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

Monday, September 27, 2010


Hi Everyone,
The Dogo News and BBC Class Clips sites, host some terrific current affairs resources, to help stimulate oral language and comprehension activities in the classroom. I am always on the look out for short length, highly engaging texts, to use with my non and reluctant readers and/children with language disorder, in upper primary and secondary settings. Both of these sites really fit the bill.
Although I have used them during the literacy block, I do find that students sneak off to have a quiet read and think about them on their own - which tells me that I am on to a winner!

Arts Alive Virtual Dance Studio and the Help Kids Learn Train Tracker Game

Hi Everyone,
What do the Arts Alive Virtual Dance Studio and The Help Kids Learn Train Tracker game have in common? For me, it's that they are two online programs that I use regularly, with kids needing some quiet time to self regulate, when the classroom environment becomes too overwhelming. A five minute stint on one of these programs can mean the difference between a 'meltdown' and being able to successfully re-engage in classroom activities, for some of my students.
I use lots of interactive software programs in my work with children on the autism spectrum. These two, are my most often requested recreational or calming activities for mainstream primary students. The key seems to be that they provide children with the opportunity to make simple choices, which helps them gain a sense of control over their environment again.
Both are great fun to play and I must warn you that they are highly addictive. You may want to set yourself a time limit before trying them out. A timer is a definite must when using them with kids in the classroom.

Free Children's Stories.com - Daniel Errico

Hi Everyone,

I received this email from Daniel Errico this morning.

Dear Sue,
My name is Daniel Errico and I'm owner of the site
freechildrenstories.com. I've been reading up on your Teacher Space and Junior Crew Book Shelf sites and enjoyed them.
If you have any interest, my site offers free stories for kids and includes a fully illustrated and narrated online storybook, The Journey of the Noble Gnarble. Hope all is well. Thanks,

Daniel Errico

Daniel's site is terrific for recreational reading, as well as a fabulous resource for teachers wanting to encourage students to write and illustrate their own stories. I know a few art teachers who would definately use the site to teach story telling through art. Go and check it out for yourself.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Free eBooks for Kids

Hi Everyone,
Kathy from Ireland, sent me an email asking if I knew of any good free book sites that kids could access online.
I had to chuckle because I have spent many hours over the past 3 years, building up a collection of sites to use and share in my own teaching practice. My aim was to provide a resource that students in my special education class could access independently. I set up a blog page so that the kids could just click on a picture of a book that appealed to them or access favourite sites by clicking on a link in the margin. The site hosts are wide range of text types that would appeal to Pre-School and Primary aged students.
I'm not on class this year but the site is still available for use if you would like to check it out. There is a permanent link to the Junior Crew Book Shelf in the right margin of this blog or you can find the sites by clicking here or on the picture above.
Thanks for the email, Kathy and good luck with your reading centres project.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What happened to the Priory Woods Website?

Hi Everyone,
The Priory Woods website has a new look. I was a huge fan of the old Special School site's cause and effect programs and was disappointed to see, that due to legal issues, many of my favourites are missing from the new line up. The new site is still in the process of being built but the pre-build teasers look very interesting. Click on the picture to check out their program resources to play online or download.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Into the Book

Hi Everyone,
I spend a lot of time talking to teachers about how to assist students in developing reading comprehension skills. I am also a big fan of providing kids who need extra support, with the opportunity to work independently . This morning I was visiting the Tips Tools and Technology for Today blog and found this sensational reading comprehension program - Into the Book.
The program is a free, highly interactive, multi-media package which focuses on these eight learning strategies:

•Using prior knowledge
•Making connections

I can see this program being put to great use in Grade 3 + classrooms and can't wait to see it in action with the kids I am currently supporting in inclusive classroom settings.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Individual Learning Plans Dr. Seuss Style

ILPs Dr. Seuss Style
(author unknown)

Do you like these ILPs?
I do not like these ILPs
I do not like them, Geez Louise
We test, we check
We plan, we meet
But nothing ever seems complete.

