Archive for November 2011

Ofsted Annual Report

The latest Ofsted annual report has been published today, and contains information on schools, children's centres, teacher education and more. Press reaction to the report has been mixed; the BBC highlights some points about coasting schools, while Children & Young People Now has chosen to focus on improvements across children's services.

The different section of the report and various supporting resources are available from this link.

Children Who are Read To Just Know More!

We were discussing in our reading class this week how research indicates that children who are read to on a regular basis simply know more when they get to school.  Besides preparing the child to be a reader, being read to increases vocabulary and allows for more discussion and conversation. Combine that with the regular model of reading fluency from the adult and you have a prescription for a successful reader. We also know that children must be explicitly taught reading kills. Having the language background of hearing and participating in stories provides a wonderful foundation for those reading skills to make sense. It also provides a connection between print, reading and talking. That connection is not automatic with many children.

We don't know for sure what type of a world our child will have in 15 years. One way we can help him is to arm him with skills he will need no matter what the world looks like. Reading is one of those skills.

Sowing The Seeds

Readers with an interest in outdoor learning may want to take notice of a new publication from Tim Gill. The report, entitled Sowing the Seeds, examines the amount of opportunities that children from London have to spend time in natural green spaces, and argues that regular exposure to such environments is important for children's emotional and physical wellbeing. Those with an interest in forest schools will also find plenty of useful material in the report.

Tim Gill was also the author of the influential 2007 report No Fear, about the importance of risk in childhood - see previous post for details.

Educational Toys in Home Schooling

Homeschooling, also known as home education and home learning, is the education of children at home rather than in traditional schools. Parents sometimes hire tutors, but for the most part, parents play the primary role in teaching. The reasons for homeschooling are diverse, but often include religious or political beliefs, or simply a concern for the quality of learning in conventional schools. No matter the reason, it is imperative that home-schooled children have an enriched environment to nurture crucial developmental skills.

Enriching the Home Environment

Because traditional schooling is rich in environmental stimuli, parents wishing to home school their children strive to compensate for this deficit. Learning approaches that engage the child and keep learning interesting are often highly effective means of environmental enrichment. The play to learn approach, in which children teach themselves important developmental skills through play, is an excellent way to enrich the home environment and accelerate early childhood development and learning.

Educational Toys as Learning Tools

Parents also strive to keep their children motivated to learn, and to instill a strong sense of self-esteem in home schooled children. Children are also easily distracted, so it is imperative to keep them engaged in learning. Educational toys are very effective, as they are stimulating to children, and make learning enjoyable. They also help children to extend their imaginations, and can lead to more effective learning. Home school parents often find it very helpful to include them as a part of their children's curriculum to keep things fresh and to foster a good attitude.

What Home School Parents Should Look For

Not all educational toys are created equal. Some are more effective than others both in engaging children's attention and in building important skill sets. It is often helpful for these toys to present a style of learning that is structured and comprehensive, but that also keeps children motivated and having fun. Often those toys that are modular in design, and that can teach many different skill sets are particularly useful to home school parents.

What Educational Toys Should Teach Children

Educational toys should be enjoyable, but should also be designed with the intent to develop a particular skill set. It is important for the toy to be structured and geared around a target age group because children pass different developmental milestones as they progress through childhood. For children under 5, they should focus on building a foundation skill set that will be supportive of more advanced learning later on. Important skills are visual perception, shape and color recognition, concentration, memorization and basic linguistic skills. As children progress in their development, it is important to enrich for more advanced skill sets. Toys for children over age 5 should focus on more complex and advanced developmental skills. Important skills at this age are critical thinking, abstract thinking, logical thinking, math, geometry, linguistic, pattern recognition, associative and memorization skills.

Home schooling can be a wonderful gift that parents give their children. It allows for parents to nurture their children in the abilities and subject areas that they find to be the most important. Parents are also able to enrich their children's environment in order to strengthen important skill sets, and educational toys represent a powerful and effective means to do so.

5 Tips on How to Prepare For Your Kids' College Education

How to Keep School Children on TaskMany kids only start thinking about college education when they reach high school. As for parents, it is a different story. College education costs are not going to get lower when your kids grow up. In fact, the costs increase as the inflation goes up. Thus, it is better to start early for you as a parent to start planning for your kids' college education fund even when they are still babies.

The problem is that many parents have no clue about how to save money for their kids' college education. These tips can give you a head start in the process.

- Research on the various college saving plans. Currently, in the market there are so many different types of college saving plans that offer different advantages. Study them and select the best one that suits your requirements. These plans offer attractive tax benefits which you can ask a financial advisor to help you if you do not understand how it works.

- Choose a prepaid college tuition plan instead. These plans give you the option to lock in the current college tuition costs which you do not have to deal with the increasing cost later. Furthermore, you do not have to select any college first at this stage. As the plans are managed by the states, the student is only allowed to choose any public college within that state which his tuition plan indicates. However, if he wants to go another college of a different state or private college, he has to pay more.

- Start early. When your kid is still a baby, it is the best time to get started. This allows you to put money into the children college saving fund every month but a lesser amount compared to parents whose children are in grade school and they have to put in a bigger amount to save for the kids. You have a head start and by the time your kid is ready for college, you have a healthy college fund for him or her.

