Monday, August 24, 2015

B2S Survival Kit

Hello Monday! Nice to See you again!
Last week half of the classes I supervise started back to school. Today, the rest start back!

I love back to school time. It's a chance for new starts, fall is coming, and so is football! ;) I also love the excitement in the air! Everyone is excited!

This is what I typically look like at the beginning of the week...

Yay! Whoo!

By the end of the week, it is quite the different story....

Luckily, my friend Katie, from Mrs. Decatur's Gators swapped names with me for our back to school survival kit! So right before the start of school, I was ready to go, with some fun stuff to get me through the week! 

Here's what she sent! 

We both share a love of POLKA DOTS! I was super excited to see the pretty polka dots at the top upon opening the box! 

Now, I love scotch, and tape, and this just puts is all together. Thee coolest little thing ever! and so handy! 

I can't even describe how great these are! I am in love with them! If you know me, you know I hate chalk... the only reason being the way that it makes your skin feel after using it! I have serious sensory issues with it! This does NOT give me that feeling! It actually makes me want to find chalk board surfaces to write all over! haha. 

Have you seen this stuff? It's amazing. Now I can use my chalk pencils with this tape and WRITE EVERYWHERE! haha. I got this for Katie's too! 

Every teacher needs a Big Ol' Bottle of this stuff! And if you're on the go for field trips and not, this handy one will do! Love it! 

I love to scrap book! It's my stress release! These pretty papers make me Happy! 

Seriously, Who doesn't love square paperclips?! 

Every Teacher MUST HAVE! Hello Pencils! 

The other writing must have! Sharpies! 

List pads = <3

Every teacher needs thank you cards to send in case of surprise gifts or flowers or rocks... haha. 

And this is the lovely note she sent with it! Love it! Thanks so much! 

Thanks Katie! I love my B2S survival kit!

It totally helped me survive the week!

Click below to see what everyone else got in their kits!

Comment below with what your B2S survival must have is!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Preparing for a Substitute in the Special Education Classroom

I hate being absent. I’m one of those teachers who will show up with the flu and try to teach, only to be sent home as soon as the principal sees me. It’s not that I don’t want to take care of myself, because, I do. I just have a problem with letting go and letting someone else step in for me when I can’t be there for my students. I worry that the teacher won’t know that Student x will have a melt down if you touch him on the back, and student H needs a side hug and some dry cereal in the morning or he will have a bad day, because he usually sends himself to school because Mom and Dad are already at work.
My heart hurts when I leave them. I even have Parapros who are present who can tell my Sub what they need to know, and I STILL struggle with letting go!
During my second year, I finally figure out the right combination to help my sub and help me! Most teachers leave sub lesson plans for the day. I have a sub binder! No, seriously, it’s a binder. I chalk it up to all the special information that my sub needs to know about my kiddos, and also, I’m a BIT long winded. Haha.

For starters, I write a Welcome Letter and also THANK them. I subbed for a year. That’s a SUPER hard gig. I think we sometimes forget how hard sub teachers have it. We automatically assume that if we leave them loosely formed plans they will teach the lesson the exact way we want them to. Some times things don’t go as planned. Your students act out, the fire alarm goes off, someone decides to try to eat paint... (not saying THAT happened…..) but I think we need to remind ourselves that subs aren’t perfect. The better we prepare, the better off they will be!
I remind subs about FERPA and how any information they learn about the students in my class needs to stay there. I leave the sub lesson plans for the week, and then a broken down lesson plan for the day.

I also leave an “IEP at a Glance” sheets for the sub. Each page details major highlights and services the student receives. It looks like this...

I also leave a Child’s snapshot. This gives a quick run down on how they can reach family, any allergies, transportations, etc. about the student. I always include a picture of the kid too. I think it makes things easier! 

When I subbed, I was amazed at the times the teachers would leave me directions to use a certain website to discuss something, and not leave me any username to access the website! So, I leave a list of websites and passwords that the sub will need to access programs that the students need. I never include my email for obvious reasons. It is hard to tell a sub to use Vizzle with a student, and then not give them access to it. I change my username and passwords every couple of months to make sure that no one accesses it after they sub. 

I also leave the inclusion schedule and stress the importance of getting the students to their assigned inclusion times as it is part of their IEP. A page documenting different strategies to try with different students and their behavioral outbursts is also included.
Sometimes a sub needs to know the go to person if they have any questions, so for this reason, I leave a HELP page. This includes information about which teachers they can go to form help. My principals direct extension, and even my phone number in case of emergencies.
To round out the binder I include the following just in case they are important pieces that my sub will need: 

Seizure action plan
asthma action plan
diabetes care plan
medication administration log and procedures
G-tube re-insertion information
lock down procedures
tornado drills
fire drills
seating chart
behavior incident reports
unusual incident reports
injury reports
medication error reports

Additionally, If I know I will be out for an extended time (fingers crossed! I haven't had to do this yet) I leave a new student packet, of all the info that a new student would need.

