n2y Blog

 

newsletter  may 2015
n2y's Unique Learning System accepts the 2015 CODiE Award
for Best Solution for Special Needs Students!
 
ULS

n2y is happy to announce that Unique Learning System is the 2015 SIIA Education Codie Award
Winner 
for Best Solution for Special Needs Students!  
Click here to find out more!

 

ULS 2015 Summer Unit
Now Available!

Unique Learning System's summer unit is now available for subscribers to access in the Monthly Lessons area of their subscription.

Subscribers receive access to ALL grade level bands of the unit and can assess their summer school classroom using the Monthly Checkpoints inside the n2y GPS.
 

Invite a Friend

Know someone who could benefit from Unique Learning System's standards-based curriculum? Send them to n2y.com to sign up for the summer unit and try it out for FREE!
 

Preschool - Transition



Closing Up Shop
Unique Learning System
Don't miss out on these tips for closing up shop in your classroom with Unique Learning System, News-2-You and SymbolStix!
 
 

FYI for Parents 
 
Have parents / guardians asking questions about the programs you use with their children? This video highlights specific features for parents and guardians relating to n2y's product suite.

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READ ALL ABOUT IT!
News-2-You--the leader in providing current event news to the special education community-- has just gotten better!  The newspaper has teamed with the Associated Press (AP News) to bring their worldwide assets right into your classroom! 

Subscribers are now able to access AP’s around-the-world reporting in News-2-You’s “Breaking News” section.  Stories are found in three categories: “World News,” “Sports News,” and “Entertainment News.”  Each news article is 1-2 pages in length, and each is presented in a symbol-supported regular version plus a symbol-free, plain text version. Discover and follow the news as it happens in Breaking News.

Nobody does it better than the n2y-AP team!  Stay abreast of the latest news. Look for the new and improved “Breaking News” feed at www.n2y.com.


 
Summer News-2-You Schedule
News-2-You will switch its delivery of current issues from weekly to monthly for the summer break. Here's a sneak peek at the schedule of monthly topics this summer:

 

JUNE - Cooking Up Change
JULY -  Special Olympics
AUGUST -  Every Kid in a Park




Additional current events articles for summer reading can be found in the Breaking News section of News-2-You.
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Summer Ideas from SymbolStix
Getting ready for summer school? Sending ideas home for summer fun? SymbolStix has some fun new symbols for you! Check out our new collection of play clay symbols, including nouns and verbs. Play clay not what you need? We also have "draw with sidewalk chalk"! Log in to begin searching and using SymbolStix!
                     

                  
 
 
10 years of SymbolStix! 
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n2y eXtras
Just For FUN...
 
Need summer ideas or free activities? Check out hundreds of pieces from n2y eXtras at n2y.com.
 
If you aren't a subscriber yet, no problem. Just go to n2y.com's homepage, take a minute to register so that we know who you are, and click on the square block that says, eXtras. Explore the five areas available on this page: Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Classroom Engineering, Communication/Behavior, and Just for Fun.
 
 
Try one of the 5 n2y SPY Road Trip activities with or without text! 

 
Find many ways to encourage movement in the Gross Motor area, such as "Move Like an Animal" or "Move Your Body!" Use online or print for outdoor summer fun.
Reward good behavior and progress with end-of-the-year certificates in Fun Stuff. Honor the hard work done by your students.
 
More eXtras coming soon and all summer long!
 
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May Webinars
n2y will be hosting live webinars
open to the public during May!




 
The webinars will provide an open forum to discuss trending topics in Unique Learning System, News-2-You, SymbolStix ONLINE and eXtras.

May Topics Include:
  • Skill Tracking
  • Texas STARR-ALT Alignment
  • n2y GPS
  • SymbolStix ONLINE
  • Transition Band
  • eXtras

Upon completion, all LIVE webinar attendants will receive a certificate of completion for attending the entire session.  Webinars will be hosted by n2y's Alicia Favreau, M.Ed., NBCT, Anne Johnson-Oliss, M.Ed. and Darren Avey, B.S. Ed.