- Put regular savings into your kids' college education fund. Every month, you can put aside a fixed amount of money from your paycheck to your kid's college education fund which you set up for them. When you get a bonus or money incentives, you should put some of them into that saving accounts. Bear in mind to keep within the annual contribution limit to avoid any unnecessary penalties.

- Use parent's name for the college savings accounts. Why? This enables the parents to control the money or else the kids may use the money for their fun.

Now, you have realized that saving for your kids' college education requires a lot of planning and it is at your advantage to start early. By choosing a suitable college savings plan and regularly putting money into the account, your kids' college education is ensured.

To find out which college savings plan meets your specific requirements and is most suitable for your kid, visit Student Loans Mentor to get the latest information. Also, do check out how Grants and Savings Plans can help you to stretch your dollars and increase your savings.

Children's Book Publishing

Children's books are among the top selling books in the publishing business. It's no wonder. Children have loved stories for thousands of years, passed down through the centuries by their parents. Haven't you made up an entertaining tale for a child somewhere along the way?

Today, children's story books have the most fantastic illustrations, with glitter, pop-ups and hologram effects which can certainly capture the attention of any child. Parents can't resist these books and friends and family members love to give them as gifts to young children. So, the children's book publishing market is booming.

In the not-too-distant past, the children's book publishing industry was dominated by the big "houses" of publishing. With net technology, graphic design software and e-book compilers, you can start your own children's book publishing company, offering both hard copy and electronic formats. If you're really on a shoestring, start out with an e-book only format.

If you're so lucky as to be both an artist and writer, you've got a lucrative, entertaining and soul-stretching online business venture just waiting out there. Enough of the starving artist!

If you're not so gifted, the worst case scenario means you'll need to hire a professional illustrator or graphic designer and an editor who can polish your story. If you're not web-savvy, you'll need a web designer as well to put your page up. If you think you've got the ideas that will appeal to your audience, your investment will be worthwhile.

One low budget advertising campaign that produces significant amounts of traffic to your site consists of articles pertaining to your product subject. For example, if you're selling a children's book telling the story of migrating whales encountering the joys and dangers of their journey, write an article targeted to educational sites. Write a piece that shows you've done your homework, have accurate facts and have a passion for your subject.

Your subtle advertisement is contained in your byline. "Mary Jones writes children's books, specializing in animal stories and ancient myths. Mary's books are widely admired for their accurate depictions..." You can see how you'll garner attention from potential buyers with a simple article posted on article directories.

In this scenario, another effective marketing strategy would be to submit articles to newsletters pertaining to parenting, books or children's education. Offer your article for free, the only condition being that a byline and link to your site be included.

The children's book publishing industry is making a transition to the electronic and digital world, with all the magic the new technology offers in visual pleasure for children everywhere. If you're looking for a home-based business that puts a little good in the world, think about children's book publishing.

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How to Keep School Children on Task

The biggest complaint I get from parents is that their child has a lack of focus and cannot stay on task long enough to get their work done. Parents even admit that they get so frustrated by their child's inability to stay on task that they often end up doing their child's homework just to help the problem go away!

There could be many reasons why a child finds it difficult to stay on task. Children find it difficult to stay on task when the task is boring and repetitive or they don't know why they have to do it. Children who have a poor sense of responsibility may not take ownership of the task and wait until someone does it for them. But the main reason children find it difficult to stay on task is because they don't understand what they have to do.

The problem is that when children don't finish their work they miss important learning opportunities and may never get the grades they deserve. So, rather than nagging your child to complete a task or even doing it yourself here are some things you can do if your child finds it difficult to stay on task.

1. Make sure that your child knows what they have to do.
Try asking your child these questions;
* What do you need to do?
* What can you do to solve this problem?
* Are you sure you know how to do this?
* Do you need any help?

2. Set a goal.
Children quickly get off task when they are unsure about what result they are aiming for. Make sure that your child understands the goal of any piece of work. The goal may be to write five pages, finish a worksheet, plan a project, study for a test. Make sure that you child will recognize when he or she has reached this goal.

3. Help your child set up steps to reach the goal.
Students need to see how small steps can help them reach big goals. When your child can see small steps that he knows he can do he will not be overwhelmed by the larger task.

4. Celebrate each step.
Check lists are good for this. Write out the steps your child has to go through and check them off when they are completed. This provides your child with the encouragement he needs to go to the next step.

5. Keep a record of progress.
Nothing succeeds like success. Keep a list of all the tasks your child has completed. That way he will know that he can stay on task and that he can get his work done.

If, after trying all these steps, your child still has difficulty staying on task the chances are that he or she has a learning difficulty of some kind. You need to discover what it is and what you can do about it so that your child can get back to learning as soon as possible.

Dr. Patricia Porter is an educational consultant who specializes in working with parents who are concerned about their child's education and want to know how they can help your child learn in the most efficient, effective ways possible.