Lastly, I ask the sub to tell me about how their day went, and if they could think of anything else that I could have let them know about to make for a smoother day.

It's a lot! I know, but it lessens my worry, and makes for a smooth day for my students, parapro's, and the sub. Which means, I walk back into a classroom, not having to clean up messes and being able to pick up right where I left off! 

Hopefully these ideas will help you tackle preparing for a sub this school year! 


Monday, July 20, 2015

5 Things to Help Psych You Up for B2S!

Wheewho! It’s time! For Back to School! Let’s be honest, raise your hand, if you are NOT ready. As I type this, I could be on a beach getting burnt a few yards away. But I don’t like to get burnt, and safe sun knowledge tells me that I should not go between peak hours… and I am a rule follower, so I  will sit here and wait it out. And tell you how excited I am to go back to school!
Fake enthusiasm aside, I am just not ready to go back. I may need a few more weeks. Luckily, I have about 2, so I hope that this short break will work back up my enthusiasm. Usually, by the time the kids start back I am ready to go. This whole being in administration and starting back at the beginning of August thing, really has me out of sorts though. I have 5 no fails that I use every year to get myself psyched for back to school time! And I've decided to let you in on my secrets. ;) 
1.Look at Back to School ads – I don’t know what it is about back to school ads, but they are my thing. I love them. I love looking through Wal-mart, Target, Staples, Office Max, Lakeshore, you name it, I’ve probably looked at it. Maybe it’s my need to compulsively buy all supplies at a low price, or maybe it’s laying out a plan of attack,  er, I mean shopping, by plotting out all of my stops. I don’t know, but I love it. A lot. I love organizational supplies, and pens, and fun erasers, and paperclips, and binder clips, Oh mY. It's my happy place. 

2.Picking out a first day of school outfit. Admit it, you do it. And if you don’t you should. I’ve spent way too long at stores trying to find the just right shirt that says, “hi! I’m your teacher, I want to have lots of fun learning with you this year!” And while I know that shirts really don’t talk, they sure can give a good first impression.

3.Re-working a previous lesson that went less than stellar- we all have that one lesson that we were so excited about. We prepped for days, and when it was finally time to impart our amazing knowledge to our students, for whatever reason, that lesson crashed and burned! Maybe you were trying to teach your students about different states of matter by cooking waffles and you got the baking powder mixed up with baking soda, and they looked well…. Not like waffles at all, and it just confused your students….. I’m not saying that has ever happened, or not happened, but it MAY have happened…. Fixing that lesson for future students can be exciting and enjoyable, knowing you’ve gotten a previously horrible lesson that is totally going to rock in the future in your arsenal. 

4.A stop at your favorite coffee place in the morning. The smell of coffee wakes me up. I don’t drink it, but like the smell of it. I like Caramel Starbucks’ Frappuccino.  Or as those who love me like to affectionately refer to as Adult Milkshakes. They are good. Maybe not good for you, but a once in a new start-of-the-school-year treat to psych you up, yummy!
5.Send your future students a postcard to say hi, or briefly introduce yourself. Everyone loves mail, and especially as a kid, I loved it! Having mail from your teacher is TOTALLY Cool! & writing a sweet note to your future students can be a great way to start thinking about all the littles you will soon meet. 

Bonus Tip! Check out this SPED E-Book I’ve put together with my favorite Sped Teacher Bloggers. 
If you check each one out there are a list of freebies for you to choose from.

Below, is a giveaway you can enter in, to kick start your back to
school shopping with my help!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out all my bloggy friends! They are having giveaways too!
An InLinkzLink-up


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Special Educator Blog Hop!


Thanks for hoping by!

I am so excited to be a part of this special educator blog hop for the month of February.
I am linking up with a lot of the same bloggers who are somewhat famous to me. I’ve been following along to their blogs for a long time, so it is exciting to me to feel like I am apart of them. 
When I first saw the date I was given, Feb. 17th. I almost asked for a different date. My mother’s birthday was Feb. 17th and sometimes that date is hard for me because I miss her so much. I hate not getting to celebrate her birthday with her. I know she is having a good time in heaven though and I will get to see her again one day.
I figured I would turn what can sometimes be a sad day into something good for you.
I have a Valentine Present for you!
Click on the link below to gain access to it!

