Sep 17

The Benefits of Music and Music Therapy For Children With Special Needs

By: Kris Cullum

special needs“Music can be a motivating and fun way to teach all children and in particular children who have special learning needs. It’s unquestionable that through the medium of music many essential and enabling life skills can be learned and thebenefits that playing and learning music can have on a child’s growth and development are immeasurable.

All children have the same need to express themselves and playing a musical instrument can provide an outlet for creative and emotional expression. When we think of music we don’t often think of it as therapy. But it can be.

The playing of good quality percussion instruments during music therapy sessions can be of inestimable value for children who have difficulties in hearing, seeing, moving, thinking or responding. Each can experience the music in their own unique way. The music isn’t the goal of music therapy. Cognitive stimulation, self-expression, self-awareness. Increased motor movements are some of the goals that music therapy can focus on and the music itself is simply a tool to achieve these goals.” To read further please click here:

Jul 18

Google Apps and Chromebooks for Special Education and Special Needs

By:David Andrade

special needsChromebooks and Google Apps are excellent assistive technology (AT) that help students with special needs access curriculum and information. Google Apps and Extensions in the Chrome Web Store provide many supports to students with learning challenges.

Chromebooks allow students to access curriculum while avoiding their triggers. Online curriculum and resources allow them to work without distraction, which lowers anxiety.

Chromebooks also allow students to access additional resources to support their learning and address their individual needs.

There are specialized web apps, screen readers, text-to-speech and speech-to-text, screen magnifies, curriculum resources, lesson ideas, collaboration tools and so much more.

The following links provide an overview of extension and apps available to support students with special needs.” To read further please click here:

Mar 31

How I Use Seesaw To Create A Learning Journal in My Classroom

By Kelli Ohms

leaves“Being a functional life skills teacher, my class is not set up like a typical classroom. Students do a lot of individual and small group work. All students spend time on academic subjects like basic reading skills, money skills, and social skills. We also spend time on life skills activities. We’ll take trips out into the community to work on life skills needed in the community, and each Friday we cook a full course meal for lunch to work on cooking a variety of foods and following directions.

We started using Seesaw last November as a way to document and share the work my students were doing in the community and record evidence of the key academic skills they’re working towards. Due to the nature of my class, students pick and choose most of the items they post in their Seesaw journals, with some additional items which they are told to add.

At first, my biggest challenge was teaching my students to add items independently, but now they enjoy adding new items to their journals, and even request to post unprompted! I also give students option to “write about it” or “talk about it” so there is commentary from the student along with the photo or video. They pick based on what they’re most comfortable with doing, and I allow that because it is their journal.” To read further please click here: