Sunday, 28 September 2008

Trying out the Easy You Tube

I save lots of my links to delicious and I have been able to use a tag called Obama+playlist to try out the Easy You Tube .Easy You Tube is an accessible version of You Tube . You can read about it on the BBC Ouch! blog and

is made using my tag in delicious .
I have copied the tag into a URL. I think this is the most effective way of providing a list for the Easy You Tube which is accessible to adults with learning difficulties.
There are instructions on how to do this in the Easy You Tube documentation section.
I had to change the URL address slightly tag=mainbanana-obama%2Bplaylist
Well done to the developer Chris Heilmann.
nb : needs Java Script which may not be available at college.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Alternative to hello songs

Last year I made a Hello PowerPoint to play at the start of each class. My class was a group of adults with learning difficulties working in the milestone 4-7 range. Each student has two PowerPoint slides, one with their name on followed by another with a big full screen photo of the student giving a big smile and a thumbs up.The PowerPoint was set to the music of the Dandy Warhols - Bohemian like me.
Each person, including the staff waited for their name or photo to appear on the screen (we used a data projector and laptop) . They then came to the front, gave a wave or a thumbs up to each person in the group using eye contact if possible. We encouraged the others in the group to return the greeting.
It took me a while to make the Powerpoint but it was worth it. The students loved it and I used it throughout the year. It ensured that at the start of the lesson everyone was active and interacting with the group.
You'll need to take steps to avoid the students staring straight into the light from the data projector.
If you would like to learn how to include music in a PowerPoint
click here

Another idea:
If you have a big space this is a good start for an active lesson:
Put on the Enya track
Orinoco Flow. available on The Best Of Enya.
Students walk randomly around the room,when they meet another person they shake hands, nod or say a greeting and carry on walking.
The steady upbeat rhythm of the music really energise them .
Only If by Enya can be used in a similar way .Students work in a 4/3/2 as appropriate . They divide either end of a large room and as in a relay race take turns to march up to their partner and either High 5 or shake hands with their partner.The partner then takes over. The exchange of students at either end continues until the music stops
Also see my blog entry : Hello songs

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Using the Travel training resource a2bsafely

a2bSafely is an excellent travel training resource for students with learning difficulties.

It has a series of short videos showing young adults making a journey. It is narrated in a clear voice. It has 4 levels
Each level has a choice of journeys :

corner shop route
bus route
pool route
school route
park route

Assessing and RecordingWhen the student has completed a journey they can print out a tracker sheet which summarises what they have learnt .

It can be used as a record and to discuss with the student .

The map detailing all the routes can also be downloaded for the student. There are also newsflash certificates for rewarding good practice at crossing the road and highlighting where more practice is needed .The website ensures that students move through the levels by restricting access to level 3 and 4 . You must turn these on using the toolbox under the PLAY section .

Learning OutcomesThe learning outcomes section tells you what the student will learn in each section It does not however detail the level of each skill. The best place to look for detail is the tracker pages in the download section.

Parent /learner guide
There is a learners/parents guide
Step by Step to go alongside this interactive teaching tool . It can be downloaded in PDF form.

My previous blog:Travel Training

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Something interesting on the Blog roll

Yesterday I was checking the blogs that I subscribe to and came across some interesting items .

You'll find my blog list on the right hand side bar.

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special needs has some useful thoughts and suggestions about age appropriate resources.

Skillsworkshop blogspot introduces Workshop Genius a new template resource which makes bingo games,slide shows, flashcards,word searches and many others .I only wish that this could be developed to work with makaton/total communication/boardmaker symbols.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

On the TV and in the Papers

I was glad to see two good examples of how we have raised our expectations of learning disabled people . The Saturday Guardian had a feature on Heavy Load a punk/rock band from the Brighton area which has members with a learning disability. They have made a film Heavy load and they have their own website. The Trailer features Michael,drummer and vocalist with Downs Syndrome. He says:

" I just hate the band I want to be famous on my own. "

They also have a Face Book page where you can catch up with them.

Strangerous Pursuits was shown on The Community Channel on Sunday morning. A 26 minute film showing "the transformation of Ged Watts from a mild mannered man with Down's Syndrome into the world's first learning disabled 'action hero' via training in martial arts and film techniques."

