The Least Restrictive Environment was designed to level the playing field. This goes back to the reason why we have Special Education in the first place.
There was a time when there were an inordinate amount of blacks represented in Mentally Retarded (MR) classes, and/or the kids in Special Education were treated as second class citizens.
This basically says that the child has to be educated in the place where he/she will gain the most benefit. They shouldn’t be put in classes far away from other children just because they are in special education.
Here is the website that will explain more: http://sped.lausd.net/sepg2s/pg2_lre.htm
I have been in training for the past two days. I had heard that it was boring, but that has not been the case with me. I am having a ball. We have a very small and intimate group and it’s a blast. I am learning a lot of good information. I feel so blessed. I have been in such great situations where I have had the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time. One of the things that I re-learned about was Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. I’d heard of it before, but was happy to have a refresher on it. I will write about it
tomorrow when I can!
Until next time, hasta la bye-bye!
I was just talking to one of my friends about the atmosphere of any given place. Most of it is dependent on the leader. The leader, for the most part, takes their organization in the direction that they want to go; whether it’s good or bad; positive or negative. The leader sets the tone for the environment.
This reminds me of Babylon 5, one of my favoritest (that’s right, I said favoritest) shows of all times that almost wasn’t. In the beginning, for the first season, the show sucked. The sets’ design was uninspired and the acting was just aiiiiight. However, the killer was that the overall tone of the show was too dark. I didn’t like it, but I decided to give it a chance since I love, love, love sci-fi.
Michael O’Hare, as Captain Jeffrey Sinclair, was the original star of the show. He was alright, but he didn’t have what it took to lead the show in the direction that it needed to go. Needless to say, he was cut from the starring role. Fast forward a little to Bruce Boxleitner as the new leader, Captain John Sheridan.
A new star, redesigned sets and voilá, a whole new show – a whole new direction.
Michael O’Hare, the first captain didn’t have what it took to lead that series. So out he went! Once he was gone, the show was able to achieve its purpose – a successful sci-fi show. The same principles can and do apply in any setting- especially a school.I was at a school recently where the Principal set the (negative) tone for the entire school. It was an unfriendly environment with a lot of backstabbing going on; most of it sanctioned by the Principal.
In the classroom, the same thing applies. The teacher sets the tone of the class. If he/she is a good teacher and cares about the students, it will be reflected in all aspects of the classroom, from the way that the classroom is run, how he/she interacts with the students, how smooth transitions are, etc…
I am so happy that I am learning effective classroom management at B.N.U. I was really worried about classroom management; how I was going to handle problems involving discipline. I’m not so scared of that anymore now that I am finally in the position to be able to do that.
Teaching is a serious business. I take it very seriously. I do not take it lightly. It is very serious business. I know I have to be a strong leader to take my class room in the direction I want to take it.
So I will boldly go where so few strong men/women have gone before. (Different sci-fi show and I changed it a little, but you get the picture!)
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Unwritten, by Natasha Bedinfield has been stuck in my head all week. This song being stuck in my head said to me that there are so many things that have yet to be fulfilled; so many things that are yet up to me.
I fell in love with this song when I first heard it. The lyrics are fresh and challenging. They are a direct challenge to everyone listening to live life to its fullest.
I identify with this song so strongly because I believe that almost everything has a meaning and significance. To me, this song is telling me to get rid of my fear and my old and outdated beliefs.
I have a big job ahead of me. I know that no one else can do the job that I’m supposed to do. Here’s to living that impossible dream! The dream that only I can make come true.
My words, deeds, actions, thoughts and dreams are as yet still unwritten. I’m the determiner of my own destiny. I’ve got to write them and write them well.
Sometimes I have to stop and reflect on my life and how blessed I am. Today is one of those days. I was thinking about not getting into TFA again. Okay, I know I’m harping on that TFA thing again. This time it’s in a good way though.
Let me take you back to the beginning. I had a plan. I was going to get into TFA, use the $9,450 of AmeriCorps money plus the 40% tuition discount and finish my education after I finished the other AmeriCorps program that I was involved with.
The only problem is that that’s one AmeriCorps award too many. Only two AmeriCorps awards are allowed. Period. (I didn’t know that)
The plan that I had involved getting accepted into TFA. Not getting in was devastating and shot all my plans to hell! Or so I thought!
Since I didn’t get in I had no choice but to accept that. I know that everything happens for a reason. I knew that God was working it out and that I shouldn’t be worried. But I was still very worried and very anxious.
Well, as it turns out, all that worry and anxiety was for naught. It just so happens that not getting into TFA was a good thing. A very good thing! Their schedule for the summer and for the duration of the program is CRAZY!! They have a lot of responsibilities and time commitments that would have been very hard for me to fulfill.
I talked to a couple of TFA members who expressed their sentiments on just how time consuming their commitment is. This made me even more convinced that God is working on my behalf on a plan that I can’t even begin to fathom the depths of.
Though I did accept that getting in was not for me. However, the only problem was the 40% tuition reduction that I would have enjoyed by being a TFA member. Well, as it turns out, I don’t have to worry about that anymore. My school, B.N.U., has a fantastic grant writer who has managed to write a grant that not only takes care of the TFA students but all the students in the Intern program. As we speak (drum roll) I now qualify for the 40% tuition reduction rate.
Thank you Jesus and Hallelujah!
I’m telling you, God really looks out for me. I get almost all of the benefits of being in TFA without the hectic schedule. Is that perfect or what?
I am very nervous about classroom management, so I have been asking advice from a lot of the veteran teachers that I know. One teacher whom I have become close with in the last couple of months told me about a surefire way to get the children under control. It is reminiscent of a post of mine .
N-e way, because of him, I decided that the first month would be spent on reading, writing and going over the rules. I will send home the list of books that they need to read along with a library card application. I got the list from “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, jr.” This is an excellent book. In it, Hirsch outlines what is considered the fundamentals of a good education. This series goes all the way from K to 7th grade as far as I know.
This is the second in a series of 8.
Before you get started, the author gives words of wisdom on pgs. 11-12, in the section entitled How to Use This Book, the author explains that active, engaged learning is remembered better than passive learning. In other words, ask questions to the children as you’re reading the story.
