Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Hullo. My name is Carolyn McMurtrie. I am a teacher with 35+ years' experience. I have always had an interest in children with learning difficulties, and the other  posts on this blog are there for parents of such children, to give you information and ideas. In particular the book that you can read about at the very start of this blog is a very useful resource for parents, with simple and effective ideas to help you cope.
I have written and published a number of workbooks for children with learning difficulties and you can read about them here.                   
The titles listed below gives a selection of those books, and these have been the most popular ones. They are pitched at about a 6 year old's ability, and the subject matter is designed to appeal to older children who may as yet still be working at a 6 year old level. They are also very good for children younger than 6 who are doing well and are a year or so ahead of their grade level.
The books each have approx. 35-40 worksheets. They are clearly set out, with each page focusing on only one main idea. Often usual textbooks include too many ideas and activities on one page, and the detail can be very confusing to children who have trouble with just reading the words, let alone understanding what it is that they have to do.
Each book is $5(AU), and is sent to you in a PDF format.
Write to me at this address:
List the titles of the workbooks you would like to buy.
I will reply with bank details for direct deposit.
Put the money into that account and I will email you the PDF books.
If you would like to look at a sample page I will send you one as long as I have your email details.

COUNTING 1-10 is a basic activity book for children who have an intellectual disability or learning problem. It is ideal for slow learners. Each page is clearly set out with activities for one number only, and each number has 2 pages of activities. These include reading numerals, matching, pointing, tracing and cut and paste. Some students may only be able to complete part of a page per lesson, so the 2 pages for a number could serve for a week's lessons.
The work is set out in an uncluttered presentation so that students can more easily focus on the material that they need to be learning.

COUNTING 11-20 The work in this book is designed to assist children to:
* recognize, read and write the numbers from 11 to 20
* count objects systematically, in order, one at a time.

There are 3 worksheets for each number...pages 1-30

There are 8 pages of charts and number recognition
activities...pages 31-38

The work is for children with learning difficulties and/or an intellectual disability. The pages are clearly set out, and can be worked a bit at a time when necessary. The work should always be supported by hands on counting of various objects too.

VERY EASY WORDS TO READ This book of printable readers is for students who are beginning readers, slow learners, Special Ed or ESL. It is a set of 4 short books to read.
The topics are: Transport, Food, The Environment, Animals. These subjects have been chosen to appeal to both boys and girls. As it is often the boys who resist reading, I have included as much as possible to connect with their interests.
There is one basic sentence per topic. This allows for   repeated practice in reading basic sentences. These sentences are:
Transport....I can see
Food...Where is the
Environment...Look at the
Animals...Here is/are the
Each page has 2 pictures and 2 sentences. The pictures are clear and uncluttered, and show plainly what the words say.
The books may be printed in colour, or if done in black and white they become workbooks and students can trace the letters and colour the pictures themselves.

WORDS TO READ AND WRITE  is a set of worksheets for young children who have an intellectual disability or learning problem. It is a very useful resource for Special Ed students.
In this book students are given practice in reading, understanding, and writing a number of common opposites. For example on/off, over/under, hot/cold, high/low, above/below and so on. There are also some common place words, such as next to, close, up, down, inside, outside. Also there are time words eg days of the week, today, yesterday, tomorrow, first, before, after etc.
The book includes cut and paste activities , as well as colouring and handwriting practice.
Each page is very clearly set out and presents commonly used concepts that students need to be familiar with. This has been a very popular book.

PUZZLES PATTERNS AND PICTURES This is a set of cut and paste activities for Special Ed students who can work at a 6 year old level. As well as giving practice in fine motor skills, the activities are designed to contribute to the development of skills associated with accuracy in observation. These are essential skills in both reading and number work.
The activities help students to:
*look carefully
*make decisions about what needs to be done
*see relationships between parts and a completed whole.
Also, in working on these activities, students have the opportunity to experience the satisfaction and pleasure that comes from creating a picture.
The activities are best suited to students who can cut and paste, with or without assistance.
For some students, enlarging the sheet would be a help.

