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Category Archives: classroom

Saturdays Fellowships are so fun!

March 4th, 2024

While we do not have any full-time traditional K-12 students, we do have a lot going on around here.  Call before you come or text to make sure someone will be here to meet you.  Our “office hours” are by appointment only.

Two things you can depend on are the second and fourth Saturdays of each month – we have fellowship days.  Stop by and join us in games, chat, crafts, a movie, food, a Bible study, a literacy class… all kinds of options to challenge your brain!

Check out our Bible Memory Verse page also!  We are working to improve our minds and literacy skills by memorizing Bible verses.

 

Language Deprivation IS REAL

October 26th, 2023

Nothing changes here, it seems.

We continue to do the same old things week in week out and are SO THANKFUL for this cycle of working for our Saviour.

Read about Language Deprivation

Lives are changed here. One by one.

There are two guys in this picture: one is 4 and one is more than 4 😊 They are learning together. I, the head teacher and blog writer, am getting older and have a shoulder and thumb weakness now that are sometimes painful.  I asked our maintenance guy, Dave Markle (pictured), to help with this little boy’s first one on one time.

My previous experience with the little guy was very physically trying! So was this one until he settled down into some activities.

SO THANKFUL for a man on staff who is willing to work with kids. Little boys need men in their lives. And this gave me time to take ONE picture before our next activity.

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Read about our past students with Language Deprivation

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The lady on the left in this picture is Letty.  Letty never was allowed to go to school as a child. Parental concerns. Well, now she is learning.  She comes two Saturday mornings each month to learn with other deaf ladies and she comes every Tuesday to work on her own.

Letty’s husband is also Deaf.  He said, “Thank you!  My wife is starting to sign more clearly and talking about other things! She is spending less time paging through facebook videos and seems more alert!”

The lady teaching Letty is also Deaf.  She was so excited to be teaching. Seeing her abilities with Letty leads me to think, could she help with our little 4 year-old?   Now to try to get some transportation for her.

 

Language functions much like the Holy Spirit.

We can’t see the force behind it but we can see the impact of it. Someday, I would like to write the book about this.  Maybe one of you will do it for me.

There is so much we don’t know about the impact of language, but we see language deprivation at work in the two students mentioned above: A 4-year-old without language and a 74-year-old who has only minimal language skills.

 

Our ministry is to the few and the outcasts.

We call them marginalized today.

The ones that society doesn’t have time for but that Jesus still loves.

We need your prayers.  We need TEACHERS to come and work one on one with little biting children (to teach them to no bite and to be language role models) and with older adults who never had the opportunity.

Imagine seeing them READing God’s Word one day.  Then imagine that they can’t because there were not enough resources.  Then ask God what role you can play in this work. There where you are today or HERE where God may be calling you

 
This little boy is profoundly deaf and beginning to learn ASL with us.

Round and round we go!

September 20th, 2023

And so begins another round of education!

We are going back to PreK! In fact, Betsy is reviewing our webpages observing  Language  Development from  YEARS ago to remember how this works!

Read about a 4-year-old who came without functional language and then PRAY for this new boy and Betsy as they develop a relationship.  That little boy is now a senior in high school.

I am thankful that the family is involved in this boy’s learning – two sets of parents came for family ASL class.  The step-father knows a former student from here as a neighbor.  That is encouraging as the family can see a Deaf man who is successfully working, responsible and happy in his life and know that their son has a bright future.

His mom texted to say that the flashcards they have are posted around the house now and the little boy is excited to be looking at them and seeing the signs and learning them.

PRAY for Betsy as she is the age of a grandmother now. Chasing, wrestling, running, climbing off the floor, sitting in pre-school sized chairs are stretching her in physical ways! She is also developing some videos to help to teach this little boy and his family.  Pray for her creativity.

PRAY also for the next generation of teachers.  We have turned away students this semester due to not having teachers in the classrooms.  We would love to have Mikael as a full-time student. We have those two little girls (ages 5 and 6) who are mainstreamed right now but who are missing much of the spoken material that their teachers are trying to communicate. They will be in need of individualized education or small group teaching in the next few years.

GOD KNOWS and we are trusting Him with these needs.  Thanks for interceding for the Deaf of Puerto Rico!

