Resource Lab Grade Check/Productivity Forms

Dear Readers,

I just realized that I have not been sharing resources that I’ve created. One resource that I use because it hits so many indicators at once is The Resource Lab Grade Check/Productivity Log. I use these forms  twice weekly for my grade check process that places the onus on the students to know their grades at all times and set goals.



  1. makes students take respon-sibility for their grades.
  2. puts the onus on the students to take responsibility for showing how productive or unproductive they were during their stations/centers time.
  3. It helps the students set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  4. It’s a running record of the students response/explanation of their grades that can be used during parent conferences. {Not sure if this is a problem at your sites, but the students, at one point in time, were saying that teachers were not helping them. This will help show that students are aware of their grades at all times.

Here are the links:

* NOTE: Although this says, Counseling Grade Check, it can be used as a grade check for Resource Lab or for any class where the students need to check all their grades. I use this one with the Counselor for students who don’t yet know how to write S.M.A.R.T. goals. So, feel free to take Counseling out of the title.

*NOTE: This form can be changed around, added to, deleted to suit your purposes.

You can make a copy for yourself or email me for a copy @ If you use it, let me know how it works for you.

Bye for now!



Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs & Special Needs

Dear Readers,


For next week’s lesson, I will be teaching my students about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs & how it relates to them and their special education needs. I’m reading this great article entitled, “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in an Inclusion Classroom” by Kaitlin Lutz. Here’s the link (Click here). It’s a great read and it’s written at a level that’s accessible to all of my students.

Since I have a document cam, I’m going to model annotating with them. In my school, some of the English teachers use the left side of the paper for analysis & the right sides for summary. Using my document camera, I will model how I want them to annotate the text. Of the two page article, I will annotate one page with them, while they complete page two independently & collaboratively.

Originally I had a problem with this lesson because I thought it resembled an English lesson too much. However, I spoke to my English coach and she said that it was ok since I was introducing literature into my classroom and using the English framework. Whew! That took a lot off my mind.

I hope they like it. As usual, I’ll keep you updated on their progress. Bye for now!!!

Faster or Slower???

Dear Readers,

I’m torn on what to do with my students. For some of my students, this is my third year having them. The problem is that I’ve coddled them for most of the time that I’ve had them. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve started the process of weaning them off of me to steer them towards independence. The only problem is that I feel that I’m pushing them too hard. I’m torn on whether or not I’m pushing them too fast. Should I go at the rate I’ve been going (faster) or should I go at the same pace as I went last year???


Part of my indecision stems from the fact that I’ve always wanted the Resource Lab to be different. I wanted it to be a safe haven- a place where they could feel safe, loved, and fully valued. What I did not intend for it to be was a place for them to give over responsibility for their education to me!

Well, sad to say that that’s where they were last year. So, I decided to change the way I ran the Lab. One of those changes was not giving them as much time to complete their work or telling them that it was okay for them not to do my work in the Resource Lab so they can do their work in their other classes. At the end of the school year I let them know that the Home Office decided that the Resource Lab was to be restructured and that it would no longer be a ‘Homework Lab’. Well, some of them didn’t take kindly to that. There was moaning & groaning, weeping & gnashing of teeth. Ok, that’s a line from the Bible. That didn’t really happen, but they didn’t groan a little. In the end, they accepted the way the new Lab is. They’ve even been getting work completed even without the extra time.

So, I guess I have my answer! I’ll keep you updated!

Putting the Onus on Them!

Dear Readers,

I’m training my students to be more independent. I have to be honest and say that some of it is my fault. When I first started working with them, I wanted them to know that they were loved, so I may have gone overboard on taking care of too much stuff for them. When they needed extra time on an assignment, I talked to the teachers for them. It’s a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember doing for them, but suffice it to say that they became very dependent on me and I was very worn out the past two years. Fast forward to this year and I am recovering from being very worn out.

YOUR LIFE BEGINS TO CHANGE..Last year I was so burnt out, I very nearly quit; I was super stressed. Part of the problem is that if there’s a problem, I usually only have struggles with admin & the students are wonderful. Well, last year I had struggles with admin & students. I had at least five very strong personalities that gave me the blues. So this year I said no more coddling and no more putting up with bullshit from admin or unruly students. Firstly, I’m putting the onus on them. It is now their responsibility to know their assignments, not mine. When they come to me and ask if I can get their assignments from their teachers, I give them two choices- I tell them they can go and ask the teacher themselves or send an email to them or we can go to the teacher together. Usually they choose the second option. However, when we go together I let them do the talking. If they chose the option of going to speak (or email) to the teacher themselves, of course I follow up with the teacher.

