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Offering a sensory room, and sensory bins in classrooms, to all students can be a great way to support social and emotional learning.

Sensory spaces are impactful tools that can be used to help students learn how to recognize, understand, and regulate their feelings at school. With intentional planning, sensory spaces can be used to help support students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) needs on all levels of a Multitiered System of Support and Response to Intervention (MTSS/RTI). Some of the most impactful ways to support students are with sensory bins (supporting all Tiers 1–3), sensory spaces in the classroom (supporting all Tiers 1–3), and sensory spaces located outside of the classroom (supporting primarily Tier 2, Tier 3, and special education).

How to Get Started With Sensory Bins

To provide the necessary materials, our school used Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. The counseling department decided to first give all teachers and paraprofessionals access to one sensory bin. This included classroom teachers, special area teachers, and paraprofessionals—essentially anyone at the school who would have any academic contact with students.

We made the bins clear so that students could see what was in them, and we also had larger bins to allow for more items to be stored according to individual class needs. The bins contained five to 10 items each. They can include visual sensory options, fidgets, and kinesthetic options to start.

First, one of the most important things to put in a sensory bin is a timer, which allows students to know how long they can use the bin. A good range is from five to 10 minutes. Sand timers are an effective silent timer option for the bins.

All students have access to the sensory bins, and each class determines when they can be used throughout the day, considering conflicts such as lunch or transition times. When they are in in use, the student gets the bin (usually one bin in each class) and either uses it in a designated sensory space or brings it to their table if no space is available. They then turn over the timer and utilize the sensory options until the timer runs out.

Our counseling department gives suggestions on items for teachers to add to the bin as student needs are identified. Some other additions to the bins might include drawing and journaling tools or stuffed animals.

Provide Different Options for Sensory Bins 

Another way to support students is to have sensory spaces within the classroom. With ESSER funds, we gave all child development pre-K through fifth-grade homeroom teachers four sensory space options to choose from for their classrooms. This was in addition to the sensory bin they already have. Each space had to have the following: seating options and sensory regulation tools. 

Option 1: Four-pack of fidgets, Thought-Spot I Know What to Do When I’m Feeling book, portable sound machine, and a large bean bag chair.

Option 2: Textured beanbag squares, cat squishy toy, liquid motion spiral timer, A Little Spot of Feelings eight plush toys and book set, and play castle tent.

Option 3: Robot sensory fidgets, putty tins, colored pencils, coloring book, giant popper, and a medium teepee tent. 

Option 4: Aroma putty and one giant tent (teachers who already had many sensory tools selected this option). 

Sensory Spaces Support Students’ Social and Emotional Goals

We (school counselors) support students in this space on all levels on MTSS/RTI. All students have access to it, but we create SEL goals for students whom we see individually or in small groups. 

Part of the goal of intervention is for students to use the classroom sensory space to calm down a certain number of times per day/per week. We analyze four to six weeks’ worth of data on the SEL goals l of Tier 2 or Tier 3 students, collected by teachers, to further address MTSS/RTI needs. Depending on the outcomes of the use of the sensory space interventions, students may move up or down on the MTSS/RTI tiers.

Some of the goals may include body regulation, managing anger, sharing feelings, being nice to others, or personal space. The process of analysis and assessment helps us to be more purposeful in supporting students’ SEL needs. 

The use of the sensory space in the classroom is fluid. Some students rarely or never need to go, while others visit daily or weekly for extended periods of time, which may include the entire school year for a handful of Tier 3 and/or special education students. It’s also helpful to cycle out the items in the sensory space a few times throughout the year to create different sensory experiences for students as their SEL needs evolve. 

Coordinate Sensory Spaces Outside of the Classroom 

Another way to support students’ SEL needs is to create sensory spaces outside of the classroom. In addition to the sensory bins provided in classrooms, our school has created a sensory wall for primary students. The sensory wall is an interactive ocean wall that was created with funds from a local grant. We then worked with a local woodworking company to create the space. 

