Friday, 15 June 2012

Dear readers My name is Laura Rottcher and I have just recently taken over Teacher Resources from the beginning of June 2012. I am very excited about this new venture. I hope that I can be of help to teachers and schools, by sourcing a variety of educational resources, such as textbooks, workbooks, teacher guides, fiction books, posters, charts, flashcards, etc! I studied a BA-Mus at UZKN, and PGCE through UNISA. I have been a music teacher for 10 years now, and run a private piano studio from my home in Hillcrest, as well as teaching privately at St. Mary's DSG in Kloof. I have 2 sons - a 2 year old and a 2-month old! Life is busy, but so fulfilling. I look forward to updating you all on any new and interesting educational trends/articles/resources that I come accross in the near future. Kind regards, Laura

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Interactive Programmes for Maths and Science

Visit to look at the programmes they are offering to schools: Maths Matters contains printed resources and software to support Maths Teaching in the classroom. It supports students ranging in age from 11-16 with 400 lessons as well as video and intergral interactive tasks. Sunflower Learning consists of software programmes that explain difficult topics in secondary school in the learning areas of biology, chemistry and physics.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia

Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia
Author: Lindsay Brown (Speech Language Therapist)
Developmental verbal dyspraxia (also known as developmental dyspraxia of speech and as oral motor planning disorder) is a motor speech disorder that inhibits the person’s ability to move the tongue and lips appropriately to execute speech. It can also affect chewing and swallowing. Children with developmental verbal dyspraxia have many sound or articulation errors, and their speech typically sounds slurred and/or “bumpy”.Since a child has difficulty with the co-ordination of sounds, it also affects the child’s vocabulary, speech formation and language development.