If you are interested in knowing more download her free 'Parent Starter Kit' at

Reasons For Parents to Homeschool Their Children

In today's diverse society, parents are realizing that they ultimately have the divine responsibility of raising and educating their own children. For this reason, parents are being more proactive in selecting their child's educational needs. While some parents opt to send their children to school--public or private--others make the bold decision to Homeschool their children. There are three reasons for parents to Homeschool their children, which are the following:

Reason #1: Parents want to control how much their child learns in a given school year. Parents realize that in some schools children are only limited to the content that is learned in the classroom. It is not always a guarantee that their child will learn beyond the standardized curriculum so parents make the decision to Homeschool to ensure that their child is getting the education that they deserve. In addition to home schooling, parents seek out private tutors because they may not have the skill set to teach their child in a certain subject area or hire a certified teacher to design instruction for them to use at home.

Reason #2: Parents think that there are less distractions at home resulting in higher student achievement. In the classroom, there are many distractions that students must endure to learn. For example, excessive talking in the classroom is a challenge for most students and bullying is becoming more and more prevalent in all classrooms. Therefore, for the sake of their children, parents may choose to Homeschool them to ensure that they have a safe learning environment in which they can significantly increase their learning.

Reason #3: Parents want the flexibility that comes along with home schooling their children. Homeschool Parents are not always the parents who stay-at-home to teach their child. Parents are able to hire a certified teacher, private tutor, or tutoring company to Homeschool their child. In addition, there are now online schools that are available to Homeschool children and parents may opt to utilize their educational services. The point is that there are many ways that parents can choose to Homeschool their children.

Homeschooling allows parents to choose their child's school schedule. For example, a parent may decide to take their child to a doctor's appointment in the afternoon. The fact that the school schedule is flexible, the child has not missed any content because this appointment can be worked around the child's learning schedule. The bottom line is all parents want to see their child succeed in life. Since parents have control of their child's educational affairs, it is truly up to the parent to decide which educational setting is best for their children--public, private, or Homeschooling.

About the Author

Alicia Holland-Johnson, EdD, is a proud mother of two beautiful daughters and an educator with ten years of teaching experience at all levels, including university teaching. She also works as a professional tutor at Realistic Measures & Consulting ( ) and a consultant in the education industry. Her passion is helping individuals believe in themselves and go far. To receive a free special report, join the blog at

Importance of Special Education

Children with learning disabilities often form negative opinions of school and education. This isn't their fault. The need for more special education classes offered to these children is a necessary addition to the school system. All children have the possibility of a bright future ahead of them. All children should have an enjoyment of learning not a fear of it. It is the responsibility of the generations before theirs, the adults in this world, to see that that happens.

A special education class comes in many different forms. Basically though it is a class geared toward specific learning disabilities displayed in children and adults. These classes work with an individual in a way that best fits their learning process. Not everyone see the world in the same way, not everyone is going to pick up on things as quickly or understand them like others do. That doesn't mean it is impossible for a child or even an adult to learn new things. The possibility of being able to live an active and fulfilling life is a possibility for everyone no matter the disability they are born with. Most special education classes are focused on the major groups of disabilities such as Aspergers Autism, Dyslexia and many other learning disorders.

However, there are smaller syndromes such as ADHD that cause learning disabilities and yet these children are expected to fit in to a normal school structure and keep up with their peers. In some cases this is impossible for the child and can actually be detrimental to their education, not to mention their self-confidence and self-image. Because disabilities such as ADHD are hard to diagnose and an article of controversy amongst the medical professions, these children are often left by the way side and are the worse for it.

It doesn't take much to make an effort in helping a child with a learning disability. Patience and understanding are the key points. This of course can be difficult in public schools with large classroom sizes. Every child deserves some one on one time with the teacher. But a child with a learning disability needs a little extra of that time. This is why special education programs are so important to the health of our children's educational future. We need more teachers and more programs dedicated to the education of all children. The argument is right in that our future depends on it.

Learning should be a fun activity. Life and the world around us is always changing, always adapting and always growing. We should take an active part in it and receive enjoyment from learning from it. Having a learning disability should not keep us from doing so. Having a learning disability should not be a stigma placed on our children. It does not make them less of a person. It only means they see something differently than the rest of us. In fact, if we try looking at the world from their point of view we may even learn something. Developing a broader special education system should be a priority of the education system.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit

Benefits of Educational Toys to Children

Are you looking for different types of toys to stimulate the minds of your preschoolers or toddlers? Are you confused on what type of toys to give them? Are you looking for toys to make them laugh, enjoy and learn at the same time? If so, consider the tips and suggestions mentioned below.

Selecting toys for your toddlers can be challenging because of the numerous factors to consider and several choices to select from. Despite the myriad toys found in the market, you should be cautious and careful of your choice because of the prevalence of imitation toys and those containing toxic materials.

Results of studies show that children's intelligence quotient (IQ) can be increased by more than 50 points given the right simulation during the first six years of their life. Even if your child already has some natural skills, you can further develop their skills by giving them the right educational and developmental toys. These toys can improve your child's reading skills, memory retention, motor skills, math skills and eye-hand coordination.

Researchers also found that educational toys have been proven to be beneficial to a child's early development because it can boost its emotional, social, physical and intellectual growth not only in toddlers but in children of all ages.

For those who think that educational toys only provide playtime for children, you are wrong because aside from providing fun and excitement, these toys create strong education foundation. Moreover, their hand-eye coordination, patience and understanding of causal relationships are developed.

To keep them interest in learning, parents should get the right educational toys for their children. To get the appropriate toys for them, you need to pay attention to the suggested age ranges of toys. Before buying one for your child, you should first determine their developmental needs.

Aside from proper age range, other factors that need to be considered include:

    * Size - In every toy purchase you make, be sure to examine carefully for small parts. If ever you see one, you should not buy the toy and look for another one. It is best to avoid toys containing small parts to avoid choking accident. Toddlers are known to put toys or any other things on their mouth.

    * Smell - Avoid buying toys which has a delicious or yummy smell because your child may think it is good to eat. Avoid giving them to one to two years old child because they do not know if this toy is edible or not.

    * Sharp edges - As your common sense tells you, sharp objects are dangerous to your children. It is also applicable in toy selection. You should not buy those with sharp edges to avoid untoward accidents and injuries from happening.

    * Toxicity - Make it a habit to read toy packaging before paying them to the cashier to ensure that it does not contain any toxic chemicals which could be harmful to the health and well-being of your child. Avoid buying toys which are lead-based.

    * Weight - Avoid buying heavy toys. If it is heavy for you, how much more for your child.

The techniques, ideas and suggestions mentioned beforehand will guide you on every education toy you purchase.

Melody Andes enjoys writing for which sells waiting room toys and kids furniture as well as a host of additional products.

Safeguarding Children Across Services

Safeguarding Children Across Services: Messages from Research is a recent publication from the Department of Education. The report provides an overview of 15 separate studies carried out within England, and is aimed at professionals who engage with child protection in their everyday work.

Anti-Bullying Week

Today is the beginning of Anti-Bullying Week, an annual event supported by various charities and other organisations to raise awareness of the problems that bullying can cause. So it's with good timing that the NFER has just published Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones but Being Left on my Own is Worse - this report covers the results of a survey which asked children whether they had experienced bullying over the last 12 months, and if so why they think they may have been bullied.

To see a list of all previous posts on this subject, click on 'Bullying' in the 'Hot Topics' menu on the right of the page.

Historia social: cosas que otros llevan alrededor del cuerpo

A Erik le encantan las cosas que se pueden llevar alrededor del cuerpo: collares, pulseras, medallas, cinturones, pañuelos, arneses… Le gustan tanto, que a veces no podía controlar el impulso de lanzarse y coger las cosas que otras personas llevan alrededor de su cuerpo.

Este impulso ocasionó en ocasiones problemas, pues les quitaba por las bravas cosas a otros pequeños o en ese intento las rompía. Yo misma tuve que prescindir de llevar collares y hasta me tuve que quitar la alianza. Y Erik tan chulo con su collar de ámbar y el brazo repleto de pulseritas de goma (gracias, Unax, por haber sido tan generoso con él en Vitoria)

Llevamos ya tiempo trabajando esta conducta inadecuada. Afortunadamente, hoy en día, ha aprendido a controlarse: le siguen gustando las cosas alrededor del cuerpo, tanto si las lleva él, como si son de otras personas, pero ya no las arranca.

Escribí una historia social con actividades –que veremos a continuación-. También le preparé varias camisetas de ropa interior con cintas cosidas que se podía ajustar al cuerpo él mismo. Además de darle seguridad, evitamos con ello que se “atara” con fulares o que en la clase de gimnasia fuera corriendo a ajustarse cuerdas colgantes, entre otras cosas. Ahora ya tampoco le hacen falta esas camisetas.

Es curioso, pero Erik dice que “mi mejor momento en la vida es” cuando trepa con arneses por paredes o cuando salta en trampolines gigantes ajustado con arneses también. Incluso durante un tiempo nos comentaba que “cuando vuelva a nacer, quiero ser un caballo”; ahora ha cambiado de idea, y quiere ser uno de esos gansos salvajes que pueden sobrevolar el Everest “porque vuelan a más de 8.000 metros de altura”. Eso sí, conmigo siempre de mamá, jajaa, ya me veo poniendo huevitos.

Bueno, no me extiendo más y comparto la historias social y las actividades que hemos realizado. Normalmente, una historia social se escribe en primera persona, pero las preparo en segunda persona porque soy yo quien se las lee a Erik. Puede que la idea os venga bien para trabajar otros impulsos de vuestros pequeños. En mi caso, por ejemplo, me basé en una historia social que leí en un libro sobre un chico fascinadisimo por las chupas de cuero, quien también se lanzaba a por ellas.

- le damos información de la situación
- dirigimos sus actos hacia lo que queremos que aprenda
- le explicamos que ocurre si no hace lo correcto
- le hacemos una recopilación de lo que debe evitar
- le animamos a que lo va a conseguir
- terminamos con las consecuencias positivas por haberlo logrado

Lógicamente no es el resultado de un día, y hay que trabajarlo y repasarlo con el niño durante varios días seguidos. A la par, se pueden representar situaciones con figuritas de Lego.

