Unfocused, Checked Out Me!

Dear Readers,

I am so not present today. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be present tomorrow or the next day either. I am burnt out and ready for the vacation. Only three more days after today. Can’t wait!

Overdue Book Reviews!

Dear Readers,

I haven’t posted a book review in a long time. I’m going to remedy that during the break. I may even post a few. I think I’ll review Patricia Polacco’s “January Sparrow.” It was such a fantastic book. I loved it like I love all of Patricia Polacco’s book. I honestly haven’t read a book of hers that I don’t like. Others that I think I’ll review are: Applemando’s Dream, Pink & Say, Mr. Lincoln’s Way, Bully, Junkyard Wonders, & My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother (in memory of Patricia’s older brother, Richie, who recently passed). I’ll kick them out over the break. Until then!

Sicky McSickerton Me!

I am so sick. It hit so suddenly that I was totally unprepared for it. I didn’t think I’d get sick this year because I’m happy and I’m not super-stressed. I was ridiculously sick on Wednesday morning, but since I only teach in the mornings on Wednesday, I knew I’d be finished before 10:00 a.m. Once I finished my 2nd period, I went home. I got in the bed and have not been out of the house since. I’m debating whether or not to go to work tomorrow. It all depends on how I feel in the morning. Hopefully I’ll feel well enough. If not I will simply stay in the bed and recuperate. It’s Friday, so I’ll have the rest of the weekend to recuperate and be back at work bright & early Monday to give benchmarks on Monday & Tuesday, & finals on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday.

Here’s hoping I feel better soon!

Knocked it Out the Park!!!

Dear Readers,

I’m not sure why I’m surprised that I knocked the ball out the park with my latest PD that I presented with my co-teacher. Presentations are my strong suit. So, it should have come as no surprise.

The purpose of the PD was to explain what Passports are and how they’re related to the IEP. Let me explain what Passports are. They’re documents created by my charter school organization that include the student’s lexile level, present level of performance, and goals for the GenEd teachers to use in their planning.

Well, the Passports were updated and given out during the first month of school. However, when they were given out, only 3/4 of the SpEd staff was present. The 11th/12th grade teacher was absent because his son was having medical complications, my assistant was on her honeymoon, and I had a PD to attend at the home office. I said all of that to say that we were unavailable to explain to the GenEd teachers how to use them. Needless to say, some of the teachers weren’t using them because they didn’t know how.

To help the GenEd teachers, we (the SpEd staff) created an AT-A-GLANCE spreadsheet for 9th-12th grade that listed important accommodations across the top, students names down the left hand side of the spread sheet, and then checked off which students received which accommodation. I, along with my co-teacher, explained all of this to the teachers. They were very grateful. They asked many questions and received clarification on questions they had.

My A.P. even sent me the results of the PD survey. The results were overwhelmingly positive. I have to say that the best thing to come out of presenting the PD was the teachers’ understanding that the IEP is a legal document because I kept hammering it home. Whenever someone asked a question about accommodations, I related it back to the IEP being a legal document. They got it!

I’ll keep you updated on further PDs. Bye for now!

I Should Have Known!!!

Dear Readers,

As I was pushing into one of the math classes I support, I was taken aback that a student I was helping in 9th grade didn’t know her multiplication tables. Now, this particular student is something. In the beginning of the school year she was constantly being put out of the English class for misbehavior. This goes with my post on the chicken or the egg years ago regarding students who would rather be thought of a “bad” than “stupid.”

I am so mad at myself for not connecting the dots faster. I was so shocked as I had to scaffold lower and lower to accommodate her lack of basic elementary foundational skills. She was just sitting there with a blank look on her face. Once I “really” saw that blank look, I knew that she’d been misbehaving at the beginning of school because she didn’t want anyone to know about her and her lack of knowledge.

I should have known!!!

Nerdy Me!

Dear Readers,

I feel like such a nerd!

“Why?,” you ask.

Well, I’ve just recently learned Google docs, Edmodo, Kahoot!, and a host of other online & tech programs I was previously UNable to use. Well, I spent the better part of Saturday morning organizing my Google docs, making folders for them and being happy doing so.

One of my favorite things to do is have my students share their work with me via Google docs. On Friday I was actually editing my student’s work as he was working on it across the room. One thing I like about Google docs, forms, & sheets is how it’s real time. One other thing I’m really enthused about is Google forms. Over the Veteran’s Day four day weekend, I took that time to create my monthly self-assessments for the rest of the year with Google forms. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Since my decision to go paperless, I’ve been so gung-ho about all things tech, and I am loving it!

Dear Readers, what are you doing to incorporate technology into your classroom? Drop me a line and let me know!

Happy Me!!! Part…I Don’t Know

Dear Readers,

I’ve written so many posts entitled “Happy Me” that I’ve lost count. That’s not as important as why I’m happy, so I won’t even harp on them. I’ll get to why I’m so happy. I’m so happy because I’ve had a very stressful couple of weeks and I didn’t fall apart. Usually I would have gotten sick or at least taken a day off. I probably would have complained without ceasing to my husband. I mean the list could go on. The beautiful part is how I handled it. Can is just say that I handled it like a champ? Yes, I’ll say that I handled it like a champ. I did not crack. I did not complain. In fact, I stepped up my game and became even more organized. I created templates and lists for my most important tasks. Today, I began organizing my binder that first year teachers can use. It really would have come in handy this year if I would have had it. I can probably still use it next year. I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

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