On page 12, his second piece of advice is repeat, repeat, repeat. Don’t be afraid of reading something more than once. Young children like to hear good stories over and over.
Core knowledge is needed, according to the author, because:
- Shared background knowledge makes schooling more effective.
- Shared background knowledge makes schooling more fair and democratic.
- Defining a specific core of knowledge for each grade motivates everyone through definite, attainable standards.
- Shared background knowledge helps create cooperation and solidarity in school and in the nation.
There are 5 sections: (1) LANGUAGE ARTS (2) GEOGRAPHY, WORLD CIVILIZATION, AND AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (3) FINE ARTS (4) MATHEMATICS (5) NATURAL SCIENCES
The first section is LANGUAGE ARTS. From pages 14-81, there are a series of stories and nursery rhymes that children should know because according to Hirsch, a lot of references are in regard to nursery rhymes and fairy tales.
The second section is .
The third section is .
The fourth and final section includes .
Do yourself and your children a favor and pick up these books!
I just threw out a check for $3,999.99. Why? Why would anyone do that?
Remember what your mama said, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”
I threw it out ’cause it was as fake as a $4 dollar bill. There are so many scams out there. But I’m talking about one scam in particular. You’ve probably heard of it. I read about it on another blog. Even If I hadn’t, I would have become suspicious after reading the letter.
This is how it all goes down: You get a check in the mail. You have to deposit it immediately. However, in order to ensure that the money is released to the proper person, the issuing company puts a hold on the funds. There’s also a provision that you must send them the taxes (i.e., your hard earned money) necessary to release the rest of the funds. At which time the funds that are on hold are supposed to be released. Unfortunately the funds are never released because the check was never real in the first place.
So many people have been conned by this. Don’t fall for this scam! Before you send any of your hard earned money, always check it out first. There are way too many scams out there. Be careful. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
REWARD PROGRAM OF AMERICA
TO IMPROVE THE WAY PEOPLE LIVE
P.O. BOX 1604
JAMAICA, NY 11434-1604
web address: http://www.rewardprogram.biz ( The website is a total sham. You can’t get any information off of there.)
If you would like to know about scams like this and others, here is a website that I found: fraudaid.com
If you get anything with this or something similar, throw it away like I did!
Even though this job is not going to be easy, this is thirteen things that I know I will love about it.
- I will make a difference.
- I will get my own classroom.
- The kids.
- It’s never going to be a dull moment.
- I feel like a real adult now.
- Though it’s not much, I will get a regular paycheck.
- I can change just one kid and have a part in changing the world.
- I will be surrounded by people who will tell me if I’m not doing a good job.
- Consequently, they will bring out the best in me.
- I found something that I am passionate about.
- I found something that I am good at.
- I get Christmas break off to spend with my husband and my children.
- Even though it’s hectic, I can do it and be a better person for it.
This is a continuation of the I.E.P. deconstructed series. There are a couple of different categories that a child will qualify for special education under. This is the L.A.U.S.D. website. It explains some of the terms that you may have been hearing.
**Taken directly from the L.A.U.S.D. website **
Special education is a program designed to meet the unique educational needs of children with disabilities who meet eligibility criteria under the law. Special education services can begin at birth and continue until the age of twenty-two (22). Children may receive special education services under one of the following eligibilities:
- autism or autistic-like behaviors
- emotional disturbance
- hearing impairment
- mental retardation
- multiple disabilities
- orthopedic impairment
- other health impairment
- specific learning disabilities
- speech or language impairment
- traumatic brain injury
- visual impairment including blindness
Preschool children, ages 3 to 5 years old, may qualify for special education services if they have one of the the previously listed eligible disabilities or an “established medical disability.” An “established medical disability” is a disabling medical condition or congenital syndrome very likely to require special education services.
In California, children with disabilities younger than three (3) years of age may also qualify for early intervention which help enhance their development. Children who qualify for early intervention services will receive services from the District if they have solely a visual, hearing, or severe orthopedic impairment. All other children in this age range who exhibit developmental delays or have established risk conditions with harmful developmental consequences will receive early intervention services from their local regional center.
If your child is eligible to receive special education services, you have the right to be informed about all available public and non-public schools or programs. The law requires that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities be educated with children without disabilities. This placement is called “the least restrictive environment (more next week).”
Here is the website:
It’s a sad fact of life that we have to let go of things that are near and dear to us. All things, no matter what it it, must come to an end. It’s especially sad when it’s a longtime friendship or marriage.
I was just thinking about the roles that people play in our life. Some people are there for a lifetime, while some are there for a few months. They can disappear just as quickly as they came.
When something ends, don’t take it personally.
That’s what I have to keep telling myself so I won’t.
It, whatever IT was, simply ran its course. When it’s time for something to end, it just does.
So, when it’s time to let go of something, don’t make a scene. Don’t be a drama queen. It is just time for that relationship to end. Do it with dignity. Let go!
Here is the fourth and final part dealing with communication issues, #’s 49-57.
49. Do the individual’s communication skills/deficits lead to problem behaviors?
50.Does the individual have acceptable means of getting staff (and/or peer) attention?
51. Does the individual need a “release valve”- an alternative behavior which serves as a means of getting away from a situation he/she cannot handle? Can the individual communicate this need in some manner?
52. Is the individual’s behavior an attempt to tell you “I want… “e.g., food, object.” ”I want attention or social interaction.” 53. Can you make desired events/activities more available so that the individual doesn’t have to ask for them?
54. Can you teach the individual a better way to ask for or get what he or she wants?
55. Is the individual’s behavior an attempt to tell you, “I don’t want…” I don’t want food/object. I don’t want to do this because it is too hard.
56. Can I acknowledge the “I don’t want” message to change the situation or environment to prevent the problem from occurring?
57. Can the behavior be an attempt to restore internal homeostasis? (e.g., I am in discomfort or pain. I am trying to calm myself down. I am tense, nervous, or anxious.)
In summary: Am I really listening to the individual and making an effort to respond to his/her communication?
I have been in a really reflective mood lately. I have been thinking about the trial that I endured in the summer. As always, whenever I emerge from the storm, bruised, tattered and torn, I always wonder what the purpose was. Well, this time I kinda’ knew why I was going through what I was going through. Just like I also knew what the purpose was.