Click here to view the schedule and register!

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  Huron, OH 44839
 






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Categories:
News from N2Y
Keep up with the latest from n2y. March 2015 Newsletter | Email look funny? View it in your browser.

newsletter  april 2015

The above photo is of spring renovations at The Little Yellow Schoolhouse in Isla Mujeres, Mexico - They are new users of n2y products!   Want to see a photo from your school /classroom here?   |  Send one to our newsletter team today.
 
ULS

ULS 2015 FREE Summer Unit
Sign Up Now!

Preschool -Transition

 

Training
Book Early to Secure Your Date!

It does not matter if you joined the n2y family in the beginning, middle or end of the year, the one variable we have found to be critical to successful implementation is training!
 
n2y offers a variety of training options to meet  your needs.
 
1.  We have full day face to face trainings.  Our trainer will come to your program and work with your staff on the objectives necessary to move forward with implementation.  We can work with up to 100 individuals in one room. These trainings have proven to be most successful as the trainer can really work with the specific needs of your district and when the teachers have access to computers, allowing them to engage in the training the results are even more powerful.  Our trainers are all certified professionals in the field of education.  
 
The calendar is a first come, first served basis and does fill up quickly. Currently  we are already booking into September.  If you are interested in securing a training date for your district/program, please contact Darlene Brodbeck, Director of Training   darlene@n2y.com
 
To further explore the options, please click on the link.
https://www.n2y.com/store/Training
 
2. We also offer customized webinars for those not wishing to do a full day of training.  Webinars will happen during a time that works for you and we will cover the topics of your choice.  Click here for more information
 
3. Lastly, do not forget to check out all of our free live webinars as well as archived webinars which includes previously recorded webinars.  There seems to be something for everyone including webinars on promoting literacy, supporting our students requiring level 1 support and digging into the data within GPS.
 



Explore Transition Grade Band
Unique Learning System

This Unique Learning System (ULS) tutorial will help you generate ideas of how you can use the curriculum and materials to provide your Post Secondary  students/ team-members instruction using the Transition Grade Band.  Transition planning for students who are now on to Post Secondary settings is a complex process. It is a process that directly links the young adult’s educational program with their plans for the future.  This often tends to be is a transfer of the more academic related learning into applications for lifetime learning or post secondary education, employment and learning how to care for one's self and life skills.  We will take you through what Transition Planning is and how we have created a system that is comprehensive and relevant to the needs of our teachers and professionals needing quality curriculum for transition students and programs.  In this NEW video we have featured the materials and lessons from Transition Grade Band.

 



n2y is happy to announce that Unique Learning System is a 2015 SIIA Education Codie Award finalist for Best Solution for Special Needs Students. Winners will be announced on May 5th. Stay tuned. 
Click our cheerleader to find out more!

 




  NEW Administrator Features
    Unique Learning System

    Administrators can now view...
     • Student Benchmarks
     • Assessment Results
     • Group Tracked Skills
     • Individual Tracked Skills

NEW Features!


 


Level 1 Learners - NEW Video
How to work with students requiring Level 1 Supports

Check out our new instructional video on working with Level 1 learners. This instructional video focuses on the ways teachers and professionals can use the teacher guide materials, monthly lessons, and active participation guides to have their Level 1 learners actively participate.
 







 


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news-2-you spotlight
Breaking News

The news-2-you team is planning for 2015-2016

The news-2-you team is looking for your feedback about the job we did during the past year. 

Did the topics we choose engage your students? 
Do you have ideas for future topics? 
Do you like the new craft activity? 

We would like to hear from you as soon as possible so that we can plan for the next school year with your needs in mind.  Please take a few minutes to answer our feedback survey.


news-2-you wants your feedback
 

"Complete the n2y survey by April 30 to receive something eXtra from n2y!"

