Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August goals!!

Wow, where did the summer go?  It's already time for August goals and back to school for me.  Once again I'm linking up with I heart recess for her August goals linky.


Personal-I'm going to continue working on eating more vegetables and fruits.  I also need to continue to exercise 4-5 days a week.

Organization- I want to continue to work on managing the piles of paperwork in my classroom, as well as revamping my process for tracking goals for progress reports.  I'd love to incorporate it into my lesson planning as well.  How do you track your goals for progress reports?

Planning-My goal is to do more individualizing in my classroom.  So I'd like to work on creating more centers for my students.

Professional-More technology, using ipads and ipods, maybe even a smart board.  What are your technology must haves?

Students- I really want to focus on increasing their independence both in my classroom and the general education classroom.

Motto- Balance!!  Once school starts, taking care of myself falls by the wayside.  I need to work on exercising more often.

What are your goals for August?  When do you go back to school?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted-Goals for a new school year!

I had a wonderful time in San Clemente.  I spent three days by the ocean-enjoying cooler weather, cool ocean breezes, walks on the beach with my guy and amazing seafood.  I even saw some cool catches at the end of the pier, a spiny dogfish shark and a king crab.  So cool!!

Well my days of freedom is at an end!  I'm returning to school this week for training and our students return next week.  I'm excited to see what this year will bring.

Anyway, I'm linking up with Flying into First for their fun get acquainted linky party, back to school style.  This time it's goals for the coming year.

My goals for the coming year:

1) Get more organized this year.  I really want to work on a more effective system for managing the flow of paperwork.  I also want to work on a more efficient system of managing the data I need to take on my students progress towards their goals.

2) Incorporate more technology into my classrooms.  I want to learn how to more effectively use the technology I have.  I'd also love to write a grant to get more ipads and ipod, maybe even a smart board.

3) Revamp my classroom reward system, using class dojo and getting rid of my sticker hart system.  I want to set up a system of rewards that match our schools PBIS system. 

4) More balance this year- Make time to exercise regularly, and eat less junk food, and healthier foods.  I was better about it this summer, I just need to continue it this year.

Enjoy your last few days of summer!!

What are your goals for the new school year?  Come join up with us and share your goals for the new school year.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ten things I've learned from teaching

Today I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten for this fun linky party.

1) Always focus on the positive!  This can be true for everything, but especially with behavior.  The more you focus on who's doing what right, the more students will be doing what's right and following directions.  I also like building in positive rewards for those students who are doing the right thing and making good choices.  I started using Class Dojo last year, to help focus on the positive and help my students positive points for following directions.

2) Spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year focusing on expectations and routines, and stick with them during the year.  It really helps reduce the amount of behavior issues you have during the school year.   The First Days of School by Harry Wong and his wife is a great resource that gives you ideas about the importance of having routines and expectations those all important first days of school.


3) Find a balance!  One of the hardest things during the school year, is taking the time to take care of yourself.  Take the time to exercise and/or do the fun things you do to relieve stress.  There's always the temptation to do more, more, more, but you'll be a better teacher if you take care of yourself.

4) Get to know the  custodian and office managers.   They can be really helpful in getting you the materials you need during the school year.  They're a great resource.

5) Stay on top of your paperwork.  This is especially true for special education teachers.  Make sure you get organized at the start of the year and figure out when your ieps are and get started on them ahead of time.  

6) I love using Touch Math for teaching calculation-especially with adding and subtracting.  I try and stock up on a stash of materials from them every year.  

7) The Allowance Game is a fun way to reinforce money.  My kids love it and it makes math a lot of fun.


8) Students love technology and I'm always trying to learn more ways to incorporate it in my classroom.  I finally got a projector last year.  This year I want to work on trying to get more technology in my classroom-hopefully with ipads and ipods.  I also try and incorporate computer time in the classroom as much as possible.

9) Spend a lot of time at the beginning of the school year organizing your classroom.  Try and make it kid friendly, but cute and inviting.  Make plans for handling your paperwork (correcting, reports etc.).  It'll pay off in the long run.