We use the sensory wall to help some of our Tier 2 students work on cooperation and self-control by bringing up to four students at a time to the wall. Before they access the wall, we discuss the goals they’re working on. This includes meeting with the student and the teacher so that we are all on the same page.

The counselor sets a timer for 20 minutes, closes the curtain, and sits near the wall while the students interact with each other. After the 20-minute period is over, we have another discussion about how things are going in regard to their goals.

Individual students use the wall in a similar way. Just like with the sensory room, students who participate in this space on a regular basis are working on a social and emotional goal or have an individualized education program. Students’ needs are ever evolving, and in order to support their SEL goals, we’re currently in the process of creating a very small sensory room for our Tier 2 and 3 students (with ESSER funds).

In addition to our sensory wall, the small sensory room will provide a space for the students to self-regulate. While the wall is more sensory seeking, the room will function as more of a creative expression space. It will have a swing, a noise machine, an art cart with art items and sensory items, and a small desk. Students will use this room independently as a way to quietly reflect on their feelings, create, and self-regulate.

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Smart Patient Rooms Support Clinicians And Enhance Patient Experiences

Inside hospitals and patient rooms, innovators apply healthcare technology in pursuit of improved patient care and patient experiences. Samsung and its partners have created smart solutions for hospital patient rooms, integrating mobile tablets and display technology with cloud-based healthcare apps. Hospitals can use these technologies to increase their engagement with patients and enhance their clinicians’ workflow — ultimately improving average patient outcomes.

Bedside tablets connect patients to care and services

By giving patients mobile tablets to use at their bedside, hospitals can offer better access to care, educational resources and entertainment. Providers like Oneview and Equiva offer tablet-based solutions that equip patients with multipurpose technology on familiar Samsung Galaxy tablets.

Patients can view their records and prescriptions, see who’s on their care team and communicate with nurses, doctors and other hospital staff. Rather than summoning a nurse for nonmedical needs, like housekeeping and meal service, patients can use the tablet to request those services directly, freeing medical staff to focus on medical care.

The device can be used to deliver on-demand educational content specific to a patient’s condition, which is much more user-friendly and engaging than a stack of written materials or a scheduled lesson on television. Patients can also use the tablet to watch movies and series, play games or stream music. It’s a welcome distraction from the tedium of a hospital stay — and a window to the outside world.

Some tablet solutions include video chat, which allows patients to stay in touch with their loved ones and expands medical team discussions to include remote specialists and family members.

By providing a more supportive and engaging patient experience, bedside tablets help patients adhere to their medication and wellness plans while reducing readmissions. They also lead to better reviews and feedback, which can improve Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores.

Plus, these infotainment apps make it easy for hospitals to maintain data privacy by scrubbing patients’ personal data from each device as soon as they check out.

Better connection and agility improve clinical outcomes

In busy hospitals, efficiency is critical. Smart patient rooms — with seamless healthcare technology — support better clinical outcomes. Purpose-built mobile devices streamline hospital workflows by connecting to larger displays, turning the smart patient room into the hub of a collaborative care environment.

It’s now common for doctors and nurses to carry smartphones with them during their work hours. With the right healthcare apps, their mobile devices can serve as multipurpose professional tools, streamlining their workflows and enabling more accurate data capture. When these mobile devices are data-integrated, caregivers can use them to access electronic health records (EHRs), scan pharmaceutical codes and even conduct virtual consultations. Scanning software such as Knox Capture allows hospitals to integrate in-app scanning capability on rugged Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Tab Active3 and XCover Pro. Nurses can use integrated data to capture patient IDs and keep track of medical supplies and prescriptions.

In discussing treatment plans with patients and their families, healthcare teams often need to work together. The Samsung Interactive Display provides a collaborative whiteboard-like screen, serving as a portable, intuitive, time-saving technology for caregivers. Just like a paper chart, the Interactive Display lets healthcare teams draw diagrams, take notes and annotate charts and images — but it’s fully digital and mobile, and can be accessed from the patient’s bedside.