When I was younger, during the storm I would sometimes wonder why. Why me, God? Why me? To which my mother would reply, “Why not you?”
“Okay, fair question,” I thought to myself. It still didn’t make the trial easier, so I was still reluctant to go through it.
Now that it’s over, I wonder how I made it through with so little money. Even through all of this, there was still food on the table EVERY night. My lights were still on. I still had gas to cook with and most importantly, I didn’t have a nervous breakdown like I thought I was.
You know what, you won’t either!
So, long story short, I have been thinking about everything that I went through during the summer and am actually thankful. I always am. Afterwards. But something different happened along the way this time. I was able to see my way out. I could tell that the end was near, but was just becoming impatient.
So for all of you out there who can feel that your trial is coming to an end, just hang on. Your deliverance is at hand. Just hooooooold on! You can do it.
In the past week, I have talked about scaffolding. This is a term that teachers use, but it’s not exclusive to teaching. People do it everyday without realizing it. To make it clear, think about a scaffold outside a building. It has many levels right?
Scaffolding, and the building of it, is one of the most important parts of the construction process. In construction/building, the building that needs to be built is of the utmost importance. However, the process is also vitally important.
It’s just like regular scaffolding. All the systems have to be in place. You have to slowly build it to ensure that the level underneath it is sturdy. They have to be just right.
When scaffolding a lesson the child needs to know that it’s okay to make mistakes and that everything is a step by step process.
An example of scaffolding that I do is during Open Court lessons. Instead of having them read the lessons (which they can’t do), we listen to the story on the CD. I ask them questions before, during and after. It’s best to stop the CD and ask questions while they are listening to the CD to keep them actively engaged and interested in what’s going on.
For the other part of the lesson (the phonics part), instead of using the words that they’re using, I using simpler words at their level. They get the effect of the lesson, and they also feel really good about themselves.
I do know that since I am a new teacher and am consequently still learning, that I will not do everything just right. I doubt if my lessons ever will be 100% the way that I or anyone want them to be, but that’s what the words keep trying mean.
My little Kindergarten princess works so hard. When she gets home she’s tired. It’s because most, if not all, of L.A.U.S.D. has full day kindergarten. I really don’t like it because they don’t even get a chance to take a nap. So when she comes home, she is so tired. She can go to sleep at 6 p.m. and sleep for the whole night. Kindergarten is not like it used to be.
What happened to all the fun stuff? I wouldn’t want to be in kindergarten right now. Now it’s more like a job. Kindergarten is hard!
(The author’s explanation of the series taken from the book) The Core Knowledge Series is a grade-by-grade presentation of the knowledge young people should acquire in early grades. The books have been sequenced to help children make secure progress in learning; each book presents knowledge upon which later books will build. The writers of the book have drawn on their experience and common sense to make the materials interesting, clear, and challenging.
**This is just a starting point. It is the minimum amount of core knowledge that children should have.**
Core knowledge is needed, according to the author, because:
- Shared background knowledge makes schooling more effective.
- Shared background knowledge makes schooling more fair and democratic.
- Defining a specific core of knowledge for each grade motivates everyone through definite, attainable standards.
- Shared background knowledge helps create cooperation and solidarity in school and in the nation.
There are 5 sections: (1) LANGUAGE ARTS (2) GEOGRAPHY, WORLD CIVILIZATION, AND AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (3) FINE ARTS (4) MATHEMATICS (5) NATURAL SCIENCES
I have to say that this book was written in 1991, before California and other states switched to a standards based approach, so this book isn’t as greatly needed as before that, but this core knowledge series is still a useful resource to have.
I got the job! I got the job! I got the job! I got the job! I got the job! I got the job! I GOT THE JOB!
So. What am I trying to say, you ask? I’m saying that I got the job and am proud of it. Even though it’s going to be more work than I’ve ever done in my life (outside of child rearing), I am looking forward to it.
Starting anything new is almost always a challenge, but I have very supportive people on my side.
So, yes, congratulations are in order!
I have been such a slacker. I’ve barely been studying or doing my reading. Well, everything caught up to me for my mid-term. I got a “B”. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is. It was stuff that I already knew. I made simple mistakes. I was so mad at myself. So, I have finally decided to get serious and study like I used to. Here’s to no more “B’s, only “A’s”!
This is thirteen things that I like in no particular order.
- Making new friends sometimes.
- That “aha” moment in students.
- Being an mom.
- Being an auntie.
- Looking forward to the future.
- Living in the present, the best way that I know how, so that my future will keep getting better and better.
- Some people call me crazy, but I like cleaning up. I like that “just cleaned” feel and smell of my house.
- My sense of style.
- My wacky, off-beat sense of humor.
- Of course (you already know) sci-fi shows.
P.E.C.S. is a technique that I learned about while planning my lesson for the final part of my interview for a Special Education teaching position.
*Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) that is typically used as an aid for children with autism.
PECS is a great tool for helping non-verbal children (such as those with autism) communicate without words. PECS allows the child to make choices and communicate needs. When children can communicate and express their needs, often behaviors can be minimalzed and the child becomes much happier.
PECS can be used in several ways to aid communication. PECS are typically introduced using pictures of desired objects (such as food or toys). When the child wants one of these items, he gives the picture to a communication partner such as a parent, therapist, caregiver or another child. The communication partner then hands the child the food or toy, thus reinforcing communication. Ultimately, the pictures can be replaced with words and sentence strips (e.g. I want cookies).
Many people believe that PECS can also be used to create visual schedules for children. This is however factually incorrect. The term PECS does not refer to the individual pictures or icons. PECS is the exchange of the icon as a form of communication, not the picture itself. The same icons that are used for PECS are frequently used for creating visual schedules, but this is not PECS, it is simply using icons to create a visual schedule.
The introduction of PECS can be a long and drawn out process taking months to complete. For a family facing a lifetime with a non-verbal child who is not grasping sign language either, these can definitely be a relief for the lack of communication.
