"My very special wondertree" is an eTwinning Project between very special schools in Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Poland, England, Scotland, Belgium, Estonia and Austria).
This is our third eTwinning-Project together and the main aim of every project was to bring Europe in our very special classes and let our children with special needs learn about it with all senses.
"My very special wondertree" was another step to reach this aims, in addition the children learned to handle new skills (picture editing programms).
It was great to see the high motivation of the children, their enthusiasm about the success.
For our project we wanted to connect an ecological issue with ICT - and this all of course prepared for the special needs of our students. As most project - partners know each other yet because of the two former eTwinning-projects (see www.specialchildren.wikispaces.com) the children knew already many things about the countries of their partners. So we decided to work on a special issue - our special tree. Every school made school-projects, where the tree (and sometimes also other trees) have been treated in every possible way and of course with all senses (informations about the different activities are on the project website).
Then we prepared informations about our trees for all other partners and put them on the website.
The next activity has been to learn to handle picture editing programs (paint, photoshop...) and then the children created their very, very special wondertrees for the artgallery on the website. Their creativity has been boundless.
The third step was to send seeds of our trees to each other and now we all try to grow up our little European Woods.
- Working together with other children all over Europe, connected with the possibilities of ICT
- Learning together and from each other about one issue
- Learning new ICT - skills
- Creative working, presenting artworks - strenghen everones self-esteem!
- New inputs for intern school projects in every school
- integration of children with special needs
- to show, what they can do, if they are motivated!!!
- new ways of special education
- success brings self-esteem!
- We dare to our special children also to use ICT, to learn about Europe - and the project allows them to do this in their own way.
- Many beautiful new experiences together
- Great contacts between the partner institutions
- Great motivation of the children to communicate with their partners, to learn about them and to show them, what they do.
- A beautiful website, the children love it!
- Many beautiful artworks made from photos from our trees
- Little European Woods growing up (hopefully :-))
- The whole project is adapted to the special needs of our children
- It supports and strenghens their experiences, their creativity and their self-esteem
- 11 special schools in Europe
- 11 special teachers connected by ICT-Tools (eTwinning-Portal, website, mail, chat...)
- About 70 students with special needs directly involved, many others are involved too because of the projects in the different schools - interacting mainly with pictures and exchange of their artworks, letters with seeds....
The project demonstrated that it is possible also for children with very special needs to
- work in an European Dimension
- to handle ICT
- high motivation of the children, but also the involved teachers
- new ways of learning, new ICT-skills
It shows the possibilties of using ICT in a very creative and individual way.
The best parameter is to see the children's enthusiasm while they are working in the different activities of the project!
Their knowledge about the issue (Trees) and about Europe has grown.
A little story for example:
I told my students, that I will take part on a study visit and travel to Finland. One child looked at me and said: "But we don't know anyone in Finland!" ( Because we don't have a partner institution there)
That's a great effort for a child that cannot read, write or count!
Trying new ways brings high motivation for children and teachers!
Nothing is impossible :-)
Three of us project-teachers have met at the eTwinning-Conference this year and there we created the next project together - but this will be a surprise!
It would be great, if it would be possible to meet each other in "real life"!
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