Would you, could you
like the form?

I do not like the form I see
Not page 1, not 2, not 3
Another change
A brand new box
I think we all
Have lost our rocks.

Could you all meet here or there?

We could not all meet here or there.
We cannot all fit anywhere!
Not in a room.
Not in the hall.
There seems to be no space at all.

Would you, could you meet again?

I cannot meet again next week
No lunch, no prep
Please hear me speak.
No not at dusk. No, not at dawn
At 4 p.m. I should be gone.

Could you hear while all speak out?
Would you write the words they spout?

I could not hear, I would not write

This does not need to be a fight.
Sign here, date there,
Mark this, check that
Beware the student's ad-vo-cat(e).

You do not like them
So you say
Try again, try again!
And you may.

If you will let me be,
I will try again
You'll see.


I almost like these ILPs!
I think I'll write 6003.
And I will practice day and night
Until they say
"You've got it right!"

Telling others about Aspergers Syndrome - Kids Health Website

Hi Everyone,
This week I had the opportunity to speak to some parents of a 10 year old student with a brand new diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. The couple shared that the Kids Health website was helpful in explaining the diagnosis to their child's brothers, sisters, cousins friends and classmates.
Of course, I had a look and discovered that it is also a terrific site to explain all sorts of health and well being issues to kids. Definitely worth checking out for yourself.

Monday, September 20, 2010

90 Ways to help Students with ADHD - Darren Tagliarini

Hi Everyone,
I was just visiting 'The Behaviour Guy' website which is maintained by Darren Tagliarini, a psychologist specialising in challenging behaviour. The site is amazing. It is full of resources which are in line with evidence based research, to read and download.
One of the things that caught my eye today, was this nifty brochure of 90 Ways to Help Students with ADHD. It is definitely going to be part of my travelling resource pack as so many of the children I support in schools have a dual diagnosis of autism and ADHD.
The thought that goes through my mind so often when I am recommending resources for students with special and additional needs, is that if they are implemented as whole class structures and embedded in regular teaching practice, they are common sense strategies that will assist all students. That is what inclusive education is all about!
Here is a direct link to the brochure

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Life with Autism - A Student Perspective

Click on the book to read it in full screen mode.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tots & Tech - Early Years Resource

Hi Everyone,
I have been spending a lot of time this morning checking out resources on Tots and Tech . I am going to spend the next 20 minutes emailing the URL to every Early Years professional I know.
This terrific site contains loads of very practical ideas to help students with disabilities engage in functional and play activities at home and alongside their peers in Early Years settings. The 'Ideas to Share' section is amazing!
I wish I knew about this site when I was teaching in an Early Years Classroom but I am so glad that I am in a position of being able to share the site with others. Check it out. It will be well worth your time and effort.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

ZuiTube - For Calming and Learning

Hi Everyone,
I use video footage a great deal in my teaching as most of the students that I work with are visual learners.
The ZuiTube website is like a gigantic, well organised filing cabinet of student friendly material, covering a massive range of topics.
I go to ZuiTube to find material on every topic that I teach as well as for visuals based on students' special areas of interest. I can use the footage as motivators or rewards for working hard, as a calming activity when anxiety levels are escalating or after a meltdown to help a student regain equilibrium.
Check it out for yourself.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Inclusion is a Whole School Approach - Which character do you identify with?

This video is not about inclusion.

It is about people and their response to change.

A school staff is made up of all of the characters in this short video.

I would like to think, that most of the time, I am the person who serves as a bridge that supports others in their journey across the divide between past and future.

Some days though, I'm not. Some days I am the pessimistic, frustrated one or part of the crowd following an inspirational leader in the field.

It's okay to change roles, as long as I don't get caught up with the defeatist crowd.

Have a look for yourself and decide which character best illustrates your stage of the journey at the moment.

Thanks very much to Damien Keel, for introducing me to the video.

Universal Design for Learning

A is for Autism F is for Friend - Video