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the latest from symbolstix

 
Spring has sprung! It is time for flowers, different types of weather, baby animals, and outside recess again! Search your environment and then search SymbolStix for new and different seasonal vocabulary and images.
 
10 years of SymbolStix! 

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n2y eXtras

Just For FUN...

Need some ideas or free activities Just for Fun? Check out n2y eXtras at n2y.com.
 
If you aren't a subscriber yet, no problem. Just go to n2y.com's homepage, take a minute to register so that we know who you are, and click on the square block that says, eXtras. Explore the five areas available on this page: Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Classroom Engineering, Communication/Behavior, and Just for Fun.
 
Try an n2y Spy activity in Gross Motor or in Just for Fun!
 
Read a rhyming read-aloud book, "End of the Day" or "Safe on the Internet" can be found in Communication/Behavior.

 
Need some movement activities?
Yep, there's a Hokey Pokey support board in Gross Motor!
 
eXtras free materials are just one of the ways we thank you for all of the extra effort you put into each day!  We hope you enjoy eXtras!

ULS

April Webinars

n2y will be hosting live webinars
open to the public during
April!




 
The webinars will provide an open forum to discuss trending topics in Unique Learning System, News-2-You, SymbolStix ONLINE and eXtras.

April Topics Include:

     • SymbolStix ONLINE
    
eXtras
   
  • Unique GPS
    
News-2-you - Beyond Basics
    
FYI for Parents
    
ULS Overview


Upon completion, all LIVE webinar attendants will receive a certificate of completion for attending the entire session.  Webinars will be hosted by n2y's Darlene Brodbeck, Alicia Favreau and Anne Johnson-Oliss.

Click here to view the schedule and register!


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  Huron, OH 44839






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Categories:

internetDigital Literacy Day 2015

By Anne Johnson-Oliss

Digital literacy has many widely accepted definitions. The skillset includes using digital technologies, accessing communications and digital tools, evaluating information, and producing materials in various formats. In 2015, digital literacy is an essential component of both education and life beyond the classroom. To those in our field, this brings about a fundamental question:  Is digital literacy a process or a product? 

Digital literacy is more than having the technological tools to get online. Sure, having computers, tablets and interactive whiteboards is a great start!  But after acquisition of the tools, digital literacy means that users know how to put information into the devices, as well as receive information from them. So how do we help students develop digital literacy in tandem with the lessons we teach daily?

Here are some ideas to help education professionals infuse digital literacy tactics and concepts into everyday learning:

Ideas for Using Digital Equipment:

-Use the tools you have available. Don’t be afraid to turn on the whiteboards, swipetablets, and computers. Everyone needs a little help sometimes. Shared knowledge of resources and problem-solving strategies makes each of us better professionals.

-Sign up for your turn. If your facility has tools you can access, like tablet collections or laptop carts, work those into your plans routinely. Don’t allow your turn to pass without using the tools.

-Enlist peer helpers. Identify some peer students who are proficient with technology and ask for their help.

-Charge and maintain equipment if at all possible. Trying to teach a lesson with faulty tools will only create frustration for students and staff.cart

 

Ideas for Infusing Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship:

-Define and state the purpose for using digital tools in the classroom the same way that we talk about writing or math tools.

-Employ Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies throughout instruction.

-Teach the shared symbol system indigenous to digital tools, e.g., save button, print icon, pan tool, or magnifier, to name a few.

-Include digital tools and experiences when discussing manners, bullying, friendship, and communication.

-Teach citizenship online and offline as prosocial behaviors usually translate in everyday and digital spaces.

-Use technology while teaching students so they can pair actions with language. During Unique Learning System curriculum lessons or News-2-You work, describe what you are doing with the technology.

-Include language about mistakes you make using technology. Consider a script to use when mistakes are made and corrected. Some script examples are listed below, however always be sure to modify to grade level and subject area.

