Saturday, October 11, 2014

Apps to Support Students with Dyslexia

At the moment the topic of Dyslexia is huge in the minds of educators.  This is because most educators have students who suffer effects of diagnosed dyslexia or are presenting signs of undiagnosed dyslexia in our classrooms today.  

The number of these students are increasing and the support given to schools and educators who are working one on one with these students in general is limited.  As educators all we want to do, is be able to empower our students by teaching them the skills and strategies to achieve, and watch them experience success as they face the demands of a school day.

As a language-based disorder, dyslexia is often associated with speech problems, word recognition and spelling difficulties.  While dyslexia is a lifelong learning difficulty, early and effective methods can decrease its impact and help dyslexic students maintain the same learning level as their peers. 

Within the classroom today technology enables educators to offer amazing opportunities for their students with learning difficulties.  The secret is to be able to source the resources that best meets the demands of these learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

As educators it is our job to enable all students to achieve and perform to the best of their ability, this can be achieved when they are provided with the necessary support, resources and the right environment to thrive in.  

Below are a couple of links that may have just what you are looking for, check them out, assess what is best for your learner, and add to your classroom iPad.  

7 Apps for Dyslexia

50 iPad apps for Dyslexia

NZ has some amazing resources to support educators on their journey to understand dyslexia and approaches to use within the classroom and for whanau.  These NZ Ministry of Education resources can be viewed via the following links...

NZ Ministry of Education - Dyslexia

4D The New Thinking Paradigm

Technology is but one way to support your students with learning difficulties.  A few years ago I worked closely with Tracy my wonderful RTLB - Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour.  Tracy applied the Ron Davis approach to teaching and learning for a student presenting signs of dyslexia and had successful results in reading, writing and above all the students self worth.

Ron Davis Program

An enlightening Ted Talk - Ted Youth...

Dyslexia - Australia

Dyslexia SPELD Foundation

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Numeracy Symposium 2013

WOW - my second year in a row sharing with like minded teachers the skills of integrating iPads into the Numeracy Programme.

I was able to share and showcase a couple of new ideas.  One new app that stood out this year was the Te reo Maori app with links to the numeracy project - tumeke.

Also the SMAR model - this I believe is a very valuable tool for all teachers with an iPad in their classroom to check out and ask themselves the curly questions about their delivery and application of iPads into their classroom routines.

Senior Teacher Module 1 - Week 3 Triad Activity

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Animation - The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

As I am completing my first week of my Senior Teacher module one, this was one of my tasks to watch prior to reading APST.  

Really impressed with the layout of this document and how easily you can rate yourself, identify next steps and set future goals.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Kapa Haka Festival 'probably the biggest yet'


Te Wharekura o Arowhenua intermediate kapa haka group
                               NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
PERFORMANCE: Members of the Te Wharekura o Arowhenua intermediate kapa haka group take to the stage with passion at Nga Putangitangi.

"To find one self and experience wholeness is to know

your culture and be involved" 

As a Ngai Tahu Maori passionate about my culture and language, every chance I had within my  teaching career I found means and ways to uphold Te reo Maori within the schools I worked at.  Some of my most memorable moments were watching tamariki take the stage after months and months of preparation to show case their skills and abilities to entertain.  Speech competitions were upheld annually giving all students the opportunity to learn about their whakapapa, use a mihimihi before speaking.  To be a New Zealander is to have the opportunity to participate and perform in the areas of Tikanga me Te reo Maori. 

Over the years I was fortunat to be involved in a committee that provided a platform for an annual speech and kappa haka competition.  The last year with the committee, I held the role as Chairperson and I worked with a number of people who I admire for their commitment and dedication to see our tamariki in the Southland area have the opportunity to be involved in these competitions each year.  Many of our teachers and tutors have grown over the years with this chance to create and inspire the tamarikit they tutored.

Organisers of the 2013 Nga Putangitangi say they are thrilled the annual event is thriving and continuing to grow 21 years after it was established.
Chairwoman Jasmine Rolton said 13 schools and 20 groups took part at the SIT Velodrome yesterday, with an overflow of spectators for the 1099-capacity seating.
She believed more than 3000 people turned out to watch the performances throughout the day.
The day was all about the tamariki, many of whom had practised all year for the performance, she said.
Pupils from many cultures had joined groups at a young age and were passionate about language and performing arts.
This was their opportunity to shine and there were not too many opportunities for the Maori community to give performances, which inspired so much pride.
Year 11, 12 and 13 pupils from Te Wharekura o Arowhenua handled the MC duties.
"These older pupils did a tremendous job and are role models for the younger children. It gives them something to aspire to and shows them what opportunities they might have."
Nga Putangitangi unveiled its new paradise duck logo T-shirts at the event.
"Once the pupils perform, they stretch their wings out above and beyond their ability to shine, which was the concept behind the logo," Ms Rolton said.
Her move to Australia was imminent but she remained dedicated to Nga Putangitangi, staying in Invercargill so she could complete her duties.
Nga Putangitangi treasurer Ann Reedy has been on the committee for 12 years and is the longest-serving member.
She had seen the festival grow year after year but "this is probably the biggest yet".
The festival had moved from the Civic Theatre to accommodate the growth.
The event was important because it fostered the Maori culture, keeping it alive.
The event retained pupils' skills in the arts and boosted their confidence, she said.
"It gives them and us an enormous sense of pride."
The pupils put so much effort into their performances that some were hardly able to speak when they had finished, she said.