kathie the classroom kit



About Me

Hi, I'm Kathie.

Here's just a little about me and my goals for this site.

Basically, the details are:

* This is an Australian site (Tasmanian to be specific). The games and resources I make are based on the concepts and understandings found in the Australian Curriculum.

* I'm a support teacher and I work full-time. Over my career I've spent 9 years as a kinder teacher (4 & 5 years olds), 8 years as a prep teacher (here, that's the year following kinder, and the kids are 5, going on 6), 8 years teaching grades 3-6, and 7 years with grades 1-2. I've also had several years floating around supporting teachers and students in all grades, along side my classroom teaching. For the past few years I've been applying my early childhood and primary skillset to working with high school students with learning disabilities. We do a mix of inclusive practice in mainstream classes and special group lessons on personal health and safety, shopping skills, life skills etc., within our Learning Centre.

* Having been a classroom teacher of all classes K-6, I have taught lots of children who've experienced delays in learning for various reasons. In recent years, I've worked with many children on the Autism Spectrum, some with classic autism, some pervasive developmental disorder, and many with Aspergers. A lot of my games are ideal for children with learning delays. They allow children to work on relevant concepts with repetitive activities that are predictable but fun. I am building a collection of games that allow children to work on the same concept every day (for long periods if necessary), in a variety of ways. The children think they have played 3 or 4 different games each day, but they are reinforcing the same concept (eg. developing automatic recognition of the numerals 0-10 or recalling simple sight words).

* I've had my own 'obsession' with creating fun resources for numeracy and literacy, and I needed to put this interest to good use. I keep a journal of ideas for resources and add to it frequently, as ideas come to mind. Then on weekends and holidays, I use these ideas to formulate new games and worksheets. My website is in its 8th year now and I'm still excited about creating resources, especially when I see children getting excited about learning literacy and numeracy concepts with my games! Unfortunately, time has been my enemy, and with full-time teaching and family commitments, it's been difficult to maintain the promise of uploading new resources frequently. For this reason, the cost of membership has not increased in 7 years.

* I hope this website can be a time-saver for hard working, busy teachers who would also like to incorporate interactive activities online in their classrooms. There are links to lots of great websites from around the world, for both teachers and students. Put the ones you'd like to use in your classroom on a links page of your school or class webpage, or intranet, or even just in your 'favorites' or 'bookmarks' so students can access them easily. I've recently done this with a simple to make WordPress site, so the students in my 'class' can access the online sites they need easily. I've also seen friends using Pinterest in the same way - put the internet pages you want the class working on as Pins, label the board they're in, and just bring up your Pinterest boards each day on the class smartboard (if you're lucky enough to have these).

* I've seen my students make tremendous progress with literacy and numeracy outcomes, and build confidence and a love of learning, from my inclusion of a 20 minute games session for maths and reading, each day. If you like the idea of supporting the teaching of essential literacy and numeracy skills with fun games, this website is for you!

If you would like to suggest concepts for me to develop resources for, let me know. I can't promise immediate action, but these ideas go into my journal and I then start thinking of ways to approach them. There is a link on the home page for feedback.

By the way, I'm in the beginning stages of moving the website into a more updated format. I'm also toying with the idea of a short weekly blog about education and teaching, given that I enjoyed writing a travel blog last year for friends and family, when I visited Europe with my son and daughter. These changes shouldn't affect users or members' access to the site, as we will be working behind the scenes to get them ready, and won't go live until we have the bugs all sorted, hopefully.

I'm also setting up access to individual games and collections of resources as I begin putting them onto Teachers Pay Teachers. I've become an avid user, as I've collected lots of new resources from TPT this year, for the students I'm currently working with. They provide such a wealth of expertise, that I can't possibly replicate when it comes to speechie, psych and specialist areas!

Thanks for your interest!

Kathie McKeown
The Classroom Kit