 

teaching online – our technology

July 18th, 2023

Teaching Online

Most of what I learned, I was taught by my student Mizael who developed his skills as a gamer. Best advice is listed here:

#1  get a camera separate from your laptop. Research what you want.  I wanted something that had speakers and good range for meetings as well as  teaching.

#2 add a second monitor so you can keep track of your Zoom window, your OBS window, your teaching resources. Everyone has to configure their monitors to their preference. I like to have my camera and ZOOM window as close as possible so it looks like I am looking AT my students.  Then I have my laptop just below the ZOOM window so I can glance down at my various windows and notes on my table.

If you haven’t used ZOOM – it’s simple. Nothing fancy to it.

OBS (online broadcasting software – is free!) took me some time to learn.  You will want a green screen (we have everything from a sheet to an actual popup screen) and sufficient lighting.   Think of the green screen as your whiteboard.  This will be behind you (or in front of you).  You will see it on the screen and can interact with it.  I still turn around thinking I will SEE the words on the screen and then run into the GREEN screen! There is a learning curve and I am learning.

I use my external fancy webcam in conjunction with OBS then set OBS as my webcam (start virtual camera). Watch a video and it will all come together for you. Lots of videos about setting up OBS and using the FILTERS to get your colors and resources all neatly organized.

#3 I find it helpful to have a document camera also.  I keep a sketchbook on the table to the right of my laptop and an assortment of markers and colors.  Sometimes I print the page we will be working on and use the doc cam to show what I want my student to do.  Sometimes I want them to draw a graph or diagram and I can show them a sample.  Sometimes I want to share a book I haven’t scanned yet. Document camera is a great asset.

#4 I prefer a mouse to a touchpad but now I have a touch screen and I am getting better at the touchpad.  Also I am learning to use a  pen+tablet as a mouse – it’s touchy so I haven’t gotten precise yet.

Amazon Kindle online reader

I use this almost every day – placing the window for the reading material on the OBS screen as a source and then reading, pointing out words.  Better still if the remote student has the book or accesses the material in their kindle or on their screen also.

OneDrive Live  

I upload everything to the cloud so I can share with my remote students. They can access the PDF files I make so we can work together.  Their moms most often print the pages which is nice.  I put the PDF on the OBS screen as a resource and then use a Huion Inspiroy H430P pen tablet to write on the actual PDF file on the computer.

Google Doc

I use a Google Doc every lesson to interact in writing with my students. I do this even if we are in class together so they can see their writing and my replies.  Save by NAME SUBJECT YEAR MONTH DATE SUBJECT and you will have files to go back to and reuse. Many classes, I change the NAME and reuse with another student.  I have to go through and remove personal references.  You could save a TEMPLATE and make life easier.  I tend to do things the hard way.

Here is a Google Doc I used to teach about this book: The Dog That Dug For Dinosaurs.  I hope the link works for you.

Here is a youtube video of me teaching a Bible verse.  I am have PowerPoint on the screen behind me. Used the external camera and recorded by OBS video.

Check out Christian School For the Deaf – YouTube for more videos we have done.

In another attempt, I added the captions using WonderShare Filmora software.

I am still working on how to use Google classroom.

I am still collecting resources like interactive games online that we can play.

These two have potential to share the site then draw, write, play tic-tac-toe together:  Sketchpad – Draw, Create, Share!     and   Ziteboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is it possible that we are in the last full week of September already?

September 22nd, 2021

Our NEWEST NEWS as of September 22, 2021:

Roxy is no longer with us.  She lost her vision in July and was suffering loss of mobility, weakening due to internal issues, and was taken to the vet for a peaceful euthanisation on 21 September.

Flowers continue to bloom and bring us peace.

We got an air fryer and the students made french fries from real potatoes.  We need to practice and try again to get the setting just right but ketchup was a good cover for our attempt.

During our Lockdown, termites moved into our book cupboards in the science and math classroom. Our handyman, Valie, took on the challenge of repairing the classroom.  A summer work team painted it and now we have new shelves (made in PVC board) and are preparing to set up the classroom for use again!

A close up of the wood from the door frame shows how horrible the situation was.  New we have a new aluminum door frame, new door and less concern about the termites.  Also we can SEE them coming now – we hope.

