Sunday, 30 November 2008

Get an RSS Feed

An RSS feed is similar to an email subscription but instead of being delivered to your email address it goes to a reader such as Google .
Commoncraft have made a good explanation which you can view below

Teaching All blog also has a simple guide on how to subscribe

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Supporting Educational Blogs and Websites

I was never very good at leaving tips until my daughter got a job in our local pub restaurant (a really excellent place for food by the way). Now that I have a blog I feel the same way about the adverts that appear on the edges of websites and blogs .There are so many excellent free resources on the net theses days. When I've found a resource I like I spend a bit of time looking at the accompanying adverts and clicking through to their sites. I do this to say thanks for providing me with great resources for free.This hasn't been a waste of time either as the ads often lead to other resources.Advertisers usually don't pay anything for the adverts that appear on small websites but will pay if their websites have been explored by clicking through.If you want to read more about this look at Adsense .Some webs and blogs also support themselves by selling products e.g.One Switch or by using the Donors choose .org - See the blog Teaching students with multiple needs.

Friday, 28 November 2008


OK,so its almost December now. We have sorted the dates for our Christmas parties, Christmas fayre and Christmas carols .Everyone is busy preparing Christmas lessons plans.

The TES Special Education forum has recently had some threads about Christmas resources.

Whilst exploring these I came across The Topic box

a very useful website of links organised by topics (including Christmas).

Monday, 24 November 2008

Planning a Party

Do you remember the Skills for Life Teacher Support Pack ? They poured into F.E colleges in large quantaties some years ago. Inside the plastic wallet is good resource called Planning a Party (a 'Pre- entry model unit ') The intention of the model unit is to show how to embedd basic skills in other topics and to be a resource for teaching students with learning difficulties.
There are 9 very good A3 colour posters around planning a party. I used these last year in my Christmas theme.The pack also contains a booklet with lots of ideas and some worksheets. I'm going to be using a poster I found in the pack tomorrow in my Health and Safety lesson. See below:

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Money Bingo

I have made a money bingo game to use in my managing money class. (Milestone 8 - Entry 1).

You can find the bingo game
in my widgit in the
right hand sidebar of my blog.
The Boxnet may not work if you
are at college.
Please feel free to
email me for a copy at :

Signing resources

Some resources for signing-
(Makaton /Total Communication)
I use these with my adults with learning difficulties (milestone 4-8 Pre-entry students).

from Widgit Software

e.g colours, alphabet

To Buy : Signalong

Makaton online shop

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Using your college library to buy resources.

I mentioned in my last blog that in my experience College libraries often don't spend a lot on resources for students with learning difficulties and are always pleased when you find a useful resource they can buy. Our Learning Resource Centre ( Library) has recently ordered us some new resources and were very keen to do this . The benefit for our department was that this didn't come out of our budget and we gained some resources available to the whole teaching team.
I have a few suggestions :

Shape Up -The Movie

Safety First

The list could be longer but I'll save it for another day. Have you found any good DVDs/Cd's, books or journals to recommend?

Health and Safety signs

I have two more resources that you might like to use when teaching health and safety to students with learning difficulties at Entry level.

BBC Northern Ireland has a
health and safety signs interactive quiz.
It needs the learner to be able to read, so might be a good one for the the interactive whiteboard.

The second is a resource to buy.

Bring a smile to safety training. is a resource intended as 'a useful training guide for new employees and a valuable refresher for other workers' .It also works for every level of student .

Originally they were published as three short videos and I have used "Best signs story" The section on safety signs with my entry level students.

It may already be be available in your library, but if not get them to order it. College libraries often don't spend a lot on resources for students with learning difficulties and are always pleased when you find a useful resource they can buy.

Also see my blog entries: Looking at Hazards

Health and Safety

Thanks to my colleague John for finding the BBC quiz.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Get the RSS feed from Learning Disability

The right hand column of my blog has an interesting RSS feed that you might like to explore further or get for yourself.
Take a look at :
Society: Learning disability
There are some wonderful photos from the Mencap Snap competition and some interesting stories with a learning disabilities focus.Getting an RSS Feed is really easy and Commoncraft has a good introduction.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Children in Need

Children in Need is on Friday November 14th
I will be making some cakes and biscuits with my cookery group.

Lakeland have some Pudsey Cake Cases for £1.49

and Pudsey Cookie Cutter for £1.99

I've printed off some labels( Pudsey stickers)from the Learning Zone section of the Children in Need website

and each student will have a money box to take home with them to raise funds from their cakes and biscuits.

can be adapted from the Children in Need Party Biscuit recipe

or a Ginger Biscuit from Rosie bakes a 'peace' of cake blog
Fairy cakes from BBC Food

Friday, 7 November 2008

Letter recognition .

3 letter recognition activities that worked well for me with my adults with learning difficulties at M7 (working within an Entry 1 group)bingo from Worksheet genius . A whole class activity that can be differentiated so that some are learning the name of the letter, some the sound. It can further be supported by writing the letter on the board and using a Learning Assistant to point the letters out on an alphabet card .letter mashup from Sen Teacher Printables. Choose letters from their names to start with. Choose the large text with extra spacing and remove the symbols.

ngfl wales has a good interactive snap game matching lower case letters(other options available)
Lesson aims
To learn the letters of the alphabet
Be able to match the lower case letters of the alphabet
Identify and name the lowercase letters l r s

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Yasmin Fedda and the Breadmakers

There is a great 11 minute award-winning film by Yasmin Fedda to watch watch here
link has gone missing on  BBC Film network.
 The film documents the work of the bakery team at Garvald Edinburgh. They provide day, accommodation and support services for adults with disabilities inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner.
The film shows their principles of recognising and valuing the uniqueness of each person and allowing people to realise their potential.
links updated Feb 2017

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Recognising and counting numbers to 10

Some of my Entry level Life skills class have skills at Milestone 7/8. (Students with learning difficulties often have spiky profiles.)
In our basic skills lessons we are working on to counting consistently to 10 and recognition of numbers 1-10.
Here are some ideas:
NB: clicking on the pictures takes you to the website but you have to use the back button to return to the blog.
The learning portal has a good interactive counting game based around shopping . It has sound and is self correcting .

a simple number bingo game 1-10 made with Worksheet Genius.

Count and sort everyday objects up to 10

Cutlery, cups,
felt tips and playing cards.

Senteacher has number cards in its printables section .

These could be put next to the objects when counting.

Dominoes are good for counting

Pages 1-9 of In the Office on the

Skillsworkshop site are all simple worksheets on number recognition .

The Counting Game is an interactive counting game on Room 108. It needs mouse skills has no sound .It needs simple reading skills so would require 1:1 support to start, or the interactive whiteboard

There is a similar small counting game on Maths slice

Playing card activities are good :
There are lots of playing cards ideas on do 2 learn web site


SNAP Old Maid Memory

The students could also sort playing cards then count the playing cards

page 5 of In the Office Skillsworkshop site provides a worksheet for this activity.