Here’s where you can find out more: http://www.pecs.com/WhatsPECS.htm
* Wikipedia definition
For the lesson that I taught yesterday to my potential class, I scaffolded the lesson to include the two children who didn’t talk. This is where the scaffolding part comes in. I made a P.E.C.S. (more later) board for the two who can’t talk. After writing the words on the board, I had everyone make a sentence for me. When it came time for the non-verbal students to give me their sentence, I had them go to the board and point out their words. They were smiling. They felt so good. They were more than happy to participate.
Just because they can’t talk doesn’t mean that they don’t understand. The P.E.C.S. allows them to communicate so that they don’t become frustrated.
I made the Open Court lesson, the Phonics and Fluency part, into a bingo game. I had them blend the words first. I kept emphasizing that they really needed to pay attention because they were going to need to use it later on. This kept them on their toes.
I made bingo cards with the sound that we were working on (long e). I also made a poster board that had the words and sounds that we were working on, so they could have something to reference. I put stickers on them (Elmo, Tinkerbell, and Cars). They were so excited when they saw the poster board. They kept asking me what the game was about. I told them to wait; that they would find out shortly.
Of course I hit a couple of glitches, but overall the lesson went well. The Principal and the two Assistant Principals were so impressed with how creative I was. They were happy that the students were engaged and not distracted.
Once we finished blending, I passed out the bingo cards. They were very excited. I structured the game so that almost everyone would win.
For the first round, I picked words from the board and asked them to pronounce them.
For the second round, I had them pick a word out of a bag that I decorated with stickers and had them make a sentence for me if they could. If they couldn’t, I didn’t make them. I told them that it was O.K. not to know. The problem was when you didn’t try to correct that and remained uninformed.
Yesterday was a great day!
Special Education Initiative: An informational meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23rd for those considering a career in the field of Special Education. Topics will include the employment process, special education credentialing opportunities, as well as teaching special education in the District. Individuals with related experiences and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of special education students are invited to register for the meeting by contacting Doreen Mendoza at email@example.com or Sherry Uribe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a continuation of my weekly series, I.E.P. deconstructed. In my boot camp at B.N.U., we were introduced to the stages necessary to qualify a child for Special Education services. Although I knew what they were, I just didn’t have the time to write it out. Thank goodness I found this page on the L.A.U.S.D. website.
It takes you through all the steps necessary. Here they are:
Very important side note: If all the assessments are completed, and there is an I.E.P. in place, the parent still has to the right to refuse any services offered. Ultimately, parents have the final say.
I just woke up from a great nap. My couch is so comfortable. Anyway, I digress. I was tired because I was up until 4 a.m. planning this scaffolded lesson (more later). This is the final stage of the interview process.
I am so proud of myself because I had another lesson planned but scratched it at the last minute because it didn’t feel right to me. I talked to my mother-in-law and she said to go with my strengths. I’m very good at visual displays and making things into games, so that’s what I did.
I thought on it, woke up and, Eureka!, I had it. It’s like God put the answer in my mind. I got busy making the necessary preparations. It didn’t take as long as it could have to get everything together because I had a direction and knew which way to go as opposed to feeling like I was running in place with the other lesson that I was planning. It would have been effective, but it wouldn’t have been as fun as it could have been.
Since these children have such a limited attention span, fun is the key. They want to know what is coming next. This way they stay engaged and not distracted.
Tomorrow I will give you the particulars of the lesson that I taught and the visuals that I made.
I Still Hate to Read (2007) was written and illustrated by husband and wife team Rita Marshall and Etienne Delessert. It was a nice read. After Rita Marshall left a comment for me telling me that she had written a follow-up to her 1993′s I Hate to Read, I contacted the publisher and asked for a preview copy and had been eagerly awaiting its arrival.
Well, I finally received a preview copy from the publishing company. I was a little disappointed, but David wasn’t. He loved it. I gave it to him as soon as he came home from school. He started reading it right away, so I decided not to bother him. Once he finished, I asked him about it.
“How’d you like it?,” I asked.
“Mom, I loved it,” he said.
Well, good. What did you like about it?
He pretty much liked it because it’s a continuation of the first one that he loved. He also liked it because the boy pretends that he doesn’t like to read, when he actually does.
(You may not be able to see it since the picture isn’t that clear, but the title of his book he’s reading is “I Love to Read“.)
Though I did like the first one better, I still liked this one. Overall I liked it because it deals with one of my favorite subject of imagination. I loved the illustrations. They are so colorful. They make the words come alive. The words and the illustrations are a perfect fusion of what a book should be, but I was still a little disappointed. I felt like Ms. Marshall phoned it in. This book was only a tenth of what it could have been. I think that it could have been so much more. But as I always say, my opinion isn’t the one that counts anyway! David really liked it, so that’s good enough for me!
Readers are treated to another day in the life of our young hero, Victor Dickens, who is on a mission. He wants his classmates to love his newfound secret passion of reading. The only thing is that he can’t let them know that he likes to read. That’s his secret.
In the story, the characters come alive. Victor actually goes into the books and lives the experience first hand just like he did in the first one. This time his classmates get to experience it also when Victor takes his dog in for show and tell. His classmates get to experience it now. Do they like it or not? I guess you’re just going to have to read the book to find out.
If you’d like to know how the book ends, go and pick it up!
This is part 3 in a weekly series, #’s numbers 43-48
43. Has the individual stayed with the same type of activities and reinforcers for too long? Are the “reinforcers” no long reinforcing? Is he/she bored?
44.Have I included only mastered tasks in independent work times?
45. Are tasks organized so that I can remove pieces or make them shorter? Can they be made more challenging, if necessary, through additional materials?
46. Can I vary the presentation of tasks so that a more preferred task is presented first to help ease the individual into work time?
47. Are my independent tasks generally easier than those I am currently teaching?
48. Does the “What happens next?” cue need to be more motivating for the individual? Have I considered a variety of “What happens next?” opportunities?
In summary: Am I adjusting my expectations for the individual so as to avoid behavior problems.
Basically the difference in the two awards is that one is for illustrations (Caldecott), while the other is for literature (Newbery). That’s pretty much all you need to know, but here’s a little history and background on the two awards.
These awards, given annually, are much sought after. They are the most prestigious children’s book award; it’s like the Oscar and Emmy awards.
