Welcome to Teacher Space. Scroll down the right margin to discover hundreds of quality, teaching and learning links for mainstream and special education teachers.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

TES i - Board - Free Interactive Whiteboard Activities for Early Years

Hi again,
Have you ever visited the TES i-board site? It has a ridiculous number of very high quality resources for Early Years teachers to use on the interactive whiteboard.
Take look for yourself :)

Working With Traumatised Children - Child Safety Commissioner

Hi Everyone,
Sadly, I have been in the position of working with many traumatised children over the course of my teaching career. Unfortunately, those days are by no means over.
Such trauma may have been caused by war, or the more common experience of growing up neglected and abused.
Many young people grow up well in spite of their traumatic experiences while many others end up in our child protection and care, justice and mental health systems.
It is clear that children who have experienced trauma are impacted physically, cognitively, developmentally, socially and emotionally. Many are so consumed by the impact of their traumatic experiences that their ability to learn is severely compromised.
It can be difficult for teaching and support staff to understand why some students behave in ways which undermine their own health and freedom.
The Child Safety Commissioner has released some excellent, free resources to assist school staff in developing best practice strategies to assist children impacted by trauma. These can be ordered as hard copy texts or printed out in PDF format.
I have just finished reading Laura Downey's 'From Isolation to Connection - A guide to understanding and working with traumatised children and young people' . It is a fantastic, free resource.
I would also advise you to look at some of the other excellent resources on the site which can be ordered or downloaded for free. Just click on the name of the document to download.
Otherwise, visit the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner website to access a range of excellent resources on a whole range of health and child safety topics.
Download These Resources:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Elephant Song - Eric Herman

Hi again,

I spent the whole day today singing this song in my head. I shared it with numerous people at work. I am banned from humming or singing it at home !

Eric Herman has his own Youtube music channel with loads of great songs on it.

This is my favourite . I love it !

We will definitely be learning to sing and sign this song in our Junior Unit this term.

It's silly but quite contagious so be careful or you will be singing, humming or whistling it all day too :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Understanding ADHD - Slide Share

What has happened to Sparklebox ? Weigh it up for yourself.

Hi Everyone,
Late last night I received the email below. Thanks Stephen, for getting in contact with me.
At present, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the Sparkle Box website, due to the actions and history of the owner.
I have been a huge fan of the Sparklebox site for some time. It is bursting with fantastic, ready made teaching and learning resources. Information that has come to light recently has made all of us who use the site, think about whether we should continue to support it.
I strongly suggest that you read Stephen's email and follow the links below to find information to help you make up your own mind.
Dear Susan,
I have been looking at your blog and can see that you are a fan of the website Sparklebox.co.uk.
In case you do not know, the owner of this site is a convicted paedophile and this site has been banned in the UK by many schools.
One of the biggest risks is that the tool bar that is downloaded from this site could have been used to hunt for victims all over the world.
Please check out the links below and do your own search for further information.
I just wanted to let you know so that teachers and parents, who are trying to protect children, are not causing this person to profit.
Best Regards,
School Principal

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Positive Guidance Techniques - World of Teaching

Hi Everyone,
I have been exploring some amazing free PowerPoint sites over the past few weeks. Today I came across a PowerPoint called Positive Guidance Techniques by Cathy Abraham on the World of Teaching site. I love this quote, which I have read many times before, but it seems timely to read it again just before I am about to embark on a journey into a new school year which will see me working as a teacher of children and teachers.

Friday, January 22, 2010

e- Learning for Kids on Teachers Love Smart Boards

Hi Everyone,
I was visiting the Teachers Love Smart Boards blog this morning and found a post about a website called e- learning for kids.
Aimed at kids aged 4-12 , the site contains over 100 short courses over a range of subject areas including: maths, science, life skills, health , computer skills, language arts and English.
I've just wrenched myself away from the site long enough to write this post and then I will be heading straight back to see which sites will work best on my interactive white board.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Autism Classroom - Free Autism Resources and Training

Hi Everyone,
Autism Classroom. com is a great web site to explore if you are teaching students with ASD. It is full of best practice information for setting up an autism friendly classroom, has loads of free download able resources and even an online basic training program, aimed at parents and teachers. Take the time to view and download the free online training materials that the site offers and consider using them educate your colleagues at staff meetings !

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Freeware for Kids - Mini- Sebran

Hi Everyone,
I have been playing around with this terrific free download from the SEN Teacher website this afternoon. Mini- Sebran is a suite of early learning games for kids between the ages of 2-6 years.
It includes letter, number and colour recognition, spot the difference and an easy to use basic 'paint' style program.
The activity screens are simple and uncluttered which makes them ideal for working with students with special needs. Click on the picture to visit the host website which also has links to a more complex suite of activities, suitable for 4-9 year olds.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Learn to be Buddies - Amanda Gray

Hi Everyone,

Amanda Gray, from Learn to be Buddies, is one of my favourite online experts. Amanda is an early childhood, special education teacher who is currently teaching university undergraduates how to develop inclusive teaching practices.