You may need to sign up to view the film and if you can't find it look under the disablility tag.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Health and Safety

I will be teaching Health and Safety to my students with learning difficulties again this year. I teach Edexcel Health and Safety at Entry 1 and 2. I shall also be using some of these resources with my Milestone 8 students learning Life skills. Here are some resources available on the web to help you .
many of these resources are no longer available 2021
There is an introduction to health and safety signs  now moved Not available at Milestone 8 on the learning portal site . It is a short interactive activity that has sound and is self correcting.
Young workers website -from ROSPA has information on signs and then a quiz on the meaning of signs (E2/E3) the section :
Advice for Young People : Workplaces & Case Studies has some excellent accident stories to use .
There is a literacy and numeracy resource on the topic of health and safety on Skillsworkshop It covers covers :
rt/e1.1 follow a short narrative rt/e2.1 trace understand chronological and instructional text manual handling reading bar charts - e1/e2 understanding of directional language text comprehension and using pictures to help meaning - different level texts E1- E3
Dangers in the kitchen Sensory world has an interactive activity where students have to find the dangers in the kitchen. It has 3 levels and prints out a certificate.
Safety First  NO LONGER AVAILABLE 2021
This is a good video about safety in the home,at work and out in the community. It helps the student to think about the dangers around them. A demo is available on the website.It is available to buy from Speak up.

Filter NO LONGER AVAILABLE has a gallery of kitchen related photos showing hazards.

There is a home safety game. NO LONGER AVAILABLE on the Home Safety website .It is interactive but would need teacher input .It took me a while to work out what to do as I didn't read the instructions! It uses the 4 directional keys and the space bar.

There is a dangers in the kitchen NO LONGER AVAILABLE (page 5 of PDF) which has a picture to circle the dangers.
I have also put four powerpoints in my .Box net is on the side bar .You can download these .
If it doesn't appear straight away try refreshing the page.
Glasgow Blast and Children at work help to explain why we have have health and safety law. Safety at Work is about personal responsibility at work .
I have adapted Safety signs Quiz from a powerpoint by D O'Connor, Safety at Work is from Effective Training and Development and Children at Work has been adapted by me from a source I can no longer find on the internet! If you can help me acknowledge the source please let me know.
If you know of any good resources please leave a comment as I always find it difficult to locate good relevant resources for health and safety.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Hello songs

The Becta SLD forum recently had a useful thread about suggestions for Hello Songs.
To the tune of 'nice one Cyril'?

Hello Debbie,
Hello Debbie,Hello Debbie,
How are you today?

"Happy Birthday to you"
The "Happy Birthday to you" song is possibly the most popularly sung song in the whole world, and was adapted from a song originally entitled (and worded) "Good morning to all", which was written in 1893 by two kindergarten school teachers in America for precisely the purpose of greeting children in the morning.

From the movie
I'm singing in the rain- Good morning!

Good morning
Good morning
It's nice to see you here
Good morning,
good morning to you.

There are two suggestions for products to buy:

Connections by Jessica Curry( £41.00 a copy ) has been suggested as having age appropriate songs

"In October Alison Burns will be publishing "Respect", a songbook (with CD) of new songs for secondary age students with special needs. It's been tried out with great success at a school in Scotland and includes "Hi 5, I'm OK" which is a singaround hello song. The songbook contains Signalong signs for the songs and will be launched at the
Signalong stand at Special Needs London on 17th October. Mike Kennard Signalong."

Monday, 1 September 2008

Healthy Eating 1

working April 2020

If you want your resources free there is a PDF to download of a black and white balance of good health blank plate and teaching ideas on how to use the mat (it is not specific to students with learning difficulties)

working April 2020

The Eatwell plate is free to download from the Food Standards Agency updated link april 2020

working April 2020

Sensory World also has a healthy choice activity

working April 2020

Crick web has 2 drag and drop games. You match the name of the fruit or vegetable to the picture. It doesn't self correct or tell you when the game is finished but the photos are good . A good whole class/small group activity.

working April 2020

Black and white clip art of food is available here

With my pre entry students I have been concentrating on good foods,bad foods and special treats .
I've made pairs games to help learn names and signs of fruit .We have done a lot of tasting and cooking using healthy foods.
Some signs to use for this topic including good,bad,chocolate and bread can be found at the BSL site . Many BSL signs are shared with Makaton/Signalong/Total Communication