Category Archives: Teacher information

Autism and Aspergers

RakuKind

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Today, I thought I would post some very good ideas from Mark Hutton’s newsletter I subscribe to about children with Aspergers.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about some very simple – yet highly effective – parenting techniques for Aspergers children. There are many things you can do to help your child better understand the world, and in doing so, make everyone’s lives a little easier.

 

Remember, they are children just like the rest; they have their own personalities, abilities, likes and dislikes – they just need extra support, patience and understanding from everyone around them. Here are some simple – but very effective techniques:

• Begin early to teach the difference between private and public places and actions, so that they can develop ways of coping with more complex social rules later in life.
• Don’t always expect them to ‘act their age’ they are usually immature and you should make some allowances for this.
• Explain why they should look at you when you speak to them…. encourage them; give lots of praise for any achievement – especially when they use a social skill without prompting.
• Find a way of coping with behavior problems – perhaps trying to ignore it if it’s not too bad or hugging sometimes can help.
• In some young kids who appear not to listen – the act of ‘singing’ your words can have a beneficial effect.”

I will be posting more information on this topic about Autism and Aspergers, as I’m finding that in our schools, we are enrolling more children that are on this spectrum. Because of this, teachers, and parents, are needing more information and strategies to assist them when working with students with Aspergers and Autism.
 

 

Developmental sequence in learning to read words

Method for learning and education.

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There are 4 levels that children progress through when learning to read words:

1. Linking spoken and written words – this is when children start to make the links between what they hear and what they see by  memorising certain parts of words, convert letters into a sound then a blend ie ‘sh’ or use the first part of the word together with meaning.

2. Recognising letter-groups and words – at this stage, children are beginning to learn how to actually recode a letter cluster as a sound pattern. This is when THRASS is a useful tool for students to use when working with words.

3. Reading words directly – Children at this stage are now reading words using their phonemic and orthographic knowledge. This is when they start to make analogies with words that they know. For example, if the unknown word is ‘lay’ they may remember the word ‘d + ay = day’ and use this word to help them problem solve the unknown word.

4. Reading words of two or more syllables – at this stage, children are now combining segments of words, manipulating stress patterns in words and recognising smaller words within words and base words.

Irlen Syndrome and Dyslexia- a mother’s reflection

Dyslexic vision

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*Posted by Deborah <http://www.myschool.com.au/profile/Deborah659> on September 14, 2010 at on myschool.com.au.

My son has struggled and repeated one year since he started school.  I was one of those parents, and some teachers as well, that kept saying “try harder, don’t be so lazy.”  His learning support teacher would not give up and part of me would not believe (or face) that maybe he was dyslexic.  He just didn’t fit the symptoms.  After some research, I came across the Irlen Diagnostic web site.  He fitted their checklist to a T. Long story short; some believe and some say it is BS; he was tested and it turned out that with coloured lenses and overlays he was able to read without difficulty; he has improved dramatically in school.  I will never forget the joy on his face when he first clearly read out a difficult passage without hesitation.  So don’t write your kids off; this is more common than you think.

Bullying

Bullying UK

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I think that we have all had some experience with bullying at some stage. Whether it be with ourselves when we were little or with our own kids. It’s something that should be taken seriously and should not be tolerated in our society. Trinidad Hunt has a wonderful activity you could use with your class about how to choose friends. I’ve pasted it on my blog as I feel it would be such a wonderful activity for you to do with your own children or if you are a teacher, do it with your class. Perhaps it could provide some inspiration for us as adults to take a look at those friends who are ‘poisonous’ to us. Let me know what you think.

This is the classroom activity that I designed, you can do the same with your class:

  1. Divide the class into teams of 4 or 5.
  2. Hand each team a large sheet of butcher or poster paper and a set of poster pens.
  3. Ask each team to draw a line down the middle of the sheet.
  4. Title the left column: Fake Friends
  5. Title the right column: Real Friends
  6. Ask the students to list the things makes a Fake Friend or a Real Friend
  7. Give the teams 12-15 minutes to fill their charts in.
  8. Have each team share their charts.  Based on the following guidelines.
    • Everyone must share something.
    • One person introduces each member of the team.
    • One person shares the process they went through to complete their discussion and the chart.
    • Two or three students share the material.
    • One person ‘wraps’ or reviews and ties together the presentation to close.

Close with a full room discussion on recognizing the difference between fake friends and real friends in real life and surrounding yourself with real friends.

Why do teachers have trouble throwing away books?

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.

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At my school, we have an amazing new building we are moving in to. We had the big move this week and I observed some interesting behaviours during this time. One of them was the reluctance of teachers to throw away books that had definitely seen a better day and generally things that, well, you just shouldn’t keep any more. I don’t really know why teachers like to keep things. Maybe it’s just the idea that it might come in handy one day. I know myself that when I am in ‘Op Shops’ or at markets, I’m always thinking “oh, that would be good for school” and I usually buy it. What do you think? Do you like to hang onto things that really should be chucked out?

Teaching phonics

Read Write Inc. is a UK literacy teaching program based on synthetic phonics, developed by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. Ruth Miskin is a former Head Teacher and a leading practitioner of synthetic phonics in the UK. The Read Write Inc. program was initially introduced in her own school, a disadvantaged school in East London. Following the success of the program in raising the achievement levels of the disadvantaged students at this school, the program has been commercially published and is now widely used in the UK and in other countries. Further information regarding the program can be found on the Read Write Inc. website at http://www.oup.com/oxed/primary/rwi/aboutrwi/ The training Workshops in Australia will be in January, with a Workshop in Queensland on the 20th to 21st January and one in Perth on 31st January to 1st February.

How to teach your child to read

It’s never too early to start reading books to your child. I started reading books to my daughter when she was around six months old. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. This can be very daunting when you realise this, but don’t be worried. Establishing a routine at bedtime that includes reading a book with your child is the easiest way you can start to do this. It will develop into a time that you will really treasure and look forward to.

How can I help my child learn to write words or a short sentence?

Parents often ask me how they can help their children with the writing process at home. Here are a few suggestions that you might be able to do starting today.                              

  •  Have your child write instructions for taking care of the family pet.
  • Write a letter or thank you note to a relative. Talk through what your child wants to say before writing begins.
  • Make a shopping list before going to the supermarket.
  • Write an online review of a book or an item you recently purchased.
  • Start keeping a personal diary, a household guest book, or a baby book for a younger sibling.
  • Write out some great recipes that have worked, and then have some fun making it.

When engaging in writing, young children often mirror what they see around them; adults and older children writing lists, notes, text messaging. They are observing the way writing is used in our everyday lives. So another way to encourage your child to start writing is to do some writing yourself.