Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Break Reads

LSpring break is this week for me and many of my NC teacher friends.  I am looking forward to many things about this week, but mostly for getting time to recharge my teacher batteries.  I started the day with some time in the gym and lunch with friends. Later in the day I spent some time in the sun with a book.  I love days like these!  On Wednesday I will be heading to the beach with a couple of teacher friends.  Of course when I go to the beach I have to have plenty of great books to read.  I have three different piles of books. 

1)  Guided Reading Books to read and create TRC question for this week



2) Professional Development Books. 



3) Non-teacher related reads


We will see how many of these books I complete over the break.  I hope to at least finish one book that is non-teacher related.  It's hard to get my teacher brain to turn off even when on vacation.  How about you?  What is on your reading list for Spring break?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

I'm Back!

Hello everyone! I am so excited to start back blogging again.  I took some time off as I was getting settled in my new job.  When I previously had this blog I was teaching sixth grade and going to college for special education.  I then taught special ed for two years and just returned into the regular education classroom this year.  I am now teaching second grade and so far it is my favorite grade I have taught. I can't wait to share with you all what I am doing in my classroom and collaborate with some other elementary teachers out there.  

As a fun freebie for starting by blog journey again, I posted a new free download to my TPT store.



Friday, July 24, 2015

New Blog

I'm moving! 

Please visit and follow my new blog at http://thebehaviorroom.blogspot.com.  You can read more about my move on my first post there.

I am hoping to broaden my PLN there and with my new twitter account @thebehaviorroom.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Professional Development

We all know that summer doesn't just mean time to play around, but also time to learn some new things for a better school year.  This summer I have so much I want to read and learn about.  This week I've been in a conference learning about MTSS which is a layered system of support for identifying struggling students and helping meet the needs of all learners. It has been an eye opening conference and I am looking forward to the changes that will be taking place at our school. 

Other than conferences I also have my own list of books I want to read this summer. I've already almost finished the book pictured below and it has been one of my favorite books related to students with learning disabilities.  



One idea I love is the concept of literally picturing what success looks like in the classroom. The author suggests taking or finding pictures of what you think a successful environment looks like and putting them into a college. Then post the picture in your classroom as a reminder to always have positive expectations for students.

Below is a picture of my current stack of books I want to read this summer. Some books are rereads, some are just for fun and non school related and most are related to learning more about teaching students with disabilties.



What's on your professional development menu for this summer? 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Last Week Fun

Last week was the last week of school for students.  We celebrated in my room with a different theme for each day.  Monday was math games, Tuesday was fun with reading, Wednesday was science, Thursday was reflection of the year and Friday was summer activities.   My students enjoyed these theme days and overall were able to keep their focus the last week while enjoying themselves. 

Reading in the dark on reading day


Getting to learn from a therapy dog on science day



Rain in a jar on science day


Started off our week growing grass.  It sprouted in just a few days and the kids loved watching how much it grew each day.





Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lately & Sunday Scoop 4.19.15

     I have had a lot of fun lately, with spring break and going to the Bahamas.  I'm very happy to say the hardest part of this school year for me is behind me.  I've got most of my IEP meetings done for the year and I finally feel like I have a good handle on my new job.  I have grown a lot over the course of the school year as an EC teacher and it is nice to know feel like I know what I am doing.   I'm especially happy that now all my students current IEP's are ones that I have written so I know exactly what I need to be working on.  
      On a non school related note, I had an amazing spring break in the Bahama's.  I took a cruise with some girls from work and it was one of the best vacations I have been on.  The food was wonderful and the whole trip itself was so relaxing.   I loved having everything all in one place. 
 
 

On the water taxi in Nassau
 
 At Atlantis


Our view as we left the port of Nassau
 
I also wanted to share my Walmart clearance finds.  I went on a Wednesday night a week ago to Walmart to find my niece and birthday present and ended up with a cart full of toys and prize box items.  I have birthdays and Christmas for my niece and nephew done!  I'm not sure what day clearance items are put out but going mid week was definitely a positive for me.
 
 
$297 retail value for only $88!  Lots of toys were more than 75% off.
 
 
I also wanted to link up with Sunday Scoop.  Nothing too exciting is going on this week but I sure hope it stops raining so we will have a nice field day at the end of the week.
 
 
Join in on the link up here!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What Tommy taught me

   This post is the story of one of my students who I've worked with a lot this year, let's call him Tommy. He has really changed my thinking about my job and I am very thankful for that.  Tommy is a young elementary student who I serve in my classroom for 75% of the school day.  He does get to go to enrichment, recess, lunch and science with his regular class but the rest of the day he is with me.  Often, it is just Tommy and I working together in my classroom.  You would think Tommy would progress immensely with so much time working one on one with me.  This hasn't been the case this year.  We are still working on name recognition, counting to 20, letter formation and other IEP goals.   During the first half of the year I was so motivated to do whatever I could to help him learn.  One day I assessed him and he could recognize all of his letter sounds! We celebrated big time as this was a huge accomplishment for him.
   
       After winter break, he came back to me and it was as if everything we had learned before break just completely left him.  This was hard for me to accept because even after weeks of review, he still was not getting back what I once thought he had learned.  For a while I kept trying new ways to teach him; visual cues, kinestic games, incorporating his favorite super heroes, anything and everything I could think of I tried.  Eventually, I became frustrated that it seemed like he would never learn the basic things I wanted him to.  I began to give up on him and thought things like, well this behavior support class is not the right placement for him, he needs a different placement where he can work on more functional goals and less academic goals.  I started to lower the expectations I had for him.  I would even get mad at some of the behaviors he presented just because I was upset I had to deal with him and the fact that he also didn't seem to be showing any academic progress.
 
     Not long ago Tommy charged me with a hug and told me thank you for reading with him.  In that moment, I felt very guilty for the attitude I had towards him lately.  I thought, how can I be frustrated with a little boy who I know is 100 times more frustrated than I am.  Have I tried every single strategy out there to help him? No, so I can not give up on him and I certainly can not be upset with him.

     The point in me posting the story of Tommy is to remind us all to NEVER give up on a child. You may not even realize you have given up.  It took me a while to realize my own attitude was affecting how much effort I was putting into teaching Tommy. While it may be true that Tommy will need a life skills class in the future rather than a behavior support class, it is my job now to try everything in my power to help him learn.  It is going to take A LOT of effort on my part to come up with new strategies to teach him.  It's going to take a lot of time, maybe even some money to buy the resources best suited for him, but I can promise little Tommy that I will always believe in him. Tommy waits for me at the top of the hallway every morning, counting on me to be there for him.  I want to really show up for him from now on.

      So my challenge to you is to think about your classroom and decide if there is a student you may be starting to give up on.  Is there a student who you are allowing to sit and do nothing, just because nothing is better than arguing with him?  Is there a student who you've stopped practicing multiplication facts with because he still can't pass his two's tables quiz?  Is there a student who you send to another teachers room constantly because you just can't deal with his behavior another day? Trust me, I know how discouraging it can be to have tried what seems like everything and still not see progress.  Whenever you feel like you've ran out of ideas, talk to someone else at school to bounce ideas off of.  If that doesn't work, get online and research new strategies.  I have found lots of twitter groups, facebook groups, message boards, etc for collaborating with other teachers.  Don't let your students see you discouraged.  Most importantly, don't give up on any child because you just might be the only person who believes in them.