Digital signage and displays improve patient experience

The patient experience is improved by anything that makes healthcare more convenient or services and facilities easier to navigate. The patient experience starts the moment they arrive at the hospital and try to find their way around, which is often overwhelming. Digital displays and touchscreen maps can help patients and visitors understand exactly where they need to go — which is especially useful when the hospital staff has limited availability to answer questions.

In waiting rooms, digital signage allows patients to see where they are in the queue, helping alleviate anxiety about their wait time. These displays can also inform family members of patients’ status as they go through different procedures. With the most common questions answered digitally — and automatically — staff members have more time to focus on direct patient care.

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Digital signage is also part of the smart patient room’s ecosystem. Just outside the room, a display may identify the patient’s care team, along with facts that the team should know before entering the room, such as a patient’s fall risk or latex allergy.

By replacing old dry-erase boards with digital displays, EHR information can be extracted seamlessly rather than written out manually by already overworked staff. In care rooms, these displays help patients and their family members understand the patient’s status, talk to the care team, learn more about relevant medical science and even enjoy some entertainment to help pass the time.

Better experiences improve HCAHPS scores

The HCAHPS survey measures patients’ impressions about their hospital care. These scores are publicly reported to further incentivize hospitals to improve their quality of care. The survey results are also factored into cost calculations for value-based care. With smart patient room technology, care facilities create more comfortable, open and efficient patient experiences, which helps increase reimbursement rates.

With the technology they need to treat patients more effectively, clinicians can provide higher-quality care. Smart patient rooms have the power to transform the hospital experience.

As you work to make your patient rooms smarter, learn more about Samsung’s other digital healthcare solutions. Or, discover how you can streamline your clinical communications with smartphones with this quick, free assessment.

Cultivating Joy In Writing In The Elementary Grades

An online writing group—which could be adapted for in person learning—builds confidence in students’ ability to express their ideas.

I’m a birder. Late last spring, while observing a flock of Canada geese overhead, I learned that geese share the leading responsibilities in their V formation. Ornithologists have determined that the V formation creates a lift (reducing energy expenditure) and assists communication within the flock. As I watched, I wondered what educators might learn from these birds.

By now, you’ve probably heard of literature circles, where small groups of students discuss a text and discussions are guided by their experience, understandings, and queries. Similarly, according to James Vopat, writing circles involve a small group of students “meeting regularly to share drafts, choose common writing topics, practice… and in general, help each other become better writers.” The authoring takes place in a safe community, where students share ideas, give feedback, and grow as authors.

In the fall of 2023, amid the pandemic, I held weekly virtual writers workshops with two small groups of young authors (6- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 12-year-olds) from all over the United States and across Canada. Participating students spoke English, Spanish, and French in the home, presented neurotypically and with neurodiversities, and varied in their motivation to write. The time we spent together was not about teaching any prescriptive form of writing or preparing for standardized writing assessments. Instead, I hoped to cultivate authoring joy while connecting virtually across country and state lines.

Hopes for this work included that children would:

feel empowered to select writing topics (in any genre or form),

feel safe to contribute to and collaborate on authoring together,

use mini lessons to focus on the 6+1 writing traits,

have time to reflect on and respond to writing choices, and

share their group and solo writing.

For our fall online writers workshops, we spent 75 minutes together each week for six weeks. Our lessons loosely followed a schedule that, more than anything else, valued group and solo authoring:

Welcome & mini lesson (10 minutes)

Writers circles (20 minutes)

Solo authoring (30 minutes)

Author’s chair (10 minutes)

Next steps (5 minutes)

With these essential elements and a schedule that prioritized shared leading, created lift, and provided opportunities for authentic communication, we embarked on a virtual authoring journey. Herein, I’ll share examples from the 9- to 12-year-old writers circle.

Selecting What to Write About

To begin, I surveyed the students about their interests. I then searched for and compiled a few videos that were safe to watch, were under 3 minutes, and connected to students’ interest areas. As a small group, we watched the YouTube videos and students voted on which one they would most like to use as the basis for our writing. When they had selected a video about a dog and a deer, we viewed it twice with the goal of noticing, wondering, and questioning.

