Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teacher's Toolkit for CCSS

I know this website is for Tennessee, but I am sure it is useful for all states!! I just had to share it. It has been one of my favorite go to websites for help with the state standards and for ideas! 

This website has a ton of resources for Reading and Math for grades K-3. It lists all of the standards in these 2 subject areas for the grades I just mentioned, but that is not why I am blogging about this website. There is a specific page I want to point out....

It's the Teacher's Toolkit! I love this page! It's kind of hard to see, but to the right it has tabs for Differentiated Instruction, English Learners, Oral Language, Five Components of Reading, Formative Instructional Practices, Intentional Teaching, Response to Intervention, Social-Emotional Development and Skills, Student Growth Measures, and Working with Families! Each tab you click on has helpful videos, articles, websites, and ways to apply these in the classroom. The math section is set up in a similar manner. 

I hope you all get some helpful ideas from this website!! The new school year is right around the corner for a lot of us.

Teaching with TLC, 
A Tender Teacher for Special Needs 

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Monday, July 29, 2013

New Blog Kickoff with Freebies!!

Hello everyone! I am excited to announce that I will be contributing to another blog with 5 other fabulous teachers, called The Learning Highway. Our kickoff is on August 1st! We will have a Rafflecopter giveaway and one winner will receive some great TpT items from all of us! We will also have a paid for TpT item on our blog to show our appreciation to our readers. We would love to have you follow us on Bloglovin', so we can keep you updated on this giveaway! 

Teaching with TLC, 
A Tender Teacher for Special Needs
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Challenging Behavior Management

One thing that college doesn't prepare you for in special education are the challenging behaviors!! The behaviors of special needs students are accentuated. These students struggle more academically, emotionally, and socially. Sometimes, they simply don't know how to handle the stress. It is up to us (their teachers) to help them manage their challenges and frustrations.

There are four possible reasons for challenging behaviors that have been discovered through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): avoidance from something the student doesn't like, to gain an object or activity, for attention, or because the behavior itself is reinforcing what they want. I truly believe there is always a reason for every child's action. 

Here are some important steps to take: 

Evaluate - You need to analyze the behavior and collect data. Define the behavior to make sure you have a full understanding of what is going on. Once you've identified the behavior, you can consider what behavior you want to replace the old behavior with. It also helps you to decide how you need to intervene. Once you have determined the behavior and how you want to change it, collect data. Data will help you to see when and how often a behavior is occurring. This could be a big help to find what is actually causing the behavior! When this is complete, consider if the behavior is just frustrating or if it could be harmful to the student or anyone else. If the behavior is harmful, you may be required to start a Behavior Intervention Plan. 

Classroom Management - Check your classroom system. Is the seating arrangement causing issues. Are the routines clear enough and have you practiced them enough? Having a management plan is absolutely crucial in any classroom. 

Behavior Intervention Plan - Sometimes behaviors force you to form an intervention plan. The first thing you would need to do (after evaluating) is conduct a Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA). This will give you the antecedent (what happens before behavior), the behavior itself, and the consequence. A lot of times the consequence can be reinforcing the behavior. An FBA can help determine this. 

Put your plan into action and give it some time before trying anything else.

Thanks for reading my post and I hope you find something in it useful! 

Teaching with TLC, 
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Successful IEP Meetings/Ink n Little Things Giveaway

IEP meetings can be overwhelming! There is a lot of planning and paperwork involved. These meetings can also be overwhelming for parents. A lot of times they do not understand some of the jargon we use, and I think it's easy for us to forget that. So, in mentioning this, I want to share some ways to make your IEP meetings successful! 

1. Establish a positive relationship with parents beforehand. I can't tell you how many times I have seen teachers contact a parent for the first time, when their child has acted out in a negative way. Parents are going to be more apt to listen to us if we establish a relationship with them in the beginning, and by sharing something positive about their child first.

2. Start the IEP meeting off by sharing something positive. I suggest sharing something positive about the student before talking about their deficits. Being positive about their child first will show them that you have their child's best interest at heart. This also establishes trust, which is very important! 

3. Be prepared! Yes, we all make mistakes and may forget something from time to time. We're human, but we should make our best efforts to be prepared. This shows that we are professionals and we know what we are doing. Things that may help you to be prepared (other than the IEP itself, obviously) are an IEP at a glance, documentation of struggles and what you've tried, and suggestions of how to move forward. Also, ask the parent(s) for suggestions. They know their child better than anyone else and their thoughts need to be valued.

