Saturday, September 1, 2012


Whew! (Deep breath) Finally a break and a three-day weekend! Made it through my first week back to school with students. I don't know how everyone finds the time to blog during the school year. This is my first post since I started back to school! I started my blog over the summer and had anticipated whether I'd be able to keep up with blogging once school started.....and my anticipation was right! I love blogging, but it is very time consuming.....especially when you aren't computer savvy!! Even after a week back, I'm still organizing my room and curriculum as my classroom dynamics change from year to year with a special education classroom. I'm bringing work home every night, plus homeschooling my son in the evenings as well.

So onto my classroom and my first week back!! My first week went well, but I walked in to find that I had three new students enroll!!! I'm up to 11 students now! Three newbies at once in a diversely challenged special ed room can be a challenge!!! Two of them are autistic and one is Emotionally Disturbed. So I had to start by making three more of everything and rearranging my room to fit three more desks! Just when I thought I was done........more to do!! Much of my first week was spent assessing and getting to know my three newbies, in order to design a curriculum for each of them! In my room, everyone has an individualized learning plan..........all are on different levels......with a different curriculum and lesson plan. Yes, I do 11 lesson plans every weekend!!! Last year it was 8, so that adds another 1 1/2 hours on to my planning each week as each child takes me about 30 minutes. is coming together slowly, but surely and I can finally post some pics of my classroom......even though it is still improving and changing almost daily!!

I'm linking up my classroom photos with these three linky parties from SWIMMING INTO SECOND,  TEACHING BLOG ADDICT & SECOND GRADE NEST!! There are so many Back to School linky parties going on that I couldn't choose just one!!!

Love this.....its one of my favorites! I started this last year, an idea I got from "Mailbox" Magazine. I need to add more stuff, but was just trying to get some things on it before open house. I have gotten lots of compliments on this. It works well with my students, because not only can they see the incentives and be reminded of what they are working has eliminated the problem of students spending too much time at the end of the day rambling and tearing through a treasure box. Treasure tree is only on Fridays if students got a good or super on their behavior chart every day that week. I'll explain that below! They also get treasure tree when they fill up their homework chart, which is 16 HW assignments. 

My new "Word of the Day" display I made this summer!! 

My HELPING HAND Back to School Night Display!

My Awesome WELCOME Banner that I got from someones blog this summer, but cannot remember for the life of me who from to give credit. I hate that! People....please include your name on your work so you can receive proper credit! Since, I have started a blog notebook to help me keep track of who I am taking things from so I can give them credit for their wonderful art and creativity!!

This is my behavior chart!!!
 One of my best creations!!! Started this last year......made them myself, and it is so effective!! Students start on the second one (I am doing what I should be) each morning and can move up and down throughout the day. The top one says, "I am doing a super job," the third...."I need to stop and think," and the fourth...."I am not making good choices." It is the same idea as all of the stoplight or red, green, and yellow charts you see many teachers using, but since my students are special needs and don't completely understand what colors or words mean, I had to come up with something they could comprehend. With this, my students clearly understand what these facial expressions mean and it has been so effective, I'll never use anything else!

These are the daily behavior report cards that go with the behavior chart above. Each child has one and they go home each day. Each report notes what face the student was on in morning, afternoon, and at end of day and the faces are the same faces as the class chart, so students understand what their report means. Students on good or super at the end of the day, get a small treat and students that got super or good at the end of the day every day get treasure tree on Fridays. You can click here to get a copy of the behavior report card!

My Math Wall! Got the idea of using these banners from Pinterest and I got these wonderful free banners from Ashley at The School Supply Addict. I have already changed this board around though as I didn't like the way I had my number cards hung! Word and math walls are a big challenge in my room as I work with so many levels of students that I have to try and put things up for several grade levels. 

My writing center! Still alot to add to this area, but I'll get there! I only have a couple of students that participate in the writing process as most of my students are still learning to write their names and alphabet correctly. I just purchased the "Five Star Sentences" packet from Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter's TPT store and I am going to try to add this next week along with some of her other great writing creations. If you need writing resources, check her out! She has some awesome resources for writing centers!!!!

My student work display and learning center board. When I made this student work display I only had 8 students, now that I have 11, I may need a larger display! My Learning Center title was also in the center, but now that I had to add two more students on I need to recenter my title. Also need to get clips for the two new names. I didn't have my centers on yet when I took this pic. The clips hold cards that list what each student is to do for their daily centers. I put these on each Monday for the week and students choose one LA and one Math center each day. Again, my room still continues to be a work in progress!!

My desk and sink area! I did not have fish in my fish tank when I took this but now I do have fish in the tank by the sink. I'll have to get another photo of it. My kids love having fish in the room! Also, decided to hang my degrees up for the first time this year! No sense in keeping them in a closet....right??? 

My new Star Student display I made over the summer!!

My new duct tape shapes and numbers for lining up! Love this.....another one of my favorites! Got this off of Pinterest, but the person used only circles. It was my sons idea to use shapes and I love it! I can not only use it for lining up and keeping students a good distance apart, but I can use it for shape and number recognition!!

My back door area where I keep toys and supplies. Only staff uses this entrance as it opens up into the office. Still need to organize my shelves and get labels on things.....just have not had time. 

Student entrance. When they come in each morning, this is where they place their agendas, homework, and daily behavior report cards. 

My Math Wall looks entirely different now. I have added to it and moved my numbers to go across the bottom. Didn't like the way it looked here! Also have a new calendar now from DJ Inkers to replace the yucky one you see on the far left wall.

And there you have it!!! I did forget to take a pic of my job chart wall, which is very cute and done with ladybugs. As I said, it's still a work in progress for me and I'll try to post more pics as I get things more the way I like it. Each year in my sped room, there is alot of trial and error and finding what works and what doesn't. What may have worked last year may not always work the next year. I love the change up though and the challenge. My room is always changing and I like that. Keeps things interesting and NEVER BORING!! You'll never see the "Same Ole" in my room, for sure!!!

Now for a couple of things I made last week! 

Name Posters!
I got this idea from Tara at 4th Grade Frolics and my kids love them on their desks!!!

I also made this "Number of the Day" sheet that I will laminate and use with a couple of my students for daily review. I am very proud of the way this turned out. I am so excited to have purchased my very first clipart, frames, and borders last week so I can begin designing my own cute activities like I have been stealing from all of you all summer! Prior to blogging, my creations were blah and plain, and made with simple font and text boxes. Thanks to everyone's help, inspiration, and generosity in blogland, I am learning to design on my own and can hopefully begin contributing some things that you will enjoy as much as I have enjoyed yours!! You can click here to get your copy!!

One last thing, Farley at "Oh boy fourth grade" is having a BIC supply giveaway!!! Visit her blog to check it out and enter!!!

Well, off to do lesson plans for next week!!!! 

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks.....I just added your linky party link to my post too!


  2. I love your room! Got some great ideas that I am going to borrow! I am your newest follower!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kelly! I'm so happy you found something you can use!


  3. Replies
    1. Thanks do I! I allows the kids to also see what they want at the beginning of the week and try to work for it all week!


  4. What a beautiful classroom! I am your newest follower!

    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

    1. Thanks Lori! I still had so much to do in those pictures. I'm am STILL trying to finish up. Check back for more photos next week!

  5. your classroom looks perfect!!!everything is soooo neat and cuuuute,congratulations
    Your new follower
    Enjoy Teaching English

  6. Thank you so much! I still had a lot of work to do since those pictures, and changed a few other things I just didn't like! Thanks for following. Stop by next week and hopefully I'll have some new photos posted!



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