Justine: What did you notice or wonder? What questions do you have?

Student 1: I wonder where the deer’s family is at.

Student 2: I notice, well actually, I wonder if they are in the dog’s yard?

Without rushing, students shaped stories about the animals from the video. Like the Canada geese flying in a V, these small groups quickly became communities in which each of the students led at different times. Leading the group provided needed practice for their solo authoring time, a time when students authored a story unrelated to our writing circle piece.

Building the Story

In the next sessions, we watched the video again and students reviewed what they knew about the video. They began acting out (within Zoom) inner monologues of the two animals. Knowing who the characters were was important to our story development.

Student 3: Who are you?

Student 4: I’m Albert. Who are you?

Student 3: I’m Stacey. Want to play?

Student 4: Yes, you run fast!

Student 3: I like your yard.

Authoring through drama offered students the chance to imagine, try out, and share the development of the story. We know, as adults, that writing is an often difficult process, and yet teachers frequently direct students to sit quietly and write. In some classroom settings, speed is prioritized over ideas, voice, and presentation. Like the geese’s V formation, the writers circles afforded a lift, a boost, that students needed to work on their own.

Revising the Story

As we approached our final sessions, students looked for ways to add, subtract, and revise both the co-created story and their solo writing. Our remote settings emerged as a way for students to learn about people from different places, speaking different languages, and with different experiences. As most learners resided in different regions of North America (Nashville, the Canadian Prairies, and California), students seemed relieved to know that other kids also found aspects of writing difficult. During our writing circle time, they included personal details as they put forward ideas.

Student 1: Sometimes when I write, I realize it doesn’t make sense when I read it out loud…

Student 4: Me too!

Student 3: Or I change my mind about the story and forget to go back.

Students modeled openness by admitting when writing wasn’t easy. Connections like these helped to normalize the process of writing. Just as the V formation improves communication for the geese, this writing circle improved communication for students.

At the beginning the writing circles required lots of modeling and comfort building (especially with the younger group). As the weeks progressed, though, my role lessened and students more willingly engaged in conversing, imagining, deciding, and writing. This remote learning workshop shone a light on the need for writing circles. Time spent in writing circles facilitates strong communities, gives students a lift, and reinforces the need for authentic communication.

4 Ways To Encourage Students To Ask Questions

Take a giant beach ball. Roll it around, toss it in the air, do all kinds of things with it, and then bring it back to where you started. At least one point on the ball is exactly where it was before you did all that stuff. Cool, huh? What does it make you wonder?

This phenomenon is a basic fact in linear algebra, and I demonstrated it to my students to kick off our unit on eigenvalues. After the demonstration, they started to ask questions—brilliant questions! Their questions foreshadowed what we were going to learn in the unit and even got into deep existential ideas in math. Thrilled, I quickly grabbed a poster and started writing all of their questions down. As the unit went on, we returned to their questions and realized that we had learned enough to answer many of them. This kept my students excited and engaged. The learning also stuck with them because they were invested in finding the answers.

As teachers, we strive to make our content relevant to our students. Relevance keeps students motivated and helps them transfer their new knowledge to contexts that are important to their daily lives. By giving students the opportunity to ask questions about the content, we let them do the work to create those connections. Their questions automatically allow them to personally relate to what they are learning.

Questions as Revelations

When students ask questions, teachers get a glimpse into their prior knowledge with a topic. Their questions expose what they know and help us find that just-right level of challenge. Students shut down when they are confronted with work that is beyond their level of capability and get bored when the work is too easy. Their questions usually indicate exactly where they are.

Student questions also help us differentiate based on their interests. Their wonderings expose the parts of the content that they want to explore more deeply. We can give students the opportunity to focus that energy on their interests, further boosting motivation and the transfer of knowledge.

There is good reason to believe that when students ask questions at the beginning of a new topic or unit, they will learn and retain the content better. As they learn, they seek answers, keeping their minds engaged and primed to eat up new information. In Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning, James Lang cites research proving that the act of anticipating an answer kick-starts a part of the brain that helps us form deeper, longer-lasting memories.

