Thursday, 12 July 2012

Daily 5 - Chapter 5


I'm going to start off by saying so far I LOVE Daily 5.  I love how much pre-teaching and  practicing that this framework allows!!!  I love that it doesn't assume that all kids gets something the first or even second time!!!  This is so important in special education!!!  Our kiddos that often need more coaching and practice than most kiddos to become independent... but it is possible with PATIENCE!!!  Anyways on to chapter 5....

Read to Someone:
This past year I did lots of partner reading or Read to Someone (D5 language).  When I first started this I picked my kiddos partners (knowing all of the behavioral issues that could possibily happen with kiddos with autism).  I also spent a lot of time modelling the appropriate behavior.  My kiddos loved partner reading... It was AMAZING at how well they said on task!!!  I was fortunate to have 3 EA's in my class.  At the start of the year my EA's spread out around the class sitting with specific groupings of kiddos...By the end of the year there was only 2 kiddos that need EA's by them!!  They were so INDEPENDENT!!  I'm super excited about the "EEKK" strategy.  I think that this is something that my kiddos would respond really well too!!  I also love all of the comprehension checks that D5 has the partners do!!  Its great!!  A lot of my readers that have autism have a difficult time with reading comprehension.  The can read a passage fluently and with expression but understand little to none of it!  I think that for my kiddos I would use visuals to support "check for understanding". 

Listen to Reading:
My kiddo last year loved this!!!  I mentioned some of the resources that I have used before but I will list some of them now!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Latest Graduate Course

Today I started my latest graduate course - "Teaching Student's with Challenging Behaviors".  I took a very similar course during my undergraduate degree - which I hope will help me with this one!  This course has an actual multiple choice midterm and final.  This will be new for me as all of my other graduate courses have all been project based.  I do have to write 1 paper.  This paper needs to look at an "intervention" that you could use with student's that have emotional or behavioral disorders..... So I thought I would ask if anyone special ed. or general ed. teachers have an favorite "interventions" they use? 

For me, I believe it always important to put the child first and look at their needs and what the function of the behavior is... How ever I do tend to use lots of intervention from "Behavior Theory".  I have use token economies and cost response in my classroom with lots of success!!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Daily 5 - Chapter 4

I'm joining "First Grade Blue Skies", "Tales from Outside the Classroom" and "Tattling to the Teacher" for Chapter 4 - Read to Self.

Three Ways to Read a Book:

  • read and talk about the pictures
  • read the words
  • retell a previously read book
Launching Read to Self:

I love that "the sisters" include the students in creating anchor charts.  I love that the student's actual words are included on the anchor charts!  I also love that they encourage modelling of both appropriate and inappropriate behaviours during Read to Self.  I also love how much time they spend practicing Read to Self.  With the population of students I teach, they are going to need lots of practice and encouragement to become independent!

Guiding Questions:
In reflecting on your students' work with these strategies, what can you celebrate at this point in the year?
  • This past year I did not use the Daily 5.  I am excited to implement it in the fall.  Even though I didn't use Daily 5, my students did daily self-selected reading.  At the beginning of the school year my kiddos could only read independently for between 30 seconds and a minute before becoming distracted.  We continued to practice self-selected reading and how we could read.  By the end of the year we were up to around 10-15 minutes!!  This was a HUGE accomplishment for my kiddos!!!  With that being said, not all of my students could do it for 10 minutes.  As a special education teacher, I am curious how I can make Read to Self super successful for kiddo who don't access books in a traditional way.  This year I have used SETBC Books, TumbleBooks, Classroom Suite Books for the kiddos that couldn't interact with literature in a typical way.  If you are also a special education teacher, how do you help your students access literature during Read to Self?

How might you help your students continue to build stamina within these areas?
  • I think with the population of kiddos I teach, we would need to start at 1 minute for practicing Read to Self.  I also think that it will take us longer to increase the independence time and I'm not sure that my kiddos will ever get to 30(+) minutes of independent reading.  With my kiddos 30(+) minutes of anything is a REALLY long time.  Often they can only engage in activities for up to 20 minutes!  I also think its really important that you build stamina and encourage appropriate reading behaviour.  If you allow them to build inappropriate reading routines then you will have struggles for the rest of the school year!  I can't wait to see what this looks like in the fall!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Currently - July

I never post twice in one day, but I really wanted to join July's "Currently".... So I'm linking up with:

So here is my currently:

Daily 5 - Chapter 3

I'm linking up with "Thinking Out Loud" and "Mrs.Freshwater's Class" for chapter 3.

Gathering Place
I have always used a gathering place in my classroom.  I use this as the place that we meet for lessons, meeting and at all transition times.  This fall I finally received a Smart Board.  I love my Smart Board!  It is on a height adjustable wall mount, so it goes up and down so each kiddo has full access to the board.  My meeting spot is in front of the Smart Board.  I have my student's jobs and visual schedule in this gathering place as well as their token economy systems.  I don't have a carpet for my kiddos to sit on.  I actually very much dislike carpets (I think they are super gross and dirty!!!).  All of my kiddos have some sort of special needs.  I have cube chairs for some of my students to sit on, therapy balls and specialized seating chairs.  I need to have a rather large gathering place for my kiddos!!!

Cube Chair

Therapy Balls

Rifton Chairs

Picking Appropriate Books
Picking appropriate books in something my kiddos struggle with.  As the majority of my kiddos have autism, they are often great a reading sight words but their comprehension is often lacking (not always, but more often than not).  We have worked this year at picking appropriate books.  I love the idea of "IPICK"!  I think this will help me with teaching my kiddos that a book is only appropriate if they can read the words and if they UNDERSTAND what they are reading!!!! Because of the large range in student abilities, I use a lot of digital books for my students!  My kiddos love reading books on "Bookflix" and on the iPad!
Rituals and Routines
I believe rituals and routines are so important - probably the most important thing you do in your classroom.  I alway tell beginning teachers that the actual lesson planning will come but think about your routines - how you want your students to arrive in your class in the morning, how you want them to line up to transition in the hallway, how you want them to ask to use the washroom, etc... So IMPORTANT!!!  Because my kiddos all have special needs, and the majority of the students have Autism I use visual schedules and social stories to teach almost all of my routines.  I use these all year long.  I love the program Boardmaker because it is super easy to create visual schedules.  I alway have a large daily visual schedule (4X4) posted in my gathering place.  Then some of my students often need personalized schedules.  These are often smaller 1X1 or 2X2.  These are sometime carried on a velcro strip attached to their belt loop or on their desks.  Some of my kiddos need even more for visuals they have activities broken down into a "3 step" visual (i.e. colour, cut, paste).  In my world visuals and routine go together like salt and pepper.  You need both!!!!  Last January I went to ATIA Orlando and a presenter said a very smart thing, "We often take visuals away from our kiddos.  They seem to be doing great, so the first thing most people do is take away their visuals.  Then the kiddos isn't doing as great.  If they need it keep it in place!!  People don't expect you to be a good teacher with out your lesson plans.  If you had your lesson plan book taken away you wouldn't be the best teacher you could be.  Same is true for their visuals!!!"
Boardmaker Software

Class Visual Schedule
 (I use a very similar to the one here from "My First Grade Backpack")

Personalized Visual Schedule
(I use a very similar to the one here from "Mama of Many Blessings")

Favorite Quote
I don't have a favorite quote yet, but I am loving reading this book.  I love the framework!!!