Welcome to my blog:) Since I am so far away from my friends and family, I want to keep you updated on the fun and trials of my new job. Thank you to everyone for your support, encouragement, and the tips/ideas you may offer!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Second Grade Sight Word Freebie:)

I have spent the last couple weeks working on a new game.  Kinesthetic learners will love this sight word game!  Students become the game.

They roll the die.

Move the specified number of spaces by jumping, skipping, or walking.

Read the word.
My little guys already LOVE this game:)

Since this year, I have mostly second graders, and I haven't posted any second grade level freebies, this one is for you second grade teachers!

I have made games using all the Dolch Sight word lists, but the freebie is for the second grade list.  Check it out at my TpT Store for these awesome games:)

I have also created my first collage to display this game all on one page!  I'm not sure I used the quickest/most efficient way of created it, but I'm happy with how my first one turned out.

I'm also linking this with Classroom Freebies:)
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, September 28, 2012

Football Behavior Management

As I've mentioned already, I have a sports theme in my classroom (again) this year.  I LOVE it!  It is a great way to discuss great sportsmanship, being a team player, and keeping up with current events.

Our school uses PBIS, so here is my board with "rules" or expectations.

Here is the positive reinforcement board.  Each student has their own football.  When students do something I like (sit quietly without reminder, raise hand without reminder, complete a difficult task, etc.) I tell them they can move their football 10 yards.  

When they reach the endzone they get 6 points.  Students can choose to use their points right away or save them.  For 6 points students can get a piece of candy, 12 points for a prize from the prize basket, 18 points for 15 minutes on the computer, 24 points to play a game with the teacher, and 30 points to play a game with a friend.

Students love moving their football, and I love giving them positive reinforcement instead of being so naggy on the kids that aren't behaving.

Check out my earlier post for more information on how I give kids positive feed back:)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Silver Lining

I am the 1st - 3rd grade special ed teacher at my school.  However, the 4th-6th grade teacher has a high case load this year.  So I have been helping with a couple of his 4th graders the past 3 weeks.  It has been pretty rough so far.  Yesterday was the straw that broke the camels back.

One of the students was only showing up 50% of the time, (unbeknown to me) due to specials being during the scheduled writing/spelling block.  So I fixed this problem by talking to the classroom teacher.  CHECK.

Then the students have been staring blankly into space for the majority of the time, requiring me to keep prodding them and working with them one on one.  Which is difficult/impossible when I have 8 second graders and 1 first grader in there at the same time.  

SO after having a moment of doubt, I made a new game plan!  

Here's the plan.  The fourth grade students each have a grid of 5 squares across and 5 squares down.  When they are doing something I like I give them a star.  My goal is to give them positive feed back approximately every 2-5 minutes, or any time I see them on task (especially without specific verbal instruction), raising their hand without prompting, getting out their next task, etc.  Once they get 5 stars across they can move their football on our football behavior chart one spot.  (For more information check out this post.)  This allows them to earn bigger rewards.

On the left - token board with stars
Top - Check list
Right - Student work

In addition to positive reinforcement each fourth grader has a checklist of the things they need to do each day.  For example:  get out folder, practice spelling words by writing on the board (or stamping or rainbow write, etc.), DLR (Daily Language Review also known as DOL), writing, and a blank spot for me to fill in things that pop up.

Today was the first day using my new game plan, and it went well.  Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow!!!  It's also Friday:)  

I'll up date this with pictures...hopefully tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Today I'm extra curious how other teachers incorporate aids/paras/volunteers in your classroom.  I know different districts have different expectations, I'm just curious how your school does it.

For example, I have heard of aids supervising all recesses and lunch periods.  A common task is sitting in a regular ed classroom keeping one or multiple students on task by tapping them/reminding them to face the front or stop talking.  In regular and special ed settings I have seen aids work one-on-one with a student reinforcing topics.  I have seen aids make tons of photocopies and cut out lots of laminating (frowned upon by administration).

Can't wait to hear your feedback on what your aids do:)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


As I have noticed many other bloggers saying, "The school year has been so busy I haven't had time to blog", "I'm kind of in a blogging funk", etc. I have been feeling the same way with the new school year.  Part of it is due to my lack of an overall plan/direction and part of it is because I haven't seen students much yet, so hopefully now that I have an overall plan and will be seeing students all day every day, I'll have a renewed vigor for blogging:-D

Every day after school I come home and read all the blog posts from the bloggers I follow, and I rack my brain for something to share with all of you, but I haven't been able to think of anything worth blogging about.

I'm sure many resource room teachers and Title teachers are in the same position as me, waiting for the classroom teachers to establish their routines and schedules before deciding when to pull your students for intervention times.  Well, I think starting tomorrow I think I'll be implementing my first schedule.

Another thing that was really difficult about planning my schedule, my school runs off a 6 day rotating schedule.  This is to support our specials schedules.  It has been very difficult to plan around this because some interventionists (OT/PT) run on a 5 day schedule and some things are done every Monday, but Mondays aren't all the same due to our 6 day rotating schedule.  Not to mention, it will make it very difficult to memorize my schedule.  But that's beside the point.  I think I'm finally happy with my schedule...for now.

My new school wants to implement as much push in services as possible, so the aids that I supervise will be spending most of their time in the regular education classrooms.  I'm also very excited that I will be doing a lot of co-teaching with our 2nd grade teachers!  (At this time 80% of my caseload is in 2nd grade, 20% in first grade, 0% in 3rd grade.)  I will be doing guided reading groups with our 2nd grade teachers and math.  This is my first time doing guided reading groups AND co-teaching.  So this will be a year of many new things (in addition to a new school and new students)!  I'm hoping to be blogging about our guided reading groups, co-teaching math, a new math curriculum (Expressions), and FREEBIES this year.

On a personal note, I completed a mud run with a friend yesterday!  It was our first mud run, and it was sooo much fun!  We felt so invigorated (and exhausted....and DIRTY) afterward.  Here is me all muddy!

Hope you're all getting a great start to the new year!