Saturday, June 27, 2009

Organizing Programming Binders

Classroomrainbow So I've started putting together programming binders for next year.  Becuase I work myself in to our staffing rotation, it is important to have everything laid out in these binders to ensure that the student that I'm working on each day doesn't get short changed because I'm busy going through things with the learning assistants.  I have in the past just has a binder for each student but starting this fall I'm going to add a binder for each learning assistant "team" as well. 

My Individual Program Binders have the following in them:
  • Individual Program Plan:  I keep the students IPP (known as IEPs in most places) in the front section of the binder.  I also put in any updates that I do to the IPP here.  This way, staff are reminded on a regular basis of what we are striving for and what we have committed to do.
  • Programming Activities:  This is an oultine of activities that staff work with students on.  I am working on putting together a more detailed description of these but right now its just a short written explanation of what to do.  This is one of my ongoing challenges as I would like to get this part more organized but it takes time.
  • Tracking Forms:  All tracking forms for the student are kept in here.  I always put a sticky on the last one telling staff to photocopy 4 more before using.  This way tracking forms stay up to date.  I am adding a daily form of what activities are completed to this section this year.  I'm almost done making these.
  • Worksheets & Activities: I have binders with many of the standard things needed to complete regular activities so I use this section to add things that are a bit different or that I find and think that a student would enjoy.  Staff can go in to this section and take out a worksheet or an activity outline and complete it during individual programming time.
  • Other Information:  I originally set this up as a "catch all" but haven't used this section much.  I have just left it there and will change it if I ever find a need for it :).
This year, I also plan to create Team Program Binders.  I have my students grouped in groups of 2 and my learning assistants grouped the same.  There is one team of 2 students that only has one staff working with them because one of them is only part time and both are more independent than most of the students in my room.  I move in to the schedule by schedule one staff on to this team and then taking over their place for the two week period.  I am planning to put an update in at the beginning of each two week period.  I will pick one of the recent "news-2-you" to use as the theme for that week.  I have also decided that rather than scheduling set religion class times, I will put the activities in here and each team can complete them as they find the time. 

So far, the sections that I've decided will go in these binders are: 
  • Focus: This section will house the focus handouts that I will create every two weeks that outline what each group should be aware of and what they should be doing with their team.
  • Religion: Will include an outline of the religion activities that should be done in the two week period. The suggestion is that the team work on the relgion project together.  Some projects will be games in which case the team will need to find a second team to join in.
  • news-2-you:  Will include the news-2-you paper and activities.
  • Other

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The 2008-09 school year is wrapping up.  There are only 2 more student days now.  Then three days with my learning assistant staff and one without and another year is done. 

I have been in this classroom for 3 years.  Its been a hugh growth curve but I must say that these past three years have been the best of my teaching career.

I'm excited about next year and what it may bring.  It appears that the classroom will be staffed at a level to allow me to do many of the things that I would like to do and so my approach to the room and the day will be different again this year. 

This blog will be a place for me to share my new learnings as I go through this next transition.  I also hope that there may be soemthing here that will be useful to other teachers or students out there but that will be secondary to me having a place to reflect and grow from that reflection.
If you find this site, please leave me a hello as its always wonderful to know that there are others out there that share my passion.