For a website or window: “Uh, oh. I touched the wrong button. I just have to exit that by touching the x.”

For answering drag and drop questions: “Oops. I dragged the wrong answer. I   will just drag the one I wanted.”

For answering multiple choice questions: “Oh no. I selected the wrong one.       That’s not what I wanted. I just need to select the one I wanted.”

Ideas for n2y Products and Digital Literacy:

-Search SymbolStix ONLINE for images to introduce new vocabulary and skills into the classroom. Search for tablet, swipe, scroll, left, right, mouse, Internet, and more.

-Share n2y eXtras pages with parents to help reinforce symbol use and technology skills on home equipment. For classroom use, look for the communication board called, Let’s Type an Email in Communication/Behavior or the certificate for tablet users in Fun Stuff.extras

-Pair actions and language when navigating the News-2-You newspapers or Breaking News stories. Tell students what you are doing. Show them and tell them which tools you are using to read the articles. Help students understand which tools perform operations on the site.

-Encourage critical thinking and evaluation of news stories. Ask what students think about stories. Help them find more information to investigate further by following the video links at the bottom of the news story pages.

-Orient students to Unique Learning System (ULS) materials online by showing them that some vocabulary remains the same from a paper book with pages to a digital book.

  read   For orienting students to n2y Library books or ULS leveled books, consider “Let’s read the title," or “Turn the page,” or even “The end”.

- Help students make connections between print books and digital books by using similar strategies. Employ the same techniques for ULS books online as you might for print. Try to walk through a story before reading it. Consider guessing what the story might be about prior to turning a page. Point to illustrations or symbols as possible clues to the content. 

 

Teaching digital literacy requires professionals to have similar learning opportunities to enhance their skills. Using digital tools and virtual interaction for professional development can only serve to better advise instruction with and for students.

Ideas for n2y Training Opportunities:

-Click the video links on most pages of n2y.com for on-the-spot training.

-Check out our free webinar schedule for times that work with your schedule.

-n2y.com’s training pages have free training materials available at any time and on any schedule. Stop and start as many times as you like in order to digest the materials at your own pace.

-Consider face-to-face training with our professional trainers. On-site, on your equipment, on your schedule, our training staff will come to you.  n2y trainers have assisted thousands of educators infuse technology into their daily practices.

Digital literacy has a social component.  In fact, “…acts of literacy are always embedded in social practices of communication, in which members of a community seek to construct particular identities, relationships, or valued activities and objects.” (Myers, 2006.)  All of us use digital tools to physically navigate our homes, neighborhoods, and societies, but also to socially navigate relationships, jobs, and all forms of communication. Digital skillsets are essential learning for all students.

So is digital literacy a process or a product? Is it both? Digital technologies are not isolated tools. They are embedded in the process of everyday life. Is there a new set of skills with each new piece of equipment or application? Probably not, but over time, each of us will develop a set of competencies that transfer among digital tools wherever we find them. Proficiency with digital tools as an outcome might be called digital literacy.

                 tablet


 

For more information about News-2-You, Unique Learning System, SymbolStix or n2y Training, visit us at n2y.com or give us a call. We like to talk. 800.697.6575.

Find us on Twitter and Instagram @n2yinc. Facebook users can join in the fun with n2y and SymbolStix pages.call center


 

Sources:

Myers, J. (2006). Literacy Practices and Digital Literacies: A Commentary on Swenson, Rozema, Young, McGrail, and Whitin. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 6(1), 61-66. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://www.editlib.org/

Saljo, R. (2012). Literacy, Digital Literacy and Epistemic Practices: The Co-Evolution of Hybrid Minds and External Memory Systems. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 7(NR 01), 5-19. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from https://www.idunn.no


 

 

Categories:
News from N2Y
Keep up with the latest from n2y. March 2015 Newsletter | Email look funny? View it in your browser.

newsletter  march 2015

Wanna see a photo from your classroom here?   |  Send one to our newsletter team today.
ULS

