Monday, November 11, 2013

Success with Reading A to Z




    This website has a plethora of reading resources. I use A to Z leveled books as a supplement for my students. After determining a student's reading level using the benchmark assessments, each student is assigned a leveled book, the discussion questions, and the phonics and comprehension worksheets that correlate with the book. My students' reading abilities range from level F to level L. Each student takes a folder (that includes the book and  assignments) home to read aloud to an adult or read independently Monday - Thursday. Students are required to answer in complete sentences using the question in their answer. On Friday, everybody returns the folder, book, written responses, and takes the comprehension quiz for the book they read that week. If students answer the comprehension quizzes with at least 80% accuracy on 4 out of 5 weeks, they earn the privilege to move up a letter in the leveled reading system. This gives them the practice they need at the "just right" reading level and increasing the difficulty every 4-5 weeks keeps them challenged.  We graph their progress and everybody is excited to see the progress.
    My students are successful with this reading program. They are practicing phonics, reading books that interest them, being held accountable for their reading, producing higher order responses, engaging with the text, and most importantly, they are making progress.  
     Check out Mrs. H.'s Resource Room blog to see how she is using A to Z Reading in her resource room.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Peach for the Teach: Task Completion FREEBIE!

Thanks, A Peach for the Teach: Task Completion FREEBIE!: In formulating behavior supports, it's pretty common for teachers to use a task-reward process. A lot of research lately is drawing teac...



This freebie is printed, laminated and ready for implementation TOMORROW. Feeling grateful to my general ed teacher staff. They support my efforts and they support my students.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Teaching My Friends!: The No Excuses List



A "No Excuses" list  is such a great idea! This is #1 on my list of things to do this week. Students write i for I, don't use capitals, and forget to use punctuation. These are things they KNOW how to do, they just don't do it. In my classroom, we talk frequently about being responsible. This will reinforce responsibility for classwork. Thanks, Teaching My Friends! blog.

Read this great post by...
Teaching My Friends!: The No Excuses List: By the time my friends reach 4th and 5th grade, there are some things that should be non-issues. There are some things I should not have to ...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mastering goals

3 students have mastered sight word goals this week alone! The proof is in the practice and the data!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A to Z

After completing A to Z reading benchmark assessments, my students have been reading one book a week on their reading level. They are also completing the discussion questions for the book that focus on sequence, compare and contrast, fact and opinion, analyzing, and main idea to mention a few. Their books are not too hard and not too easy, but just right. After 4 weeks, 5 of the 6 students have independently passed the comprehension quiz on 4 out of 5 trials with 80%  or better accuracy!
Starting Monday, they have will have earned the right to read at the next reading level! 3 will move from F to G. 1 will move from H to I. 1 will move from K to L! 
Couldn't be prouder!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Reason to celebrate!





If there are 7 students and each student mastered an IEP goal in READING, how many goals were mastered? Answer: 7  Yahoooooo!  I absolutely love it when my students show off their academic skills. Way to go! This is more evidence that 2013-2014 is off to a great start!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Learning Style Chart



Interesting! As you can see, my students thought they were mostly auditory, but post test results show otherwise. Hmm.. We had a great discussion about learning styles, what that means, and how to use this information to advocate for ourselves in our learning.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Auditory learners unite!




Auditory learners unite! 
After today's PD, I learned that I am an auditory learner(learning by listening). Who knew? I would have guessed visual learner(learning by looking) and definitely not kinesthetic (learning by touching).
The purpose, of course, was how to differentiate instruction based on our students'
learning styles. You can determine your learning style by taking this online assessment
http://www.educationplanner.org/index.html
Did you know you usually teach the way you learn? Uh-oh! My auditory learning
style is probably not helpful for my EC students. Did you know that
80-90% of HS dropouts are kinesthetic and 90% of prison inmates are kinesthetic learners.
What's next? Change in lesson plans for tomorrow.  First, a pretest questions for my cupcakes. "What do you think your learning style is? " Place your answer on the chart. Next, online quiz (teacher will provide read aloud of all directions, questions, and answer choices). Then, chart your learning style, again and group discussion.
If they know their learning style, they can learn to advocate for themselves in the classroom. If I know their learning styles, I can better meet their needs. And that's what it's all about.
 

Saturday, September 21, 2013



College essays
We just returned from visiting two universities. My oldest daughter is a junior and my youngest daughter is a freshman.  Listening to the admissions counselor talk about writing entrance essays and the need to be well rounded as an individual validated what teachers at the K-12 level do every day.
Colleges want to read prospective student essays that show "intellect and voice". K12 Teachers want that, too.  The student ambassadors that walked us all over campus were confident, articulate, and actively engaged in their college lives. K12 Teachers want that, too! As a mom and a teacher, these students were inspirational to watch. Of course, teachers want their students to be successful academically. Teachers also  want their students to walk and talk with confidence and intelligence. I pride myself  on encouraging my students to feel good on the inside, talk loud and proud,  to be respectful, to make eye contact, and to take on responsibility. Clearly, the parents and teachers in the lives of the college student ambassadors we met this weekend believed in that, too!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Work Box Party! 
All summer long, I researched work boxes/task boxes. I could NOT wait to implement this system for some of the students at our school. I created a pinterest board and labled it...yes, that's right! Task boxes http://www.pinterest.com/lauralsj/task-boxes/ There a  LOT of great ideas!
Last week I held a task box party for the general ed teachers whose students would benefit the most. Our fabulous Autism Specialist prepared and shared a powerpoint, we had some real life examples and we had party favors! Everyone received a set of workbox numbers, a plastic shoe box with a lid and some great ideas of how to start. I am thrilled that these teachers were willing to try a new idea in their classroom to benefit their student with disabilities. I am flattered they allowed me guide them into new territory to encourage student independence and learning.
Stay tuned...pictures coming soon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hello late bloomer!


I'm a late bloomer. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up until just a few short years ago. Once I decided, though, it's been 100mph. Thankfully, my husband, daughters, and family are supportive. I teach exceptional children in North Carolina. My students are mostly LD, grades 3-5. I LOVE teaching.
Did I mention I am a late bloomer? This is my first blog post and am excited to share and reflect on my journey as a teacher!
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