Amanda's blog is full of easy to read, research and evidence based advice for parents and teachers. Amanda encourages readers to interact with her, via the blog and her responses to questions from her readers are as informative as the posts she writes.

Amanda has also developed a set of excellent and very reasonably priced teaching tools which can be purchased through her website.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Power of PowerPoint !

Hi Everyone,
I don't usually post work that has been completed in my classroom on this blog but I've made an exception today. Eleanor had been desperate to own a pet for a number of years. Eleanor created this PowerPoint to convince her parents that she was responsible enough to take care of a pet. Guess who got a puppy for Christmas !

PowerPoint can be powerful motivator to get kids creating texts and a creative outlet for some students on the autism spectrum, to explore and share their 'special area of interest'. So many important ICT skills can be taught while kids are creating a PowerPoint and they are fabulous teaching tools, both as a process and product, especially when they are projected onto an interactive white board or shared online with family and friends through Slide Share.

I have spent the last few days adding links to the interactive white board area in the right margin. I have also added some links to some great PowerPoint resources, that you might like to use to inspire some little people in your world or to create something wonderful for them to share with you.

If you would like to see what else went on in my classroom last year, click on the rocket in the right margin.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Food Pyramid for Kids

Hi Everyone,
By far the most frequently visited post on my blog has been one about Food Pyramid games and activities for kids. I have just had to delete that post because the link is broken. This lead me to a search of my own.
In the US the USDA ( United States Department of Agriculture) has produced some great online information and activities.
In Australia, although we do have a food pyramid to refer to, as a way to categorise foods, the focus is much more holistic . We concentrate on making changes and balances overall, to increase fitness, eat well and have a healthy life style. We talk a lot to children about 'everyday' and sometimes foods' and the importance of exercise in a balanced and healthy life style. Programs such as 'Go for Your Life, ' a Victorian initiative, have made a great deal of impact on school and local communities.
Click on the pictures to find links to all of these resources.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

School Matters - Bereavement - Teachers TV

Hi Everyone,
Please take the time to watch this excellent Teachers TV video on bereavement. This video offers some simple and practical advice on how to support students impacted by a death and the life changes that follow.
'Six children at Heron Primary School were bereaved when their parents died during the school holidays. Headteacher, John Coles, faced a significant challenge in helping his pupils cope with the loss. With the help of Julie Stokes of bereavement charity, Winston's Wish, he and his staff have effectively supported the pupils through and beyond the tragedy.
At Cleeve School, two teenagers died suddenly in consecutive terms. Deputy head, Leanne Symonds, shares her valuable experience and practical response in handling the deaths which affected the whole school community.
The school has also helped a pupil bereaved in primary school, by setting up a buddy system which put her in touch with an older pupil who had also been bereaved.'

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Autism Games - Tahirih Bushey

Hi Everyone,

I was very excited to discover Tahirih Bushey's website called Autism Games. Tahirih is a speech and language pathologist and she has filled her site with Information, games and videos about how she works with children with ASD in her own practice.

Follow this link to discover how she uses this simple game .

I know that I am going to be visiting this site frequently over the next few days!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hiyah & Pete's PowerPoint Station

Hi again,
I know that you are completely over me talking about where to access PowerPoints but I am on a mission to make life easier for IWB users and I still have 2 more really great resources worth mentioning.
Pete's PowerPoint Station has a massive number of resources available for a range of audiences. Some are very basic and others complex. They are listed in Alphabetical Topic order and a bonus is that they are also linked to online games about the topic.

You may not find exactly what you are looking for but may be able to adapt one of the Powerpoints you find there or use a few to get some ideas. Make sure that you reference where the 'borrowed' information came from if you do though:)
The Hiyah website is a must visit site for those of us loving and working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability.
Sarah, the amazing mum who hosts this site, has created an extensive collection of visual materials and computer programs which cover a huge variety of topics from counting to pragmatics which can be downloaded for free!

Check out the files and programs before downloading by using the online viewing feature. It takes a while for the files to download ( I usually put a load of washing on and make myself a hot drink while I am waiting) but they are well worth waiting for.

