Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cute Fall Project

I visited the Crafty Crow again and saw these cute fall weavings. It would make a great sidewalk field trip to collect the items. Also a great way to use up some yarn.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Twenty Things Children Need for School

The local newspaper, The Elkhart Truth, had an interesting article about what children truly need for school. (Sunday September 7, 2008) It listed 20 things:
1. A #2 pencil and a willingness to erase.
2. A respect for themselves and others.
3. An awareness that the world does not revolve around them. They are responsible for their own actions.
4. They need parents that teach by example a love for reading.
5. An assurance that school is a safe place, and parents who will not leave them.
6. School is a "job".
7. Open communication between home and school.
8. A plan to get to school on time.
9. A public library card.
10. A pet to care for.
11. encouragement to try new things, the freedom to fail, and the opportunity to try again
12. Someone to welcome them home and listen to them. Really listen.
13. Help someone less fortunate.
14. Confidence to deal with bullies.
15. To be good at something or at least pretty good. To realize not everyone is the best at everything.
16. The gifts of being well fed, well rested, well mannered, medical care, child care and dental care.
17. Nothing to do but daydream at times.
18. Be loved unconditionally.
19. Spend more time with humans and less time with computers and video games.
20. School won't last forever, but learning is life long.

This is a wonderful list. They only thing I see missing is the right to a physically fit body.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Busy Start to The Year.

As you all know the start of the school year is a very busy time of the year. Along with new students we had new email, new Office Word 2007, and a new IEP program. I've also started an on-line course at Ball State University. Yikes!
We are much more settled in the classroom. I'll be sharing photos soon. Now, with some breathing room, I have started to search for some cute art activities. I found a wonderful blog called The Crafty Crow. She features art projects for children and boy are they cute! So unique! Here are some of her current projects. I'm planning to try some of them in my room. Enjoy her blog.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great Dolch Words Site

Dolch words are the top 220 words children encounter while reading. This is a great site with the words divided into 11 lists and with monitoring sheets. It also has monthly activities.
Dolch Work Kit

Mini Economy

Here is a great site on a Mini-economy.
Good resourse for teachers from Schoolastic.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pictue Schedules and Visual Supports

Here's a quote, " assume the child is 90% visual and 10% auditory"
Don't assume they know it. It may be a lost teaching opportunity. (para phrased)
Here's a good site on Picture Communication

My Challenge: How visual can I make my classroom? How organized can I make my classroom? How do I address the diverse needs of the students?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Classroom management
This site has many links about classroom management. You might find it helpful.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Adult Services

My step-son is deaf and multiply handicapped. He is on a medicaid waiver. It has come to our attention that his health coverage will be run similar to an HMO. He must see physicians approved by the State of Indiana. The Arc of Indiana has information for parents and guardians. It a great site full of information. Check it out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Center Leaning

Oh, I go back to the tried and true. I have been working hard to get centers up and running in the room. Storage is such an issue for me in the Middle School. I don't want the room to look Elementary and I don't have the money to buy grand storage. Sigh....
My Center Topics include:
  • months of the year
  • days of the week
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • hand writing, cursive and print
  • ABC order
  • time
  • money
  • Monthly Poster
  • Craft Project
  • Computer
  • Puzzle
  • Internet

Happy Valentine Day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Photos

Here's some photos of the events in the room.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Spelling Assignments

I teach vocabulary words from the seasons, current events and general education classes. I like words that promote rich language discussion, vivid imagery, and words that can be represented by pictures. I use two web-sites to generate some of the "paper" tasks for practice. They are Teaching Made Easier, and Ed. Helper.
From Ed. Helper, I make the word search, flashcards, find the word that's spelled correctly, and a master list.
From Teaching Made Easier I make a three part puzzle match, rainbow words, write the word five times each.
Both sites have great activities and I change some of them depending upon the level of the students.
I put the words on cards that may be recorded for sound. I write the words on one-inch graph paper and laminate it. This adapatation helps the students who have organizational problems.
My hands-on acitvies include,
  • put letter beads on pipe cleaners, good fine motor activity too
  • use yellow letter tiles to spell words
  • flash cards, laminated, math clothespins with letters, good fine motor
  • small tiles with different letter fonts, I call it "Mixed Up-Letters"
  • Intellitools
  • Type on Computer
  • Write the vowels in red and the consonants in blue
  • rubber stamps
  • stencils
  • first letter cut from a magazine or a newspaper
  • clay snakes, good fine motor
  • word sort by first letter, guided reading activity

Winter Clothing List: mittens, scarf, socks, earmuffs, hood, P.J.s, boots,coat, gloves, cap, and sweater.

Frist Week or February: Valentine, February, pink, red, purple, kiss, from, heart, love, to, card, hugs, rose, and candy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Handwriting, Why Bother?

In my opinion handwriting is very important for special needs students. It helps them blend into the general population if they can copy from a textbook or the board. (This is especially crucial in the secondary setting in inclusion classes.) "My Kids" are bright enough to know, when they can't do anything that the other students are doing. I don't want them to have that feeling. Confidence will empower them. Good handwriting gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride. It enables them to write notes, sign greeting cards, take a message, and more importantly they need a legible signature to cash checks and sign other documents. Most of the parents I have worked with really value this skill also. I have been on the Internet looking at handwriting information. I found a very good check list, see it here:
Handwriting Check List

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't Repeat the Same Insanity...

I believe it is critical to teach the classroom routine. It starts day one, and I move through the day, some times weeks, teaching as I go. It ideally cuts down on disipline issues and problems in the future...
I teach my behavior expectations.
I teach where things belong.
I teach organization.
I teach procedure.
I teach self-advocacy.
However, this year has been a challenge to put it mildly. I'm sure it did not help that my father became ill right before the holiday season. I had to be out for a week with him, and several other days for his appointments. Then the holiday madness began...
During my "WINTER" break, I thought about my return to school with dread, yes dread. I did not want the same things "bugging" me that bothered me prior to break. "I am the adult and I am the one with the degree." I reminded myself. It's my responsibility to match my instruction and approach to learning to my students' needs. (Not vice virsa.)
With a burst of energy, a ton of paper, some laminating, and word processing, I revisited some of my old practices. I also gave up on some methods that weren't working right now. (File them for later.)
We are starting new assignment sheets and some picture schedules. With that said, let the Center Stations begin. Oh, I also am making those really cool Mini-Offices. They are a great match for centers or work jobs.
Pictures to come soon.