The grounds are looking good also thanks to our handyman who is enjoying a new lawn tractor. So much grass and so few hands to work at keeping it trimmed led us to purchase a new lawn tractor in June.  As one who has been responsible for the grass work, Betsy is SO thankful for the men who come to help out and the new lawn mower.

THANK YOU for your prayers and if you want to come to work on any of our projects – get in touch!

 

 

God’s blessings are abundant

April 19th, 2021

In February, a random person stopped by the school and said he wanted to make our school the recipient of the proceeds of a local 5K run. As long as I was not expected to run 5K,  SURE  why not!?

In addition to the blessing of financial proceeds, he is recruiting volunteers to PAINT and  help with our outdoor upkeep.  WOW!  Seriously, the SOUND of 4 power washers running for 2 days was unbearable (that is why they make noise-cancelling ear plugs – which my little student Diego thinks are super cool!)

we are feeling very BLUE as the painting continues

In this case feeling BLUE is a good thing…. it’s our color!

While all of that is happening OUTSIDE we are still learning INSIDE.  The day I broke out the origami paper and started cutting it into fraction lessons was joyful for me and actually made one student cry.  Not because I was destroying origami paper but because he really wanted to do anything but think about parts of a whole.  I mean, who knew that turning that page in the math book would cause deep grief?

We are taking advantage of nice weather to sit outside when possible – reading class, art class, and we hung up some rings to begin to develop some gym class moments. Maybe CSCD will see a gymnast arise from the carport!

Thank you my praying friends for your prayers, your letters, your emails of encouragement.  May you too have a lovely BLUE SKY and know the joy of God’s great blessings today.

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

November 15th, 2020

Well, next week we will be closed to celebrate American Thanksgiving but I am likely to not update again  so…

We have continued our semester with very quiet days one child at a time. They are getting LOTS of intense and focused instruction but remember, they are children so we are balancing the ACADEMICS with learning games and physical activity.

Diego has been learning long division and is mastering the multiplication tables with slow progress. He enjoys some quiet independent time daily  reading La Biblia en Accion and asking questions about the various accounts of the Bible. It’s a joy to sit with him and  answer his questions – often just by finding a Bible verse that helps him to see HOW to apply that to his own situation.  We also use lots of YouTube videos ( How did I ever teach without YouTube?) and have been watching Veggie Tales and Super Libro renditions of the classic Biblical accounts. All dubbed and captioned in Spanish. Because I really want him to KNOW the Bible and we focus on English later.  Other topics besides English grammar, ASL, and Math have included the Dead Sea and Salt Crystals, where teeth come from, gymnastics and the Olympics, and other random subjects that Diego has caught a glimpse of and asks about.  Such a curious mind!  Thank God for this boy and pray for him.

Natalia  is with us two afternoons each week.  We are working on Sign Language and communication skills (turn taking, asking, telling, answering, clarifying information). The other day, her mother reported that Natalia tried to fingerspell TJ Maxx to her!  I am guessing, she signed the T and J and then maybe added a few other letter motions to complete the word. loves to get out there to run and play and swing and is learning to ASK for these things with formal signs rather than just motions.

We still have Mizael coming most afternoons and enjoy his quick mind, desire to learn and his help with technical things like setting up our OSB and green screen as  Betsy works on teaching videos for ASL students and specific learning videos for other Deaf children.

Pray for these three.  Pray also for our new student who needs to have full-time learning and HOW can we accommodate his needs in this time of isolating students and maintaining  healthy distances from one another.

Pray also for our Adult Deaf Friends – we chat by video means but there is NOTHING like sitting in a room and having a real conversation.  With American Thanksgiving break coming up, Betsy will have some extra time to invite Deaf friends one (family) at a time for crafts and snacks and games – all must happen indoors because we are having a plague of MOSQUITOS – which necessitated the purchase of a screen door for the classroom. Nonetheless, we are planning for some Christmas crafts and special activities to help to meet the needs of our Deaf friends in the area.

Thank you for praying for us!

 

 

TUTORING BEGINS TUESDAY

August 10th, 2020

While we all are under the Covid19Cloud, we are still working to get our students back into the school year schedule as soon as possible.

