping with change, transactions,  non-verbal gestures, grouping, schedules, finding a route, and making eye contact.  Although these games were specifically developed for children with autism, they are wonderful for primary elementary students and ELL students as well. How to integrate Whiz Kids into the classroom: Whiz Kids has an incredible back story, the site was created by more 80 students 8 lecturers and 10 autism specialists, the project represents more than 16,000 hours of research and development.  The games are tailored to fit the needs of autistic children.  If you teach autistic children, these games will help them develop important life skills that will aid them when interacting with classmates.  The games would be great for classroom computers as a center activity.  Help other students in your classroom understand how they can help the autistic children in the classroom by having them play the Whiz Kids games as well.  This will give your students a shared vocabulary and experience to draw on when they are working and playing together in the classroom.  Because the games focus so much on character development, they are appropriate for any primary classroom.  Help your students learn about complex human interactions like empathy, non-verbal communication, and coping with change through game play.  The games can be played and discussed as a whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer, or they can be played independently at a computer center, or a computer lab.  After playing the game, practice the skill taught as a class.  For example, if students play Robbie the Robot and are practicing recognizing emotion and facial expressions, follow up by asking students to work with a partner making faces and naming the emotion.  ELL students can use Whiz Kids to develop character related vocabulary and understanding. Tips: On the Whiz Kids sister site, Autism Games, teachers can get more information about individual games and how to use them with students.  Each game is categorized based on the life skill that it teaches.  The game descriptions and suggestions are fantastic. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Whiz Kids in your classroom.

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Happiness is…

Posted by admin | Posted in General | Posted on 21-01-2013

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Believe it or not, I have a life outside of education and technology.  I know…it is shocking!  When I’m not thinking education or technology I’m a big fan of cooking, decorating, sewing, creating.  Because I can’t fully ever leave technology behind, I started a blog to contain all of these extra passions. Happiness is a Project is a blog that I started to chronicle my other passions.  Some of the posts are creations from my talented, genius of a husband.  Others are my creations.

If you find yourself occasionally needing a break from education and technology, head on over and be inspired by our passions.  We hope that it ignites your sense of creativity and connection to more.  The full blog is at http://happinessisaproject.wordpress.com  You can also find us on my Happiness is a Project Pinterest board.

We are at our happiest when we have projects.  We love to create and putz around with new ideas.  Give yourself permission to pursue passions outside of education and tech.  I find that my creativity within education and tech is spurred on when I take a break to pursue other passions!

Maybe you fall in LOVE with my husband’s projects as much as I do.  If you aren’t down for recreating your own version, Jonathan just opened an online store where you can purchase some of his creations.  Check it out at http://LegacyGoods.com  That boy I love is TALENTED!

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