Thursday, July 25, 2019

Teach the ECC Using a Hoverboard

a graphic that says "teach the expanded core using a hoverboard"
Teach the Expanded Core using a.....hoverboard? YES! A hoverboard!! Why? How? Huh? Let me start at the beginning. I spent a few weeks mulling over the activities for STEM Camp. I already knew the theme (STEM Camp in the Old Pioneer West) but needed to do my research for other activities. I look for STEM activities that are popular with all kids. I want to keep our students looped in with what their peers are liking. I walked passed a hoverboard while buying some supplies and instantly made a U turn. I was going back for the hoverboard. I had an idea! 

a female student kneels down and checks out a hoverboard
I knew that it would be a total blast to teach my students how to use a hoverboard at STEM Camp. I loved this idea not just because I thought it would be cool but because my ECC lightbulb went off. There were so many things I could teach to build an awesome ECC experience! It was just hoverboards that I purchased, I rounded up different types of helmets, photos and pieces for location and got to work. 
the group of students sit with the teacher on the floor with their legs extended

Before we even got on the hoverboards, we needed to do some serious concept development, STEM instruction and pre-teaching. First, I set the stage and we discussed what everyone knew about hoverboards and all things related to them (helmets, locations, etc). 
Then we get to the STEM of it all. We talked about the parts of the hoverboard, the science of it and how they work. This was a bonus because I could teach STEM and the ECC at the same time. Students learned where to place their feet, how wide the foot pad sensors are and positioning. We sat on the floor and extended our legs to practice tipping our toes and working our heels. I bought different types of helmets on purpose to discuss the features, uses, etc. of the helmets. 

a female student wearing a fun helmet sits on the ground and checks out the hoverboard
Can you see all of the attention I'm giving to the details? Too many times I see teachers just pass the object to a students a move on. I purposely gave students a variety of helmets and bought different brands/types of hoverboards. I wanted them to get a rich experience and concept development. 

a female student sits on the ground and checks out the hoverboard
Can you see how many areas of the ECC we are hitting? I was so excited throughout our initial hoverboard lesson because it was like an ECC buffet! We hit lots of orientation and mobility--from spatial awareness to directionality and balance. (Once students got their balance, we did have them use their canes if they were a cane user). We even hit career education. How? We discussed the rules and earning your dues at the skate park. We also discussed what types of jobs you could have in the skate industry. 
students stand on the hoverboard with teachers standing in front of them holding their hands
Let me share some of my instruction progression on how we taught the hoverboard. Most important, use a chair to get on and off! The very first thing we did was just simply having students stand up, balance and then sit down. Once they could stand up and maintain their balance, I knew they were ready to move on. Students must wear a helmet at all times. 
Students then learned how to move forward and backwards. This was great because they learned a lot about body awareness and control. Each student had an adult staff in close proximity. I also had a teenager who had typical vision there to model, support and talk with students about her experience.

a female student moves forward on a hoverboard
It took all of the students about one full day of hoverboard practicing to grow to mastering it. Everyone, students with low vision to no vision were rocking their skills on the hoverboards! It was awesome to watch my students with no vision cruising along with their canes. They just adjusted their speed and coordinated with their canes to find their way up and down our hallways. 
a male teenager moves on the hoverboard and uses his cane
The next time you are looking for a fun ECC lesson, consider a lesson with a hoverboard! I bought my boards from Walmart. (I actually price matched walmart.com and got an even better price). I purposely bought different boards to compare and contrast. I even bought one with a bluetooth speaker built in!
a male teenager moves on the hoverboard and uses his cane
Another bonus: the confidence that all of our students gained by mastering the hoverboard! Yaaaassss! They learned the physics behind the hoverboard. They were fearless with gaining speed and fluidity. It was just an ECC party with students learning skills a lot of people probably don't think blind kids can do! It's not about what we see, it's about what we do! 





6 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing! This is a great example to share with families, pre-service teachers, and others.

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  2. Do you only teach ECC? Or was this at a special camp?

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  3. This looks amazing and there is lot of scope of children enjoying the lessons. These kind of kids activities add variety to their learning experience.

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