Our original plan had been to have full-time classes beginning TOMORROW, Tuesday 11 August.  BUT we will be continuing our tutoring schedule for this semester.  One student at a time.  No mingling. Working from distance of 6 feet as often as possible.

Today, we are doing last minute preparations – locating the missing math book, trying to figure out phonics for our partially hearing children, making horizontal spaces empty so they are easier to clean between tutoring sessions. We are trusting God that all things will come together for His glory even as I feel like I am stumbling around in the clutter of the classroom today!

In an effort to help our students learn at home (they LOVE youtube!)  we have been preparing videos as part of review and homework. Praying that parents will join them in watching and will learn the signs too. Pray with us for this school year. We are praying for the other schools on the island and the restrictions on numbers.

Personally, I am thanking God that our numbers are limited and our ability to serve the young students is excellent.  We have three adult deaf learners waiting for their turn in the tutoring schedule so pray with me for willing signing Spanish-English speaking volunteers to help out with those desiring to improve their skill sets.

 

 

week 8 of our semester

March 4th, 2020

To be seriously honest, not much has changed in the past few weeks.  Students come to school.  They learn.  They go home.  They return. It’s the cycle of school days and learning experiences.

To be SERIOUSLY honest, I think I, Betsy, the director, am learning the most in recent days.  I have been learning to listen to that quiet voice of God… sometimes I mistake MY INNER YELLING for His Voice so I am constantly trying to remain in prayer and discern WHAT is God doing, WHERE is He leading, WHAT would He have me to do or to say? Life with Christ is an amazing adventure and I am so thankful to be walking the journey of LIFE in His Way and Truth.

Yesterday (March 3)  I, Betsy, had minor surgery to remove a not really small but not worth a skin transplant basal cell carcinoma on my cheek. I did not announce it much beforehand.  I didn’t want to be asked  “WHERE is it?  Can I see it? Oooh Eeew” So I canceled our youngest student for the day and got a crew of others to handle the classroom. I drove myself to the office.  Had the procedure and drove back to the school in time to enjoy Tacos on Tuesday ( a regular menu item so come any Tuesday and join us!)

Today, I had a full classroom (THREE students – ages 7,16 and 28) who each had their own glitches to handle. One could not remember the letter R.  Another could not remember when or how to use a chair.  The other was lost in wonder over a pendulum experiment.  I spent much of the morning holding a cold pack on my bandage/incision as I felt rather pained.

But we learned together and eventually, the one remembered how to print an R and spell that word. The other found a chair and SAT on it.  And the pendulum student?  Well, there is much to be learned in physics and I am praying that happens!

Mostly, I am praying that my staff and I are able to show God’s constant LOVE and LIGHT in the lives of our children. Even when we are feeling pained by a surgical incision or the lack of memory for a word having the letter R, we can still be LOVING and sharing His light. With great JOY I hear my students say, “I MISSED YOU on the weekend”.  With great sadness, I hear my students say, “I missed you on the weekend”.  For our students, many times the only person listening, really listening to them, is one of the staff here. Families are busy places.  Parents are wrapped up in their stuff. But for a few minutes daily, we are able to take time to say, “What are you concerned about?  Let’s pray together.”  Our students KNOW we are here for them.

In the light of eternity, THAT is what we are meant to be doing.

 

October Fridays

October 18th, 2019

Friday, October 11, we were blessed to have only ONE student in attendance. That student took an interest in this millipede so millipedes became the focus of the day.  Today is October 18 and we are blessed to have only TWO students in attendance. They were given the opportunity for FIX YOUR FOOD FRIDAY and learned (or helped) to make chili for today’s lunch.

Sometimes, having a small number of students is a blessing.  We are able to spend time to chat about THEIR specific lives and needs and trials and joys. Often we have too many children and not enough hands to put into their learning.  More and more students coming to us, as a special school, have multiple needs in addition to being Deaf. What a joy when we have one on one time and can share in their lives specifically, learn more about them and pray with them alone.

Pray with us for the special needs of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.

We are excited to have our regular Friday handbell rehearsals and the dedication of the adult Deaf persons who are participating in that. They have their work and their families and yet have this desire for music.  One of them told me, “I work and I am stressed all week but I have THIS BELL TIME in my mind and look forward to this time all week.”

Praise God that through the ministry of handbells, this person’s emotional needs are being cared for.