"Must Haves" Monday Link Up

It's funny thinking about going back to school. Thank you to Mrs. McDonald's Creative Teaching for the challenge. Working with students from preschool to 6th grade with a variety a needs. Many things that I put in place at the beginning of the year  I put in place for everyone. 


Late in the last school year I bought Boardmarker's online access for hundred dollars because I used it for everything. Boardmarker has helped my students who need visuals as a accommodation. Last year, I had a 5th grade student who I created pictures for all the vocabulary words each week from Storytown. (Some weeks I had to add from Google.) The one thing I love about the online program is that they are always adding to the library--very cool! They even have sign language. Over the summer I found a copy of their Sigh Language clip art  to target more specific language needs. I'm hoping to build a student's expressive language--at least to give her some way to communicate with students and others.

Data Folders/Data Binders

All my students keep and collect their own data. Because they come and go I keep them in their group bucket but once a week when I do progress monitoring they keep track of their score and progress. At the beginning of the year, they set and write a SMART goal on what they want to keep track of. (In many cases I encourage them to pick something attached to their IEP.) Folders are easy to hand off to paraprofressionals and take to meeting with teachers and parents. A bonus is that principles are always impressed that they can do it. I set goal lines and talk to them about what they need to work on over the week to go up but they do ALL the work. For some I put their graphs in either Google or Excel. I like Excel better because I can add trendlines-which for some kidoos is a great way to show teachers and parents their student is making progress.

Last year I used the idea from The Organized Classroom Blog-it held up for the whole year plus I could store student specific materials up front in the folder. Adding papers was a pain. I have been thinking about putting these in binders for next year. Click on the picture to get her directions.

Teacher Notebook

Be it a spiraled lined notebook to a binder, I keep all the year student/teacher/parent communication and notes in it. I have tried adding staff meetings and professional learning to the same notebook and can't do it-it just to much. The thing I love about this is that all the information is in one spot not on the stickies on my desk that don't stick any more (we don't have any of these).  My building has late start once a week for team collaboration-I take this notebook with me. This is easier than bring 20 student binders or those notes on my desk to meetings. Plus is makes it easier to keep track of parent concerns about a student or tracking classroom teacher concerns of RTI. 

Thank you for checking out my "Must Haves" for Back to School 2015! Click on the Freebielicious Icon to check out others' ideas. Store by my store from a freebie (click on the picture)



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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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