4. Consider your seating arrangement. I know you are thinking I am a total weirdo right at this moment, but this is important. Make sure that parents do not sit on one side of the table alone. Would you want to be seated on one end by yourself with 3 or 4 professionals staring back at you? None of us want to feel inferior to other people. 

5. Check for understanding. Just like we stop in the middle of lessons with students, we need to do this for parents. Most parents are not going to admit when they do not understand the jargon we are using. We need to make them feel comfortable by letting them know that we do not expect them to understand everything. At the end of the meeting, check to see if they are happy with the decisions that have been made. 

Thanks for reading my thoughts and I would love to hear more about how other teachers make their IEP meetings more successful! 

Ink n Little Things is having a giveaway for clip art! Go enter! 
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Autism Bracelet Winner

Congrats to Doreen for winning the autism bracelet! I also want to give a big thanks to Angela Parker for donating this very cool bracelet. If you are interested in purchasing a bracelet, key chain, ribbon, or other hand knotted item, please visit Strikers Para-cord Spot on Facebook for more information. Her prices are very reasonable and the quality makes her items well worth the money. Don't forget to like her page to show your support! :-) 

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Monday, July 15, 2013

How Games Influence Learning & Monday Made It ~ Chevron and Chalkboard Themed Bulletin Board

How do games influence learning? 

As a special education teacher, I am constantly looking for games! Games are a wonderful tool to use with children that have learning disabilities. I am going to list some benefits, that I know of, for using games to influence learning. Feel free to post your comments about some of your favorite games to use! I would love to hear about them.

There is so much involvement with games, mentally! Your mind has to be so wrapped up in the game and its rules that you don't have time to think of it as working. It's also a way for students to learn how to play together, whether as a team or as competitors. 

Supports Multiple Learning Styles
Games support visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning needs. All games have visuals. It may be a game board, a computer game, or cards. Regardless, there is always a picture or something that you have to look at. All games are hands-on, but some can even expect body movements. This is good for kinesthetic learners. Whether students are listening to a recording of some kind or listening to their team mates/competitors, they are listening!! The benefit of games supporting multiple learning styles is my favorite! 

Positive Reinforcement
Games can be used as positive reinforcement. Children do not necessarily see the need for their class assignments. It can be motivating for them to finish assignments when they know there is a game waiting for them! 

I have been a busy bee cleaning out my room! There were things from 1994 that I had to throw away!! Quickly doing the math, I was in probably Kindergarten or 1st grade at that time! Anyway, I got to start on the fun stuff today! On TpT, I found some really cute Chevron and Chalkboard themed pennant banner cutouts. They were free, which made me one happy girl! I snagged them from Brittany Banister. :-D After printing those off, I went to Wal Mart and purchased the cheapest black sheet that I could find for a twin size bed. I found one for $4. I did that because it was cheaper than purchasing the fabric. I also bought some ribbon for $1. I hole punched my flags and stringed them onto the ribbon. For my background, I stapled the sheet on my bulletin board, and went from there! I really tried to get a better picture! The door to my room, that goes outside, is right beside the bulletin board and the sun was shining right in! I am going to request for a blind to hang up. I am also going to have to fix my flags. They are a tad off center, but it will drive me crazy! Is anyone else OCD about stuff like this? Don't forget to fill me in on the fun games you use in your classroom! 

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Special Tidbit & Liebster Award Double!

I haven't took the time lately to blog much about useful information that pertains to special education. I am going to work on making more time for that. I have been sharing something I call Special Tidbits on my facebook page. I share a small amount of useful information that may help teachers or even parents. I wanted to share one that I just recently posted. 

I am a huge fan of hands-on activities
because of the benefits it provides.
Here are some benefits: greater memory
retention, provides stimulation which motivates,
critical thinking involvement, and students
can learn/grow in real life experiences.

What are some of your favorite hands-on activities? Can you think of some other benefits? 

I have been nominated twice for the Liebster award by Creations by Mrs. Mouse and A Day in the Life of a Title I Teacher. Liebster means beloved cute, lovely, dearest, and welcome! How nice!! I feel very humbled and blessed. Since I have been nominated, I have a few things to do. So, this may be a long post. 
The rules that I must follow are:

1. Link back to the blog(s) that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator(s)
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees 
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them.