Como a partir de ahora subiré al blog diferentes historias sociales, os dejó la ponencia de Aurora Garrigós “Aprendo a hacer historias sociales”. Recomiendo encarecidamente su libro “Pictogramas y pautas desarrolladas para síndrome de Asperger”. Lo ha publicado la editorial Psylicom y los podéis adquirir en este enlace. Me parece un libro buenísimo, y muchos materiales me sirven ya tal cual para seguir trabajando con Erik o me aportan ideas para adaptarlos. Ojalá que a vosotros tambien os venga bien.

Aprendo a Hacer Historias Sociales

La hierba crece con vigor y nueva imagen

A Erik le gusta observar la hierba y dibujar casas con tuberías sobre praderas infinitas. Su mirada abarca el poder de los pequeños detalles. Conversa, juega, interactúa, sonríe, sueña, desea… Es un niño maravilloso que tiene autismo. En nuestra vida con otro ritmo, no sólo hay lucha o terapias, sino la intensidad del movimiento siempre hacia ADELANTE. Bienvenidos a este espacio para reflexionar y conocer cómo vivimos felices con el autismo.

Con estas palabras y el cuento El sonido de la hierba al crecer nacía con muchísimo cariño este blog el 8 de enero de 2009. Mi intención era compartir cómo estábamos trabajando día a día con Erik: los programas, materiales y estrategias, muchas veces acompañado con cortes de vídeo. Han pasado casi tres años, con un millón de visitas y miles de descargas y copias de los documentos. Para mí es maravilloso comprobar que nuestro trabajo les está sirviendo a otras personas.

Muchos de los seguidores del blog estáis ahí desde el principio y habéis vivido en primera mano los progresos y las dificultades de Erik. Conocéis su esfuerzo por aprender y sus ganas de que se vea ante todo el niño maravilloso que es por encima de cualquier etiqueta. ¡Gracias a las 539 personas que nos acompañan, así como a los 514 suscriptores del blog!

¿Qué puedo decir? Soy una madre orgullosísima, llena de fuerza y de optimismo. También hemos pasado momentos muy difíciles, pero quizás debido a mi carácter y a la fuerza que día a día me da Erik El sonido de la hierba al crecer está sobre todo colmado de optimismo. Como decimos: ADELANTE SIEMPRE.

La hierba sigue creciendo con más vigor. Conforme Erik progresa, surgen nuevas necesidades. Ahora, con el comienzo del cole, he estado un poquito más alejada del blog. Mi campeón tenía que adaptarse a la nueva situación, y hemos estado trabajando muchas cosas nuevas, que en breve compartiré en cuanto las traduzca.

Sí, seguimos con más ganas que nunca y, además, con nueva imagen en el blog. Varias veces he comentado que soy una patata informática; uf, si no es por la ayuda de Maite Navarro, esto habría sido un desastre, jaja. Pero el blog necesitaba más organización, así como facilitaros a todos un mejor acceso a las entradas, a los materiales…en definitiva, a este gran trabajo de muchos años. Y por eso he pedido ayuda profesional.

GRACIAS a Gema, de Gemablog, y al equipo que conforma Reinventaweb ha quedado un blog fabuloso. ¡Estoy contentísma! Me puse en contacto con ellos para pedir un SOS grandote. Son encantadores, da gusto trabajar con ellos porque es una atención personal y a la medida de lo que necesitamos. Os recomiendo que si tenéis que arreglar esas cosillas que tantos quebraderos de cabeza dan o no tenéis tiempo, pues ale, les podéis enviar un mail a este correo:

Tienen diferentes presupuestos siempre a la medida, y en mi caso han sido 75 euros por un trabajo magnífico. Además fui viendo todo paso a paso en una demo que habilitaron. Jope, una maravilla.

Espero que ahora El sonido de la hierba al crecer resulte todavía más cómodo. Estoy siempre dispuesta a mejorar, así que cualquier cosa que veáis que falla o falta, pues me lo decís.

Gracias a todos por hacer posible este espacio.

La pasada de AraWord. Gracias, ARASAAC

Estoy deseando probar el Araword, pero no quería dejar pasar más tiempo sin hablaros de él, porque es una pasada según comentan quienes ya lo están disfrutando a tope. Comparto el artículo publicado en Autismo Diario:

AraWord es una aplicación informática gratuita, enmarcada dentro de una suite de herramientas para la comunicación aumentativa y alternativa. Consiste en un procesador de textos que permite la escritura simultánea de texto y pictogramas. Así faclita la elaboración de materiales y la adaptación de textos para las personas que presentan dificultades en el ámbito de la comunicación funcional..

AraWord está disponible para la descarga en el blog de ARASAC . Una especial mención para sus creadores que son: Joaquín Pérez Marco, bajo la supervisión de Joaquín Ezpeleta Mateo (Departamento de Informática e Ingeniería de Sistemas de la Universidad de Zaragoza) y han colaborado en el mismo, profesionales del C.P.E.E. Alborada y del Centro Aragonés de Tecnologías para la Educación (CATEDU).

