We all know the expression, "Out of sight, out of mind." I take this seriously when organizing and setting up my classroom. I try to minimize distractors for my kiddo's. Well.... you remember how I set up my IEP tubs???
I get a lot of questions about my work centers. I did an old post about work centers HERE... but I wanted to show you my new centers for this year as well as elaborate more on what activities we do at each center!
***I have three rotations during work centers. I have three table area's (separate from student desks) that are clearly color coded. Each table has a label on the table in addition to clearly marked spots for the students to sit. The red and blue table have colored shapes taped to the table (with shipping tape). I love these because I can easily assign students to a spot... as they will often times fight for a particular spot! Click HERE to read more about my green table... AKA technology center.
Okay... I am not doing this to self-promote... but I get a TON of emails and FB messages asking me about which products are essential. I decided to do a blog post of my most essential products for starting off the new school year. Please feel free to add links to other products from other bloggers/sellers in the comments... I would love this to be a huge data base :)
Back to School Curriculum
Year Long Curriculum
Please be sure to add your favorites in the comments :)
I have been a huge fan of her's for the past few months, and I am beyond honored to be guest blogging on her page today. PLEASE head over to her site by clicking HERE to read my blog about differentiating the calendar routine for multiple leaners!
I got a request about songs I use in my classroom.. and I loved it! What a great thing to share! I use music in everything I do. I download most of my music from iTunes and store it on my iPod. I have an iPod dock in my classroom that is easily assessable to quickly turn on a song. I have my song's organized into playlists:
My Bulletin Boards are UP! Phew...... only 10 hours later! I LOVE doing the fun things like this during back to school season. It's a nice fresh break from the schedule making, IEP goal creating, data creating and lesson plan making.
I make sure to do my bulletin boards last... AFTER I arrange my furniture and have created a "rough" daily schedule. This is important because you want to block of your room with furniture.. and the furniture will essentially block off areas for your bulletin boards!
Here are my NEW bulletin boards for the year :)
(Monthly Student Work Sample Board... Standards included in the corner!)
Today I finished moving and re-arranging things in my classroom. It took a full day and a half. It's exhausting!!!!!!!
Setting up a classroom with special needs is like an intricate puzzle. "Cutesy" is not a factor... however Functionality IS. When setting up my room, I consider distractions, runners, transitions and behavior triggers. Like my post yesterday... simply setting up a Listening Center is a headache because it needs to be out of reach etc...
With that being said.. here is a tour of the furniture in my classroom!!! (Don't mind the mess everywhere... the old bulletin boards etc.!)
I am starting something new this year! Last year I had my student's come in from morning recess and read a book at their seat. During this time, my staff would take kiddo's in groups to the bathroom. This was the best way for me to get toileting done before centers without too many disruptions. This year I am going to do a whole class "sensory break" after recess instead. Of course reading a book in the swing or bean bag chair will still be an option!
(Click on the image below to get the free "PEC's" I created for a Sensory Break!)
This week is Sensory week! (at least from a teacher's perspective.. I'm NO expert!) Today I am talking about Sensory equipment! I LOVE using sensory integration strategies to help my students make the best of their day. Many of my students show signs of sensory processing disorder, and it is important for us teachers to make the accommodations necessary to create the best environment for our kiddo's!
Here are some of our favorite sensory toys in our classroom :)
I try to remember this when I get stressed or overwhlemed. I have to remember to sit and take the time to write those special notes home for parents. It is so important to maintain a respectable relationship between families and school. I want us to all remember as we begin the new school year how important each child is, and how much individual care they deserve!
All summer I keep my eye out for good deals. I also hit up the SUPER back to school sales at Target, Staples and Office Depot. Some deals are just too good to pass up! I wanted to share with you some of the thing's I found so far :) I went shopping with my blogger friend, Kristin, at The Write Combo!
The first day of school is a big deal for any family. The morning is hectic full of emotions, pictures and last minute stuffing of the backpack. Ultimately, parents are trusting us educators to care for their baby for the next 7 hours. Of course they have a right to be nervous, and of course they deserve to know as much as possible about you and your class routine. With that being said, I send home an almost obnoxious first day of school packet. It is a lot of information but I like to send it home for those parents that need that large packet to review. Most of the information I review in great detail at conferences and back to school night. Here is my "drafted" packet for this fall. I may do some tweaks.
I am SUPER DUPER excited about my September Vocabulary Unit that I am already planning a bunch of Pinterest activities to go along with it! I like to use certain themes throughout the whole month so that my kiddo's can grasp the concept better. I created a September board on Pinterest that I would like to share with you. In this board I have tons of back to school idea's that other BRILLIANT teachers have created on their blogs. There are math activities, reading tasks, printable worksheets, art projects, cooking ideas and much more!
Be sure to click on my board (BELOW) to see further tutorials and write-up on other blogs!
Last year I struggled with "structured" vocabulary instruction. I would take monthly themes and design ELD instruction around common themes. I decided to create my very own Boardmaker Curriculum using monthly themes! I am EXCITED to share September's Vocabulary Unit with you today!
Uhmph... I get this question quite a bit.. and I have not figured out the best answer. What I do is make a LARGE to-do list. I try to make it in the most logical order and do my best to keep to it. Usually my list is a series of questions.. because I am never sure how I am going to set up my new classroom! I feel like every time I cross something off my list I add two more! It's never ending :) Of course I stray from my list but in the end.. I get everything done! (or ENOUGH done...) Here is my to-do list which I will cover in detail these next few weeks through my blog posts! Feel free to post any questions and I'll do my best to answer!