Created in 1938, the Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published that year. It was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott.
Created in 1922, the Newbery Medal is also awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. It was named in honor of eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery.
Here is the complete list of the Caldecott winners since it’s creation: http://www.ala.org
Here is the complete list of Newberry award winners since it’s creation: www.ala.org
** I apologize. I accidentally put that the Newbery award is for illustrations. It is not. It is for literature. I have corrected it. Sorry for the misinformation.
Next week will begin the first in a series of eight weekly installments. I will be reviewing and commenting on E.D. Hirsch’s core knowledge series “What Your ____ Needs to Know.” You can fill in the blank. In the books, Hirsch explains the core of a good education from Kindergarten to 7th grade. Be on the lookout for this series starting next week.
The basics are the basics. You have to have them. You need to understand them before you go off trying to tweak them. My husband and I were just talking about that oh so crazy wheel. Sometimes you just have to accept that a wheel is a wheel. Other times you have to reinvent it. There’s just no other way.
however it looks more like this.↓
This lesson I have to plan is so different. All the rules are out the window. I have to reinvent the wheel for this. The problem is that I don’t even know the basics-what the wheel is supposed to look like.
I was given an Open Court book, very little instructions and told to plan a lesson for 8 SDC students with various disabilities and mental capacities ranging from non-verbal to 4th grade.
This is hard (understatement) because I don’t even know the basics. Oh that damn wheel! That damned wheel! Why did it have to be this way?
I need help. I need to know how, oh how, do I even begin to plan when I really don’t know what to do? Does anyone out there have any recommendations?
I am big fan of Stan Lee’s Spider Man. It’s full of tragic parts. The part that breaks my heart about Spiderman is when Peter’s Uncle Ben gets killed. Just in case you’ve been in a coma for like, forever, I am talking about Peter Parker, Spiderman’s real life self.
After getting bitten by a spider, Peter discovers that he has these fantastic powers. He thinks that he should be able to profit from having them. Wrestling, he decides, is the best way to do that. He wrestles and wins. On the way out of his match, as he’s counting his money, someone -a thief- runs by him.
“Hey, stop that man!,” someone shouts out.
“That’s not my problem,” says Peter.
Or is it? Later on he finds out that it is indeed his problem. That same guy that he let get away murders his Uncle Ben. Peter blames himself. What would have happened if he would have stopped that thief?
Would his Uncle Ben have been murdered? From then on out, he decides that it is his problem and does something about it.
Okay, I already know what Peter Parker did then, but what would he do, knowing what he knows now? The reason I’m asking is because in the classroom that I’ve been observing all week, MY potential classroom, there’s this one kid… OMG, he is off the hook! He throws things, he hits and bullies other kids, and just generally has unruly behavior. Not only that, he’s leading the other kids astray.
My question is what should I do? Should I fight for him to stay and try to work on his behavior to the detriment of others? or should I be like Peter Parker and say that it’s not my problem.
I feel like Spiderman caught in the web above. I’m stuck! I can’t run away from this, nor can I continue with the class in its present mess either. I think I already know what to do, but am just scared of doing it. I’m writing this to talk myself into taking the job. Oh boy, the perils of teaching!
If Peter Parker’s history shows anything, it’s that not caring or trying to help others with their problems will come back to bite you in the a**!
I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to do what Peter Parker didn’t do! I’m going to help before it bites me in the a**!
I’ve been tagged by Mathew from Open Court Resources to post my unit opener. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. As we speak/talk/read, I am working on the Unit Opener for Monday.
For those of you who don’t know, I am in the final stages of interviewing for a special ed teaching job. I have been observing the class all week so that I could see where the students are at academically and plan a direct instruction Open Court lesson for all the students at once.
This may not seem so hard, but let me clue you in to what I’m working with. It is a 3rd-5th grade Special Day Class (SDC), with levels ranging from non-verbal to 4th grade reading level. I have been reaching out to all my sources on this one. This is not an easy task (understatement), but it’s just like I said in my post from yesterday, I can do this.
I can totally afford all this cheese!
Mission Impossible. I’d say so. But just like the Mission Impossible team accomplishes all their tasks, I can also. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Does anyone remember that line from the California lottery commercials when the lottery first came here? The commercial was shot from the vantage point of someone shopping in a grocery store looking at all the salami and cheese and thinking that it wasn’t out of their reach anymore.
He is so happy that he has won the lottery. What he is most happy about, though, is the fact that he can afford all of the stuff that he couldn’t before. It is no longer out of his reach; it is something that is real now.
That’s how I feel right now. I didn’t win the lottery, but I did discover that I can totally afford all this cheese. In other words, I can do this teaching thing. I was having my doubts because it’s taking longer than I thought to get a job.
However, things are on the upswing. My life changed for the better today when I observed my potential classroom in action.
I went for the interview two days ago and so impressed the Assistant Principals, that I was asked to come in for the day, observe the class to see where they’re at, then make a lesson plan to teach them in direct instruction.
In this class, like many classes, the students are at so many different levels. They range from non-verbal to 3rd grade level of reading. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem because in my last job, I used to do that all the time.
What I’m excited about is that I feel like I can really do this. I can totally be a teacher! This is such a big relief because this is what I have wanted since 1996 when I first discovered that I wanted to be a teacher when I was a tutor for the World Literacy Crusade. This is what I have been working for. It seems like everything is finally starting to pay off.
I just want to put it out there that I really want this job. It seems like it was made for me. I am really excited. Today I felt so alive when I was employing the many strategies that I have learned over the years. I felt like this is what I was born to do. Of course everything isn’t going to be easy, but I’m ready to step up to the plate.
What I am especially excited about is this child who is a major discipline problem. Excited, you say? About a discipline problem?
Yes, I am excited. It’s because I feel like this could be a major victory for me and for this child. He is just crying out for help and I want to help him. I don’t want him to be throw-a-way kid who is just bounced from school to school because he is so much of a problem. I think that if I tackle this problem now, it won’t be such a big problem when I encounter it again. I really want to help this kid so much. If I don’t, then who will?
