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Elise at home learning with Virtual ExCEL Academy

The Virtual ExCEL Camp

We have had so much fun and developed so many friendships through the Virtual ExCEL Academy, the American Printing House for the Blind is ready to go one step further! With the changes for many people regarding gatherings of large groups and summer camps we are offering the Inaugural Virtual ExCEL Camp from mid-June through mid-August.

The Virtual ExCEL Camp will include a live hour at 2:00 ET, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and is free to all registrants. Also included will be five at-home extension activities for the camp theme. Virtual ExCEL Camp will be separated by age/grade groups. Because we know students are not always able to attend during the scheduled hour, we will be recording these sessions so all have the opportunity to learn. Please register your students with their needs and levels in mind. Students will receive a camp shirt and other APH goodies.

Week of August 4: Around the World — Transition Age (10th grade to age 21) 

  • Camp Audience: 10th grade to age 21

    Date: August 4, 2020

    Title: Totally Transportation, Planes, Trains and Games

    Brief and Fun Intro to activity: Welcome to JFK International Airport in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. Our adventure starts here! Get ready to be part of a virtual game similar to the Amazing Race. We will learn about transportation, and some fun places to virtually visit in New York City.

    Instructors:

    JoAnne Chalom, President of In Focus Mobility

    Robbin Keating Clark, Expanded Core Curriculum Coordinator at Utah Schools for the Deaf & Blind

    Susan Drake, Completing her certification as a teacher of the visually impaired at Missouri State University

    Primary Core or ECC Area: Orientation and Mobility, Sensory Efficiency, Independent Living, Compensatory Skills

    Vocabulary: ridesharing, subway, and destination

    Learning Objectives:

    • Campers will be able to identify locations of entrances for public transportation.
    • Campers will be able to advocate for self.
    • Campers will be able to apply critical listening skills.
    • Campers will be able to compare and contrast ideas, people, places and things.
    • Campers will be able to use formal and informal language appropriately in a variety of settings.

    Materials Needed:  a note taking system: paper and pen, Google docs, iPad, or a braille device

  • Camp Audience: 10th grade to age 21

    Date: August 5, 2020

    Title: International Expanded Core Jet Setters

    Description: Did you know that you can be an international jet setter from the comfort of your own home? We are for day two! Although we can’t reveal the destination of our international plans, be prepared to learn a new language, practice some interesting (and maybe even challenging) eating skills and learn about a culture that might be different from (or very similar to!) your life in the United States.

    Instructors:

    JoAnne Chalom, President of In Focus Mobility

    Robbin Keating Clark, Expanded Core Curriculum Coordinator at Utah Schools for the Deaf & Blind

    Susan Drake, Completing her certification as a teacher of the visually impaired at Missouri State University

    Guests: Nancy Stevens, paralympian and triathlete; Keenan Kamae, international flight attendant

    Primary Core or ECC Area: Recreation and leisure, Social interaction, Independent living, Sensory efficiency

    Learning Objectives:

    • Students will identify different types of restaurants and the skills needed to be independent & order food.
    • Students will apply critical listening skills.
    • Students will compare and contrast ideas, people, places and things.
    • Students will use formal and informal language appropriately in a variety of settings.
    • Students will advocate for self.

    Materials Needed: fork, spoon, cup, chopsticks (or anything similar to chopsticks), small food items such as Goldfish crackers

  • Camp Audience: 10th grade to age 21

    Date: August 8, 2020

    Title: Things in the Home (Quest)

    Description: Whew! What a trip around the world! I don’t know about you, but I am glad to be back in my own home!  Now that we are back, let’s take a minute and see if we can navigate our own home as well as we globetrot!

    Instructors:

    JoAnne Chalom, President of In Focus Mobility

    Robbin Keating Clark, Expanded Core Curriculum Coordinator at Utah Schools for the Deaf & Blind

    Susan Drake, Completing her certification as a teacher of the visually impaired at Missouri State University

    Primary Core or ECC Area: Orientation and Mobility, Sensory Efficiency, Independent Living, Compensatory Skills

    Learning Objectives:

    • Students will be able to locate common household items and describe their use.
    • Students will apply critical listening skills.
    • Students will compare and contrast ideas, people, places and things.
    • Students will use formal and informal language appropriately in a variety of settings.
    • Students will advocate for self.

