Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Teaching In The New Year!

              Happy 2018!  I am a very reflective person, both in my personal life as well as professional. I am excited to start a new year; because it opens a new chapter in my life to start new. I am convinced, based on my own life journey and from reading about successful people in general; that successful people set goals. I believe that the key to reaching goals is to keep written goals in front of us throughout the year.
                I created this "New Year's Resolution" activity to teach my high school level - special education students how to be self-reflective. This activity will, of course, go along with a lesson on the importance of goal setting - reaching our goals. It also fits nicely into my student's transition portfolios, IEP data and Continuous Classroom Improvement Cycle.
**Fold and glue to paper*
Things you would like to learn this year.

A way I can make every day better this year.

What I would like to accomplish this year.

8 ways to be kind in the new year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frankenstein visited our classroom!

 I made this fun Frankenstein Monster journal as an example for my Special Education classroom as we made these. We read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for the month of October and wrote in our journals as we read. I had students glue the STOP and JOT strategy inside the front cover so we could refer to it. I was lucky to have all the supplies on hand from my store (: 

Journals made by my students - didn't they do a great job!!!! When we are finished reading our book this week, they will take these home to share with their families. I have to say between these and my Frankenstein earrings we have been very excited about this classic story. My students don't know it, but when we finish our story + take our final test on this book, we will enjoy a green treat of some sort. I would like to make it to Target to pick up the small jones soda Frankenstein sodas. Any ideas?

Let me know what you think!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

School Lunch Packing Made Easy!

 I found these pretty plastic containers at my local Dollar Tree store in the perfect colors for my home! I bought four and labeled them with my children's names. Now, we "pack" our lunches on Sunday in preparation for a BUSY week. Everything is packed in their containers, with the exception of sandwiches and fresh foods of course. I do have one shelf in my refrigerator for grapes, apples tossed with lemon juice and whatever fruit we have on hand, already packaged in plastic-containers ready to go. I also have organic carrots, dip, guacamole packs available on that shelf for packing. We do have a few rules 1. NO ONE eats out of the containers as snacks after school 2. Pack enough for five days 3. You must have a nice variety picked out 4. Put your container back in the pantry in the morning after packing your lunch.
 This is my Sunday shopping haul that my children have to pick from. If I put all this food in my pantry without a purpose for it each day two things would happen very quickly: 1. It would be GONE in two days 2. They would get sick of all of it in one month of gorging their little faces.
the remainder of food gets packed up in storage and placed in an secret location away from greedy hands. This has saved us a lot of time, money and not to mention sanity! You may think that it is not nice that we "put up" the lunch box foods, I must tell you that they have unlimited access to fresh fruit,  vegetables + dip, popcorn and other healthy after school foods.
***I hope that this tip helps you if you are currently dealing with lunch making/pantry chaos (: 
Have Fun!!! Let me know what you think!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Teacher Finds!

 Target is AMAZING! I am on a budget so this find was a real blessing for me. I have a lesson plan template that I am required to use from the district, but I find that I still need a lesson plan book to sketch out my plans. It's easy for me to sketch out what activities, work-pages to be completed each week. I also keep a back up grade book that I would STRONGLY suggest even with the electronic versions we use. Last year a few of the courses we taught were changed mid-year, and BAM my grades also disappeared! If it hadn't been for my paper grade book all would have been lost. The grade book saved the day. I also find that it is helpful for grading at home or at an evening activity with my kids when I am without a computer. The red thing is also a Target $1 find and will be PERFECT for those students that require a picture schedule! I will also put classroom procedures at the bottom.

