Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Currently 2013

Come visit the linky part at Oh Boy Fourth Grade! 

  • Listening to Y100! One of the 2 country stations in San Antonio, Texas! 
  • Loving summer time and being able to relax.  I am also enjoying going to the river and really loving all the ideas I'm finding and making for my 2013-2014 classroom. 
  • Thinking about our Vacation Bible school next week. It's going to be  a blast, but it will be extremely hot! :p
  • Wanting to know more about my first class ever! Hopefully I can get some more info about my job and the students i will be teaching now that I've finished all of my TEXES exams! 
  • Needing to do dishes & laundry! ...but seriously, who wants to do that!? 
  • Tips, Tricks/Hints: 'Just keep smilin'!" This is something I always try to tell myself, even when I don't feel like smiling.  Sometimes a smile will make you feel better! 
Happy 4th of July! Check out my TPT store this week for a 15% discount! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Where Are We Door Sign

When I first began my blog, I was doing 'themed posts' such as "Make it Monday," Tips on Tuesday," etc. I want to slowly get back into my themed posts.  What better way to start than with this one!? This is supposed to be Make it Monday, and I know it's Tuesday-but I had to share. I'm very proud of myself for what I made (and it was made on a Monday!...that counts right!?)

Without further adieu, I made one of the first physical parts to my classroom! It's a door sign showing 'where we are.'  I will be teaching Junior High Special Education and I didn't want to make the sign to 'kiddish.' I kept the frilly kid stuff off and tried to keep it simple. I am currently out of ink in my printer which means I improvised! Here's what I did:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June Currently 2013

It's June...I'm only ten days late on my first CURRENTLY. :o

You can forgive me right?

photo of Currently in June: listening, loving, thinking, wanting, needing, 3 vacay essentials
June Currently is from Oh Boy 3rd Grade!

Listening to Pandora. I love this website. I can listen to it all day if I'm not around a radio...then it's the radio that takes priority. 

Loving playing with my dog instead of studying for my TExES generalist EC-6.  Yep. My dog was cuddled next to me and I thought I would take a break and wake her up!  Plus I have 2 weeks before my test..that's enough time! Right? :o

Thinking about my new (& first) classroom for the 2013-2014 school year. Who will my students be? How many will I have? What will I have in my classroom to use? How big is my classroom? What is the schedule going to look like? There are a lot more questions, but I won't bore you too much! 

Wanting to finish my last certification exam so I can be highly qualified!  

Needing lots of ideas to plan and prepare for my first year of teaching! 

3 Vaycay essentials: 
1) sunscreen b/c I burn within 15 minutes 
2) camera b/c I love taking pictures! 
3) water bottle b/c it's easier to carry than a Gatorade bottle. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The ABCs of sped prep Best for the kids

Welcome to ABCs of sped prep, step B! Today we are talking about setting up your classroom environment based on what is best for your students.

As previously mentioned, I am rewriting my old prep posts from my 1st year of teaching. Here's a little flash back:

"6/8/13 I survived student teaching and landed an interview 3 days after graduation.  The original position I applied for was filled internally, but due to an unexpected opening I was offered another position as soon as it popped up! Praise the Lord, I'm officially hired as a special education teacher."

After doing some research, I found some great articles on setting up your classroom environment:
The next set of links are amazing sped bloggers who set up their classroom based off function instead of theme. When setting up your classroom ask, "What is the function of this space/area/decoration?" If it's not going to be will more than likely get torn down my your kids (or at least mine tore down non-functional materials!)
     Whew! Are you with me? I know that was a lot of info, but it is all very useful!! Put yourself in your students' shoes when designing your room. Your kiddos probably don't think these things, but it could help you see from their point of view:
  • Is there space to move around, but enough structure I know what I'm supposed to do in each area? 
  • Are there noises, specific lights, colors or patterns that could be overwhelming or overstimulating?
  • Is there clutter, manipulatives or materials I can easily throw or eat if upset? (you think I'm joking...but a bookshelf piled to the ceiling will be a hurricane of projectiles if your kid is having a meltdown.) 
  • Where is my place in the room? My desk, my materials, my backpack and lunchbox location?
  • What am I going to do today? I'm hungry, when will we eat lunch or snack? How do I get the teacher to realize I need food? ...maybe start throwing her unifix cubes on that shelf?? 
  • I need to pee, where's the bathroom? How do I ask to go? Maybe I'll just pee in this chair...close enough to sitting on the toilet. ;)
  • Why is my desk way over here...I can't see the smart board. Every time my teacher calls on me she gets mad, but I don't know what the heck she's talking about! (Here's the biggest tip I learned from student teaching- sit in every student desk/location and see from their point of view. If you can't see or hear, they won't be able to either!)
Can anyone else relate to these questions? What are some other things you would suggest to think about when planning for your classroom?

