Sunday, 30 June 2013

Sensory processing disorder

I would like to blog about something close to my heart today. Sensory processing disorder. My daughter has it and we found out this year. So many aspects of her life are now in perspective and make sense to me as her parent. A little bit about her which will be completely different to other children with SPD as they are all unique. My daughter has cried every day of her life when we have brushed her hair or tried to put it up. She is always wanting to eat and has no feeling of fullness. She occasionally complains of a sore heart as she can feel it beating in her chest as she is more aware of it. If she hurts herself she is hard to settle as pain is multiplied by ten for someone with SPD. She wont wear many clothes as they itch her and put her in Sensory overload. She constantly is bottoms up, in other words she has her head on the ground and bottom and legs above her as this helps her to self regulate. She hates loud noises and will often run away from them or put her fingers in her ears. She has high anxiety about lots of things that wouldn't bother other kids. The list goes on but when she is in sensory overload she wants to eat because of the deep pressure associated with chewing. After seeing an OT she has a few strategies in place like chewing gum to help her calm. She also has a brushing routine for her body to help with sensory overload to touch. She has a weighted blanket for her bed and I have recently made her a weighted blanket for her to have at school. We have made lots of little adjustments that are helping. 

With my teaching hat on I find a lot of the signs are present in certain kids in the classroom which I haven't ever noticed or linked my knowledge with before. Through educating myself with this disorder I am able to see ways of supporting other students who might benefit from strategies. Please read up on this disorder if you are a teacher and educate yourself. Many autistic children suffer from SPD. I am currently making weighted blankets to sell. They cost $50 plus postage. My daughter has hers in class to help calm her when she in overload. If you are interested in ordering one please email me on

SPD is a neurological disorder and something that my daughter will always have but through treatment and understanding she will certainly improve. If you have any questions blog away and I will try my best to answer them.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Oceans alive work in progress


Ocean Alive unit is in action with high levels of engagement from all students. Students are learning about adaptations of ocean animals and are utilizing their learning strengths to choose a variety of activities to complete. Students are producing work with a high level of thinking and are organising their time efficiently to work through their independent learning contract. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Science Integrated unit

I love to integrate units in my learning program. There is just not enough time to teach in isolation and also by integrating units, students have the opportunity to transfer knowledge across curriculum areas. The most recent unit I have designed and given to my Grade 5 students is called 'Ocean's Alive' and it is a science intgrated unit focusing on an understanding that living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment. The unit is handed to students as a learning contract where depending on the level of thinking involved in the activity more points are rewarded and depending on points students at the end of the unit are rewarded with an A-E. It follows the philisopical thinking of Ralph Pirozzo. The unit integrates Bloom’s Taxonomy and Multiple Intelligences. It provides for the thinking skills and learning styles of all my students. It is an engaging, exciting and challenging learning environment for all my students.The best thing is it helps improve independency and time management in my students. If you would like to check out the unit head over to Teachers Pay Teachers and preview it. I also have a picture of half of the unit provided in my blog. I hope it inspires some of you out there to get on board with the importance of catering for all students through student learning styles and Blooms Taxonomy.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Completion of history unit

My Grade 5'a completed their student led inquiries yesterday with oral presentations. I was amazed at the engagement level and pride these kids had in their work. Student choice dramatically increases engagement in their learning. All students had to choose an event or person that had a significant impact on a colony in Australia in the 19th Century. We had an array of subjects. Students also had choice over how they presented their work. Some chose PowerPoint, some posters and others made books. The final result was rewarding as a teacher as it allowed me to reflect on the teaching and learning and see that this experience was worthwhile. Engagement=Learning!