    Materials Needed:  a note taking system: paper and pen, Google docs, iPad, or a braille device

Week of August 11: Around the World — Junior High (7 - 9 grade)

  • Camp Audience:  Junior High General Standards Visually Impaired Students

    Date: August 11th, 2020

    Title: Getting Around the World

    Description: Mobility in Far Away Places. Taking a look at different types of transportation that are used around the world and ideas about how to make them accessible and safe when traveling.

    Instructor:  Heather Pichette-Spencer, Teacher of the Visually Impaired

    Instructor:  Jennifer Stelmach, Teacher of the Visually Impaired

    Student teacher:  Susan Drake, Student at Missouri State University

    Primary Core or ECC Area: Orientation & Mobility, Self Determination, Social Skills

    PreRequisite Knowledge: None

    Lesson Plan Goal: Campers will learn about how people with a visual impairment get around in different parts of the world and what tools they use, and different accessibility options

    Learning Objectives: Campers will increase their knowledge and curiosity regarding travel in and around foreign countries and cultures.

    Materials Needed: None

  • Camp Audience:  Junior High General Standards Visually Impaired Students

    Date: August 12th, 2020

    Title: Access in Other Countries

    Description: We will discuss access when traveling to other countries. Apps available to navigate, translate, and differences between the countries. We will also have a guest speaker from Spain here to talk to us about how she navigates the world as an American, visually impaired teacher in other countries

    Instructor:  Heather Pichette-Spencer, Teacher of the Visually Impaired

    Instructor:  Jennifer Stelmach, Teacher of the Visually Impaired

    Student teacher:  Susan Drake, Student at Missouri State University

    Guest: Shaquice Floyd, Student teacher, Florida State University Graduate

    Primary Core or ECC Area: Self-Advocacy, Recreation and Leisure, Orientation and Mobility

    PreRequisite Knowledge: None.

    Lesson Plan Goal: The goal of this lesson is to discuss access in other countries and differences between the countries and the United States.

    Learning Objectives: The objective is for students to learn information about traveling to other countries and accessing the information while there.

    Materials Needed:  If they can, their IEP accommodation page could be helpful.

  • Camp Audience:  Junior High General Standards Visually Impaired Students

    Date: August 13th, 2020

    Title: Food in Other Countries

    Description: Traveling around the world often brings new experiences such as food and culture.  Join us as we explore dining options unique to various regions of the world.

    Instructor:  Heather Pichette-Spencer, Teacher of the Visually Impaired

    Instructor:  Jennifer Stelmach, Teacher of the Visually Impaired

    Student teacher:  Susan Drake, Student at Missouri State University

    Primary Core or ECC Area:   Social Interaction, Independent Living, Recreation and Leisure, Self Determination

    PreRequisite Knowledge: None.

    Lesson Plan Goal: By the end of this lesson students will understand how various cultures obtain and enjoy food.

    Learning Objectives:  Students will learn about various cultures and their unique dining experiences.

    Materials Needed: None

Virtual ExCEL Camp instructors

Thank you to all the instructors who completed the form for the Virtual ExCEL Camp. We will be contacting those selected the week of May 18th. We will reach out to all instructors during this year in the hopes of continuing to offer virtual activities for students.

Interested in who’s teaching? See a complete list of our instructors here.

Observation

We also know that many educational professionals as well as college students preparing to enter the field have been participating in the webinars to watch teachers at work. You may register for weeks you wish to observe as this is still allowed for the Virtual ExCEL Camp. Remember, you are able to observe but please stay in the background just as if you were in a physical classroom. We will not be able to provide you with a shirt but we are looking into the availability of ACVREP credit for this type of activity.

Virtual ExCEL Academy

Did you miss our Virtual ExCEL Academy lessons this spring? It’s not too late to join in the fun. You can view recordings of all of our offerings on our Virtual ExCEL Academy YouTube page.