Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Next Year I'm Definitely.....

As a first year teacher there are a ton of things I want to do differently in my classroom. It is all part of the process of learning through trying and seeing what works and what doesn't. I had a lot to learn this year and boy did I learn. I am so happy Kim at Finding JOY in 6th grade created this linky to help me reflect a little on some things I want to do differently.

 Most of the kids in my class are high functioning and can talk carrying on a conversation, but their social skills are lacking. The way my class is structured into zones (read this post about zones), we don't have a lot of group time other than recess and gym, so I need to plan time for some of those kids to play board games and talk bout how to use manners etc. If anyone has any suggestions please help.

 I send daily behavior notes home about my kids' daily activities and behavior for two reasons:
1) some of my kids are non verbal or not able to answer "WH" questions about past events
2) I track their behavior IEPs on these daily sheets, which the parents sign and return the next day

I want to send more positive notes home, because we are constantly working on behaviors and my daily notes unfortunately tend to consist of what the student did poorly on that day. I would really like to send a completely separate note home or a mid day email to the parents, but I barely have time to fill out their daily sheets. Again lacking time....

I write functional IEPs for each content area that are individualized to my student's level of learning and need, which can mean alot of non functional concepts are not discussed. I have already started on monthly units to teach during zones and 1:1 time so all my students will at least be exposed to basic kindergarten and first grade concepts (which is about the level of functioning my student's plateau at).

As I mentioned above, I take daily data on the most serious behaviors (self abusive, disruptions to learning, and other dangerous or unsafe behaviors), but that does not mean those are all the behaviors my students have. They also go through phases where a behavior will occur for some time and then disappear or reappear. I need to take more data on their behaviors to track the antecedents, frequency, or duration. This will help me understand how to redirect the behaviors best or extinguish them completely.

This has been fun and I hope I can have a follow up next year to see how I did. Join in the linky at Finding JOY in 6th.


  1. Great goals! Getting to writing those positive notes home can be challenging for any teacher - the negative behavior takes up time - but you've got a lot on your plate. Maybe try adding a little comment box onto your existing checklist? This is one of my linky party goals too, so I've thinking on it:)

  2. Thank you for leaving the link to your blog on mine and visiting me. I am now following you through Bloglovin'. We definitely have a lot of the same goals. We should collaborate on some of them!

    Heather Salsman
    Teaching Through Turbulence