Yes, I know the freebie is not Valentine’s themed, or President’s day themed. Or anything February related, but I like to plan ahead…. Hahahaha. If you know me you know that is funny. It’s actually like planning behind from last year. I have this Easter themed freebie for you! You cannot get it anywhere right now. I made if for my students last year and never got around to finishing it to post it on TPT. So now, you can get it as a freebie in my store. Read this carefully though….. It will only be a freebie for Feb. 17th all day. After that, I will take it down.

Also, as a way to celebrate my mom’s life I will put my store 20% off for tomorrow only.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for Special Educators!

I hate to admit it, it's been way too long since my last blog post. The last one was August. That, I think is the longest span I have gone not blogging since I started writing this blog. Looking back over the last few months I can see why! I've been a busy, busy bee!

My supervisor came to me in April of last year and asked me if I would be interested in becoming an administrator. Well, to be honest, a small part of me yelled, "heck no!" inside when she asked me. I told her I would think about it. She asked me again a week later. This time I told her I would pray about it. She was nothing, if not, persistent! After spending a lot of time praying and thinking about it, and along with the support from my family and loved ones, I decided I'd give it a shot. I'd have to go through a 4 year residency program as well as several trainings. I don't have kids, I'm not married, so I figured now would be a perfect time to try. If I like it, great! If not, at least now I know.

It's been an interesting past several months. I've done things I never thought I would do, both good and bad. There are parts of the job I like, parts that I don't like. I do like that I feel I can make more of a difference. I saw from the teacher perspective that as sped teachers in my county we didn't get a lot of collaboration time, so I've corrected that. I am working on creating a network of resources for parents. We've had a sped fall party and done lots of volunteer work. It's pretty excited to me to see all the changes I have implemented, seem to have been taken well. I'd always heard that you should change anything your first year as an admin. But I felt it was necessary to catch us up to the times!
As for the not so fun, there's been some of that. I've been lucky enough, to realize quickly that on days that I was starting to hate my new role, I had to get myself into a classroom ASAP, to make me happier!

Of course my new position doesn't change my love for special education students, nor does it change my love of special education teachers! I'm so thankful for all of the amazing special education teachers that I work with and the amazing special education teachers around the world, that work just as hard for all of their students! You are amazing! Your students are amazing! You are making a difference!

To show my appreciation, I've teamed up with 24 other special education bloggers. As you hop along the way, you can download a freebie and get a tip.

So what is my tip?

The biggest organizational tip I have is to color code data. I like to color code each kiddo with 1 color. Their schedule, data sheet, behavior sheets, behavior reports, injury reports, etc. Everything I fill out is in their specific color. This makes it super easy to sort out their data and everything related to them. I know Adam is blue, Emma is Purple, Max is yellow, Olivia is Pink, Annabelle is Orange, etc. If I'm searching for a certain paper it makes it that much easier to find!. =)

If you click on the picture below you'll be taken to my freebie for you! Enjoy!

 Thanks for checking in.  For more freebies and tips, continue the trip through the blog hop by checking out Burke's Special Kids...just click the button below.
Burke's Special Kids

Lots of Learning & Laughter! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

We love SPED Teachers!

Did we mention how much we love special educators??! 
Well just to show you how much, 24 of us have joined together to help you start your new year out with a BOOM! 
We are beyond excited and even more excited for you! Ok, maybe even just a wee bit jealous! :)
These 24 awesome special educators, including me, have put together 5 fabulous giveaways and a freebie hop with over 20 freebies just for you!! 
Shall we get this party going!!? 
Are you ready?
The first 3 giveaways are split into 3 categories; early childhood, primary, and intermediate! So be sure to enter the one for your grade level! You can click on any of the pictures to view the product in their store or to wishlist it in case you don't win!!{wink}
Here's a look at everything one teacher will win in the Early Childhood Pack!
Here's a look at everything one teacher will win in the Primary Pack!
Seriously!!!!?? Are you feeling the Love?!
Here's a look at everything one teacher will win in the Intermediate Pack! As you know, it can be a challenge finding resources on TpT for this level, but we did manage to put a few things together that we think you'll love!
a Rafflecopter giveaway But wait! There's MORE! David at "Attainment Company" was generous enough to give two lucky teachers a copy of this e-Book for their iPad. (This e-Book is compatible ONLY for iPad, so if you do not have an iPad do not enter!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway How many of you have seen this book, or are even using it in your classroom to assess and determine presents levels?? Brigance CIBS
Last year a new and improved updated version was released...... Brigance CIBS II
and we're super excited that Robin at "Curriculum Associates" has generously donated it for us to give to one of you!! Folks, this is a $339.00 value!! Now this one definitely makes us just a wee bit jealous!  (Our apologies, but this one is for U.S. residents only) a Rafflecopter giveaway