Instalar AraWord es muy fácil, solo hay que descargar el fichero del enlace que hay en la web, y hacer doble clic para instalarlo. Una vez instalado pueden pasar dos cosas, que tengamos o no instalada una cosa llamada JRE. Sin esta aplicación AraWord no funciona. Que no cunda el pánico, que es muy fácil instalarlo. Hay que ir a este enlace y descargar la última versión del motor de Java. Una vez descargado se instala y listos hemos acabado. Ya podemos empezar a probar AraWord.

Lo primero que hay que destacar es que es muy fácil usarlo, que todos los pictogramas que vienen por defecto son los pictogramas de ARASAC, pero podemos añadir nuevos pictogramas a nuestro gusto. Incluso disponer de diversas opciones para la misma definición. El manual de AraWord es muy sencillo y está muy bien explicado, seguirlo paso a paso y descubriréis cómo usar la aplicación en 10 minutos. Podéis consultar el manual aquí.

Tras instalarlo y leer el manual nos pusimos a usarlo. Tal y como hemos comentado bastan 10 minutos para sacarle todo el partido. Además, copiar un texto desde otro programa y pegarlo en AraWord es una gozada, inmediatamente se convierte todo en pictogramas.

Nos permite realizar todo tipo de paneles, agendas, o incluso adaptar cuentos o lecturas. Una vez hemos hecho nuestro picto-texto sencillamente exportamos a un fichero de imagen. Aunque aún no exporta la imagen al tamaño exacto -hay que recortar las partes en blanco, tal y como se indica en el manual- y esperamos que esto mejore en futuras versiones, es un problema menor.

En una hora de uso se puede generar una gran cantidad de fichas de gran calidad, mejorar agendas, o mejorar historias sociales. Que por cierto, se puede usar para crear también historias sociales, aunque a nuestro modo de ver para eso se queda un pelín corto. En pocas palabras, AraWord funciona muy bien, es tremendamente útil y sencillo. No perdáis más tiempo leyendo este texto e ir al anexo de enlaces y descargar el programa, leed el manual, instalarlo y ¡disfrutar!

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Manual AraWord
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Institución Diseñadora y Ejecutora
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Todos los niveles

Directivos, Docentes de Educación Parvularia, Básica, Media, Adultos, Especial y Profesionales Asistentes de la Educación, que se desempeñan en establecimientos subvencionados que cuentan con Proyectos de Integración Escolar (PIE)

Condiciones de postulación

  • Encontrarse trabajando en establecimientos subvencionados que tengan Proyectos de Integración Escolar (PIE)
  • Se favorecerá la selección de docentes postulantes que trabajen en un mismo colegio, para potenciar el trabajo virtual y la puesta en práctica de sus productos
  • Se favorecerá la selección de docentes postulantes cuando junto con ellos se inscriba el coordinador(a) del Proyecto de Integración Escolar (PIE)
  • Se favorecerá la selección de docentes postulantes que adjunten una carta de compromiso de su director(a), de acuerdo al formato de carta que aquí se presenta
  • Manejo nivel usuario de PC, correo electrónico e Internet.
  • Poseer una cuenta de correo electrónico personal.

Missing Out

Today the Children's Society has published Missing Out: a Child Centred Analysis of Material Deprivation and Subjective Well-Being. This is a study of what items and experiences children themselves think are necessary for a ‘normal kind of life’, whether lacking these items and experiences is related to their self-reported well-being, and which items or types of items seem to be the most important. A summary of the main points can be found in this article.



Resumen: El objetivo de este artículo es abordar el problema de las dificultades fonológicas en niños y jóvenes a través de la teoría metafonológica y describir el funcionamiento de este enfoque. El enfoque está basado en los procesos fonológicos y permite intervenir afectando la reorganización cognitiva de fonemas y palabras. La intervención sobre un fonema se generaliza a otros que comparten el mismo proceso fonológico aunque éstos no pertenezcan al inventario fonético del niño. En el marco de un proyecto interdisciplinar de ciencias cognitivas (sobre fonología computacional y mecanismos computacionales para modelar los procesos fonológicos) que ha visto involucrados logopedas clínicos así como profesorado universitario de diferentes áreas relacionadas con el lenguaje, se ha desarrollado un sistema de ayuda al logopeda que permite un análisis asistido por ordenador de los datos fonológicos. Este artículo presenta un enfoque lingüistico-computacional del estudio realizado en la universidad irlandesa de Trinity College de Dublín.

Palabras clave Enfoque metafonológico, procesos fonológicos, fonología computacional, análisis asistido por ordenador de datos fonológicos

Autor: Rosso, P.

"Hasta hace relativamente pocos años, los profesionales de la intervención en el lenguaje, analizaban las dificultades del habla infantil a partir de la descripción de su articulación tomando como unidad de análisis fundamental la noción de fonema. La naturaleza de los problemas residía casi siempre en un mal funcionamiento de los órganos periféricos del habla o en alteraciones motoras derivadas de un daño en el sistema nervioso central (Acosta, 1999). Desde hace un par de décadas, se ha empezado a replantear la definición de lo que se consideraban dificultades articulatorias de naturaleza más periférica, pasando a hablar de dificultades fonológicas tal y como se define en Acosta, León y Ramos (1998). El aprendizaje del sistema fonológico no sigue haciéndose sólo a través de la percepción auditiva, considerando las posibles dificultades articulatorias que requeriría la palabra deseable, sino que también se examinan problemas del habla derivados de factores más lingüísticos y cognitivos."



