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 !