Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Click on the picture to enter.
This newly launched website not only provides information on a wide range of topics but also encourages readers to be contributors. Take a look for yourself.
Thanks for telling me about it Wendy :)
It has been quite a while between posts. The end of my school year has been no doubt as busy as yours. Now that transition programs and reports are complete I am looking forward to spending some more time blogging again.
I know that I am in 'relaxed holiday mode' when I start reading narratives. I'm not there yet!
I have been reading Tony Attwood's 'The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome', from cover to cover. I normally just flick to the section I need.
It's a great book. Today it got me thinking about the needs of gifted children on and off the autism spectrum .
My school runs fortnightly professional reading breakfasts. The teachers involved ( about 14 of us) meet in a cafe near the school, have breakfast together and reflect on a reading that has been selected by a group member the fortnight before. It's a fun way to keep up with our professional reading and gets each of us to look at material outside of our usual areas of interest. Colleen broke the tradition of providing a chapter or scholarly reading, in our last session for the year, by providing us with an episode of the SBS program ' Insight' to watch.
The program 'Brainiac' talks about intelligence, how it is defined and measured and how having an IQ in the gifted range can impact in both negative and positive ways on a person's life.
Click on the picture if you are interested in watching too.
I have also added some Gifted Education links to the blog margin today if you are interested in exploring the topic further.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I have just read a brilliant fact sheet by the South Australian Special Education Resource Unit written at the beginning of this year about transition plans, strategies and resources for students with an ASD. The 40 pages provide a wealth of information for parents and teachers. I know I have already written two posts about this site this week but I can't promise not to write another because it is just so good! Click on the picture to read the report or on the hyperlinks to visit the SERU website.
PS: Jim has just let me know that you can be on the SERU mailing list. Click on the comments link below, where Jim has left the mailing list details. Thanks Jim :)
Friday, November 13, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The Positive Partnerships Program website has a range of great parent and teacher online information and professional development programs for people intereseted in learning more about the impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder on children and families. Click on the picture to take a class.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I am fascinated by all things to do with sensory processing disorder (SPD) and the impact it can have on how children interact with the world and learn. This week I poured over Carol Stock Kranowitz's book 'The Out of Sync Child has fun'. It has a wonderful introduction which explains SPD in layman's terms as well as providing over 100, cheap and practical ideas for parents and teachers to use when working with children with sensory issues. It's well worth a read and readily available online for purchase. Click on the picture for the link to 'Book in Hand' if you live in Australia and would like to purchase a copy.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Boohbah is another wonderful site to entice very young children or non reading children with special needs, to engage with technology while learning. Like Poisson Rouge ( see my previous post) there are no written instructions about how to use the site. The aim instead is to encourage children to navigate around the site themselves by clicking on the screen and watching what happens. There are so many fantastic learning opportunities available through these sites least of all being hand eye coordination skills. I find both of these programs great for kids who will only engage in learning activities on their own terms. I am sure we all know some precious people who are like that :)
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The kids in my class working on cause and effect activities are going to love using this gorgeous application in class tomorrow. There are no instructions because the idea is to explore on your own and find out what happens. Poisson Rouge is great for developing hand eye coordination and mouse skills too. Have fun with it.
I have a million things to do tonight but instead of getting on with what I should be doing I have been exploring the E2BN wesite created by Homerton Children's Centre. It is filled with ideas to make ICT a meaningful learning experience for Early Years children in all settings. My head is spinning with new ideas. Don't check it out if you are busy, it's a real trap!
Friday, October 2, 2009
The Junior Crew Bookshelf has brought together the best of free online stories and videos on the web for preschool and primary aged kids. Click on the picture to follow the link. You will find a permanent link to the site in the right margin of this blog.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I have been exploring the New York Department of Education website today. They have some fantastic free download able adapted books, in PowerPoint and PDF format, using Writing with Symbols and some great links to other sites such as Tumble Books which you will find in the Literacy Resource section in the left margin. I have been busy downloading all morning.
Don't forget that there are loads of links to free online books and videos in the Junior Crew Bookshelf. Click on the hyperlink or you will find a permanent link to this site in the right margin.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
While in search of some simple ways to teach pronouns to kids on the Autism spectrum, I came across this terrific speech and language site hosted by The School District of Bonduel. The games and resources are supported by Board Maker images and are visually engaging without being cluttered. Click on the picture to take a look.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My class had a great time today, making up money totals using a variety of Australian coins, on the Rosetta Primary interactive money site. The applications work brilliantly on personal computers and interactive whiteboards. Click on the hyperlink or on the picture to explore the site.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
If you are feeling a bit 'ho-hum' about teaching another unit of environmental studies or that obligatory recycling unit one more time, take a look at this short movie. It just might get you all fired up again. It's a US production that runs for fifteen minutes and it would be a great resource for mainstream Middle Years and Senior students. Click on the picture to take a look.
Visy, one of the world's leading packaging , paper and recycling companies has set up a new environmental education website to introduce environmental topics to children. I registered my class and school this morning. The site has interactive games for students to play which link to great lesson plans that are provided for teachers. Visy is also giving away prize money to schools that register. Take a look, it's a fantastic site teaching important life skills to 21st century learners in all settings.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I have spent the last couple of hours preparing an interactive book for my class to add sound files to later in the week. I found the application at Bev Evans Communications 4 All site. If you
have basic PowerPoint skills you will have no trouble making some fantastic books with this tool . Click on the picture and I will take you there. Once you have arrived, scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the template link. I bet you will be distracted by all of the other interactive features you have to scroll past before you get there!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
My name is Sue King and I am a primary trained Generation X teacher working at Belvoir Special School in Wodonga .
I am passionate about helping students with learning challenges to engage in learning in both Special Education and Mainstream settings and to help them to achieve outcomes that will lead to enviable lives.
I am also a self confessed 'technophobe'.
ICT skills have never come easily to me.
I used to be able to do my banking, pay my bills, turn on my TV, listen to music using a range of devices, answer a phone and take a photo all by myself. These days I require the technical assistance of my husband or teenage sons to guide me through the process and a written step by step procedure with diagrams to follow if they are not around!
If I can blog anyone can and I hope that after this session you will consider giving it a go or at least use the sites of others who do blog, to gain access to valuable resources and broaden your personal and professional learning networks.
- An understanding of how and why this blog was created
- Knowledge of how blogs can be used to motivate and facilitate learning experiences for a variety of audiences.
- Access to thousands of web links to use in their own classrooms
- A desire to engage in teaching and learning activities that are possibly outside of their usual ICT experience
- A new way to develop world wide professional and personal learning networks specific to their own needs
- Courage to try something outside of their comfort zone
- Inspiration to go alongside students and teachers who need extra support to achieve learning outcomes.
In 2008 , when this learning journey began was teaching a mixed ability group of special needs Junior school students who were very motivated to learn when information was presented using technology, especially computer based learning tasks. Our aging equipment provided me with loads of challenges and lessons in patience!
- Quick access to quality programs that I want to use with the children .
- It keeps a record of the activities we have completed in the classroom
- It keeps parents and other interested parties informed of what is happening in our room.
- Educates others about what a special needs classroom in the 21st century is like.
- Allows the children to access programs with minimal effort at school and at home.
- It helps us to connect and collaborate with other mainstream and special education classrooms internationally.
- Helps me to learn valuable ICT skills because I am motivated to produce a quality product for the children , their families and blogging buddies to engage with.
- It allows me to to respond to Giorchelli Report's call for special education teachers to share their knowledge and skills with their mainstream counterparts so that children with special needs could be more easily and successfully integrated into the mainstream system. Hence the Teacher Space Blog was created.
- In 2009 I took up a role as a key local professional with the Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium supporting teachers in the Hume Region who are new to teaching students on the Autism Spectrum. The blog is like a portable resource library that travels with me from school to school and I can leave my resources with them after I have gone.
- My blog is used as an educational learning resource for people from over 30 countries from all sorts of different backgrounds.
- As a direct result of engaging with teachers via the blog , I even get requests from non departmental schools to come and help them set up learning environments for their special needs students.
- The best indicator of how my journey has come full circle is that other teachers ask me to show them how to blog!
- E5 - No problem !
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I have decided to use the Reading Rockets web site as my professional reading this week. It has hundreds of articles, video and other resource links about the teaching and learning of reading. The great thing about this site is that it is directed at a variety of audiences. There are sections for teachers, parents, principals and librarians, and allied services such as speech pathologists and psychologists. Take a look for yourself. It will be well worth the effort.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The kids in my class will be completing activities from the Literactive site this week. Literactive is a free online comprehensive, phonics based reading program for early learners. There are online games to play, guided reading books to share and games and worksheets that can be downloaded if you apply for free registration with the site.
Why don't you take a look. It might be just the program you need to add some mid year variety for readers who need that extra bit of support.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I spend a lot of time reading the blogs of parents who have children with special needs. It helps me to keep my priorities in order and keep the end goal in mind. I am just part of a team of people who want to give our children the best possible opportunity to lead an enviable life.
I have a blogroll of parent blogs right at the bottom of this page. It's a great place to go when you are feeling overwhelmed because these blogs are filled with such great ideas and exude positive energy.
I have been emailing back a forth with an amazing mum this week. Katrina has a son with special needs and she shares a blog' Roots and Wings' with two of her sisters. They write about all sorts of things. I was really impressed with a post that Katrina wrote, that passed on great tips from her years of working side by side with an occupational therapist, to help her son with some sensory/ motor issues. Click on the picture above and scroll down to the post on April 28th to see for yourself.
Tomorrow will be the Junior Crew's first day back at school. I hope that they have enjoyed the holidays and are just as excited to be coming back to school as I am. You can visit our classroom by clicking on the rocket link in the right margin any time. We'd love to hear from you too :)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I registered with TES Connect last year and have been downloading resources and reading great articles, on Mainstream and Special Education topics from this site every week.
I didn't know that they have over 900 Special Needs resources but I'm not at all surprised!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I added this reading activity to the Junior Crew Book Shelf last night.
The site has 18 well known nursery rhymes, set up in 3 sets of 6 rhymes so they can be be easily used as a 'make a choice activity' during Circle Time. I am looking forward to using the program on an interactive white board, during our next junior assembly. The program allows you to read the rhymes yourself, have them read to you or sing along with a group of children.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Over the past year I have been putting together a virtual bookshelf of hundreds of online stories, videos and information text sites. I got tired of finding really great sites and then forgetting where I had found the material when I went to search for it again.
The kids in my class explore this site independently but we really enjoy reading online books or watching an educational video together at the end of the day.
I hope that you find the resources helpful.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This morning I spent some time visiting Amanda Gray's web site and blog. Amanda is an Australian university lecturer who specialises in working with kids with challenging behaviours. I have been following her blog for some time and really enjoy reading her posts which are full of easy to read, evidence based interventions and strategies.
Make sure that you scroll down the right margin of her blog to find the web site link because Amanda also writes ( very inexpensive) books, music and designs games that can be used in the classroom to teach pragmatic skills and support anti -bullying programs.
Take some time to read the blog posts that were written in May as they contain some great practical ideas for teachers in both mainstream and special education classes and while you're at it, sign up for the newsletter.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Have you discovered Jig Zone yet?
It is a child friendly online jig saw puzzle program which allows you to tailor make and /or complete jigsaws at your own level of ability. There are hundreds of different puzzles available in a range of cuts.
This site is a favourite free choice activity for many of the students in my classroom and is used as a soothing activity for one of my students with ASD.
The puzzles can be embedded into blogs and websites and are great fun to do together on an interactive white board.
I am a very big fan of Teacher's TV. During the school holidays I love to sit up in bed with my lap top on my lap and watch their latest videos while sipping coffee. Today I watched some of their art videos.
I am not art trained but love to teach it. The videos give me some great ideas but also provide me with the technical knowledge I need to teach well.
Teacher's TV has a range of filters so that you can search for videos that relate to your setting. They have some fantastic resources for mainstream and special education teachers.
If you would like to check out what my class has been working on lately just click on the Virtual Gallery Link.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If you haven't had a look a the Positively Autism site yet the school holidays are a good time to do some serious downloading. I used the site last term to download work tasks and some fine motor cutting templates. You will also find lots of free data collection forms, game boards and visual aids. The site managers are adding new material to the site regularly so make sure you keep checking in to see what's new. Don't forget to check out all of the other online ASD resources in the blog margin under Autism links. I hope that you are all enjoying the holiday break :)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Mayer-Johnson, the makers of the Board Maker visual aid program, are offering a 30 day free trial of their product which can be downloaded from the Internet. Although expensive, Board Maker is an excellent visual tool to assist children with learning challenges. This is a great opportunity to convince school principals and unit leaders that your school needs to invest in the software !
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
ESL Flashcards.com is a great source of free visual materials for children who are visual learners as well as those students learning a second language. it covers a huge range of topics and has a host of other resources linked to it that will have you browsing for hours!
I have been working on eye tracking exercises with some of my students who are challenged in this area. Eye Can learn is a fun site which allows children to work on exercises online. Some of these activities work brilliantly on our Smart Board for a quick whole group focus. I have added them to my class blog page so that we have quick access in breaks between lessons. Little and often is the rule that I use when presenting students with this kind of activity because your eyes will definitely feel like they have had a work out when you have finished!
The site also has lots of links to other vision sites which may be of interest. Have fun with it!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Sparkle Box is a great site to explore if you are looking for downloadable resources to support visual learners in both mainstream and special education settings.Take the time to download the free tool bar and save yourself loads of time preparing visual aids for your classroom!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I am on study leave at the moment writing an essay for my ASD course. The topic is on Sensory Modulation Disorder. This is a huge issue in my classroom for my students with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Students with Sensory Processing Disorders are often incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD and given inappropriate drug interventions for a problem better worked through with an occupational therapist.
Lucy Jane Miller Ph. D. has produced a great body of literature and research on the topic. The first photo link will take you to a 1/2 hour podcast where Lucy explains in very simple terms . Click on the red arrow to download the podcast( it took about 3 minutes to download on my system ).