ADHD: How to Help Those "Wiggle-worms"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 / 2 comments
I came across this article and found the information to be clear and to the point about students with ADHD. If you or another teacher in your school has a student that has difficulty staying still in class, please read:

ADHD Hope Newsletter: Why won't this child stay in his seat?

A few things I do daily to help my own wigglers:

-unstack/stacking classroom chairs at the beginning or end of the day
-stress balls (Store bought, BUT I am planning to make my own like the ones shown on Ms. Rachel's Room)
-walking in the halls with a backpack filled with a few books (for bad days)
-sitting on a seating disc like the one shown here

I am DYING to replace my boring, uncomfortable chairs with stability balls for my kiddos. I've read a lot about them and I think my students would benefit immensely from them (loads of research shows they help kids stay on task). They are quiet a pretty penny though..

I also love doing BRAIN BREAKS during classes where a lot of sitting is involved. I learned about these from a teacher I co-teach with. The students love them! These could be jumping jacks, toe touches, squats, patty-cakes... anything to get them MOVING. You can easily tie them in with whatever skill/concept you are working on (i.e. math class = have students do squats while counting by fives).

No one likes to sit in one place for a long time... Give em a break! :)

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Organization = Happiness.. PLUS MY 1ST FREEBIE!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 / 25 comments

With the unbelievable amount of paperwork, it is sometimes hard to find the balance between lesson planning, collecting data, writing IEP's, parent communication, teacher communication, and ACTUALLY teaching. I am the queen of charts, check-lists and to-do lists! Any time I feel unorganized, stress takes over, and I don’t perform as well as I can. Plus, I get very grouchy!

One thing that I could not live without daily is my caseload binder. I create a new caseload binder every year. It holds all the information I need access to daily on my students. I refer to it when lesson planning, during meetings, and when I am surprised by a parent phone call/visit about a student.

Here’s what I include in my binder:

-Caseload snapshot chart (includes all imp. info and dates for your entire caseload)

-School contact list (administration & teachers at your home school)

-Resources contact list (special education contacts that are not at your home school)

-Annual IEP Timeline (dates for upcoming iep deadlines)

-Revaluation Timeline (dates for 3 year reeval dates)

-Blank school calendar to fill in through-out the year for meetings/imp. dates         

I have my students separated by tabs and include each of the following for each student:

-Student IEP Summary Sheet

-Parent communication form

-Student SPED service minutes documentation sheet (to show that I am meeting minutes in my schedule and when/where students are being served)

-Student level sheet (shows present levels of students, where improvement is needed, and strategies that have worked – I usually end of with several of these throughout the year for each student)

-Student goal data tracking form (use one for each goal)

-Student fluency progress chart                     

This binder is a great resource to have throughout the day and at home because I never know when I will be asked a question about a student, whether it is by another teacher, administrator, or parent. It takes some time to fill in all the information, but it will save you from running to the locked cabinet (after you spend 10 minutes looking for your keys) every time you are unexpectedly asked a question. It also helps lighten the load of information taken home each night.

Since this is a new blog, I want to have a freebie! I am going to give away 5 FREE copies of my caseload binder packet I’m selling at my TPT store. All you have to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address in it so I can send you the packet.
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Snow Day!

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Thanks to Sandy, my county has called off school today. I don't completely consider it a "win" because of all the destruction this storm has caused for others; however, with this day off I can finally get back on track with this new blog. I plan to first post on some things I do to stay organized, and then I'll get to other more fun activities and strategies I like to use with my kiddos.

Hope everyone is staying safe out there!

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