General Information for Parents(This information was obtained from the verbal dyspraxia website listed at the end of this article and is based on research that was done by Shelley L. Velleman, Department of Communications Disorders, University of Mass.) .Developmental verbal dyspraxia is not a muscle disorder. It is not a cognitive disorder (although it may have some impact on language as well as speech). The problem occurs when the brain tries to tell the muscles what to do and somehow that message gets scrambled. The child's language-learning task is to figure out how to somehow unscramble the mixed message her/his brain is sending to her/his muscles. The visible results (symptoms) of verbal dyspraxia are:• little or no babbling in infancy; few consonants • understanding of language is much better than production of language• slow, effortful, or halting speech; sometimes seems to struggle• very hard to understand • may make slow progress in therapyDevelopmental verbal dyspraxia affects a child’s voluntary speech more than his automatic speech. This means that the more your child wants to communicate a particular message, the harder it will be. So, if you happen to hear her/him say something once when there is no pressure, and you say, "Say it again!", you are guaranteeing that she/he won't be able to. It is vital to put a minimum of communication pressure on the child. Low-pressure verbal activities are the most important thing a parent can do to help. These include: songs (especially repetitive songs and finger-plays), poems, repetitive books and daily routines (prayers, social greetings, etc.). You can make other activities into verbal routines: make up little sayings or poems that you say every time you do the same thing, label instead of counting objects in counting books, verbalise repetitive activities (e.g. setting the table: "Plate, plate, plate, plate; fork, fork, fork, fork.."), and so on. Don't make a big fuss about whether or not your child is talking or singing along; just provide a supportive environment for her/him to do so.
If your child is unable to communicate effectively right now, the use of sign language or a communication board to supplement speech temporarily not only decreases the frustration but also even seems to help with speech development. Verbal dyspraxia may affect other motor functions (e.g., fine motor control, gross motor planning) and other language functions (e.g., learning grammatical function words like "the, "is", "or", etc.; learning more complex grammatical forms like putting words together into a sentence or sentences together into a paragraph, etc.). Speech-Language Therapy, Occupational therapy and Physiotherapy are helpful for children who have these difficulties. Verbal dyspraxia can be a very frustrating disorder at times. It is common for children to make progress in "fits and starts". They demonstrate good progress for a little while, seem to plateau and then progress again. It is important to remain positive and not to become too discouraged. The therapy is beneficial and is helping, even if you don't see the effects immediately.Characteristics of Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (children may not necessarily have all these characteristics)• The child is described as a “quiet” baby.” There is not much vocalisation and babbling as an infant.
• The receptive language is way ahead of expressive language. The child understands at a higher level than he/she can express.
• The child uses other forms of communications – pointing, grunting, and other gestures instead of talking.
• The child may have feeding difficulties. The child may be picky with textures and temperature of food.
• The child may “grope” with his/her mouth trying to figure out how to make the correct sounds come out. The child may also say a word numerous times while trying to figure out how to say the next word correctly.
• The child may be able to say a particular word in isolation, but when combined with others (such as in a sentence or phrase) they may make errors.
• The child may have a limited repertoire of consonant sounds. They may leave off the first consonant or the last consonant all together.
• The child may have problems with multi-syllabic words i.e. umbrella, spaghetti, caterpillar. They may say the word differently each time they try. Speech errors in children with verbal dyspraxia are often referred to as inconsistent or unpredictable.
• The child may present with vowel errors constantly.
• The child may speak too fast or too slow. Their voices may sound monotonous. They may put stress on the incorrect syllables.
• Oral dyspraxia may also accompany verbal dyspraxia. Oral dyspraxia is the inability to perform non speech tasks on command. Examples are blowing, licking lips, puffing out cheeks, sticking out tongue, etc.
• The incidence of “pure” verbal dyspraxia is very low – Most children with developmental verbal dyspraxia have a number of other speech and language problems that contribute to their difficulty speaking.
• Most children with verbal dyspraxia exhibit other “soft” neurological signs – or “symptoms” of dyspraxia. They may have sensory issues, hypotonia, hypersensitivity. They may have a hard time organising and coordinating fine motor skills.
• Other associated symptoms may include: Gastroesophageal reflux, eating problems, sensory integration difficulties, dyslexia and learning differences.Who has Verbal Dyspraxia?People of all ages, male and female can have verbal dyspraxia. Children who are born with this disorder are referred to as having dyspraxia, onset of the problem later in life is known as apraxia.Why do people get Verbal Dyspraxia?Extensive research has been conducted over the past 15 years and an exact cause is not known. The most common cause of apraxia in adults is stroke (Cerebral Vascular Accident.) An area of the brain, known as “Broca’s Area” controls some of the coordination for speech. This area is found in the pre-central gyrus and also has an impact on apraxia and related motor speech disorders.What can you do for Verbal Dyspraxia?Speech-Language therapists treat dyspraxia and apraxia in children and adults. Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy is also often needed due to associated symptoms. Speech-Language therapy involves improving the range of motion of the lips and tongue, improving the placement of the lips and tongue for speech, improving the strength of the lips and tongue, and improving the coordination that is needed for speech. Some popular therapy techniques include the use of a mirror, blowing bubbles, sucking, exercises for the tongue and lips, swallowing therapy, and the practise of placement for various speech sounds.Websites

Taken with kind permission from

Enchanted Learning Website

Enchanted Learning is a wonderful website for both School Educators and parents who have need to assist their chlidren with projects. You pay a small subscription amount and the resources material is truly amazing. It includes printable pages, enlarged print-outs and no banner ads. The link is

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Recommended Novels for Grades 6-9

One thing that we get asked on a regular basis at Teacher Resources is what novels we can recommend for a particular grade. I came accross this website that has lists of novels for grades 6-9. There is a short paragraph about each book which is very helpful.To get to this website, click on the title' Recommended Novels for Grades 6-9
We are keen to draw up novel lists for each grade. If you know of titles which you can recommend, please let us know so that other teachers can benefit too. Either post a comment or send us an e-mail

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

JP Maths, Science and Literacy Games website

Life is so hectic and we have been very busy here at Teacher Resources. The World Cup has come and gone and it has left us feeling a little empty. The vibe was so positive and the whole country was buzzing.
The following website that I have found on the internet is really great and may be useful in your teaching or at home if you are teaching your own children. It has interactive Maths, Science and Literacy games for Junior Primary and Lower Senior Primary Level. These games are free for you to use so go and check them out for yourself:
If you know of any websites that could be useful to teachers and parents, please let us know by responding to this blog or send us an e-mail.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Primary Resources Website

Click on the title 'Primary Resources Website' for a fantastic Free website with many lesson ideas ranging from PE to Science.