Sunday, November 30, 2014

Behavioral Goal Wall

I'm super excited about getting these up Wednesday morning!! Our classroom behavioral goals! I'm trying to find more ways to involve my students in their own learning. I also want to make sure that the whole students, two aides, and me are all working towards the same goals.  

Sometimes I find that I am the only one correcting or praising a behavior, so this will be a good visual reminder for my aides, as well as for me when I become a little laxed on a goal.

It will also be a good visual reminder for my students and make them more aware of what they are working towards. With the goals displayed on the wall, the goals can be easily reviewed each day with each student or as a group during morning meeting or when we review our rules. 

I've made an editable set if you'd like to try this in your classroom!

 I left the green background on my header, but you can choose to cut it off.

 I've also included "I Can" in case you prefer it over "Our Goals.
I cut around the frame and the characters on these to eliminate the green background, as you can see in the photos above. I thought that gave it a more appealing look!
I've also included a text box that is not shown in the picture. Each page also has the check mark you can drag and use or delete if you choose to do so. If you want to use the same font I used, you will need Kimberly Geswein's "What the teacher wants" font {here} and "DJB Chalk it up" font {here}.

Graphics are courtesy of Melonheadz Illustrating.

Since these are editable, you could also use them for your classroom rules or many other things!
Classroom freebies
And don't forget about the big TpT Super Cyber Sale tomorrow!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for Special Educators Bloghop!! Tips & Freebies!

It's here!!!! And you're here!! So put up your feet, grab a notepad for all of these awesome tips you're about to receive and enjoy your freebies and the bloghop! You deserve it!

My tip is to show you how I organize my classroom center rotations with so many levels. 

I teach 1st through 5th and students with a wide array of disabilities. I have ten students. The first two hours of our day consists of ELA and Math center rotations. I have four centers for each and each center is 15 minutes. So ELA centers are 9:27 to 10:27. Math centers are 10:27 to 11:27. 

This is my rotation chart. I really like using "real life" pictures as often as I can.
I have four groups and they each go to four rotations. My groups go by colors. I have a pink, green, blue, and yellow group.

ELA Centers are: word work, at your seat, teacher table, & read to self.

Math Centers are: number work, at your seat, teacher table, & computer/iPad.

This is my Word Work Center. As you can see, the trays correspond with each group's color.

 This is my Number Work Center!

 Each group does what is in their group colored tray. If they are pink group, they know they are to do what is in the pink tray. Sometimes each tray will still have differentiated activities. It may not always be the same activity for each child in that group. I also have an aide in this group working with the students.

At Your Seat Group

These are my student bins. Bins are not color coded, but folders are.  
Each child's bin looks like this! Two interactive notebooks and 3 color coded folders. During the"at your seat" centers, they do IN's. During the ELA rotations, they know their IN activities are in the blue folder. For math, they are in the green folder. The yellow folder does not pertain to our rotations and contains their independent morning work that they take out and do as soon as they arrive each morning. 
 This method keeps all of their work and individualized curriculum so organized....for them and for me!
Some think I do the bins because I use tables. But...we have these awesome tables with desk storage, but allowing them to store their work and assignment folders in these cute little table cubbies....let me tell a DISASTER!  The bins spell out ORGANIZATION! Note, I also have an aide working in this center.

Teacher Table, Read to Self, and Computer/iPad centers are pretty self-explanatory. My Read to Self and Computer/iPad centers are fairly independent and do not require an aide or assistance for the most part...once you get them trained!

So picture four centers, me at teacher table, one aide at word/number work, one aide at the at your seat center, and one center is independent in both ELA and Math. The independent center in reading is read to self, and in math the independent center is computer/iPad.

This is the timer I use to time our rotations. I LOVE this timer! It is the simplest method I've tried. I love that we the teachers can monitor how much time we have left during our center and whether we have time to start a new activity or such. It is so easy to use. No punching buttons or inputting numbers....just drag the red slide to the minutes you want and that's it. No start button or stop button when it goes off! This is the large one, but they come in small, medium, and large. I got mine for free from my Assistive Technology Dept. so check with your AT dept. first!!! If they can't provide you with one, they can be purchased at Lakeshore {here}

As you know, there is little time in the day to collaborate with your aide(s) and I want to know how my students are doing on the activities I've set up in their centers. So in order to do this, each aide has a communication log at the center they work that they leave me notes on.

 They can tell me on the log if a student is struggling with a particular skill, has mastered a particular skill, if they see an "ah ha" moment or whatever! It has been a great tool this year!

I have worked by trial and error, several times over as I'm sure we all have, and this system is the perfect fit for my classroom! I love doing centers as it keeps the kids moving and engaged, plus allows for much easier differentiation! If you are using centers or are thinking of doing centers, I hope these tips and this system will assist you with your special needs students and rotation system! And for your freebie, I've included the communication log and my center rotation cards to get you started!