  • Trastornos Específicos del Lenguaje- Elvira Mendoza
  • Intervención fonético- fonológica - María Gortázar
  • Intervención en aspectos semánticos y pragmáticos- Marc Monfort
  • El trabajo en habilidades sociales en alumnos y alumnas con TEL- María José Pérez

e-Mintza: aplicación gratuita para facilitar la comunicación

-La aplicación se descarga en Internet y permite al usuario comunicarse con otras personas mediante la tecnología táctil y multimedia, a través, preferentemente, de una tableta táctil.

-Genera un tablero comunicativo con pictogramas o imágenes y sonidos asociados que permiten una comunicación directa y sencilla.

-El proyecto ha sido impulsado por la Fundación Orange y la Fundación Dr. Carlos Elosegui de Policlínica Gipuzkoa y desarrollado por Nesplora, en colaboración con la Asociación Gautena y el apoyo del Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo.

-La investigación ha contado, desde el primer momento, con la participación de los usuarios finales para que el proyecto respondiera realmente a sus necesidades.

-La aplicación se puede descargar desde el siguiente enlace:

 ¿Qué es e-Mintza?

e-Mintza es un sistema personalizable y dinámico de comunicación aumentativa y alternativa dirigido a personas con autismo o con barreras de comunicación oral o escrita. Nacido de la colaboración entre la Fundación Orange y la Fundación Dr. Carlos Elósegui de Policlínica Gipuzkoa, permite que el usuario pueda comunicarse con otras personas mediante el uso de tecnología táctil y multimedia, adaptándose fácilmente a las necesidades de sus usuarios. Asimismo promueve su autonomía a través de una agenda personalizada.

e-Mintza (que en Euskera quiere decir habla electrónica) es un programa de descarga gratuita que presenta un tablero de comunicación con pictogramas o imágenes y sonidos asociados que permiten una comunicación directa y sencilla. El tablero es fácilmente personalizable en cuanto a la lengua utilizada, textos, imágenes, vídeos o sonidos, en función de las necesidades del usuario, quien podrá interactuar preferentemente a través de una pantalla táctil en un dispositivo tipo tablet, pero también a través del ratón en el caso de una pantalla de ordenador no táctil.

Pensado en un inicio para facilitar la comunicación de las personas con autismo con las cuales se ha testeado la aplicación, el programa puede ser usado por otras muchas personas, dada su alta capacidad de personalización. Así, por ejemplo, puede ser útil para niños con sordera que aún no han adquirido un lenguaje, personas con discapacidad intelectual grave, pacientes con daño cerebral adquirido por traumatismos o accidentes, personas mayores con enfermedades neurodegenerativas, personas que no pueden expresarse por requerir intubación o ventilación asistida durante su estancia hospitalaria, etc.

Una de las características del software e-Mintza es la posibilidad de personalizarlo con fotos personales en vez de pictogramas o letras. Además, se incluye la opción de añadir vídeos.

El desarrollo técnico de e-Mintza ha sido realizado por la empresa Nesplora, contando con la esencial evaluación por parte de la Asociación de Autismo Gautena en las distintas fases del proyecto. Asimismo, parte de los pictogramas utilizados son del portal aragonés de pictogramas y recursos gráficos (ARASAAC).

La evaluación con los usuarios reales se ha mantenido durante un período de nueve meses teniendo en cuenta parámetros como la adecuación de los pictogramas, el tamaño de las fotos, la capacidad motriz del usuario, la utilidad comunicativa real y no tanto lúdica de la herramienta, la manejabilidad y la funcionalidad educativa, entre otros aspectos. Entre las novedades incorporadas tras la evaluación con los usuarios, destaca la agenda, en la que el usuario puede ubicar el plan temporal secuenciado hasta seis actividades por día o espacio temporal

e-Mintza ha contado con el apoyo económico del Plan Avanza2 del Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio.

 Cómo usar e-Mintza

El programa se compone de dos aplicaciones integradas:

- e-Mintza: genera un tablero de forma que al pulsar sobre cada categoría se abre una nueva pantalla en la que se presentan una serie de pictogramas, cada uno con un sonido asociado, y, al pulsar en cada pictograma, la voz envía el mensaje directo a una pizarra, que construye la frase. Por ejemplo, en la categoría comidas, se ofrecen distintos platos y alimentos y el usuario puede elegir entre todos ellos (representados por fotografías o pictogramas). El programa habla con voces reales, en euskera o en castellano, donadas por personas colaboradoras, de diversas edades.