With all of these benefits in mind, how can we create a culture of curiosity and help students ask more questions?

4 Strategies to Promote Student Questions

1. Present thought-provoking prompts. When something is surprising or unusual, our human instinct is to be curious. This was evident in my linear algebra class with the beach ball problem. I have also presented surprising mathematical results, interesting data sets, open problems in math, news headlines, flawed proofs, and historical uses of math in other cultures to prompt question-asking. But you can find thought-provoking prompts in any discipline. Look to political cartoons, viral (appropriate) YouTube or TikTok videos, unexpected scientific findings, songs, and more.

2. Celebrate every question. When students ask questions, celebrate them! I like to make a big deal out of good questions by stopping class and having the student repeat the question to the group. Then we have a class discussion about it. We write their questions on index cards and post them on the “I Wonder” wall. My students take pride in having their question added to the wall.

3. Turn questions into teachable moments. In my statistics class, a student asked a question about something he noticed about the way data was presented in an article we read. The whole class looked at it, and we tried to replicate the presentation from the raw data. It led me to discuss two-way frequency tables and conditional probability, a topic that I wasn’t planning to present for weeks. The learning stuck because it was relevant in that moment.

4. Help students ask better questions. Model question-asking yourself. When I show students a prompt, I make it a point to participate in the question-asking process. They see my curiosity, and it inspires them to ask more questions. They also start to see the types of questions that we can ask, and it gives them more ideas. You can also use a protocol like the Question Formulation Technique to help your students understand and value different types of questions.

Creating a culture of curiosity and wonder does not need to take up extra time in your curriculum, nor do you need to implement a full inquiry-based model in your classroom. You can simply present an inspiring prompt every once in a while and let students’ curiosity run wild. If the prompt is related to your content and you can build on it, wonderful! If not, you can still get students’ creative juices flowing. This lets them know that school is a space where questions are welcomed and integral to learning.

Teaching High School Students How To Budget

What’s one math-based life skill that students will use on a daily basis throughout their lives? If your answer is budgeting, then you are absolutely right! A recent CNBC survey reports that almost 60 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Teaching students how to budget effectively can help them decide how best to spend, save, and share their money in the future.

When it comes to personal finance, it’s important to teach skills that students will be able to use right away so that even if they don’t have a steady income, they can start to manage the money that they do receive through allowances, gifts, and odd jobs using the strategy of creating a zero-based budget.

Budgeting Basics

Some high school students have more consistent income sources than others. When I was in high school, I had to get a part-time job because my grandma was the only working adult in the household, and as a housekeeper, she could not afford to pay for anything outside the basics of food, clothing, and shelter. I had a steady income from as early as 15 years old. Even for the student who doesn’t have a steady part-time job, chances are they receive money through other sources.

You can teach students the concept of developing a zero-based budget where they allocate all of the money they’ve received to the three S’s of budgeting: saving, spending, and sharing. The goal of a zero-based budget is to assign every dollar of your income so that no money is left over.

The 3 S’s of Budgeting

Ideally, one should aim to save at least 20 percent of their income, but developing the discipline is more important than the percentage that they decide to save.

2. Spending: The spending category includes money that can be used for both needs and wants. Most high school students are not yet responsible for expenses like mortgages or car payments, but they may have to pay a portion of their cell phone bill or pay for their lunch two days out of the week.

If they want to buy a new outfit or go to the movies with their friends, this is a want that they will have to budget for from their spending money. Students should aim to set aside about 70 percent of their finances for spending.

This is also a great opportunity to teach students the difference between fixed and variable expenses. As high school students move into young adulthood, they will take on more financial responsibilities, such as rent, utilities, and subscription services. It will be important for them to be able to know the difference between the two, as well as how to prioritize them using the money that they set aside for spending in their budget.

An easy game to play is the Fixed Versus Variable Expense game. In this game, you share examples of expenses, and students have to decide if it’s fixed or variable. Break up the class into teams, or even limit the amount of time they have to choose the correct response to make it more exciting. Digital platforms like Nearpod and Quizlet are good resources to use when playing this game.