Thanks for reading, and here's a freebie to help you plan a warming, functional and organized classroom!

Let's continue to step C!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The ABCs of sped prep Intro

I began this blog series the summer before I began teaching.  Since I'm now going into my 5th year, I thought it would be important to update some information and see how much I've grown and developed as a special education teacher.

Let's start off with a flash back to 6/6/13... "I got a job offer! First interview and first offer! Wow. Not to bad. This is going to be a piece of cake."

Then I started scouring every corner of the world wide web trying to find ideas, resources, and information on how to set up my classroom and get everything done and ready for the next school year.  This won't be like any other school year, because it's my first year teaching!  I mean I've tutored and taught in a daycare for 5 years...but this is legit, state regulated teaching!! **no pressure or anything**

A few days after the excitement of a new job wore off, I realized there is a lot more that goes into the beginning of a school year than just decorating a class and planning the lessons, now I'm entering panic mode.
-How do I furnish my classroom?
-What if my kids don't like me?
-What the heck am I going to do with a special ed. class for an ENTIRE day!?!?!
-I don't understand why there are 20 different programs a teacher has to use. I have to to input attendance, data, testing information, teacher training, medicaid and more into a separate programs! WTH?
-I'm not going to have enough time to get this all done!
-Whoa...each kid has an IEP that is a minimum of 30 pages....where do I start? How do I remember all the important info?!
-What if I forget a kid? What if the parents hate me? Yikes, what if they have a lawyer ready to pounce!?
-Do I give out my cell phone number? Or just communicate by email and daily folder? What do I write in their daily folder?
-Which kid has allergies? What if he breaks out in an allergic reaction!?
-Potty time...uh oh. Don't even want to think about that.
-So wait...I have to manage adults too...I though paras just knew what to do, when to do it, and they did it perfectly every time?
-A teachers' union...huh?
-Data? I mean...yeah, I read about that in college. Hold on, let me find that chapter in my book!
-Grade level standards...but I teach 3 grades and I have some students who can read and write and others who just lay on the floor. How do I teach the grade level standards?

Jeeze....what good was college since I feel like I'm starting from scratch?!?!?

can you help me, Mrs. Martin? This wasn't covered in any of my education courses.

Has anybody else experienced the excitement and anxiety of prepping for a new school year? Especially for your first year? Hopefully the next 26 posts will guide you to the most important things you need to focus on.  It could be helpful to disconnect from Pinterest and Instagram for a few days while you map everything out. Remember #youdoyou.  Focus on what your kids NEED!! Dive into their paperwork, contact previous case managers and talk to parents.  You're kids will love you! Make a connection with them and enter into their world.  Don't wait for them to enter yours.

Thanks for stopping by! Continue to step A...or jump to a topic from the list below!

Acronyms in Sped.
Best for the Kids (setting your classroom structure to support your kids)
Data and Document
Emergency Drill Procedures
Flexibility is my middle name
Good Grief....what's all this paperwork I see?
Hello Sub!
Independence (building independence through schedules)
Jobs in the classroom
Kindness, respect and empathy
Lessons (self contained lesson format and ideas)
Morning Meeting
No. It's okay to say it!
Organization (organize class materials)
Prep for student meeting
adaptive eQuipment and assitive tech
Rules and procedures
Surveys (for students, parents and team members)
Team (working with support staff)
Used? I'll take it! (reusing and recycling to make work tasks)
WTF? (What's the function?)
X means stop and ask first.
Yearly planning
Zzzs (take care of yourself)