Please contact me with any questions you may have, and if you would like some worksheets drawn up specifically for your own child, that can be done as well.
My email contact is:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Using Music

 Here are three beautiful Persian rugs.
You can easily see that their beauty lies
in the colours and intricate patterns.
Although there is such a mass of busy detail,
each rug has about it a feeling of order
and serenity. This is because the patterns,
and the colours, are carefully chosen and
placed to present an overall balance in what
you see. It is beneficial to the brain to be surrounded by what is balanced, in all areas of life.
If a child is said to be "disabled"....or "unbalanced"
then you can think about bringing balance in
by providing good quality art to look at, and listening to good quality music. These are just two areas of life that can be easily adjusted to improve the child's environment.
Music and art can be part of the general background of life in your home....you don't have to spend time
looking for long stretches at art, or listening to music
while doing nothing else. Have prints of paintings that you like, or even just postcards, around the house. Play music at a low level so that it doesn't dominate. For balance, harmony and beauty in your home, play music that is famous for these qualities. In particular, play it as background music when it is homework time. It helps the brain to focus and work efficiently.

For starters, listen to this one on youtube: Bach Goldberg Variations

This is classical music and you may not listen to music like this usually. Just play it softly in the background......Bach for the Brain! Like the rugs, the music is made up of complex patterns that bring order and balance into the brain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More help with learning to read

There are some very helpful videos on youtube that give really useful and practical advice about learning problems . Type in    bonnie terry   in the search bar at the top of youtube. There are 40 videos dealing with such things as spelling, reading, handwriting, homework and so on.

Also, approaching learning problems from a different angle, often children who are not progressing well have an idea in their head that they just can't do it and never will. It's a distressing and negative feeling to have to struggle and not make any progress. Even where there is an identifiable physical reason for slow progress...dyslexia, auditory problems, intellectual disability, and so on, there will also be some psychological block happening. This block can be addressed in many ways, as you know how to make your child feel successful and more positive in life generally. I have found that the best way to melt away the psychological blocks is to use certain of the Bach Flower Remedies. For example, you can use Larch for the child who won't have a go for fear that he will get it wrong. You can use Cerato for the child who has very little self confidence to have a go. You can use Walnut for a child whose self image is poor. Walnut helps him/her to let go of that self image . In fact those three remedies....Larch, Cerato and Walnut can be combined quite successfully. If your child seems to have given up and can't be bothered trying, Wild Rose is the remedy to try. I strongly suggest that you research the Bach Flower Remedies. There is plenty of information on the internet. You can buy them in health food shops usually, and it is quite easy to learn how to use them. They are quite safe and very effective. I suppose the main thing that happens when you use them is that the negative in your mind just ceases to be there, and the positive gets to take over in your feelings and thinking.  These remedies are not drugs...they have no effect on your body and they are not habit forming things that interfere with your brain or mental processes in any way.
Go to this site for the best information :

Monday, December 19, 2011

Learning to Read: youtube videos


This a link to my Youtube channel. There a number of  really excellent, top quality short videos there that are designed to help children who may be having trouble with words and reading. Have a look at them NOW!

 The best thing is for an adult to watch a video with the child and help them to listen and look and remember. There are some work sheets available for some of the videos, and there will be further little videos as time goes on . If you subscribe to my channel you will get to see what is new as I do them. For the worksheets, just contact me at auzzienotes@hotmail.com

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holly and Ivy for Christmas

Here is some typically Christmassy Christmas singing.


 The carol is a 19th century Cornish song and it is another version of the more familiar one "The Holly and the Ivy".
Here is some information from Wikipedia these carols. It seems that there is more to holly and ivy than you may think!

 "The Holly and the Ivy" is an English traditional Christmas carol. The carol contains intermingled Christian and Pagan imagery, with holly and ivy representing Pagan fertility symbols[1]. Holly and ivy have been the mainstay of English Christmas decoration for church use since at least the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when they are mentioned regularly in churchwardens’ accounts (Roud 2004). Holly and ivy also figure in the lyrics of the "Sans Day Carol".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

more music for Christmas

This one of the most famous pieces of music ever written, sung by one of the most famous choirs!