Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Right Brain interesting find..

"...Brains come with two sides for a reason. They need each other. They fill in each other’s blanks. One is messy by plan. The other regimented. One is linear. The other bounces off walls. One reasons. The other feels. But what happens when they work together is magical. Magical enough to make kids connect, achieve, aspire, succeed. In a future that will require the full measure of our thinking, it’s no time to leave kids half-interested, half-motivated, half-engaged, half-ready.
Remember the right brain. It’s not an education without it..."
The Right Brain Initiative, serving the Portland, Oregon metropolitan region, seeks to achieve a measurable impact on learning by integrating the community's arts and cultural resources into the education of every K-8 student in the region's school districts. This collaboration among artists, educators, parents, business leaders, elected officials and philanthropists is working to develop a systemic and sustainable solution for providing arts learning opportunities for ALL children.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Studio Schools - an alternative for teenage dyslexic students?

"....Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, a new kind of school in the UK where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, "for real."

In an ideal world all countries would have Studio Schools like these. They would offer our kids who learn differently a chance to use their talents and a chance to leave school inspired and not disillusioned..

Bring on the worldwide educational revolution where one size does not fit all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Goodbye Margaret Mahy...

Your creativity will live on in classrooms all over the world for many years to come...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Strategic Foundations of Becoming a Dyslexia Aware Best Practice School

These are the components at Muritai that make up the strategic foundations of our Dyslexia Aware Best Practice. 
They build upon one another to provide a complete philosophical foundation for the concept to work. 
The key point is that everyone in that school, teachers, children, support staff, parents and BOT should all stand on these same foundations.
Passion is a given.. Without it, there’s no point. Secondly..purpose..
Our purpose or fundamental reason for the existence of Dyslexia Aware Best Practice at Muritai is inclusion. Every child, regardless of their individual and specific needs has the right to be included. Thirdly, values..

Key Competencies
  • Managing Self
  • Thinking
  • Using language, symbols and text
  • Relating to others
  • Participating and contributing
Individual Values
  • Self Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Co-operation
  • Integrity
  • Kindness
  • Thinking Positively
  • Respecting Rules  
Next, vision...

Vision is comprised of goals that plot a course towards our purpose – namely creating an inclusive environment.
Our vision is clearly apparent in 3 ways
1.Our Learning Support 2 tier system
2.The Classroom Teacher’s Learning Support Handbook
3.Our Dyslexia Aware Best Practice long term plans
Lastly, reality. Making you school a Dyslexia Aware Best Practice School needs to fit in with your "reality". The key is a little at a time. It won't and can't happen over night!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Nessy Learning Programme

The Nessy Programme is a computer based programme that is used in Learning Support sessions. It provides a basic structure for each student's individual programme. Nessy follows a tried and tested approach that combines structured incremental phonics linked with language, writing skills and vocabulary development, to create highly effective multisensory learning. Nessy enables students in ages 5-16 of all abilities to read, write and spell with confidence.

Watch the video below for a brief overview.

Check out these free Nessy Learning printouts to use in the classroom.. 

Mag Ice Freebie

Left Right Freebie

Blends Freebie



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Great Activities to Improve Phonemic Awareness

This segmenting activity is easy to do and it doesn't require any materials but your hands! Have your child/class place their hands together. Give them a word. Each time they hear a sound in a word, have them say it and move their hands further apart.

Silly Putty
This is the same concept as the segmenting activity above, only using silly putty to stretch the sounds in words. Using the silly putty helps children to visualize words that have a few sounds and words that have many sounds. (Children really get excited when they find words with many sounds, causing the silly putty to break apart).

Stretching Mat
This way of stretching words is great for students who like movement! Use a yoga mat and begin by explaining that it's important to stretch your body before you can stretch your brain. Give your child a set of directions to stretch their body. For example, tell them to slowly touch their toes, reach high in the air, place arms out to the side, and roll their head slowly. Once they have stretched their bodies, they are ready to stretch words! A fantastic multi-sensory phonemic awareness activity.

Night Lights
Using inexpensive night lights is a great way to help children learn to say sounds in words. Line up the night lights and say a word. Have your child say the sounds in the word as they turn the lights on. Repeat this process with the same word, but have your child say the sounds while they turn off the night lights. (It's always a good idea to teach your child to work from left to right! This typically is best to do in the small group setting when working on 1-4 phoneme words).

Magnet Segmenting
Using magnets and a cut-apart egg carton, place a magnet in each slot. Give your child a word with 1-6 phonemes and have them pick up a magnet while they say each sound. Like in the previous activity, it's best to teach your child to work from left to right.