Monday, March 31, 2014

Poor Steve Jobs

Ryan's teacher has started using a system called n2y, "your home for effective symbol-supported tools and materials for your students with special needs." It involves rebus-like reading materials on various non-fiction topics.
So far, Ryan has brought home n2y-related worksheets that seem to have been produced by corporate sponsors. The first was about Lego and made reference to the Lego movie being in theaters. Today he brought home a lesson tied to the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh computer. I'm not going to scan the whole thing, but imagine rebuses like the picture above that go along with the text:
Apple (R) made the Macintosh (R) 30 years ago. Today computers are everywhere! Old computers were big and hard to use. The Macintosh was small and easy! Users could just click on the mouse. Today computers are in homes and schools. Computers help people work and communicate. How do you use a computer?
The pictures are supposed to help kids with special needs learn to read; I have no idea how effective this actually is.

Then there are related activities: cut out pictures and match them to other pictures (my kid is 8, I think this is a bit below his level);  a page of vocabulary words; graphing; circle the pictures that relate to the topic; write a story on the topic using thematic symbols (Ryan's entire story was "The Macintosh is a user-friendly computer.").

I don't know if any of this is helpful or educational, but I do know it resulted in the single greatest worksheet Ryan has ever brought home:


It said "Use a pencil to draw glasses on the second Steve Jobs," and Ryan interpreted this to mean drinking glasses. He stacked two drinking glasses on Steve Jobs' head. The bottom glass is half-full. On top of that glass is an upside-down glass, which, naturally, poured water all over poor Steve Jobs, leaving water droplets all over his face. It seems someone then asked Ryan to add some eyeglasses, though I'm sure Steve Jobs would much rather have had a towel.

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