New Administrator Features

Improved Staff Support for Unique Learning System

Unique Learning System (ULS) has a special section available for administrators. Administrator access is available for accounts with a minimum of five subscriptions. Typically the administrator is the individual overseeing the entire account.  Within this hierarchy, there is also a tier for sub-administrators. Sub-administrators will have a list of educators assigned to them. Sub-administrators are typically a principal, specialist or coordinator. These detailed features allow administrators to monitor the use of ULS including the amount of times an educator has logged into their account and the last time an educator has logged into the site. These statistics allow the administrators to determine if ULS is being implemented correctly and consistently.  
 
The video below shows specific features available to administrators. Quick tutorials illustrate how to use each feature on the website.

Administrators can also view if teachers have completed their student academic profiles. A Student academic profile is a vital piece of information.  If the profiles are incomplete, teachers cannot access the variety of assessments located in the Goals Preferences and Skills (GPS).  To ensure accountability and to make data based decisions, educators should be using the assessments within the GPS to support instruction. The Monthly Checkpoint assessments allow educators to measure what the student knows prior to instruction each month, relating to a specific theme and then assess at the end of the month.  The impact of instruction on the specific topic may be reviewed, while continuing to address those overarching skills such as decoding, comprehension, writing, mathematics and application of skill. Administrators can pull comprehensive reports illustrating the checkpoint average scores for a teacher, a grade band, or program. Administrators may also view profile completion reports and login statistics.
 
Administrators have access to view all of the assessment guides to ensure implementation with fidelity and best practices for using data to drive instruction.
 
Lastly, the administrator feature allows the ability for the administrator or the sub-administrator to update their account including adding/deleting educators, updating demographics, changing passwords and overseeing the educator’s roster.
 
The support center of the administrator feature contains some key documents just for administrators.  


Be sure to check out the FYI for Admins which provides a quick overview of Unique Learning System, News-2-You and SymbolStix ONLINE.  


Skill Tracking Tip
Skill Tracking Tip #9 Improved

The track skills area allows teachers to quickly track the progress toward goal achievement, by individual (for IEPs etc) or group (for SLT etc). It also provides all resources to introduce, teach, practice, support and assess targeted skills. With just one click, all of the powerful tools n2y provides are pulled together in one place to encourage data-driven decisions and progression toward goal achievement.
 

Click HERE to Get All 10 Skill Tracking Tips


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news-2-you spotlight
Craft Activity

Subscribers asked for a craft to be included in News-2-You and we loved the idea!  In January, we included the first Craft Activity.  The first edition of each month has included a topic-related craft project.  It is formatted like the recipe, with a list of materials and step-by-step directions.  Have you used it?  Should we continue it for the next school year?  How often would you like to see it included? Weekly? Monthly? 

Share Your Thoughts - Click here to share your feedback about the News-2-You Craft Activity.


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the latest from symbolstix

 
In March 2015, n2y is celebrating 10 years of SymbolStix!

Used in n2y's Unique Learning System (ULS) and News-2-You, the clear and recognizable SymbolStix style has been available for a decade.
 
Over the years, the SymbolStix set has grown to over 25,000 searchable images for you to choose and use. With contemporary images as well as perennial favorites, the SymbolStix library meets many needs of educators, clinicians, families, and students.
 
n2y has some birthday surprises in store for users in 2015! Watch n2y.com for birthday surprises and treats. 
 
Thank you for 10 superb years of SymbolStix! 
 

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n2y eXtras

You Do So Much In A Day...
 
You help students with core subject areas using Unique Learning System. You help students with language and comprehension. You help students connect to the world using News-2-You. But you do so many extra tasks as well!

n2y has created eXtras to help you support your classroom in many areas that require symbol-supports. eXtras' free materials page houses a growing collection of
professionally created, symbol-supported materials. 

 
Communication/Behavior
Behavior and communication are undeniably linked. Time on task engaging curriculum and activities is step one, but if you need some additional supports for communicating and addressing behavior, one of these
eXtras may help!
 
