Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back-to-School Bulletin Board

Wow!  The back-to-school rush is a seriously real thing!  Last year, my first year as a full-time special education teacher, something that I didn't realize I needed to do was put up a bulletin board.  You may be thinking, "Duh!  Of course you do," but let me explain.  My current school has pods.  There are computers all around the pods and in the hallways that connect the pods, there aren't actual bulletin boards.  Also, since I was piloting a new special program for the building and no one had mentioned anything about putting up some sort of display in the hallway, I figured I was off the hook.

Well, that was not the case.  And this year, the same thing almost happened again!  More gen. ed. classes were added, and the wall space that I had last year had been assigned to someone else.  Turns out, I just moved to a new spot, but because I couldn't find that spot, I had to scramble to put up my board again!

That being said, I wanted to do something other than our building's standard "Welcome Back" with pre-made cutouts with each student's name on it, but I also didn't want to spend a ton of time on something when I know I need to change it in a month.  I opted for an under-water theme with the banner "In this school, we swim together."  I'd considered saying "We may all be different, but in this school we swim together," since I do run an autism classroom, but I opted for less words.

On the first day of school, each of my kiddos, myself, and my aide painted 2 paper plates which we turned into fish, seahorses, seashells, jellyfish, and a "zombie worm."

The kids loved painting, it was a great "first thing of the first day" time-filler/ice-breaker while we were getting to know one another and I've gotten a TON of compliments!

Here's the finished product:

Feel free to make your own!  Just tag "in a school daze" if you do!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall Nature Walk and Art Project...

Hello, all!  I'm back at it again!  As you may have read, I'm in between teaching jobs, but am teaching dance and gymnastics, am tutoring, and am doing quite a bit of babysitting.  I've decided that since I miss teaching early childhood special education so much, that the kids I babysit are going to start getting the teacher treatment from me!

The other day, while watching a rather precocious 3-year old and his 18-month old brother, inspiration struck and we managed to turn 30 minutes of fresh air into a lesson on the changing season/conservation, followed up by an art project that even the 18-month old was able to work on to some degree. If used in the classroom, the finished product would make for an adorable bulletin board or portfolio item.

 If you'd like the full lesson plan (including science, conservation, sorting, and the art project directions), you can grab it on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Just click below!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

: Back to School

Hi, all!  It's that time of year again… Back to school!  I am not actually going back to school, but this year, I am preparing to move back to the US from Germany and am getting ready for knee surgery (woo hoo)!  Since I'm going to have a ton of downtime, I want to put together some curriculum, classroom handouts, and other teacher-ly goodies (oh my)!  Please let me know what you're looking for and let me do the work for you!

I love making reading units.  Check out my units for "Wonder" by R.J.Palacio and "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman and my super fun dodecahedron book report template.

I've got classroom activities like the ever-popular "Can You Follow Directions?" and "Can You Follow Directions? (Spring Edition)" in which students who do not follow directions, actually end up drawing you a lovely little picture.  These are great ways to start off the year!

Looking for classroom management or incentive charts?  I've got plenty!  Click through for a fun debit/credit tally chart, desk schedule for pull-out students, invitation for lunch with the teacher.

If you need reference sheets or review activities, I've got those as well!  Click through for a QAR Reference SheetAffect vs. Effect Reference Sheet, and Blank Jeopardy Powerpoint Template.

Please, oh please, let me create some more classroom materials for you!  Leave me comments, send me emails, or shoot messages to me via Teachers Pay Teachers!  I hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Can you follow directions? Spring ed.

Hi, everyone!  I've had a sudden spike in page hits and Teachers Pay Teachers sales!  Thank you so much!  Since I am not currently working in a classroom, my brain hasn't been too focused on creating new curriculum… but I would like it to be!  What kinds of things are all of you wonderful teachers looking for?  More direction-following?  Organizers?  Book reports?  Reading anything great and need a novel unit plan?  

Let me know!  I'd love to create some wonderful new downloads for you!  

To tide me over until I hear from you, I've created a special spring edition of "Can You Follow Directions?" This one is fancy.  The kids will actually end up drawing a spring photo (if they don't follow directions), so even if they aren't following directions, they'll still get a chance at some creativity!   This one is a bit trickier than the original, so it would be best for grades 3-5.  Click the button below to download! 


Friday, February 21, 2014

The wonder that is homeschooling…

Hello, all!  It's been an eternity since I was last able to post!  I've been so busy teaching dance and gymnastics (yes, 40 hours a week) that I have hardly had time to create anything new for school!  I did; however, recently begin tutoring a student who is home schooled.  I am actually helping teach her mother how to home school while also going through home school lessons with the student.  I've never worked with an online curriculum like this, but they are using the k12 program and I'm finding that it is super easy to use as long as you are computer savvy.

The big issue with this particular situation is organization and expectations.  Because this student has some special needs (attention-wise and works best when expectations are clearly laid out), I created this sticker chart to ensure that everything that needs to get done during the day actually gets done.

Every subject utilized in the k12 program is listed along the top of the chart, with each day of the week along the side.  When printed, it will be two pages wide.  Here, I have listed the simple chart in black and white with one font, but I let my student choose fonts and colors (during timed breaks between lessons).  If you'd like it unlocked so you can alter font/colors/subjects, please let me know and I can get you that file!

As a reward for filling up the chart, my student has chosen an afternoon at a local museum!  Letting the student choose a reward will usually drive work completion!  We are flying through our first chart!  Good luck with yours!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Graveyard Book- Novel Unit

Hello again!  I've been busy catching up on reading and thought I'd put together a novel unit for Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book."  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is an award winning (Caudill, Newbery, and Carnegie Awards, among others) about a boy named Nobody Owens, who is raised by spirits and monsters in a graveyard.  Follow along with Bod’s life as he grows amongst tombstones, mausoleums, and learns to navigate through the living world and see what happens when the man who killed his family (and landed him in the graveyard in the first place) comes looking for him!



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Affect vs. Effect

Hello, all!  I managed to disappear again, but I suppose that's what happens over the summer!  Since I last posted, I moved to Germany (!!!) and spent the last 2 weeks touring the French and Italian Rivieras!    I left my position in Chicago as a middle school special education assistant and am looking for a similar position on the military base here in Germany.  Until then, I figured I'd keep cooking up new curriculum!

Since I still find myself pondering the differences between "affect" and "effect," I thought I'd put together a quick guide for teachers and students alike to help differentiate between the two words.