10) All kids can learn!  You just sometimes need to find different ways for them to approach that learning.  Sometimes they need to hear the same information over and over and over until they finally get it!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting ready for the school year!

Well it's been a fun relaxing summer!  I was able to visit Minnesota and spend some time at our cabin-swimming, relaxing, reconnecting with old friends and spending some much valued time with my nieces!  It was really hard leaving, but I'm so grateful that I am able to spend time up there.  I have one more short trip planned to the beach in California and then it's back to school next week.  It's so hard to believe that it's already time to return back to school.  

Once I set up the physical layout of my classroom, then I sit down and start planning for my student services.  As a resource teacher I work with students that have a variety of eligibilities, and I pull out the students to help give them support in whatever areas they qualify in (reading, math, writing and behavior).   

1) First, I make a master list of the students that I will be working with.  I look through their ieps and make a list of their eligibilities, as well as the areas they qualify in, their teachers and the dates of their ieps. 

2) Then I look through the ieps more thoroughly.  I look at their goals, as well as any important information like special services (occupational therapy or speech therapy), or behavior plans.

3) I write down the goals and make tracking sheets for their ieps, these I use when it comes time for planning and keeping track of their progress goals.

4) Then I make a list, by month of when the student's ieps/re-evaluations are due. 
Here is my the format that I use to help me organize the information about my students, it helps me with planning, organizing, scheduling students as well as scheduling their ieps for the coming year.  This is my first attempt at adding a freebie, or resource to my blog so hopefully it works out well.

Also, I'm still looking for my tips and suggestions on how you use Class Dojo in your classroom so please feel free to add your suggestions!!

Happy Tuesday!  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How are you using Class Dojo in your classroom?

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer.   I've been able to spend a portion of my summer relaxing at our summer cabin on a lake.  I've been having a wonderful time relaxing with family and friends!

Last year I used the sticker char system where students were able to earn stickers for positive behaviors.  When they filled it up they were able to pick a prize from the prize box, but it's getting kind of old for the kids and I'm getting bored with it.  So last year I discovered Class Dojo.  It's a wonderful online system of allowing students to earn points, and lose points if they're misbehaving. You can also chose the rules the students need to follow to earn points, and reasons they'd lose points when they misbehave.  I aligned our rules with PBIS.  They were able to earn points from the prize box as they earned points.

Have you used Class Dojo in your classroom?  What kind of rewards do you use for earning points?

I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Getting acquainted!

Today I'm joining in with Flying into First for this fun tic-tac-toe style linky party to help our fellow bloggers become better acquainted.

You pick three boxes in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal manner.

I went to Concordia College (a Norwegian Lutheran college) in Minnesota.  One of my favorite memories there was:  There were so many wonderful memories there, but one of the main ones was my bike ride across Minnesota.  It took three days and I was wiped out, but as we came into Duluth and into Lake Superior it was so gorgeous!  All my aches and pains were wiped away.

My favorite school memory as a kid: I graduated from the American School in London.  Every year they have an Alternatives program where you go out into the world and learn there instead of the classroom.  There were opportunities to travel, and/or just stay in London for their learning experience.  I went to Scotland for a long weekend to learn about coal mining.  My other favorite experience was living in Mexico when I was in elementary school.  It gave me an opportunity to learn about another culture, and gave me the opportunity to learn a new language.  I still speak Spanish, but unfortunately, I'm not yet fluent in the language.

Hobbies: I have a lot of interests.  I love hiking, walking, yoga and running.  I also love anything to do with travel, immersing myself in new cultures and languages, reading and writing.  My current favorite is swing dancing.  I try and go swing dancing once a week.  It's a wonderful stress release, it keeps me laughing and it's a great way to meet new people.  I'd love to try other types of ballroom dancing, but swing dancing strikes me as pure joy on the dance floor.

What are your interests?  Come on over and let's get acquainted!

Happy almost independence day!!
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