- Herramienta de autor: desde la cual, el tutor (familiar, terapeuta o similar) o el mismo usuario, en su caso, podrán personalizar e-Mintza y crear el comunicador adaptado a las necesidades específicas de cada uno. Pudiéndose añadir o editar en cada categoría, de forma sencilla, nuevos pictogramas, fotografías o sonidos. Cada actualización que se realice desde la herramienta de autor se verá automáticamente reflejada en la aplicación e-Mintza.

e-Mintza, además de funcionar sobre diferentes dispositivos táctiles y no táctiles (tablets, portátiles, ordenadores de sobremesa, etc.), es también multiplataforma, dado que está preparado para funcionar sobre Windows, MacOS y Linux (en los tablet PC, existentes con Windows y con Android a partir de la versión 2.2) y se apoya en la plataforma Adobe Air (incluida en el fichero de instalación).

Manual del usuario (gracias, Iñaki Urretxe):

Investing in High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care

The OECD has just published Investing in High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care. This is a briefing document which outlines the benefits of quality provision in the early years, and provides some comparisons between different social groups and countries.

Apps for Children

Today's post isn't really about new research, but there's an interesting article on the Guardian website which talks about the growing market for iPad and mobile apps which are aimed at children. Most of the high profile apps to date contain a mixture of fun and educational content - speaking as someone with a four year old niece who's currently very keen on the Angry Birds game, it does seem that this is an area that will continue to develop. If it's something that interests you, then you may find the Best Kids Apps website useful.

Also interesting is the video below entitled A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work, in which a one year old child struggles to understand why she cannot interact with a printed page. Does this show how deeply technology will be embedded in the lives of future children?

Del conejo blanco al juego de rimas con interacción

Soy la cabra cabresa que salta a la cabeza. Dibujo de Erik.
Tendría  Erik como dos añitos cuando unos amigos gallegos que vinieron a Hamburgo le regalaron los cuentos “La ratita presumida” y “El conejo blanco”, elaborados por el equipo de BATA y la editorial Kalandraka. No teníamos diagnóstico de autismo por entonces, y mis amigos habían pensado en esos cuentos con pictogramas porque les gustaban a su vez a sus hijos. 

Ha pasado el tiempo. Ahora Erik habla cada día más español, así que leemos libros juntos en ese idioma para seguir avanzando. La ratita presumida le gustó mucho, y ahora le tiene encantado El conejo blanco… bueno, más bien la cabra cabresa, jaja, porque salta a la cabeza o la hormiga, que pica en la barriga.

Como siempre, aprovechamos los intereses para sacarles partido. El conejo y la cabra cabresa nos han servido no sólo para mejorar español y lectura, sino también para:

Trabajar las rimas, con varias que nos hemos inventado:

- Soy la oveja que te bala en la oreja
- Soy la foca que te besa en la boca
-Soy la lombriz que sube por la nariz
- Soy el gato que le gusta el zapato
- Soy el camello que te llega al cuello
- Soy la abeja que zumba en tu ceja
- Soy el piojo que le gusta tu ojo
- Soy la ardilla que te roza la rodilla

•Hacer dibujos sobre las rimas
Gato - zapato

foca - boca

Interactuar y pasarlo pipa con los nuevos “personajes”: nos balamos, nos besamos, nos picamos… con la ayuda de nuestros deditos o con peluches de esos animales.

Mejorar la atención: Un paso más con el que Erik se parte de risa es decir, por ejemplo: “Viene la hormiga que te pica la oreja –él mira, se troncha y dice “no, no, así no”- , ohhhhhhhh, así no era… que te pica en la barriga” y a picarle.
lombriz - nariz / piojo - ojo
ardilla - rodilla
abeja - ceja
oveja - oreja
camello - cuello

¡Que os divirtáis!

PD. Iré subiendo aquí enlaces para trabajar las rimas en castellano.

Does When You Are Born Matter?

The issue of summer-born children is in the news again, with new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which claims that children born in the summer in England are at an academic disadvantage throughout school. By contrast, babies born in September are more than three times less likely to be viewed as "below average". You can read the full text of the report - entitled Does When You are Born Matter? The Impact of Month of Birth on Children’s Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills in England - by clicking here.

This topic has been examined several times in recent years. For further reading try Cambridge University's Birthdate Effects: A Review of the Literature from 1990-on, the NFER's The Influence of Relative Age on Learner Attainment and Development, or the DfE's 2010 report Month of Birth and Education.

It's All Bones

I was helping in my grandchildren's classrooms recently and was struck by the thought of how easily children will take control of their learning if given a chance.  One of the components of the HighScope curriculum, which I think is the most child-friendly approach to early learning, gives the child an opportunity each day to plan what she is going to accomplish within the guidelines of what is happening the classroom.  This opportunity to plan gives the child control of her learning and gives her a stronger sense of direction and purpose for the play and learning of the day.  I was assigned to help a kindergarten class make skeletons out of macaroni.  Although I did not have the opportunity to allow the children to plan everything they might do for the day, I decided to allow as much planning as possible.  I was given directions for a skeleton project, but decided to allow each child the opportunity to plan how to complete the project.  What great ideas they each had!  I was again reminded about allowing the child to take control of the project and not get caught up in the directions  that we adults may want to give. After all, it should be her project, not a copy of what the teacher wants to see.  That is how I learned that penne pasta makes pretty good ribs on a skeleton.