Google+ Followers

Friday, July 12, 2013

Taking some much needed R & R in July

Hello world!

I have taken some much needed time off these past couple of weeks.  And it has been wonderful.  We finished up summer school and ended with a bang!  I videotaped the short play the students wrote, we made kitty chow and lemonade and had a wonderful time with our guests.

Now my thoughts move on to my new assignment for the upcoming school year.  The thoughts on my mind nowadays is what to do the first day of school.  I don't know and probably will not know until very close to the start of school is how much of the day the students will be with me.  Some of them will be able to go to other classrooms, however some of them may not.  So I am not really sure how to fill the day, especially that first one.

I want to sit down and pow-wow with the students and have them create the rules in the classroom and have a say as to what rewards they want to earn.  So far I have come up with:

No homework night
Lunch with social worker (which they all love her)
Time with the SRO to do fun drills with the dog-if he approves.  Not really sure what kind of regulations are involved with this.
Earning snacks, sodas, and breaks

I also haven't figured out how much value to assign to these.  I want them to be high but I want the students to feel they can achieve them more than once a semester.

Wish me luck, Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Doing it Zombie Style

So my last post I talked about the play we are writing this summer.  Today we worked on our masks.  These are two pictures of my mask.  One is the pattern that I modeled my mask off of.  I found this 'pattern' on google images and I hope it isn't copyrighted.  I don't have any intent to steal or plagiarize anyone else's hard work.  Let me know what you think.  We will have our play in one week.  So excited.  We are inviting parents and a few other close people for our very short but intense play.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer School

So this summer I am teaching middle school.  The students I have now will eventually come to me in the high school, just not in this coming year.  I have really enjoyed this.  We have had so much fun and I can really see the learning taking place.  For example, both of the students have a love for cats.  One likes to draw them and the other has a fondness for all animals (although she did just get a kitten over this past weekend).

My biggest concern going into summer was how to engage them in something fun, yet productive and meaningful.  I honestly don't recall how I stumbled upon this idea, but I decided we would write a play.  Both of my students have been very excited about this and my para's have been too.  We are all getting into it and having so much fun.  I gave the students the task of telling me how many characters were in the play.  Where it would take place and what happens.  They also had to create the title of the play, the names of the characters, and design their costumes.  They think we are just having a fun summer, but they have learned so much already.

Both of these students really struggle with reading.  They see the first part of the word, maybe the first letter or two, and they will guess what the rest of the word should be.  For example  if we do sight word 'hand' they would read this as 'had, have, or even  hay'.  But with this play, they are both sounding out words.  They are really trying.  Now I will say neither one of them have lines to memorize.  We will be having a narrator tell the story, but both of them can recite the storyline to me without fail.

We cooked papier mache (math) and brought in art techniques during our costume designing.  Next week we will be writing out our invitations, and the last week of summer school we will be making refreshments to serve to our audience.

I must say I am super dooper excited over this and hope it all goes well.  It is a very short play, maybe 2 minutes long, but they have ownership over this and have created this whole thing.  It is so nice to see students learning (and to know I haven't completely lost my teaching touch).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I am learning how to do this.  But the bad news is I am completely computer ignorant.  Share this blog with your friends and any suggestions (with easy tips) that I need to make to the blog please let me know.  Thanks!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

first blog entry

Okay,  Here I go.  I am getting ready to embark on a new adventure and I am scared to death.  It looks like I will be teaching high school aged children who are at a functional learning level, but may also have emotional disorders as well.  I want to keep this as anonymous as possible so I will not reveal where I am.  I don't know where to start (blog, classroom, research).  So any links that anyone out there on the world wide web can give me would be great!

This will be my 13th year teaching in the fall of 2013.  I have taught infants and preschoolers, elementary aged children and most recently spent a semester with middle school students.  Now I will be starting a new classroom at the high school level.  I have a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.  A Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education, and an additional endorsement in functional teaching ages 5-21.  I am a highly qualified teacher in special education (I believe that is what my license says).  I am married, have no children but have two dogs.  I have gone through a lot of change in my life this past year and need a new focus and a lot of support!  That need for support can not be shouted loud enough.  HELP!!!!!!!!!!

I know how to teach, that is not the question.  However, the majority of my resources are elementary aged, so I don't want to insult my new students by being 'elementary cute'.  The small amount of research I have done in my classes and on-line basically talk about getting to know the students, what their triggers are, laugh  and don't take anything that they say personally.  I can do the first three things great.  It's that last one that will kill me.  I take everything personally.  Always have, probably always will.  Any advice I can get I will accept, but please note I don't need negative criticism at this point.  I can give myself plenty of that.  Positive and constructive criticism will be accepted and read.

So here I go, opening the door to my first blog post ever.  Any bets on how long it will take someone to read this and respond?  I am guessing 3 months.