I usually have problems with kids like this, but I have to face up to. He kinda’ on his way out. This would make my job so much easier if he were out, but I didn’t go into special ed for an easy life. I went into it to make a difference in lives of kids just like this. He is just crying out for help and I want to help him. The principal and Assistant Principals there are very supportive. I know that with their support and the help of my teachers at B.N.U. that I can handle it.
Even if I don’t get this job (although I really hope I do) I know that I can do this.
Famous last words? I hope not!
(This is 1 of 6 in a weekly series deconstructing and demystifying the I.E.P.)
Your head is probably swirling from all the terms that you’re hearing. Hopefully you have a compassionate person at your child’s school who is helping to guide you through this. If you don’t, I’m here to help explain some of the terms and hopefully answer some of your other questions. Okay, let’s start at the beginning. If your child has been referred to Special Education, you have probably heard or seen the term I.E.P.?
So, what is an I.E.P.?
(Taken directly from L.A.U.S.D. website) It is an Individualized Education Program that’s decided upon by a team of people. The I.E.P. team usually consists of the Administrator, the General Education teacher, the Special Education teacher, the school Psychologist, the school Nurse, and a myriad of other specialists if applicable, such as the Speech therapist, the Adaptive P.E. teacher (A.P.E.), and/or the Occupational Therapist.
- Your child must have an IEP before he or she receives special education services. The I.E.P.’s should include the initial I.E.P. (the first one), annual (every year), and triannual (every 3 years)
- Your child’s IEP must be implemented as soon as possible after the IEP meeting.
- In addition, your child’s IEP must be reviewed and, if necessary, revised once a year or more often upon request,
If your child is found to be eligible for special education services, the IEP will contain:
- annual goals and short-term objectives focusing on your child’s current level of performance;
- the services that your child will receive;
- when services will begin, how often they will be provided, and for how long;
- the instructional program(s) where these services will be delivered;
- the amount of time your child will spend in general education. If your child is not educated completely in general education, it should state why and how the school will measure your child’s progress.
Children with disabilities should attend the school they would ordinarily attend if they were not in special education. This requirement may be waived when a student’s IEP requires it and states why.
You will receive a copy of the IEP at the IEP meeting. If you do not attend the IEP meeting, a copy will be mailed to you. You have the right to agree or disagree with any part of the IEP. The school is required to get your consent to the IEP before your child receives special education services. Upon your request, you must be given a copy of the IEP in your primary language (whenever possible).
All of this information and much more are available at:
“Call me a prostitute because I just sold myself,” I told my husband when I came home from my job interview yesterday.
“Okay, that didn’t come out right,” I said.
What I meant to say is that I potentially talked myself into a job. I sold my skills and qualifications to the Assistant Principals like a pro. I was so proud of myself because I didn’t have to lie. I just answered the questions the best way that I knew how. There was no need to lie because if I did, I would be selling someone else, not myself. I can only be me and answer the way that I would answer. Can you imagine how duped the person who hired me would feel if I answered like someone else instead of myself? Who would they be hiring? Me or the person I’m impersonating?
First of all, I have way too much pride to try to act like someone else. I’m not in junior high school anymore. I tell myself that I’m a full grown woman. I even act like one sometimes. So why in the world would I want to sell someone else when I’m the best ME that I can be, and the right one for the job.
All that to say, just be you. No one else can do it better!
Here is the second part in a weekly series of 57 Questions To Ask Yourself When Addressing Behavior Problems, #’s 22-42. (I’m going to try to shorten it as much as I can by writing as little as I can, but, look, it’s just long okay ; but it’s good information if you have to deal with this. This can even be modified for use at home. This part has to do with scheduling.
22. Is the schedule clearly outlined and posted so that the staff knows all the daily responsibilities?
23. Does the individual need added consistency and predictability in his/her schedule?
24. Does the individual need shorter work periods in certain areas to prevent undue stress and acting out?
25. How frequently does the individual need break times and for how long a time?
26. How can I schedule activities to meet all educational and physical needs?
27. Area activities sequenced to provide desirable activities following a less preferred activity in order to prevent behavior problems?
28. How much actual work or teaching time does each individual receive?
29. Is there a balance of independent activities, group activities, and leisure time according to the individual’s abilities?
30. Does the individual know where to go and what to do during transitions?
31. Can transitions be scheduled to assist in the prevention of conflict or behavior problems?
32. Does the individual know what to do and where to go between activities?
33. Does the individual know when to begin and end a task?
34. Does the schedule offer a structured routine of activities which interfere with self-stimulatory (or other less desirable) behaviors?
35. Does the schedule clarify to the individual when self-stimulation is “acceptable” and when it is not?
36. Does the individual have access to activities with peers or the staff that allow for positive attention during the day around their particular area of interest?
37. Do I need to build in some reinforcement (e.g., edible or high-interest cues) for the individuals checking of the schedule?
38. Does a timer assist in the individual managing himself/herself during work times or to anticipate transitions?
39. Is the daily schedule visually represented (through objects, pictures, words, or a combination)? Does the schedule fit the individual’s cognitive abilities and overall development level?
40. Can the individual obtain some level of self-management by having his/her own schedule of daily job/activities?
41. Once the individual is independent and behaviorally appropriate in following a schedule routine, can I plan minor schedule changes to help the individual learn how to handle changes better?
42. Can I schedule activities outside the facility, or in a community, to generalize skills learned at the facility? If I need to teach additional skills appropriate to the community, can these be incorporated in to the individual’s behavior support plan?
In summary: Am I making the world predictable and reinforcing for the individual, and can he or she anticipate events or changes in daily events?
“Nice try, but no dice,” I said to my 16 year old son Dakota as he tried to shove a paper in my face to sign as I was walking out the door.
My children know the rules. I don’t sign anything in the morning.Why?
Because I was a teen-ager before and I tried the same thing: trying to get my mother to sign something that I did not want to explain.
He had all weekend to give me said paper, yet he chose not to. Well, I’m thinking, there has to be a reason for this attempted deception.
What is it the reason, you ask?
He was trying to get said paper signed because he got a “D” in his history class.
This is unacceptable on so many levels.
First, because this boys’ scores on standardized tests are all Proficient to Advanced. Secondly, he did so well on his PSAT that an organization contacted me so that he could join them and see the world.
