Every morning, students in special educator Christina Biviano’s self-contained classroom at Southgate Elementary School begin their day with circle time, part of which includes predicting the weather. On May 10, her students got some help with their weather predictions from a special guest: NewsChannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano.
Caiano visited Biviano’s classroom, which serves approximately 10 students with multiple disabilities and teaches them functional life skills that will help them grow as independent individuals. After singing the class weather song to welcome their visitor, each student had an opportunity to predict the weather using images displayed on an iPad or projected on the larger Smart board.
Through this technology, students are able to choose from images, including the sun, clouds, rain or snow, which are presented in two or four frames via specially-designed overlays created by the Shaker High School Technology Department. The overlays fit around the iPads and help the students, who experience delays with fine motor skills, more accurately select their weather prediction. Once all students had made their selections, the class watched the morning weather forecast uploaded from the WNYT website, as they do each morning, to learn if their predictions were correct.
With the help of technology, the students then took turns asking Caiano questions, including if he thinks they will have a snow day next winter, which elicited smiles and laughs from teachers and students alike. They also asked if this summer will be warm (he said yes, very warm!), and what made him decide to be a meteorologist. The students also gave him cards they had made to welcome him to their classroom.
“Having Paul Caiano visit our class was such an amazing experience for my students,” Biviano said. “We very much appreciated the opportunity to actually meet him because he is a part of our lives every day at school.”