We Are Thankful for Special Educators Blog Hop (Tip, Freebie, & Rafflecopter Giveaway!)

Friday, November 28, 2014 / 7 comments

Every year, right before the holidays, seems to be the time I really reflect on the school year. Is my classroom set-up working? Are we covering everything we need to? Are my students making growth? A lot of these questions can be answered through data. We all know that data drives our instruction; however, when you run a classroom that is constantly in motion, how do you make sure you are collecting enough of it?

I’ll be honest, when it comes to data collection; I do something different every year. My students are always different, and the amount of time that can be spent actually taking data is always different. It all depends on student’s level of independence and whether you stopping to jot down a note is going to totally throw them off of their task or not.

Before school starting this year, I made a data binder for each student. On the outside, they are color coded with their classroom color (read about this here) so I can locate them quickly. Here's a list of what I include at the beginning of the year:

-Student information sheet, IEP snapshot, Assessment Log (from my Special Educator's Everything Binder)
-Basic Skill Checklist Sheets (Copied, hole-punched, and taken directly from this amazing book).
-Tabs with paper with their IEP goals written at the top

I use several different forms of data collection throughout the day. One of my favorite ways to collect data this year has been using address labels. I got the idea from our speech therapist because she is always a pro at data collection! I keep several sheets on a clipboard and take it everywhere. I use it to take anecdotal notes and then at the end of everyday, I organize the labels into their binders on the notebook sheet with the goal at the top. It’s been super time efficient… but maybe not so eco-friendly (sorry!). At the beginning of each day, I put the date on several of the labels. This way, when I observe something or I am working with a student, I can quickly jot down notes on a label with the students name or initials so I can sort them into their binders at the end of the day or week. This is also something a T.A. could do!

I use a "code" system for functional goal to help myself know what the student accomplished and how much support was needed:

U - The student was unsuccessful
HOH - The student needed hand over hand assistance to complete the task
M - I had to model the task first, then the student did it
I - The student complete the task independently

If the student's goal has him completing a task 4/5 times. My data notes might look like this: M/I/I/I/I.. meaning, the student was independent in completing the task 4/5 times after I modeled it once.

For more academic data, I use +/- notes to show how many the student got correct/incorrect. For example, if the student was completed 10 addition problems, my data might look like this:

+ - - + + + + + + + and then I'll later write 2/10 incorrect, 8/10 correct and I will write if the student require prompts (pp = partial prompt, v= verbal prompt) or if the student completed the task independently.

As your freebie, I've included an editable Student Information Sheet, IEP Snapshot Sheet, Assessment Log Sheet and an Individual Goal Sheet, so you can make some data binders of your own! Enjoy and know that I am so so so thankful for each and every one of you and what you do. I hope this makes life a little easier for you. :)

Also - as a little extra fun on this wonderful Black Friday, I'm doing a Rafflecopter giveaway for two things I am extremely thankful, Jamberry and TPT. Enter for each one below for your chance to win!

Thanks for checking in.  For more freebies and tips, continue the trip through the blog hop by checking out Breezy Special Ed...just click the button below.
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I'm SO Thankful! {FREEBIES}

Sunday, November 23, 2014 / 1 comment

Thanksgiving is this week, and if you are scurrying for plans to fill the couple of days you have school, you can try one of these fun packs:

Also in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and because I am so thankful for all of you, here are a few freebies for you! I think it’s obvious I love Clothespin tasks, so here are a few of my favorite tasks from my Fall Clothespin Tasks pack, and also here is the Thanksgiving Student Reader from my Thanksgiving Basic Skills Pack!

Okay, okay… one more freebie! Tomorrow our speech therapist is coming in and we are going to be making the adorable "Thankful Turkeys." To help my students with this activity, I made a closed choice board. These provide students with an opportunity to complete errorless writing activities. It still allows students to make choices without you doing the activity and making the choices for them!

Be sure to check back this week for  SPECIAL BLOGHOP - WOOP WOOP!

Happy Thanksgiving, and again, thank you for all of your support!
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Sports Themed Activities {Rafflecopter Giveaway!}

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 / 12 comments

For the next few weeks, we are going to be focusing on a Sports theme. Yes, I know that Thanksgiving is at the end of the month, and do not fear, we'll be working our way into that by the end of next week. But, considering my students are super sick of pumpkins and leaves, I think it's safe to say they need a little break from fall themed activities. I sort of clump Thanksgiving into our Holiday theme, so we'll be celebrating lots of fun things.