Questions from Creations by Mrs. Mouse
1. Do you have any pets? Yes, a black pug. His name is Dooley and he's my fur baby!!
2. What grade do you teach? Is this your favorite? I am a resource teacher for grades 2-6. I am hoping to transition into extended resource in December.
3. Are you a night owl or do you go to bed early, even in the summer? I love my sleep. I try to get in bed at a decent hour, so I can feel good the next day.
4. Which season is your favorite and why? I love fall because of the comfortable temperature and the beautiful colors.
5. How do you relax? naps, hot baths, stretch
6. What is something that you wish you had been taught in college about teaching? I wish we could have started student teaching on the first day school, so you feel more prepared for that first week of school!
7. What is your favorite sweet concoction? mint chocolate chip ice cream!
8. If you could be a superhero, which one would it be and why? I don't really know on this one. My superhero is my Savior. I guess I like just having the power of prayer!! 
9. If you could learn something new, what would it be? I am in the process of learning to play the piano. It'd be nice for some extra time to practice! 
10. Do you have children? I hope one day.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve? I hate for someone to move something and not know if they are putting it in the right place because it makes it hard to find later! 

Questions from A Day In The Life Of A Title I Teacher
1. What's one of your funniest teaching moments? It made the kids laugh when I accidentally pulled off the dry erase marker lid and had it fly across the room. 
2. Have you traveled outside of your home country? No, I would love to go to Australia!
3. If you could be on a talk show or reality show, which one would it be and why? I would love to be on American Idol because I love to sing, but I am intimidated by the judges! I am 25, and I think that's the age limit?
4. What made you decide to start blogging? I want to learn from others that have been in the teaching profession longer than me. I have already learned so much!
5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? I wish I could force people to see that Jesus is worth living for. I'd give anything to be able to give the lost and uncertain the feeling that I have. 
6. What actor/actress would you want to portray you in a movie? Sandra Bullock, I love that woman!
7. What's your favorite book? The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
8. How do you spend your free time? I enjoy working on TpT stuff (it's more of a hobby, than work), work out, walk my dog, spend time with my awesome husband, church, listen to Dave Ramsey
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Australia or Germany
10. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be? This may sound silly, but Deanna Jump (top TpT seller). I love her story and would love to hear more. I admire her. Also, Kari Jobe! She awesome.
11. If you didn't teach, what job would you have? I would probably be a counselor. I think I already am, without the certification! :-)

11 Random Facts
1. I love to smell farms (mixture of grass, cows/horses, and manure).
2. I love to smell old, musky books.
3. My dog beats away my mild depression/anxiety.
4. I only have a few "real" friends, and I feel blessed for that.
5. I'm scared to death of being a disappointment in the teacher and blog world. 
6. I will find ways to get a good laugh. I seek to be around those crazy, fun people.
7. I was chased by a horse as a child, and I still love them! 
8. I sing in a bluegrass gospel group.
9. I do not like to hear, "You can't do it." or "I can't do it." If you tell me that I can't, I'll do it or die trying. If you say you can't, then you will hear a sermon from me!
10. I collect willow angels. My husband buys me one for every V-day. I love them much more than flowers. 
11. Most importantly, I am a child of the King and proud of it.

11 Questions for my Nominees
1. What is your favorite thing to do during the summer?
2. What's your favorite holiday? Why?
3. What would you want to do if you weren't a teacher?
4. Do you live in the country or in the city? Do you like it?
5. Does blogging help you to be a better teacher? 
6. What are your hobbies, when you aren't working on teacher stuff?
7. Do you have any pets? 
8. What's your favorite place to eat?
9. What's your style? (preppy, beach bum, sporty, etc.)
10. What's your favorite thing to watch? (something on TV, rodeos, sports, etc.)
11. Are you an Android or Apple person? 

I nominate
Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together
Digital: Divide & Conquer
24/7 Teacher
The Wild Rumpus
The Autism Tank

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It Items & Autism Bracelet Giveaway!!

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics! 

