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.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five for Friday

This is my first time linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I'm excited to share some randomness going on in my life, but first I want to say I was really touched today watching the news. A teacher from the Oklahoma disaster area was interviewed who taught a class for kids with autism, and she said they didn't really know what was going on. She let them text or tweet their parents from the IPAD (knowing the service was out and it would not connect), while huddled in the corner protecting them. I have been so inspired by the teachers of the past tragedies (Newtown and Oklahoma), it really made me think what I would do in that situation. I remember the morning of Newtown I had to leave my class for some inclusion time and started getting teary eyed thinking I would not be with my babies if someone walked in terrorizing the school at that moment. The families, teachers, and first responders of this tragedy have been in my prayers all week.
Here are my random 5 moments for the week:

WINNING: I won a very cool packet at Autism Classroom News. That included a very cute weather dressing activity. I was so excited because I wrote IEPs last month for some of my kids to identify the appropriate clothing for given weather conditions.She is participating in the awesome link up where donations from TPT stores are going to help Oklahoma Teachers. 

BOGO Book Giveaway: I'm hosting a book giveaway and here are the books you can enter to win. 
If You Give A Dog A Donut by Laura Numeroff
How Do You Hug A Porcupine? by Lauris Isop
Skippyjon Jones Class Action by Judy Schachner
Froggy Builds A Tree House  by Jonathan London

We have a contract: Our offer was accepted and we are closing on a house in mid June. This is what I'll be doing all summer long. 

Texas Autism bills: The bill mandating cameras in self contained special education classrooms conveniently died Tuesday, because it did not make it to the calendar on time. I do understand the outrage by the parents who have worked really hard to get this bill as far as it has gone, but lets look on the bright side, people are TALKING about it. Also, the Texas state House of Representatives has just sent Gov. Rick Perry a bill that would do away with the age cap on autism insurance benefits, which is currently at age 10. (yeah I wish autism disappeared at age 10)

Autism Positivity Button: Please check out this au-some website I found this week. It is really inspiring and a peek into what it is like to live with autism on a daily basis

Thursday, May 23, 2013

BOGO Givewaway reminder

IT HAS ARRIVED!! The bogo book fair arrived at my school today and will be there tomorrow as well. I plan on picking out several books to giveaway. CLICK HERE to read the post about how to enter. I really like the Skippyjon Jones book series and my kids love the Froggy series. Laura Numeroff's "If You Give....." series is great for sequencing and all around fun to read. What is your favorite book series and how do you incorporate in your lessons?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies

I'm trying to keep up with the daily linkies, so here goes Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies. Here are some tooth counting cards I made to use with my "Healthy Me" unit.  I will use it during math with little teeth eraser manipulatives, the students will count out the same number that is on the card. Hope you enjoy!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May Budding Blog Linky

I just found this Budding Blog today on an autism connection by Jannike Johnsen. The link is hosted by Jess at I {heart} Recess. As you can see I am well below the 200 followers point and my efforts to increase that have not gone well. I am trying to post more often and hopefully my topics have been interesting enough. I just need to get to advertising.

Here are the questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?
I originally started blogging about books when I was in college and had time to read for fun. When I began student teaching I discovered the world of teacher blogs, and could not wait to start my own once I got my own classroom. (it was a long 9 months)

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
I enjoy teaching science most of all because it is a lot of hands on learning and that is how I learn best.

3. Describe your teaching style.

I believe in being firm but warm. My students know what is expected of them, and I follow through with appropriate consequences. My students feel safe knowing their boundaries, and that I care about their success and feelings. (haha I actually looked at my teaching philosophy I had to write in college. I surprisingly still mostly agree with what I wrote)

4. Give three interesting facts about you.
I try to be athletic (running, biking, and swimming). I actually never wanted to be a teacher, but knew I wanted to work with kids who have special needs. I like to go country line dancing, so cliche for a Texan, yet I have never ridden a horse. lol

5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)
yes it is slowing growing with products.

I look forward to discovering new bloggers. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

FREE TPT product added

One of my goals for the summer is to publish products in my TPT store. I have pretty much neglected it since I discovered TPT last year. I viewed my statistics on my product page and seeing 193 downloads for my first FREE product really inspired me to start making products. Many of my parents have been requesting a social story for swimming at the pool, so I created this generalized adapted book. Here is the link to check out this FREE product, swimming adapted book.

 I'm still figuring out how to get free graphics and not wanting to cross any legal lines, but I have some great ideas. We create so many things to individually meet the needs of our students in special ed. I will mainly be posting adapted books and social stories. I like to put the adapted books in my independent rotations, and the kids really enjoy looking at the different graphics. Another thing we have to create in special ed, at least being in Texas, is all our STAAR-ALT testing materials. Luckily my partner teacher helped me with my materials this year, being that it was my first time, but I will try and post next years materials when the objectives come out. Hope you enjoy my swimming adapted book!!