                   I don't know about you but I walk a LONG, LONG, LONG way to my classroom every day. The weight of books, laptop, lunch and supplies is a little much for me to carry. I had no great solution until now. I found this Rolser at HomeGoods this week and trust me it will hold EVERYTHING! I am so excited to have a roll cart that is attractive and holds soooo much. This will allow me to bring supplies back and forth with ease. They had several colors to choose from too. Oh, and it was $29.00!!!!!! It is retail $60!
I think I had a great shopping week. Let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teaching Binder

                   Yes, I know that I should be enjoying my last few weeks of summer-not thinking about work, but it has been soooo HOT here that inside activities like creating a cute Teacher Binder are most appropriate. I have looked at many Teacher Binders online but this cover is my design (: I LOVE owls and flowers so this will be fun to use. I also laminated the cover so I could transfer it if the binder broke from being overused, hehe. The owl is a stamp from my store and the printing was done on the computer with my favorite Handwriting font.
                   From this project I discovered that each teacher's binder will and should be personal/different. I am a special education teacher, so my data sheets and lesson plans are complicated and in their own binders. I will use this binder to keep track of all the little things I struggle to keep organized such as; district calendar, grade periods, IEP progress dates, numbers of teachers and building numbers, student information and class-list, birthdays, standards, scope and sequence for the subjects I teach, meeting notes, co-teaching information, PD papers, passwords - I am sure I will add to this list as it occurs to me. I do think that I will have a better year with everything in one spot (:
 I am REALLY trying to think about how I want to organize all my work-pages/reading materials. I have a self-contained class with students on a variety of levels all learning the same topics so papers are EVERYWHERE!  I like to see the papers so I think ideally I would like to have them in binders with page protectors. If you have a system that works well for you let me know! I love to learn new things (:

Let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Binder- Classroom Organization!

             If you use binders to organize and plan units like I do, this idea may work well for you. Last year I taught several subjects and I used binders to organize; work-pages, journal pages, reading material,  study guides and rubrics or scoring guides. I have used a few methods for storage, but I found this to be the very best! I had two of these Chrome Lid/Plate Rack's by Closetmaid at home that I did not use when I organized my pot lids and baking pans. I had the idea last year that binders may fit in them and THEY DID! This can hold 8 binders. I created personalized covers for each binder with the subject, clip art and their name. At the end of the semester I took off the cover and stapled all the papers to it and sent it home. The binders did not belong to the students, and defiantly had to stay in my classroom for reuse! This is a nice solution and clears up your book shelves for more books (: They are really sturdy and neat.
 I will take a picture when I set up my classroom in August. I do not have access to my classroom now and am not sure where my room will be this year in the building! They are doing major construction but I am excited to design my new space. I only hope that I have windows again!!!!! I have some fun ideas to share with you, YAY!

Let me know what you think! I love to visit Blogs (: 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family Binder Takes on Family Diet! Pow Ya!!!

 This is a picture of my refrigerator after doing a MAJOR overhaul on our families diet. It contains healthy foods all purposed for each meal next week! I used the EAT Sheet below to list all the meals of each day and on the other side all the ingredients that I needed. This is kept in my family binder (see post below).  All 6 of us went to the store looking for organic, fresh ingredients for our week. We plan to do this intense planning for each week, so when I start teaching in August we have meal plans and shopping lists already completed for crazy busy weeks. We also have decided to plan the meals on the weekend and do as much shopping as possible for those meals. The crazy part is we even stayed in budget! It's amazing how much money we have spent on junk food believing that we couldn't afford the healthy fresh choices! I decided to use a box of colored pencils and color code my shopping list! I'm very proud of this idea, because I am not an organized person naturally. This was my color code idea:
Green-Vegetables and Fruit
                                                                   Yellow-Dairy items
                                                                   Orange- Spices and sauces
                                                                   Gray-Can Goods
You may be wondering why I have changed our families eating habits. My husband has been complaining for years that he would like to eat cleaner and I wanted that too but lacked whatever to make it happen. I picked up the Skinny B@%&* by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, a week ago thinking that it would be a casual book to read before bed NOT, I couldn't put it down and stayed up half the night reading. Now I will say that the books title is a profanity (I didn't want to offend anyone by writing it) and is an appetizer to the book, but it is a serious book packed with great information. If you are up for it read it!

Let me know what you think, or if you have read this book!