I could go on and on but I’m not. You get the picture!
He already doesn’t get to watch t.v. or play video games during the week. Now, that privilege is going to be taken away on the weekends. Plus we are upping his daily study time.
So anytime any of my children ask me in the morning, “Can you sign this mom?”
My answer is always a resounding NOOOOOO! I’m not signing that!
When I was subbing a couple of weeks ago, one of the teachers that I was working with had these handwriting worksheets that I thought were so cute. She bought the program at Lakeshore. This, however, is better. It’s free! That’s right up my alley. If you would like to create your own custom handwriting worksheets, go to this website and print it for free instead of paying for it.
|Make your own worksheets online @ http://www.atozteacherstuff.com|
Practice at home.
(traditional manuscript font)
These worksheets can be printed in modern or traditional manuscript. There are also many other resources there. Check it out!
Here’s the link:
I found this great website to help those struggling with school work.
First choose your state and submit. Next, pick your subject. You have the choice of:
- Reading/Language Arts
- History/Social Science
Next, choose the grade level that you want. From there, it is a veritable smorgasbord of resources available to you. There are tutorials on the site. There are great resources available. At any rate here is the site:
Hopefully this helps. Have at it!
Hmm… what are teachable moments? These are the times when, unannounced, a moment presents itself to you to teach your child something. It just makes it that much easier to talk to them about something that you have probably been wanting to talk about, but didn’t know how to do it. It’s up to you to take advantage of it.
That’s it! Not complicated at all.
Here’s to more of those teachable moments! Take advantage of those moments while you can because they grow up way too fast!
Initially I was attracted to this book because of the front cover. The woman on the front cover, the title character, Elizabeth Brown, loves reading so much that she does it while she’s walking, in the rain, on the train, in the bed, while exercising, while vacuuming, etc.
She becomes so engrossed in what she’s reading that she loses track of where she’s at. She gets off the train and settles there. Once there, she continues her habit of collecting books. So much so that she soon runs out of room in her own house.
Here’s a snippet from the book:
Entered the world
Dropping straight down from the sky.
Entered the world
Skinny, nearsighted, and shy.
She didn’t like to play with dolls,
She didn’t like to skate.
She learned to read quite early
And at an incredible rate.
She always took a book to bed,
With a flashlight under the sheet.
She’d make a tent of covers
And read herself to sleep.
I liked this book because that was me as a child. I read everywhere just like she did. I read everything I could get my hand on; I still do.
But as I always say, my opinion isn’t the one that matters, it’s the children. So, as always, I gave this book to David. He liked it, but he wasn’t crazy about it since he is still a reluctant reader, and it was about someone who loves to read.
I would put this books’ reading level at 3rd-4th grade level because of these words:
straight, nearsighted, incredible, flashlight, delightful, olympiad, manufactured, exercising, goddesses, vacuuming
Some are context clues (clues which can be figured out by what’s going on in the picture), and some are clues that have to be explained. This always makes for a great way for parents to spend time with their children and to have teachable moments (more on that later).
I would recommend it for those who love to read and who want to have their own story told, as this story did my own.
Since I don’t have that oh so elusive teaching contract in hand yet, I have been doing one of my favorite things, walking my daughter to school. It is one of greatest pleasures. So, while I have the time, I’m going to take complete advantage of it. I get a chance to talk to her. She’s so beautiful and full of questions. I love talking to her.
On the first day that we decided to walk, Phillise asked me if the car was broken.
“No, the car’s not broken,” I told her. I just want to walk you to school. I want to take advantage of this time that I have to spend with you.
“We’re always rushing,” I said. I want to slow down.
So I walked her to school and stayed with her while she ate breakfast. The school is nice and cozy. Plus, as an added bonus, I can walk to it. However, I thought about taking my daughter out because it’s a Program Improvement (PI) school. This means that they aren’t meeting state standards on some subjects (Language Arts). It’s just because there are a lot of English Language Learners (ELL) in the school. It doesn’t mean that they don’t understand anything. It just means that they don’t understand in English. So needless to say, the test scores are pretty low in Language Arts.
Even though I was thinking about it, I’m not going to. I want my child to be able to go to the school in the area where I pay property taxes. I want her to go to her home school. Since my sons were in Junior High School, they were always bussed to another school; a magnet school out of the area. Sam & Dakota’s bus stop was @ 6:15 a.m. After they finished at their Junior High School, I vowed that no more of my children would have to go to a school so far away from home that they needed to be at a bus stop @ 6:15 a.m.
David is bussed to a magnet school, but it’s not that far. It takes me about 20 minutes to get him there when he misses the bus. But you know what, the bus (buck) stops here.
Another reason why I chose to keep her in her current school is because in Kindergarten-3rd grade there are supposed to be no more than 20 students. Well in Phillise’s class, there are 22 children. This is because two classes were closed because there were not enough students. The kids in the now closed classes were divided up and assigned to other teachers. Two teachers lost their jobs. So, even though the classes are supposed to have no more than 20 children, that’s not always the case. The closed classes were a casualty as a result of the people in the neighborhood abandoning the local school. What a shame.
You know what. I’m not bussing anymore of my children. I’m not contributing to anymore classes closing because there are not enough children to fill them. That’s what’s wrong with the inner city schools. People who can do better abandon them. Well, I’m not going to abandon this school. Not this time. In fact, I am actively seeking work in the inner city. That’s part of the reason why I want to become a teacher. I don’t want to teach in a very nice, high performing private school. My services aren’t needed there. My services are needed in the inner city. Therefore, I will go where my services are needed. I love the inner city. I live in the inner city by choice, South Central to be exact, and that’s where I want to teach.
No. My neighborhood isn’t the best neighborhood in the world, but it is a pretty decent neighborhood. It is filled with working class families who own their homes. There are few apartment buildings around, and the average income is around $62,000. Not a lot, but enough to keep us in the neighborhood and at the neighborhood schools.
**P.S.- I wanted to develop this post but just have not had the time to do so. I will do a longer post on this later because it is such good information. Be on the lookout for it next week.**
This is a great website that was among some of the resources that I received @ B.N.U.’s bootcamp. It’s called Intervention Central. It’s all about intervening and helping struggling students.