I wanted to post visual plans, but in our classroom, there are so many different things going on at once. Students are in and out (I try to integrate them into the regular ed classes as much as I can).

Here is a run-down of our schedule as of today (it changes like the wind, because they change!)

Morning Work

Circle Time
Gross Motor Break
Structured Storytime
Math Tub Tasks
Phonemic Awareness Whole Group
Literacy Tub Tasks
Specials - Lunch - Recess
Leisure Time (Choice time AKA iPad reward time)    :)
Science/Social Studies
Independent Work Stations (Table Time - Workshop - Workboxes)
Wrap up the day
See ya later :)

For right now, this schedule seems to be the bees-knees. We do most of our interactive work in the morning, when our kids are still pumped to be at school and they will put up with us (insert wink). In the afternoon, when they start to get a little a tired (6 hours is a LONG time), we do more independent work so they can just worry about the work in front of them that they don't have to think too hard about. Independent work for our students is meant to be on concepts they have MASTERED. We want our students to learn how to work by themselves, without us hovering to help.

In an effort to provide you with a idea of some of the work we do during our day, I'm going to do a type of visual run-down. I hope you get some ideas! Also - be sure to watch for the FREEBIES!

For our structured reading group, I will be doing lots of fun read alouds, as well as focusing on specific sports, essential vocabulary, categorical sorting, and WH- questions using the adapted books and activities from my Sports Adapted Books Pack. We will also get to watch the Brainpop videos on basketball, soccer, football, and baseball.


For math tubs, I'm pulling activities from my basic skills pack to work on counting, more/less, big/little, graphs, and counting change. We will also be using my Colorful Footballs Count and Color Adapted Book to practice color recognition and counting.

Tub #2 More/Less
Tub #3 Patterns
Tub #5 Graphs

For literacy tubs, I'm using tasks from my Sports Work Tasks pack as well as the readers from my basic skills pack. I will also be pulling some Letter Recognition activities from my Interactive Letter Pack as well as the Interactive Adapted Letter Books of the letters we are focus on this week. We have some tubs that never change (Words their way sorts, Handwriting without tears, Alphabet Stamps, etc.).

At table time, I am using my clothespin task back to fill up our clear container task boxes so my students can work independently on basic skills while working on those fine motor skills at the same time!

At workshop, I have fun some hands-on activities for the kiddos.

Assembly Task - I have an over-abundance of those rubber sports bracelets in 3 different colors. Students will be assembling containers filled with 1 of each color

Sorting Task - At the dollar tree, I found sports themed piggy banks (perfect, right?). I got a baseball, soccer ball, basketball, and a football. I glued a penny on one, nickel on one, dime on one, and a quarter on one and the students will be using these to sort change.

Sorting Task - Students sort felt cut outs of sports equipment (Sports Balls from Michael's Craft Store)

In the tubs numbered 1-6, I have magnet cookie tray tasks for students to complete as well. The tasks in there right now come from my Sports Work Tasks Pack.

Our workboxes involve a lot of math manipulatives and recyclables. I also include lots of sorting and matching tasks from the above packs.

In the afternoon, I will be using my new Interactive Science Pack "Five Senses at a Basketball Game" along with some video clips, taste testing, realia (basketball, jersey, sneakers, etc - all stolen from my hubby - shh - he'll never know!)

For my homework packs, I will be pulling printer friendly activities from my basic skills pack as well as the printer friendly five senses sort. We will also continue to do weekend remnant baggies - which I am planning on a post on (I'm super obsessed with them!)

WOW -- that's a lot of information!

If you made it to here, I have something special for you -- enter the Rafflecopter below to win a copy of EVERY pack I'm currently using in my classroom! Sports theme is definitely my favorite so far! The winner will be announced on Thursday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Pete the Cat Themed Graphing Activity (Freebie)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 / Leave a Comment

I told you yesterday I would post about our Pete the Cat themed graph for the week and here it is! 

And a FREEBIE, too! Woop woop!

Click the pictures above or here for the freebie!

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