Saturday, June 30, 2012

Busy Week & Phoneme Segmentation has been a {BUSY} week! My hubby and I painted my classroom this week and I am SO EXCITED how it turned out. See a preview below. Before my walls were the standard grey color and I wanted to SPICE it up a little this year so I chose Nomadic Desert by Color Place from Wal-Mart. I painted my built-in shelf last year Furry Ottertail {where do they come up with these names?!?}, so I went two shades lighter on the same color family for my walls.

**Terrible "after" picture I know...I will be posting more classroom pictures when it is finished. Our school is shut down for two weeks.                                              

These are the colors that I am using this year...what do you think?

Do your students have trouble with Phonemic Awareness? We have students that come to the middle school that still struggle with phonemic awareness or were never taught how to read using phonics. Our Special Education Department started using Language! by Jane Fell Greene. I LOVE it for the population of students that I work with. We saw HUGE growth and progress with the students and I couldn't be happier! Here is a little tool that I will be using with this program to help with phonemic awareness {I saw something similar on Pinterest, but I have adapted it slightly}. This little "gem" can be used in multiple ways, but here is what I am planning to do with it:
1.) Use each bead color for each sound in the word (students will slide a bead to the left to represent the sound and then slid all beads back to the right to say the word. Example: /c/-/a/-/t/ students will slide 3 beads to the left
2.) Use each bead color to represent prefixes,suffixes, and roots
3.) Use to teach syllables

The best part is I got a BIG bag of beads for $1 at the the dollar tree and I had the string at my house so it is VERY cheap and I can make one for each child to have.

That's all for now...will post some "Pinspiration" projects that I am working on later this weekend!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Keeping Track

I am re-vamping the way that I kept track of my student's behavior.  This year our school is implementing PBIS so I needed a way to track tickets earned and good behavior for my students.  You know "middle-schoolers" are smarter than us and they will probably find a way to "work" the system. So I needed to have something to keep track and tickets that I reward.  I did not want to add another form to my paper work so I decided to combine it with my behavior logs.  Do any of you use PBIS at your schools? If so, what has worked for you?

Behavior Management

Friday, June 22, 2012

Do You Use VistaPrint?

I am completely obsessed with VISTA PRINT!! In fact I have been BUSY creating stuff for next year all week long! For the past 2 years, I have went WAY {and I mean WAY} overboard buying stuff! They usually have a REALY good sale around 4th of July. I can't wait to show you what all I have been making. Thanks to Pinterest, my order will probably be doubled! What do you create for your classroom using VistaPrint?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Keeping up with the paperwork...

"Keeping up with the Kardashians Paperwork".  I have created this form to use as a quick reference for information about my students. At times, someone will ask what related services does the child get, how often, when is the IEP date, and the many questions that come along with Special Education. I would then have to find their file, find the information, and often times it took me longer than I would like to find what I needed.  So, I have created this to keep in my "Reference" notebook that stays on my desk.
I have included information that I have on two other forms to help consolidate and eliminate some redundant paperwork. The parenthesis behind the eligibility is used to notate the sub-category & the parenthesis behind the related services will be used to keep track of frequency. I will also use this as a check-off when the annual IEP, ESY, and Re-Eval (if needed) meetings have been held.
How do you keep track of your students and all of the paperwork that follows them?
Students at a Glance

Monday, June 11, 2012

Progress Monitoring

 Here is a glimpse of how I monitored student's progress.  In our district we took a common assessment and a state practice test each nine weeks.  I charted growth or regression and then conferenced with the students about their progress. This picture is from my previous school; however, I still used the same method last year (forgot to take a picture)!
I also used DIBELS to chart ORF growth and use a separate sheet track progress. I used Chart Dog to graph it and it was a GREAT visual for parents to see at IEP meetings...they loved to see their child's progress! How did you monitor student's progress?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Okay, so yes...I disappeared from the blogger world! I am back and as part of my professional learning, I will be blogging more. I feel like it helps keep me in the groove and helps spark new ideas! So where have I been? Last post here....I started a new job at another school in our district. I went from a school with 350 to almost 1300! I was also LSC (Local Survey Chair) for Special Education. Needless to say, I was a lot busier than I ever thought I could have been!! On a brighter note, I had a FABULOUS year, LOVED working with "middle schoolers", and the awesome administration and teachers! Going to get supper fixed and will be back on with some things I did this past year.