And before you go....If you'd like to follow "The Bender Bunch" on our special education adventures, I have a couple of giveaways for you! Enter below to win a "Mini Time Timer" from Lakeshore or a $25 gift certificate for thirty-one!

I'm also giving away an item from my TpT store! To enter, browse my store {here} and leave a comment below telling me the name of the item you'd like and I'll pick a winner next Friday! 

Thanks for stopping by and joining our special educator bloghop! We are thankful for you! I hope these tips and freebies will help you on your special education adventure! For more freebies and tips, continue your bloghop by checking out Mrs. P's Specialities...just click the button below.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Black Friday Wishlist Linky & Giveaway!!

Did you hear about the huge Black Friday Giveaway hosted by "The Primary Pack?" 

One winner will win all 29 of these items....they have compiled the "most wishlisted" items in their stores and are giving them away to one lucky winner on Black Friday!

I'm not a "Go Out" Black Friday shopper, but you can bet I'll be shopping online! Here are some of the top items on my TpT wishlist!

I am so contemplating Deanna's Guiding Kinders Math Workshop. As a special Ed teacher I struggle to find curriculum for my sped students. We have to usually find and develop our own curriculum and I have heard of several schools that are using this product as their sole math curriculum. 

I have also been on a mission to complete a Nevada learning unit for my students and while I love the state symbol sets from "Teacher's Clipart," she does not have Nevada. I have requested Nevada and she said she could make it for me.....yay! Super excited!

My students also needs lots of practice with decomposing numbers and with making words, which will make these two units from Karen Jones and Kindergarten Works come in handy! 

And I just love Deb Hanson's ELA flipbooks. They are great for my higher kids and I may just snag them all when they go on sale! 

And now for the most wishlisted items & best selling items in my TpT store!
You can click on the links below to check out each product:

Everything in my store will be 20% off all day Friday! 

And better than that, there will be a blog hop with tips, freebies, and giveaways happening on my blog all weekend long...from 25 special education bloggers!!
 That's right....all 25 of us bloggers have prepared a tip and a freebie just for you as our way of showing how thankful we are for you! On Black Friday you can hop to all 25 of these awesome special education blogs above...including me....and grab a tip, freebie, and enter several giveaways! 

So put us on your Black Friday list and then head over to "The Primary Pack" to enter their giveaway and get your wishlist ready. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Center Freebie!!!

Hi friends, 

Are you like me and still looking for ideas and activities to do with your class next week?? I'm here this evening with a Thanksgiving freebie for you...."Turkey Trot." Your students will enjoy this game while practicing addition and phonics. You can get four games out of this set. There is a game for CVC, digraphs, addition to sums of 10, and addition with sums 11-19. Hopefully you can use this!! :)

You can also find some great ideas for next week on my Thanksgiving/Fall Pinterest board {here}.

Classroom freebies

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Do You Survey Parents On Your Performance?

Do you ever wonder how your students' parents see you? Do they think you're a good teacher? Are they happy with the progress their child is making? Do they wish you would communicate more? Do they complain every night about the homework you send? I know many of us only see a parent once a conferences or the annual IEP meeting....and sometimes not even then. 

Well this year my district is implementing the new teacher evaluation system using the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF). Here are standards 4 and 5 from the professional standards. 

While looking at standard 4, I thought, well I'm not lacking in communication. I send home daily behavior reports, a monthly newsletter, I have an updated class website, I use class messenger to send them reminders on their cell phones. I welcome parents to visit anytime, although they rarely do. But then I thought, how often do I really seek out their input, other than at the annual IEP meeting?

And then when I looked at standard 5, I thought, now how am I going to achieve this? My students are MR, Autistic, and some non-verbal. I mean sure, I know my students know I value and care about them and I know they feel safe with me, but how am I going to provide evidence for this standard?? It can't just be what I know in my heart, it's all about the EVIDENCE! 

After sharing my thoughts with my principal, she came up with the idea of a parent survey. What a great idea?? I mean many of us do parent surveys at the beginning of the year but we are surveying their child. And schools do surveys surveying overall school performance. But what about a survey that allows parents to survey you and provide input??! Even when I googled it and searched TpT....nothing! 

So I've created a parent survey to improve my professional standards in this area and as part of my evidence for standards 4 and 5.

You are welcome to snag it up and use it for free to survey your parents!

Classroom freebies

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm Thankful For.....A Giveaway!!

So excited to link up tonight with Primary Powers for a fun "Super Thankful Linky." Here are the most important things that I am thankful for!! Of course, I could go on and on, but well, we are busy teachers right?

And I must add here, that I am all so thankful for my wonderful aides that help me and these students everyday! I am blessed!

That's right!
Click {here} to sign up for free and enjoy $10 to spend.

Oh My!! I'm freaking out! I saw it Sunday night and apparently my son encountered him again last night after we went to bed!! This was the funniest sight ever this morning.....woke to him sleeping on our kitchen counter, seriously!

You can link up too!! Just head {here} to visit Primary Powers. 

But first, enter this awesome giveaway before it ends tomorrow at midnight!!