3. Sharing: There are few feelings that compare to what you experience when you give in service to those in need. Helping students build the habit of sharing a portion of their income is a great way to develop their sense of citizenship. Students should be exposed to various ways that they can give back to their community, and sharing a portion of their income with a charity of their choice is one of the many great ways to do so.

Students should set a goal of giving 10 percent of their income to charity, but as with saving, developing the discipline is more important than the percentage that they decide to share.

Making It Relevant

When I work with students on budgeting, my goal is to help them build knowledge by teaching the content in an engaging way while giving them the space to think about how what they are learning applies to their own lives. Providing students with case studies is a great way to prepare them to start creating budgets before they engage in the process of making their own. We use case studies like the following, of high school students who budget using the 20-70-10 rule:

Shane delivers pizza on the weekends to make extra money. Last weekend he made $150. How much money should he set aside for saving, spending, and sharing using the 20-70-10 rule?

After students have had the opportunity to work together on a few case studies, give them time to create their own budgets. Generation Wealth uses a template based on the 20-70-10 budget. You can use this version with your students or let it inspire you to develop one that better aligns to your instructional goals.

How To Fix Snapchat Support Code C04A

Are you getting a Support Code C04A error when you try to log in to Snapchat?

Snapchat is a photo and video app where you can share moments with your friends and family.

You can send snaps to people, which are photos or videos that last for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, the photo or video will be automatically deleted.

The app has multiple filters known as Lenses that are created by the Snapchat community.

Snapchat also allows you to chat, video chat, and express yourself with Bitmojis and Friendmojis.

The app also has a feature called “Snap Map” where you can share your location with your friends.

Since Snapchat’s launch, the app has had multiple bugs and glitches like log-in errors.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to fix Snapchat Support Code C04A when you can’t log in to your account.

What is Support Code C04A on Snapchat?

Support code: C04A on Snapchat means that you’ve made too many login attempts.

It can also happen because Snapchat is down or due to a bug/glitch.

Otherwise, a third-party app or plugin may have caused the error.

A spike in the graph means that Snapchat is down and you have to wait for a few hours for it to be back up.

How to fix Snapchat Support Code C04A

To fix Snapchat Support Code C04A, the first method you should try is unlocking your account from the Snapchat website.

But before you try it, you need to uninstall third-party apps/plugins and unroot your phone if it’s rooted.

If you’re connected to a VPN, try disconnecting it before attempting to log in to Snapchat.

Fix 1: Unlock your Snapchat account

Sign in to your Snapchat account.

Force close the Snapchat app and try to log in to your account.

Fix 2: Unroot your Android device and uninstall third-party apps

If you’ve rooted your Android device, you must unroot it.

If you have third-party apps or plugins that are linked to Snapchat, you need to uninstall them.

Uninstall and reinstall the Snapchat app (this will remove Snapchat’s cache and it’ll be automatically updated to the latest version).

Fix 3: Switch your network and turn off your VPN

If you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, turn it off and switch to mobile data instead.

If you’re connected to mobile data, connect to a Wi-Fi network instead.

Turn off your VPN if you’re connected to one.

If you’re not connected to a VPN, try connecting to one instead.

Note: After you’ve switched to mobile data/Wi-Fi or turned off your VPN, force close Snapchat, reopen it, and try to log in to your account.

Fix 4: Contact Snapchat support

Select “Yes” next to “Need help with something else?”.

Fill up the form and submit it.

Wait for 1 to 3 business days for Snapchat’s response via email.

Here’s an example of a description, “Hi Snapchat support, I’m getting a support code C04A error when I try to log in to my account. I need help accessing my account”.

Note: You need to enter the email address that is linked to your Snapchat account. You can also contact Snapchat Support on Twitter (@snapchatsupport) by tagging them or sending them a direct message.

Further reading

How to Fix Snapchat Support Code C14A

How to Fix Snapchat Support Code SS09

How to Fix Snapchat Support Code SS06

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