New Teacher Support and Giveway

You have your first teaching job, what did you think about? If you’re like most people, you thought about making a difference in children’s lives, about helping them learn, making them think, “touching the future.” You didn’t think about IEPs, disinterested parents, students with behavior problems, or the isolation of being alone in a classroom with thirty students.

You weren’t wrong before you started teaching. Hang onto that idealism. But you may be finding out now that making it a reality is harder than you thought. Hopefully, these ideas will out you out.  The first thing I always do before jumping in head first or tackling a difficult situation I always remember to breathe. A deep yoga breath.

Unfortunately, many of us in the education profession are guilty of exacerbating the difficulties faced by new teachers. Handbooks and websites for beginning teachers often try to reassure you that teaching is simple or straightforward, offering quick solutions for simple problems — if you have this kind of “troublemaker,” deal with him this way; try this handy checklist to “get organized.”

So now what?

Ask your team mate. They will help you find the resources, support, ideas, and advice you need to make your classroom the rewarding, positive learning environment you want it to be.

Keep this in mind

Teaching is hard.

Like anything worth doing, good teaching takes work and experience. You can’t expect to walk into a classroom for the first time and immediately connect with every student, make everything clear to everyone and teach every child everything he or she needs to know. What you can do, though, is learn from the experience of successful teachers. Ask questions. Visit others. Ask for help!

You can’t go it alone. (And you don’t have to.)

Are you feeling isolated? Lonely? Many teachers believe that they can — or should — go it alone in the classroom. But you can’t, and you don’t have to. Our resources will help you take advantage of mentoring, learn to communicate more effectively with parents, colleagues, and administrators, and build the support network you need to grow as a teacher (and survive as a human being).

Every classroom is different.

Just as every student is unique, every teacher is unique, too — and every class and classroom is unique. There are no “one size fits all” solutions in teaching, and we don’t try to provide them. Instead, these articles give you the perspectives of real teachers who have faced problems like yours and overcome them. You’ll see how different teachers have used their own talents and teaching styles to be successful in a variety of environments.

Classroom management means solving problems before they occur.

Running your classroom is about more than just discipline. Experienced teachers know that effective classroom management begins before you ever meet your students and carries through every aspect of teaching. It’s about preventing problems, not just cleaning them up after they occur. Instead of looking at student behavior in isolation, our resources for new teachers consider it in the context of classroom design, curriculum, and instructional strategies. It's never perfect and always changes depending on your students. Get to know your students.

Remember to breathe and ask questions. The Colorado Tribe is giving away five meet up bags and five subscriptions to planbook.com. There will be five winners! The photo shows you what's in the meet up bags! Wow!!

Have a great week!










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June's Show and Tell

I'm linking up with Forever in 5th grade for June's Show and Tell to give you a peak into my classroom and summer planning. I've been very fortunate my school district provides summer professional development. In this case it aligns with our rubric--this is nice as I've been thinking of ways to provide more voice and choice within their time with me but still make a year or more growth on their IEP goals. This idea is great but I need to find some way to put it into action.
This idea of students given the opportunity of choice and voice has to be built in. Choice is a huge part of the teacher rubric. I started playing with this idea in May.  This is version three (i think) But it gives choice within how they provide answers to the big essential question. Nor does it provide me with any data to show growth on IEP goals. This is a problem.

Each pathway has the 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity) and a blank for a World Class Outcome (example-create meaning strategically) but I thinking instead of the WCO, it needs to be "Must Do's." Here I could list the the weekly IEP goal monitoring or items I need a student to complete before the end of the week




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Showing IEP growth with voice and choice, I think will have to be done with student data binders. With students choosing which IEP goal they want to focus on, they will have to collect the data to match that goal. In looking at my current version students can choose: subject and they will show growth/mastery of the World Class Outcome (example-create meaning strategically) through a 4C (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). this idea should already be tied to IEP goals but not always plus there is some rubric scoring that gets done as well. I use Marizono's and have students self score but this idea only touches the tip of the iceberg. I would like to also self score for things like fluency and using comprehension strategies too. My district has rubrics I need to use that are embedded with the 4Cs. (Its not as much work as it seems but yes I'm working on streamlining it to be less and still get everything collected on a weekly basis.)



















