Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Awhi 4 ASD

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a PD session on ASD presented by RTLB Robyn Harawira.
I have a Year 4 student with ASD and ADHD in my classroom. As a beginning Teacher I did not have previous experience with children with ASD. So this year has been one of a lot of new learning for me. This learning continues every day as my student's needs continuously change and we (myself and TA) try new ways to see what will keep him on task and able to complete his work.

Fortunately I have a very supportive group of people around me (RTLB, TA, Team Leader, other teachers) to guide and encourage me so that I can best support his learning.
I have worked and continue to work very closely with my students family. We have a Home/School notebook which goes home at the end of each day. If anything more needs to be shared with his family I talk in person with his mum. This relationship with Whanau is so important.

The Awhi 4 ASD information session proved to be a good reminder of some different strategies I had previously discussed with Robyn but had not yet tried.
It was also a good opportunity to hear from other teachers about the experiences with their ASD students. With such a broad range of how ASD can manifest in an individual, I could appreciate that I have not had to deal with anything too severe with my student.
I came away from the session with a feeling'm lucky to have the support I have...I'm lucky to have the student I have.

This book has been leant to me by Robyn Harawira  and is full of great ideas for supporting students with ASD in the classroom.

This DVD was mentioned at the PD session.
I have had this DVD for a while now but still
haven't watched it. (I will this weekend)

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hauora - Keep myself in balance

Before School started at the beginning of the year, we had a PLD on Hauora. I came away from that day with big plans on how I was going to balance my school/home life. How I was going to look after my well being - My Hauora.
This is most definitely a work in progress

This is my first teaching whilst being in a relationship. Both require time in order to be successful. So far it has been a bit of a mission to find that balance. It seems like I tend to focus on one and the then other suffers. I am learning to not let one flow onto the other. (So hard)
I guess it takes time to figure out what works best for you...
I need to work smarter in the extra time I stay at school in the evenings so that I am not working all night at home.
Time together
My niece and nephews

Family is very important to me. They keep me grounded. We are very close and completely supportive of each other. I am lucky enough to be Aunty Jodie to four beautiful individuals who bring me so much joy. With this comes the feelings of guilt when I don't see them very often. "Can I come over Aunty?"...."Oh, not this weekend I have lots of work to do" :(
I need to make time for them.

Having a wonderful group of close friends both here and around the world helps to keep things in perspective. Being able to offload is really beneficial. Also, talking to friends is good to remind myself that there is a life outside of school. Having a laugh is SO important. Skype is fantastic. Makes it simple to stay connected with those overseas. I need to remember to give myself the time to see friends who are nearby.

I think my Wairua is at its happiest when I am surrounded by trees. Having lived in cities around the world in concrete jungles and millions of people - it is in nature where I can really breathe. Driving to and from work everyday means I don't get any walking in. As the days get lighter I will have to make it part of my day to go for a walk. In the weekends go to the beach, river, bush...anywhere where I can make that connection with myself.

Sleep Sleep Sleep
The Goal 
More often than I would like
Don't we all?
A big one for me 

- Be on top of my sleep - 
- Know when I am struggling -
- Do something about it -

Term 3 Maths Inquiry

I have a group of Year 5's who are working below or well below the National Standards for Maths. Four of them who are well below - working at Stage 4 - have been picked up by Roz in order to give them a push towards Stage 5.
This leaves four who are working at Stage 5.

I have chosen this four for my Inquiry group this term, with the aim to jump start their multiplicative thinking and get them to Stage 6. A couple of them are nearly there, so with this extra time given to them each day, I am hoping for some solid Stage 6 thinking by the end of the year.

Strategies to try:

  • 5x table not locked in - quick fire flash cards
  • visual learners? - materials, materials, materials
  • Began arrays towards end of last term - revisit arrays
  • The Multiplier  - drawing them ourselves and online activities (Digistore)

Personal Goal - To timetable this Inquiry time into my daily timetable. I have not been very successful with this previously. I am doing it properly this term!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My PD Learning in Practice

Yesterday, Lisa told us a simple way to see if our kids had trouble crossing the midline. I wanted to try at least one of the exercises we had learnt while it was still fresh.

The students got into pairs. One lay on the ground with his/her eyes closed.
The other said, "When I tap your arm, lift your arm"
                      "When I tap your leg, lift your leg"

After doing this single leg or arm lift a few times, then tap an arm and the opposite leg.

I was curious to see which of my 15 students would be able to do this...having suspicions as to which ones might not be able to.

Pohutukawa students having fun crossing the midline

My class had such a good time doing this on each other and I was able to go around the class noting who was having trouble.
As predicted it was the ones who struggle with fine motor skills who were unable to to register the taps on their opposite arm/leg.

I will be including some exercises which work on crossing the midline throughout our day :o)

PLD - Ready Set Go: Transitioning to School

Really enjoyed today's Professional Development.
Lisa Barlow gave a very informative seminar to an eager bunch of ECE and New Entrant/Year 1 teachers from around the Whakatane area.

Lisa Barlow kindly posing for my blog.

I have come away with wanting to introduce Brain Gym exercises, Crossing the Midline exercises and Relax Kids meditation sessions, in my classroom.

Stay tuned for updates on how this is going.

Learn more about Brain Gym here.

Learn more about Crossing the Midline here.
(link to follow)

Learn more about Relax Kids here.

Exciting New Book

I recently saw a youtube clip of comedian and author B.J. Novak reading his new book 'The Book With No Pictures' to a group of children. I was so excited about it, I wanted to read it to my class of Year 1 students as soon as possible. So, I ordered it then and there...three weeks later my very own copy arrived :)
My family were my first guinea pigs :o) success!! Laughter from young and old.

Here is the brilliant book

It was time to try it out on my class. There were looks of concern when they realised there really weren't any pictures in the unlike all the books we usually read. But this concern was short lived. I am pleased to say Pohutukawa Ruma absolutely loved it and it has been the request of choice ever since.

We had another class join us today, a class of Year 2 and 3 students, and they too succumbed to the utter silliness that is 'The Book With No Pictures'.

I highly recommend it. 5 Stars

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Using multiple devices

This is my first post after linking my mobile device to my blog.
I can now add photos and posts straight from my phone :)