Monday, 22 December 2014

Vestibular stimulation- Sensory Processing Disorder

A while ago I wrote a blog about sensory processing disorder and some of the effects it has on my daughter. Today I wanted to share a bit more about what I have been doing to support her with her sensory problems.
A month ago, after having a sensory diet for my daughter completed, I decided to turn the toy room, that is never used, into a sensory room. I started by cleaning the space out. We have one side of our cupboard with shelves and the other side with hanging space. We turned the hanging side into a little cubby house with pillows, blankets and a weighted lap blanket. She also puts in lots of teddies and dolls when she gets in. This place has been great as it is a quiet, small space that she can use to self regulate if need be. She gets herself in there and shuts the door and I don't even realise she is in there sometimes until I call out and she answers. So yes I can now say that I put my daughter in the cupboard, lol.
The second thing I did was make a lycra tube which she can put on in the cupboard when she wants to. So easy to make and offers pressure if she is seeking. 
Today though I finally completed my daughters Christmas present and she has been in it for two hours straight and just loves it. It is a lycra swing that hangs from the ceiling. It can be hung from two, three or four attachment points. As a hammock it provides vestibular input, with increased deep pressure providing a calming effect. The three or four-point hookup increases the challenge by allowing my daughter to climb through the layers. Or, it can provide a calming tent-like space. This swing is great for developing body awareness and addressing motor planning skills. And I must say it is a hit! My daughter LOVES IT. 
I have a few other things I plan to do for the sensory room in the near future. The aim is to hopefully allow my daughter to self calm through using the sensory room rather than the Need to chew or consume food. I will keep you informed of her progress. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Grade 5 book review blog

I have decided to start a blog in my Grade 5 class. The blog is called Books are Life. It is a place for my students to post book reviews on the books they are currently reading. The blog is aimed at other Grade 5 students and other people who have an interest in books.
From a teaching perspective I feel the blog gives students a purpose for writing. The purpose of writing a book review is to inform an audience about whether they should or should not read that book. The blog gives students that audience. Take a look at their work :-)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

UTAS Science competition

The 5/6 UTAS Science competition was held today at our school with over 77 entries from schools across the North West and North of our state. We had 123 students engaged in science as they were judged by science experts from the University. I had ten entries from my grade 5 students and we managed to have 6 of those eateries short listed to the top 9 in this section. Super proud of the students and their achievements. The poster boards looked amazing and the students ability to talk the science was well worth the hard work that went into the classroom. Looking forward to the presentation evening tonight. Well done  to all involved.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

History final assessment task

I have recently completed a unit of work on 19th Century Australian History with a focus of the impacts that events and people had on colonies during that time. I decided to move away from a written task this time to provide opportunities for kids that don't necessarily work to their potential when having to write. All students learn differently and therefore all assessments should vary to support that fact. The assessment task allowed for a high level of engagement by students and also allowed students to really demonstrate their full understanding of the topic. 

The task I set involved using a brown paper bag. Students needed to choose five items to represent people or events that had a significant impact on colonies in Australia during the 19th Century. The selected items were then placed in the bag. Items were made during class time
and also brought in from home. Once the items had been selected students could decorate the outside of the bag. When they had completed this they had to prepare a speech. The speech involved students pulling out an item one at a time and informing an audience about what the item represented and what impact that item had on colonies of Australia using factual information to support their claims. 

Students all got up in front of their peers without any hesitation to deliver their speeches. Sharing of knowledge broadened students understanding further. Beyond the five items they selected they learnt from their peers on other items. 

Both Grade 5 classes completed this task. Upon reflection my colleague teacher and I both felt this task allowed students to really demonstrate their understandings. I will certainly be using this again in my future practice. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see? Read by a two year old with exp...

I like to show my Grade 5 class this video of my daughter when she was 2 reading Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see. I always get my students to focus on expression, fluency, speed and tone of voice. The kids love watching it. If a two year old can read with fluency and expression there is no reason why ten and eleven year olds can't. It also helps develop that relationship with students by sharing a part of you and your family.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

I'm back!

So I have finally taken the time to write a blog. I have had a massive five months which I have survived and made it out the other end. I had back surgery three months ago as I was laid up in bed for five weeks straight with a massive prolapsed disc. Couldn't walk, stand, sit or do pretty much anything. I was bed ridden and in so much pain. I had surgery which involved a lumbar microdiscectomy and rhizolysis. I have recovered really well and have made it back to teaching for the last two weeks full time. I certainly missed my work while I was incapacitated and know that I have chosen the right profession. I am looking forward to blogging some more this year with hopefully some insightful thoughts and practices about the world of teaching.