Fine Motor
Holding, tracing, pinching, buttoning, tying… Many fine motor skills
exist throughout the day! Use this growing group of activities for school or home practice.
 
Gross Motor
Individual gross motor activities and small group activities 
can incorporate language, symbol-supports and group direction.  Access these pieces for on-screen or offline use to help keep students minds and bodies moving!
 
 
Classroom Engineering
Engineered spaces aren't new, but these SymbolStix-supported materials are clear, consistent, fun and helpful. Plus they speak, and are printable as well!

Fun Stuff
We couldn't resist adding a category of fun materials to be used by students, parents and educational staff. Make connections by using humor, fun, praise and pure enjoyment. 

The
eXtras collection will continue to grow with n2y. Check back often to see what’s new!


eXtras free materials are just one of the ways we thank you for all of the extra effort you put in each day!  We hope you enjoy eXtras
!

ULS

Literacy & Unique Learning System 

This Unique Learning System (ULS) tutorial will help you generate ideas of how you can use the curriculum and materials to provide students instruction using a comprehensive balanced literacy framework.  Balanced literacy is a framework or scaffolding that can be used  to ensure that your students are taught specifically in reading, writing and word study. It also emphasizes the idea of gradual release of responsibility within its teaching model. In this video we have featured the materials and lessons from the Elementary and Intermediate grade bands.



FREE March Webinars

n2y will once again be hosting live webinars open to the public during the month of March.
 
The webinars will provide an open forum to discuss trending topics in Unique Learning System, News-2-You and SymbolStix ONLINE.
 
Topics for March include: 
  • The Unique GPS & Profiles
  • Core Materials
  • Taking a Look at the NEW Transition Planning
  • How Do You Work With Students Requiring Level 1 Support?
  • News-2-You: Beyond the Basics
          ...And more!
 
Upon completion, all LIVE webinar attendants will receive a certificate for attending the entire session.

Click here to view the schedule and register.



 


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PO Box 550
  Huron, OH 44839






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3/2/2015

n2y eXtras site logon2y eXtras!


n2y.com Click on the block!

You do so much in a day! You help students with core subject areas using Unique Learning System. You help students with language, comprehension, and connections with the world using News-2-You, but you do so many extra tasks as well!

n2y created eXtras to help you with the many areas throughout the day that require symbol-supports. eXtras free materials page at n2y.com houses a growing collection of professionally created, symbol-supported materials  
that we share with you for free! 


 

Communication/Behavior

Behavior and communication are undeniably linked. Time on task
with engaging 
Communication or chat boardcurriculum and activities is step one, but if you need some additional supports for communicating and addressing behavior, see if one of these might help!

 

Fine Motor

Holding, tracing, pinching, buttoning, opening a locker door, tying-fine motor skills exist throughout the school day! Use this growing group of activities for school or home practice.

 

Gross Motor

Individual gross motor activities and small group activities
can incorporate language, symbol-supports, and many group
directions. Access these pieces for on-screen or offline use
to help kids move!


                                               parachute activity






Lunch rules


Classroom Engineering

Engineered spaces aren't new, but these SymbolStix-supported materials are clear, consistent, fun, and helpful in the environment. Yes, they speak, and they are printable as well.


Fun Stuff

We couldn't resist adding a category of fun materials that
can be used by students, parents, and educational staff to connect using humor, fun, praise, and pure enjoyment. 


All of our collections will grow over time! In March, ten new pieces will be added each weekday for the first two weeks. See what you need? Love what you see? Snap a quick photo and tag us on Twitter or Instagram @n2yinc!

 

eXtras free materials are just one of the ways we thank you for all of the extra effort you use each day! We hope you love eXtras!



For more information about n2y's Unique Learning System, News-2-You, SymbolStix or professional training, contact support@n2y.com or call us at 800.697.6575.