I am feeling a sense of accomplishment today. I cleaned my classroom out and laminated some of the games I want to use this year. My awesome cousin (she works in the school system) came out and helped me clean some stuff out today. It's nice to have someone you can trust to throw things away without worrying if it was valuable!! I am nowhere near done, but I got a big jump start today. I can't wait to post pics of my "Welcome to Mrs. Tasha's Room" bulletin board for the next Monday Made It. I hope it's done by then! I have to make some time to go pick up a few things before I get started. Here are 2 games that I printed, cut out, and laminated today. I made one of the games myself and it is in my TpT store and the other one is from Special Teacher for Special Kids. Both games are common core aligned! 

Adding & Subtracting for Cookies (2.OA.B.2)
This is a fun game that keeps kids on their toes! You will place students at a table or in the floor, where a cookie jar can face each child. Student A will draw a card and read the math fact to Student B (without telling the answer). Student B will work the problem out in his mind and if he gets the answer correct, he earns a cookie to put in his cookie jar! They will take turns like this, and the first student that earns 20 cookies wins. There are some Lose Turn cards and Loose Cookie cards to add a twist. I am sorry again about the poor photography skills. I am also using my phone camera. 

The second game is called Buggy Math Facts! I love the colors that Special Teacher for Special Kids used, and I am looking forward to using this game. Students will work out math facts and put the math fact on the correct leaf (number). They will write their answer on the answer sheet included, and check their answers with the fun answer keys. I laminated the answer sheet, so it could be reused.

Now, onto the giveaway! I asked my sweet friend, Angela, if she wanted to host a giveaway on my blog! She is the new and proud owner of Strikers Para-cord Spot and I have to say she is awesome at making these bracelets. She is also a photographer, so this picture will do the bracelet justice! :-) Enter the giveaway below! It will end on July 19th.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Common Core Standards for Fractions/Blog Design Giveaway

Common Core State Standards are coming at us full force! Are you ready? A couple of weeks ago, I was required to attend a 2 day CCSS training for 3rd grade math. I found the information very valuable and I ended up teaming up with some other wonderful teachers. I felt kind of sad that I wouldn't see them anymore. For the training, we focused on the standards for fractions! If I didn't take anything else from the training, it was to pay attention to specific details. Make sure you fully understand the expectations of each standard. All of the teachers (including me) were making them more complicated than they had to be. There was so much information given in those 2 days that I would be here all day if I shared every detail. To keep it short, I just want to share our awesome anchor chart that we made! I thought it might be useful for other teachers. :-)

Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

Ruby Slippers Blog Design is having a giveaway for a free blog design!! I have been chatting with her and I have decided to take the plunge! I've been blogging since the end of April and my TpT store is starting to grow. Plus, I have revamped a lot of my products! I feel like it's time to celebrate by buying myself a customized blog design. Click on the heart or on her blog name to go enter the giveaway!!

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday and a Sale

Happy Independence Day friends!! 
To celebrate, I am having a 20% off sale today and tomorrow!
Please go browse my TpT store.
I have a lot of free items, too!

This is my first time linking up with Throwback Thursday

This is not a new freebie, but I love the activity Counting and Identifying Numbers 1-10 with Bugs and Farm Animals. It is common core aligned (PK.CC.1). You just print and laminate the activity to prepare, and you will need a dry erase marker. Students will count the animals or bugs and circle (identify) the correct number that matches the amount that they counted. This is a great activity for special needs students in grades K-2, also. You can go to my TpT store to download it for free! If you do, I would really appreciate some feedback! I love hearing from my customers and it helps me to make better products.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I am hosting a GIVEAWAY!!

Hello everyone! I am hosting a giveaway for my TpT friends 180 Days and Counting and Tabitha Savage! I am a little late because the giveaway started yesterday, but you still have time! It will end on July 5th. There are 3 separate giveaways for you to enter. Good luck!! I also want to give a shout out to the winner of my Bloglovin' Giveaway! Congrats Vickie Bunkley Miller!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Made It ~ Math Game ~ FREE Today Only

It's time for Monday Made It!

I absolutely love math games! Even as an adult, I learn better with games and hands-on activities. I know it has to be beneficial for our students. I just finished making a game for my 2nd grade resource students. It could also be used for students in 1st grade that need a challenge or for students in 3rd grade that need extra practice. It will only be free for the remainder of the day, so please go download it now! If you do decide to download this product, please leave feedback after reviewing the contents. I'd love to hear what you think! Click on the picture below and it will take you to my TpT store.

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