Showing posts from August, 2010

Summer is Winding Down...

I can't believe that in two weeks I will have finished our staff days and will be doing last minute preparation for Monday morning back to school faces.  Where has the summer gone?

I still have much to do but am also feeling good about what I've accomplished the summer.  This past week I spent two days in my room doing a major clean-out/reorganization.  I went through every little thing that is out and decided if it was something we were going to use this year or not.  If it was something we wouldn't use I organized it in to "get rid of" or "store away".  I then cleared out a couple of cabinets and shelves that we have a hard time getting to and put all the "store away" things there.

Then it was on to organizing the things that were left.  I sorted and shelved everything by skill.  To make room on the shelves and to make things flow easier during the year I took severl of our "programs" and moved them from binders and bins to file fo…

Loving Unique's Transition Band!

Back in June I decided to purchase Unique's Transition Band for this year with the hopes of perhaps learning how to ensure my older students are getting the program that they need to transition out of our classroom.  I was hoping to find a few things that would be helpful and figured I would call it good if I did.

It has been so much more than what I expected.  The program has "CORE TASKS" that you do all the time that is basically a lay out of how to set up your day.  The great thing about it is that setting up the day this way (with a few modifications) can work for all the different ages in my class (which is saying a lot given my span this fall will be grade 1 through beyond 12 as I have one student is staying an extra year beyond graduation).
Each month you get a set of "Instructional Tasks" in a few different categories.  They include "Lifetime Skills" (Communication, Money Management, Social Skills...etc.), "Job Club" and "Daily…

Primary Phonics Workbook Interactive Activities

This year I have a couple of students who are ready for phonetic reading.  For the most part we have worked with students on sight word reading.  We do some letter and sound recognition stuff but haven't gone very far in to phonics.  Things are changing so I had to dig up some extra ideas to approach phonics but they had to be ways that allowed for some physical challenges in regards to writing.  So I stumbled across a post where someone was using this set of books as a starting point to create activities for their son.  I was so excited and I ordered the first book in the series to see if I could make it work for what I was trying to do.  And it does. Here is what I have done so far with this book as a guide: Primary Phonics Book 1 Tracking Form: I wanted to create a tracking form that could be used generically for all sections of the book.  I generally go with a mastery approach to academics.  When a student achieves a specified standard and can demonstrate that standard three ti…

Wednesdays Weekly Comments: July 28 to August 3, 2010

New Position posted at Special Classroom: Very excited to follow this new journey on the blog :).

News from news-2-you posted at Excepational Students in the Classroom: I'm looking forward to seeing what changes are being made over at the news-2-you and Unique Learning pages.  We should be able to see it soon :).

Storing Homemade Materials Idea

A question someone asked me in response to one of my posts made me think to write a quick post about this.  I make a lot of my own materials with Boardmaker - things like matching cards and sorting activities.  I wanted a way to store them that allows me to label what they are so that we can get them quickly.
What I did in the end was going to Staples and buy some "mailer boxes" in different sizes so that I can store the items.  Since then I have found them for a significantly lower price online.  I'm including the link but realize its a Canadian Supplier.  I'm sure there is something similar in the states.  I'm also putting a couple of pictures of how I use these types of boxes in this post.

Hope this is useful to someone :).

The place I have found to order these boxes is called Uline.  This is a link to the page that has the box sizes and the prices.

Examples of how I use the boxes:

 Here are some boxes that I used to make "Alphabet Boxes".

Here is an e…

Color Coding Student Materials and Spaces

So I needed a break from "thinking" work and decided to spend a couple of days doing some decorating type of work.  With the evolution of my classroom and the number of students who are now ambultory and have functional use of their hands I have revamped things quite a bit in that they need to be able to take care of their own materials.  So I'm doing things like changing to individual pencil boxes rather than using communal supplies.  One of the other things I decided to do is color code each student's materials so that students are easily able to find their own.  So I tackled their binders first and just kept going.  In the end here is everything that I color coded for each student.  I didn't realize that there was so much stuff for each individual :).
Home-School Communication Binder: I'm using a binder rather than a duotang for written notes between parents and myself.  The idea is loosely built around "M.O.O.S.E. Binders".  I have broken the sec…