Sunday, January 26, 2014

Five for Friday...Saturday..Sunday!...January 26, 2014

I am a bit late for the Doodle Bugs linking party...but arriving none the less!

The BIG event of the week was we got a new car! It is still amazing to me...we used to keep a car until the wheels fell off and this time we traded it in after three years.

The 2014 Ford Escape!

The objective: Use yes and no switches to indicate continuing an activity.
The activity: kick the pyramid of cups.

Before requesting we knew that kicking the cups is a favorite activity. Before I asked him to answer yes or no, I modeled it: "___, want to kick the cups?" and pushed the "yes" switch. Then we kicked the cups.
Next time I asked and expected him to do the answer on his own. He kicked his legs for a bit, but I repeated the question  until he hit the yes switch. 

Then we proceeded. I push his chair close enough for him to reach the cups with a little kicking effort. After repeating it a couple of times, he would pull his leg back to get ready for the kick as we approached the stack.

Success! We repeated three times.


Our weather has been ridiculous! All the snow and ice is melting, temperatures have gotten as high as 50 F ! I'm sure the real winter is hiding around the corner, ready to pounce on us. We are trying to enjoy it while it is here, it makes our parking lots and driveways a mess.
 Have a wonderful week,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Five for Friday....January 10, 2014

Finally Friday! This was our first week back after the holiday break and it felt very very long.
I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly party.

Here we go.....

1. This week was my birthday. I'm not all that excited about my birthday but it beats the alternative. I was reminded that I have lots of family and friends in my life and I feel honored.

a couple of my gifts..

2. My quest to reduce stress in my life has begun! One of the actions I'm doing is cutting down my hours at school. Our contract time to leave is 4:15 pm (ha!), I usually leave somewhere in the neighborhood of 5:30-6:00, so my goal is 4:30. I left at that time one day this week (my birthday).

a lonely car when the owner is the last one leaving!

3. I began to teach a small group learning letters and sounds. I really enjoy them! We are using the Zoo Phonics program which is one of my favorites.

4.The sledding hill is in full swing!

5.  The moose are back hanging around the yard!

Have a great week!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Toolkit for Special Education Teachers-Introduction

I am reading The Special Educator's Toolkit by Cindy Golden. It was on my wishlist forever and one day, I impulsively ordered it. I was so excited to receive it, but just sat next to my chair, I would browse through it and notice something interesting, but lay it down again. Initially, I thought that I would pick one section and apply it, but as I browsed the realization came that the whole system should be utilized to be truly effective.  So I decided to start writing about it on my blog. I know myself and I won't ever get around to it if I don't make it an assignment.  My goal is to summarize some of the high points and give my interpretation of the information.
Ultimately,  I  will report on my progress in applying  the OMAC system in my special education classroom/program and how it turns out.

 Research Basis for the OMAC system

OMAC is the acronym for the Organization and Management of a Classroom system. The author explains that it is nothing new, but a compilation of all the research based techniques and interventions organized  into one book for teachers. When I read this line, I was relieved! Today's world has so much information that it is overwhelming, I end up giving up and not wanting to think about it anymore!
The author shares information about Autism and some best practices when working with students with this diagnosis. She does an overview of ABA and the teaching methods associated with it.  I hadn't really made the connection that some very familiar systems are ABA based!  
The OMAC system is for students with all types of disabilities. This system is a summary of the best practice in the field of special education and organized in such a way to be easily implemented in all types of educational settings by experienced teachers, as well as new ones.

 Getting started

Who can implement this system? Anyone! This book is for veterans, mid-career folks and rookies. It can provide a start and it can give you fresh ideas.

What is the OMAC system?  It is made up of six layers, the author says think of it as a recipe, the end product is to create a model program or classroom that is organized and easier to manage that is based on research based best practice.

Where can it be implemented? Anywhere!

When should you start it? Anytime and with all grade levels. The author recommends that a layer be completed before going to the next. 

Why do this? Reduce stress for yourself, improve parent and staff communication, increase student achievement in behavior and academics.

How? The author provides some forms to assist in looking at your current structure and getting a handle on what you and your students need.

Okay! Now I am going to work on those forms, take a good hard look at my classroom organization before beginning! 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January Currently!

It is time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade! I cannot believe it is already January 2014, I completely missed the December Currently, but no more!

Listening: We have quite a lot of cats now (Five!), so your odds of one of them purring next to you are good at our house! My husband has the remote control....I don't care because I'm doing this!

Loving:  The tree is put away along with all the trimmings for another year. My husband helped a lot, including handing down all the boxes to me in the crawl space. I don't mind that because it is such a big space to store things and I don't have to be tripping over it the rest of the year. I also volunteered to be the one in the space because it has a low ceiling and I'm shorter! It is not such a problem for me.

Thinking: The time has gone too fast!

Wanting: more time!

Needing: I brought home a stack of stuff to do to get ready for that first week back to school...ugh...

New tradition: We had a BAKEFEST and it was fun! I'm hoping to do it before Christmas next year!

I am considering changing the name of my blog, I share and want to continue to share more then "educating children with disabilities". However, I also have a severe delay in technology. My address would remain the same, but the name would be different, would that be a problem? Anyone out there who has advice please comment! 

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Positive Paula