So, that’s my plan for this year. I am weaning them off of me, helping them get to know themselves, letting them self-advocate, become more independent, and helping them transition to the young adults they are.

I’ll keep you apprised of their progress. Bye for now!!!


Limitation Setting ME!

Dear Readers,

I’m on such a self-improvement tear. Usually after school is out for the summer, I have a chance to absorb & process all of the information I didn’t have time to during the year. I relate it to The Quickening (Click here, here, here, here, & here).

Self-Improvement Project

I’ve recently started studying Anthony Robbins’ philosophy. I really vibe with the ones where he talks about limiting beliefs we place on ourselves. After listening to him, I can see that I’ve set limits on myself because I didn’t think I deserved more.

Since school ended I’ve been in such an introspective mood. I’ve been in such a positive sense of expectancy. I’m happy that this sense of expectancy has returned because I stopped having a positive sense of expectancy after experiencing hard times in life. I can remember having great expectations when I was younger. I would be in such a state because I knew that something good was going to happen. I just didn’t know what. Well, somewhere along the way I stopped being in a state of expectancy and I started being or having a sense of dread because that’s all that seemed to be happening in my life. Instead of continuing with being ME & being in a state of positive expectancy, I sidetracked myself & changed my life and my positive sense of self expectancy for the worse.

However, after listening to Anthony Robbins lately, I’m discovering how to get back to where I came from when I stayed in a state of positive expectancy.

Here are 10 empowering beliefs that will change your life:

  1. The past does not equal the future.
  2. There is always a way if I’m committed.
  3. There are no failures, only outcomes- as long as I learn something, I’m succeeding.
  4. If I can’t, I must. If I must, I can. *
  5. Everything happens for a reason and a purpose that serves me.
  6. I find great joy in little things…a smile… a flower… a sunset
  7. I give more of myself to others than anyone expects.
  8. I create my own reality and I am responsible for what I create.
  9. If I’m confused, I’m about to learn something.
  10. Everyday above ground is a great day.

I’m going to spend the next year meditating on this! Bye for now!

Graphing WJIV Scores

Dear Readers,

Are you looking for an easier way to explain the Woodcock-Johnson scores to your student’s parents?

Well, I was! That’s when I had a brilliant idea and decided to graph the scores. I’m not sure why I never graphed them before. It would have made my life so much easier when it’s time to explain the Woodcock-Johnson scores.

This was sorely needed because so many times, at the IEP meeting, parents are “talked at” and overloaded with so much information. I can’t speak for the parents and say that they don’t understand, but the blank look sometimes says it all. I like this graph because the parents can see and hear the information.

I got the idea while planning lessons for my students who need simultaneous auditory & visual input. By graphing the scores, parents are able to see and hear the information for themselves, at a glance. Not only that, the graph saves about 10 minutes of explanation.

Here’s a mock up of READING scores from the WJIV. I also graphed WRITING & MATH scores. The first & last score (90-110) are just an illustration to show the AVERAGE range.


You can use any color you’d like. These are the colors I used:

Standard Score Range WJ-IV


131 and above Very Superior
121 to 130 Superior
111 to 120 High Average (Black)
90 to 110 Average (Purple)
80 to 89 Low Average (Green)
70 to 79 Low (Borderline) (Blue)
69 and below Very Low     (Red)                                        (Significantly Below Average)

***I didn’t choose any colors for Superior & Very Superior because I have not yet had students score at this level.***

There are many sites where you can create graphs. Here’s the site I used: 

Let me know if this will work for you! Bye for now!

Resource Lab Curriculum

Dear Readers,

I’m stuck and need help! I have about 100 followers but only about 2 people comment. If I’ve helped you at all, I’d like for you to return the favor. I’m working on my Resource Lab curriculum because I didn’t like the one provided by my organization. I just didn’t feel that it was relevant to what my students needed to know.

So, here is a link to my barebones, work in progress curriculum. I have a long way to go. I could use your input on this. Thanks in advance!

Feel free to comment! I’m open to feedback. Remember to be brutally honest; not mean, just honest.