Creating "I can" statements for IEP goals. In many ways its interesting that my students have similar goals in reading, writing, and math--each with its own twist but basically the same. This will make it easy for me to create "I can" on labels so I don't have to write then and the students don't have to write then. My hope over time as they take ownership of these goals they have an active voice on what their new IEP goals should be. (This is a wild and very new idea for teachers and parents to grasp.)







I'm thinking student data binders will lead to both student graphing and goal tracking and a working portfolio students can use for IEP meetings. This is a new idea that has not been used before. This idea gives students a huge voice in what they have been doing and what directions they want to take their IEPs in.

I like the idea behind each student having a binder. I have done that in the past but I have not done the personalize learning plan tie that to an IEP and then in turn to IEP meetings. WOW!! That's a lot but I think in small groups students will make it their own and that in turn students will make more than a years growth. I see an action research project coming in the near future. Stay turned more details to come.


Have a great week.








IG Giveway Hop--10 Tips for Teaching English-Language Learners

I'm super excited to announce that Anne Rozell reached 700 followers on her Teachers Pay Teachers Store! Join in the fun to help her celebrate. This Instagram Blog Hop has 2 $70 gift cards to Teachers pay Teachers.



Paige Bessick from Our Elementary Lives has some great reading and phonics products, stop by and check them out.


Over the last couple of years, I have these activities are easier to embed in bust classrooms and very easy to do throughout the day.


1. Know your students
Increase your understanding of who your students are, their backgrounds and educational experiences.Get to know educational needs and ways to support them.

2. Be aware of their social and emotional needs
Understanding more about the students' families and their needs is key. Are student's possibly live with extended family members or have jobs to help support their families, completing homework assignments will not take priority.

3. Increase your understanding of first and second language acquisition
Although courses about second language acquisition are not required as part of teacher education programs, understanding the theories about language acquisition and the variables that contribute to language learning.

4. Student need to SWRL every day in every class
The domains of language acquisition, Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening need to be equally exercised across content areas daily. Assuring that students are using all domains of language acquisition to support their English language development is essential.

5. Increase your understanding of English language proficiency
Social English language proficiency and academic English language proficiency are very different. A student may be more proficient in one vs. the other. A student's level of academic English may be masked by a higher level of Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) compared to their Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). For example, a student may be able to orally recall the main events from their favorite movie but struggle to recall the main events that led up to the Civil War.

6. Know the language of your content
English has a number of polysemous words. Once a student learns and understands one meaning of a word, other meaning may not be apparent. Review the vocabulary of your content area often and check in with students to assure they know the words and possibly the multiple meanings associated with the words. For example, a "plot" of land in geography class versus the "plot" in a literature class. A "table" we sit at versus a multiplication "table."

7. Understand language assessments
Language proficiency assessments in your district may vary. Find out when and how a student's English language proficiency is assessed and the results of those assessments. Using the results of formal and informal assessments can provide a wealth of information to aid in planning lessons that support language acquisition and content knowledge simultaneously. For me, student's just finished year three of the WIDA. It's taken in January but still don't get the information back util August. (ugh!)

8. Use authentic visuals and manipulatives
These can be over- or under-utilized. Implement the use of authentic resources for example; menus, bus schedules, post-cards, photographs and video clips can enhance student comprehension of complex content concepts.

9. Strategies that match language proficiency
Knowing the level of English language proficiency at which your students are functioning academically is vital in order to be able to scaffold appropriately. Not all strategies are appropriate for all levels of language learners. Knowing which scaffolds are most appropriate takes time but will support language learning more effectively.

10. Collaborate to celebrate
Seek support from other teachers who may teach student's. Other educators, novice and veteran, may have suggestions and resources that support English language development and content concepts. Creating and sustaining professional learning communities that support students are vital for student success.

I hope these suggestions help you build stronger Second Language Learners in your classrooms. To continue on this hop visit Lisa's Instagram.


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About Me

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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