The stuff in this website make great resources. My professor just could not say enough about this website. She loves it. She thinks that the sun rises and sets on this website, and after visiting this, I can see why. She also loves Intervention expert Jim Wright.
There’s so much information on here. You could spend a whole day on this and still want to spend more time on it. It’s that good. Here is the website if you want to check it out: www.interventioncentral.com
***I couldn’t decide on the title to this post. I was torn between six possibilities: A pile of sh#* by any other name, Reverse racism- what is that?, Secret (social) agent (of change) man?, Call it what it is, Prejudice Hurts!, or finally Education- Is it the Great Equalizer? Of course, I finally decided on Secret (social) agent (of change) man! because it says exactly what I want to say.***
Now on with the story…
Hey, does anyone out there remember this show from 2000 called “Secret Agent Man,” starring Dondre Whitfield, Dina Meyers, and Costas Mandylor? It was about these secret agents who did impossible tasks, usually all in the name of justice. They were there to help punish those who would commit crimes against humanity.
What happened to them and people like them? Why aren’t there any people like that in real life? If they were here in real life, would they punish those who unfairly persecute those who are weaker and less knowledgeable than themselves? Would they be there to soothe the hurt caused by prejudice? Would it matter who the perpetrator is or what color they are?
To answer the question, “No, it wouldn’t matter where it was coming from”. Prejudice hurts no matter who does it or where it comes from. I’ve personally been a victim of prejudice many times. I can tell you that it does not feel good.
One of the times that I was in the uncomfortable position of being witness to reverse racism, I realized that it doesn’t matter who’s doing it, it stinks regardless. Human feelings are involved, and they don’t have a color.
Actually, once you think about it, can it be called reverse racism just because a White person was the recipient of the treatment by a Black person? Isn’t racism racism? Call it what it is.
A pile of sh#* by any other name…
One time in particular that “reverse racism” happened before my eyes, a while ago, I was at this school and worked with a teacher who just happened to be a white woman. She was a very good teacher; she knew her job well. However, there were certain people who wanted her job. They thought that she didn’t work hard enough, so they decided that her job was the one they wanted. They then proceeded to tell the Principal that they wanted said job. To which the Principal agreed that said person in question should have it. Never mind that the white woman didn’t do anything wrong. Never mind that she’s very good at her job.
“Let’s just push her out because she’s white,” said unfair people. (more…)
**This is the first in a four part weekly series**
This is yet another one of the resources that I received from my boot camp a little while ago. Since I will be working with children with autism, this will definitely come in handy. This is a list of 57 questions that you should ask yourself when addressing behavior problems. I have decided to do this in a four part series so that the posts won’t be too long. Here is Part 1, numbers 1-21, which deal with the layout of furniture and materials.
When a problem occurs, consider the following:
Physical structure increases the likelihood of success during learning and free times. Limits that are physically clear to the individual may be an initial step towards self-control.
- Is there a clearly defined space where the individual keeps his/her belongings?
- Is furniture spaced sufficiently for movement? Are work areas located in the least distractible setting?
- Are work areas spaced sufficiently to discourage interactions with others during work times?
- Does the individual need to stay in a relatively closed space to reduce wandering off?
- Is the furniture appropriately sized for the individual? Is the furniture sturdy?
- Can other furniture (e.g., dividers, bookcases, etc.) be used to cut down distractions for individuals with difficulties focusing on their work?
- Besides furniture, are there other means of defining separate spaces in the room (e.g., tape on the floor, rugs, etc.)?
- Are windows, doors, cabinets, and other tempting materials less available or less accessible to distractible individuals?
- Are individual work areas clearly differentiated from group work areas?
- Can the staff see all or the majority of work areas in the room?
- Are group areas and independent work areas located in close enough proximity that the staff can monitor both?
- Are there clear means of transit between areas (i.e., while the individual is moving between work areas, is there an opportunity for him to distract another individual)?
- Is the individual distracted by available materials when moving between work areas?
- Are there too many work materials in the work area? Do these act as a disorganizing influence?
- Are work materials in a centralized area? Are the individual’s work materials easily accessible to him/her?
- Are materials which the individual is not allowed to use in a different place from those he/she can use?
- Is the leisure or break area situated where little or no supervision is necessary (i.e., away from exits, dangerous materials, or staff’s materials)?
- Is the free time area clearly defined?
- Do all the areas in the room have a simple label(possibly paired with a visual symbol) so that individuals know where to go (e.g., “Go to the blue table.”)?
- Is lighting sufficient in work area? Is the temperature easily controlled?
- Is noise level a problem?
In summary: Does the layout of furniture and materials assist in the development of behaviors and skills which we want the individual to have?
**Watch for Part 2 next week, October 8, which deals with schedules.**
Source: Love, S. (2004). Professional Seminar: Behavior management for individuals with autism. Asheville TEACHH Center.
Hello, fellow bloggers out there. I am starting on my service learning project for next year. I am looking for reluctant readers. I want to do this for two reasons:
- I feel that it’s my calling to help reluctant readers.
- I am doing it for my Service learning project for AmeriCorps.
Last year I phoned in my Service Learning and felt terrible about it. I felt that if I would have just put a little more energy into it that I would have done something that I was proud of. For those of you who don’t know what a service learning project is, check my older post.
Anyway, I am asking for help. I would like to interview as many reluctant readers as possible so that I can compile it all into a book that I will self-publish by May. So, I am asking for anyone who knows any reluctant readers to give them my email address, email@example.com so that I can interview them for my book that will help reluctant readers. At the very least, my compilation of reluctant reader friendly books will be a good starting point.
Be on the lookout for my book next year! Until next time!
Special Education Initiative: An informational meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. on October 8, 2007 for those considering a career in the field of Special Education @ 333 S. Beaudry Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017. Topics will include the employment process, special education credentialing opportunities, as well as teaching special education in the District. Individuals with related experiences and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of special education students are invited to register for the meeting by contacting Doreen Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sherry Uribe at email@example.com.
The District Intern Program also holds monthly Information Meetings during the school year at the Board room, L.A.U.S.D. Headquarters.
For more information, visit the L.A.U.S.D. website @ www.teachinla.com .