Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Organizing and Reading

     As you can see I now have the clutter free classroom badge for my blog.  I'm going to spending some time each day working towards my goal.  I'm lucky that I have a student teacher so that while she's teaching I have time to organize and go through my reading materials of which I have many.

     I was able to spend some time today going through my reading programs and organizing my materials. 
I've been very lucky to go through a lot of reading training in my district.  I have an Orton Gillingham based reading program called Language Foundations.  I also went through most of the Linda Mood Bell courses, Seeing Stars, Lips, Visualizing and Verbalizing and Cloud Nine.  I use Language Foundations with my lower readers that really struggle.  This program is based on sounds that students learn and review and focuses on coding words to help them read.  I really love it!  I'll have to take pictures of the programs and then I can post them.  In the last two years our district purchased the Passport Voyager Program for all the resource students.  This program is great because it focuses on letters and sounds, but it also works on comprehension and really encourages them to think through what they're reading and why.  It also focuses on reading strategies.  In their classroom the students use the Harcourt Series.  I use a combination of the Passport series and Language Foundations for the students who are too low for the Passport program.  What kind of reading programs do you use for your struggling readers.  I've been coordinating what I cover in my room, with the teachers so I'm hitting on their vocabulary and strategies while also working at their level.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A more organized me!

I'm challenging myself to work on organizing myself in every aspect of my life, but particularly at school.  It's so important to be organized, especially when your teaching in a special education setting, because you have so many roles.  When you teach special ed. it's important to be organized with paperwork, have a good  understanding of standardized testing, and be able to interpret the results in an understandable and be able to use that information to create appropriate individual education plans and be a fun, creative teacher that is able to differentiate for all different levels of students, and be a resource to the general education teacher and the parents offering them ideas and suggestions on how to reach to help the special education student.  So, I'm on a quest to be more organized at school this year, using tips and tricks I've picked up along the way, including blogs and pinterest.  

At home I'm hoping to get more organized so that I'll have more time and motivation to get on a regular exercise routine.  I'm fairly active, but I really haven't taken the time to get more active and exercise more.  I want to get in better shape and I think that doing so will help reduce the stress that teaching creates.

So here's to a more organized me!!

Hope everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy stays safe!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


So I decided to try my first linky party at Farley's Oh Boy 4th Grade!  Cross my fingers!!  It took me awhile to figure out the power point and how to manipulate it.  So I hope it works well.

This weekend's been a mix of relaxing and working.  I enjoyed breakfast with my Dad this morning, and a swing dance workshop today.  Plus a mix of blogging and getting ready school for Monday.

 Have a fun weekend!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Keeping a balance

It's hard to believe this week is over.  I've been working hard at moving kids around and creating a new schedule, since the new resource teacher will be taking over some of my kids.  I'm looking forward to the new schedule.  I'll be able to have smaller, more streamlined groups, so I'm excited about that!  I've also been scheduling a lot of iep meetings!  It's going to be very busy until Christmas time, going to lot's of iep meetings.

I'm trying to balance the busyness of a teaching life, with trying to create and keep with a regular exercise routine which is something I having a hard time staying consistent with.  I started off strong this week with yoga and a nice hike on Sunday, and another yoga on Monday.  Then I got busy the rest of the week, and go off track.  Argh!  Other than yoga one of my goals this year is to run a 5 K, by the end of the school year.  I need to find time to work on that goal is well.  Plus, now that the weather is cooler, I want to start hiking.  How do you stay on track with exercise.  Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Enjoying the weekend!

It's been a really busy week and I haven't had too much time for blogging this week.  Spent the week getting back into the swing of things.  I had good news this week that I'm going to get some help with my caseload in the form of another half time resource teacher.  Yay!!  I've had a busy schedule this year, teaching K-5 and trying to work around everyone's schedules.  She starts this week and we'll work on a plan for her to take over some of my students.  This will free up my schedule, and give me some more time for planning, testing, paperwork and allow me to have smaller groups of kids.  I'll miss the kids I lose, but I'm really look forward to making changes to my schedule.  I think it'll work better for everyone.  I've been very lucky that I've had a student teacher to help me with the everyday aspects of teaching, and paperwork.  She's been a big help!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back in the routine again

So excited to have my first follower!!  Yay!  We returned back to school yesterday.  It was hard getting up early again, but nice to see the kids again.  We've been busy scheduling iep meetings..  The next few months are going to be busy, juggling meetings, testing, paperwork and teaching!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wrapping up the week!

Back to work tomorrow after a relaxing fall break.  In addition to planning for the week, I've been learning a lot about blogging.  I was able to finally make a create and make a button, then register my blog at teaching blog addict.  My goal has been to learn one new thing a day about blogging in the teaching world.  Next step is joining up with linky parties and getting my name out there.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall break

Well fall break is winding down.  It's been a busy but productive time.  I've been going to lunch, seeing lots of movies, and spending time with my parents, boyfriend and friends.  Plus, I've been running errands, planning for school and starting this blog. It's so nice living life at a leisurely pace and without the rush and pressures that we have when school is in session.  However, I'm feeling refreshed and recharged and ready to head back to work. The challenge is keeping a balance between home and work when school is back in session.  I have some goals to keep myself focused on keeping a balance in my life.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Common Core Blues

I love fall break!!  It's a time to renew, recharge and spend time with family.  Of course, I'm also working on lesson plans and activities for the coming year.  One of the challenges I've had this year is in adjusting my plans to the new common core standards expectations in the classroom.  I've been working with my students classroom teachers to modify their tests and their classwork. This way my students are learning the new common core standards,but they will just be at a more approachable level for them.  What are you doing to adjust your teaching to the new common core standards?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Taking a leap

So, I finally decided to start my new blog.  I love writing and love teaching, and this is the perfect mix for me.  I've been a special education teacher for almost 20 years and taught elementary resource for 9 years.  I'd really like this blog to be a good resource for other special education teachers as well as general education teachers looking for information and resources on working with special education students.
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