Free Powerpoint Presentations for Teachers - TES Connect

Hi Everyone,
If you are looking for good to great quality free educational PowerPoint presentations and interactive whiteboard resources to use in class, look no further than the UK site, TES Connect. A search of the site came up with over 7000 resources.This site has other types of resources attached to it, from articles to PDF documents and even a chat forum.
You do need to join the site to access the downloads but there is no membership fee. I have been a member for 2 years and have downloaded some fantastic resources during that time.
Use the site search feature to locate the type of resource you are looking for.
I searched under 'special needs PowerPoint's' today and found literally hundreds of resources to download.
The site managers will email you once a month to let you know about new resources that have been added. The contact is not invasive and provides a regular reminder to check out what is on offer each month.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Body Image Video for Girls - Dove

Hi again,
One of my favourite online professional bloggers is Patricia Robinson , a therapist at Social Skills for Kids. Today her post lead to this set of 3 videos by the Dove company which beautifully sum up what young women need to know about how 'the media' distorts our thinking about what is normal. I particularly love the second video called 'evolution' which shows how an attractive, normal looking girl can be unrealistically glamorised for publicity shots. The first and last videos are poignant reminders to tell the young girls in our lives that they are beautiful. Click on the picture to follow a direct link to the Dove site the link. Or read Patricia's article about the video by following this hyperlink.

Watson School of Education - Dr Jeff Ertzberger

Hi everyone,
I am giving a presentation on how to make better and more regular use of Interactive Whiteboards ( IWB's) on the 27th of this month and I have been looking through some of the ready made resources, that I have downloaded from the Net, over the past few years.
I love it when I find web sites that save me loads of work and the Watson School of Education site is one of them.
My favourite area is the PowerPoint section and particularly Jeff''s collection of seasonal timers which are free to download from his site. There are some amazing quiz games such as 'Robie Knows' which can be customised to suit a variety of domains and differentiated to suit a wide range of ability levels.
The site caters for the needs of special education, pre-school, primary and secondary teachers and students and the products are very easy to use.
If you are looking for more ways to save time an maximise IWB use, scroll down the right margin of the blog to find an extensive link list of ready made activites.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Visual Timetable for Interactive Whiteboard - Communication 4 All

Hi again,
If you haven't got hours to spare, don't go anywhere near Bev Evans' website, Communication 4 All.
This site is for any teacher who is time poor or technology ignorant or both like me :)
I am always on the look out for ready made resources that I can use on the interactive whiteboard because I spend all my spare time blogging and don't have time to make up my own !
This ready made visual schedule, embedded in a PowerPoint presentation, is fantastic. It is just one of the many resources you will be downloading from the site today if you dare to visit and your download limit is up to it.
Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to stay away from my computer and read a novel . Wish me luck :)

Rubber Face- SEN Teacher Free Download

Hi again,
The theme for today is definitely emotions!
I was just having a quick look around the SEN Teacher site and found this great emotional facial recognition program called 'Rubber Face' which can be downloaded free from the site. This program would be terrific for students in Early Years and Primary classes as well as students in Special Education settings.
The students can use the 'emotions buttons' to create a facial expression or press them to indicate which expression the face is demonstrating. After practicing the skills they can take the emotional recognition quiz which has lovely, loud auditory feedback for right and wrong answers with the opportunity to correct mistakes built into the quiz to ensure success.
The SEN Teacher site has loads of excellent down loadable resources for students with special and additional needs. Take some time to have a good look around.

Emotions Colour Wheel - Do 2 Learn

Hi Everyone,
Have you had a look a the Do 2 Learn site lately?
I decided to have a look around the free area this morning and discovered a fantastic free visual tool for teaching emotions based on colour . This is a tool that I will certainly reccommend to teachers in middle years and secondary settings, for students with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome but it would be just as valuable a tool for typically developing students in upper primary and secondary settings who are visual learners.
Having observed over the years that we each have our own unique response to colour, I was pleased to note that Do 2 learn has also provided users with two versions of a printable PDF so that students can personalise their own emotional colour chart.
Take some time to visit the site today.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Students with Disabilities in Mainstream Classrooms

Hi Everyone,
This wonderful cartoon comes from the booklet 'Students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms- A resource for teachers . This well written ,research based and easy to read document is the result of Australian Government Department of Education and Workplace relations (DEEWR) funded research - Project to Improve learning Outcomes of Students with Disabilities in Mainstream Classes in the Early, Middle and Post Compulsory Years of Schooling.
Anthony Shaddock, Loretta Giorcelli and Sue Smith, with the support of many other talented researchers and writers have put together this fantastic resource which is a must read for all teachers.
Follow the hyperlinks to find the research paper and resource booklet for teachers in PDF format.

Dr Kathie Nunley - Layered Curriculum

Hi Everyone,
Kathie Nunley has created a great site for secondary teachers who are keen to discover how to create differentiated curriculum to support students with additional learning needs and cater for the wide range of learning styles typically found in any classroom.
This site is filled with free articles and videos and materials which can be purchased online to assist teachers in their professional development and planning.
I am on ' a mission' to find quality sites about differentiated instruction during the Christmas holidays so check the right margin for more links and professional readings on the topic.

Universal Design for Learning

A is for Autism F is for Friend - Video