Curriculum Guide and Magnetic Manipulatives
The Curriculum Guide is a tool for educators and clinicians that describes each activity featured in Cosmo’s Play and Learn™ software, explains learning objectives, and offers a host of pre-session, post-session, and at-home activities to reinforce educational goals presented in the software.
Cosmo’s Learning Systems™ also includes magnetic manipulatives for pre-session and post-session play. An 11” X 17” magnetic dry-erase board is included for use with the more than 50 magnetic pieces from the Playground Discovery software program.
As the facilitator, it is important to know some information about when and how often the child is prompted. Is the child “getting” the concept? Or is the child being prompted 2-3 times for every activity?
Comprehensive data collection can be tracked for each child by session and across sessions. Data tracked include time on task, number of prompts needed to complete successfully a task, maximum and minimum duration of an Activator press, and number of appropriate responses. For instance, if the child seems to need several prompts in order to complete an activity, it may be helpful to try a lower level, the free-play activities, or some of the helpful extension activities found in the Activity Detail section of the Curriculum Guide.
The data collection reports are onscreen and printable reports conveying a student’s progress in a clear and concise manner. The data collection helps the facilitator monitor and assess the child’s mastery of objectives and supports the child’s individual needs by tailoring the adaptations. Together, the child and facilitator will be able to judge performance and take appropriate next steps in learning.
Response to Intervention
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) made important amendments to the Federal special education law regarding the identification of students with learning disabilities. The concept of Response to Intervention (RTI) has always been the focus of the teaching/learning process and a basic component of accountability in general education: In other words, does instruction (i.e., strategies, methods, interventions, or curriculum) lead to increased learning and appropriate progress. (http://www.nasdse.org/projects.cfm?pageprojectid=23)
RTI reinforces the vision of IDEA that students would not just receive services, but that the services to students with disabilities would be effective. The RTI approach is intended to provide data for more effective and earlier identification of students with learning disabilities as well as a systematic way to ensure that students experiencing educational difficulties receive more timely and effective support. (http://www.nasdse.org/projects.cfm?pageprojectid=23)
Cosmo’s Learning Systems is sensitive to the accountability of educators to meet the needs of individual students while satisfying the requirements of IDEA 2004. The data collection and reporting component of Cosmo’s Play and Learn software informs the educator of the child’s response to intervention. Because Cosmo’s Play and Learn software is developmentally appropriate for children of developmental ages 3-to-5, possible early identification of students in need of services is attainable through the data collection and reporting system.
Research and Development of Cosmo’s Learning Systems
Cosmo’s Learning Systems is the culmination of five years of research and development in clinics and schools. AnthroTronix, Inc., is a research and development company specializing in interfacing humans and technology. Through funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Education, AnthroTronix developed Mission Control™ for children with disabilities.