Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Common & Proper Noun (Sort) FREEBIE

This week in reading we are using the Reading A-Z book, Carlos' First Halloween.  One of the reading skills we are working on is common and proper nouns.  I looked for a Halloween themed noun unit, but had trouble finding any, so I created this one to share with all of you!

Here is a fun Halloween themed common and proper noun sort for your holiday pleasure!  :)

Download by clicking on picture or following link below. 


Great American Cookie?

One of my favorite holidays is Halloween. I love fall, decorating with fall colors and leaves, pumpkins, scary stories, fire pits and s'mores, and dressing up for the holiday. In spirit of Halloween, my kids and I made our own cookie cake, ala, GAC!

Want to make your own cookie cake?  Here's what you need:

2 packages/rolls of Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough
1/4 cup Karo light corn syrup (for every package of cookie dough)
1 container of chocolate icing
1 container of white icing (I made the orange icing using white icing and orange icing dye)

**My favorite icing is Betty Crocker rich and creamy...but you use what you like**

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Combine cookie dough with Karo syrup and mix until smooth.  Pat out cookie dough onto 11x17 greased cookie sheet.
Bake in oven 25-30 minutes.  Keep an eye on your cookie (you want it to be golden brown and a little doughy.  It will set up some after it comes out of the oven.  Mine is a little more "done" than I prefer).
Let cookie cool and decorate as desired!!!

So yummy!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lesson Planning (Sped Style) & Reading

Well, it's Sunday  Tuesday (whatever, at least I got to post) ha...planning day. So that's why I'm blogging :). Helps me to put off the inevitable.

This year I am doing more resource time than normal, so that means more planning. The thing about special education is that my kids each have a different plan. In general I have one lesson plan that I differentiate 5 different ways, because their needs are SOOOOOO different and they all have different goals to monitor. It is not a lie when experienced teachers tell newcomers that special Ed is a lot of paperwork, because it definitely is. When I sit down to make a week's lesson plan I must not only make sure I am hitting the standards on their levels, but also making sure I am addressing each IEP goal so I will have data to monitor!  Whew!  So enough whining and a little more information on how I do my lesson plans.  I have posted about my lesson planning before, but there are a few changes I will share. I wish I did some fancy visual plans like fellow blogger  But I just can't see making time for that right now. :).

Today's Special---READING
I use Corrective Reading with my third and fourth grade resource group. It is an awesome structured program that reteaches and corrects phonetic reading misconceptions. You can learn more about it by clicking on Corrective Reading above.

Sight word recognition is also a big part of my reading instruction.  Students are assessed on sight word recognition during the first week of school and are given new words as old words are mastered.  We are practicing for recognition and fluency.  My students are "quizzed" daily on their sight words using Time Delay.  For a wonderful tutorial and all you have ever wanted to learn about the Time Delay method---Go HERE.  (You may need to register to be able to use the Autism Internet Modules, but it is worth the time!)

I also use a modified Daily Five structure to my resource time too. My resource time is an hour so it is like one big (small) strategy group during this time. I use Reading A-Z to find leveled readers and ideas for weekly lessons.  My lessons include vocabulary and prereading, reading and comprehension skills, writing, and work on grammar or phonetic principles.  As far as Daily 5 goes, we are working on the CAFE strategies through our leveled readers and the students are word work daily.

Enjoy some pictures from my reading group!

Here we have sandboxes.  This is by far my students favorite word work station.  The colored sand can be found at craft stores.

This is my basket of magic!  Just kidding!  This is where I keep all of my weekly lesson organized for reading.  Each student has a yellow folder that holds the sheets needed for Corrective Reading.  I forgot to get a picture of the boxes my kids keep their sight words in, but they are just the index card file boxes that you can buy at Walmart! :)

Here are my baskets of books sorted by category.

 Word Work Stations

Letter Magnets
Letter beads to string on pipe cleaners
Nuts and Bolts (Letters are written on the nuts and students twist the nuts onto the bolts to create words)
Chalk words (black paper with white chalk to use to write words)
Salt box (write words in salt)
Sandbox (write words in sand)
Smelly Markers 
Dry erase boards
Foam letters
Play Doh
Connect Four Sight words (letters on checkers and put in Connect Four frame to spell words)
Letter stamps
Ipad Spelling
Use the (real) iPad to practice words
Tactile Letters (made of sandpaper type material)
Type a Word (on old keyboards)

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I just had to post to say "Thanks!"

When I opened my blogger this  morning I had over 20,000 views!!!! This may seem like nothing to those of you blogging forever, but it was a personal milestone for me!  I am truly thankful for each of you that click on to one of my posts. I hope you are getting something special each time!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Success is measured by...being able to blog :)

Hey guys!  Another successful week down!  School is going very well this year (knock on wood) and my kids seem to be making progress!  I am very proud of them.  On the other hand...blogging...let's just say 1 post a week will count as success for me!  I sure do miss the summer days of being able to post daily if I wanted.  Those days will be back again soon, however.  Until the glorious days of summer, I will probably post once a week (maybe you'll get a bonus post every now and then), just because church, family, and school take all of my free time.  :)  No complaints though!  This is the good life! :)

Today, I would like to thank two wonderful fellow bloggers, because I was "Boo-ed" by them!

1. If you've been boo-ed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.

2. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!

3. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (maybe yours or someone else's) or freebies(s) that you love!

4. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers-make sure you check this link so that you don't repeat the "Boo"

5. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! While you are there check out the other great blogs!

So,  Thanks to Laura over at & 
Lisa at for surprising me with a BOO!

Here are some Halloween goodies to share:

A fun little Halloween Magic Square Game:  Download for free at TPT for some Halloween vocabulary practice.

click picture to link to TpT

A super cute book:

Some free pumpkin carving templates here 

Cyclops Pattern

Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Math Resource

As of three o'clock this afternoon I am on fall break!  I love this time of year!  Jacket weather, fire pits and s'mores, colorful leaves, and trips with friends are some of my favorite fall things. Lucky for you as well that I get a little breather and get to catch up on some blogging!

As I've mentioned earlier I have had a great year. My schedule is working out well so far. I have a mixture of collaboration and resource this year. I collaborate in third grade math, fourth grade science and fifth grade reading and math. I teach resource to a third and fourth grade reading group, third grade math, and fourth grade math. I have a busy day, but that is a good thing, never a dull moment! 

I want to share with you what my resource time is like, in fact I have been meaning to write this post for a long time, but well...anyway:)   So here is a little sneaky peek into my math resource class:

In my math class I use AddVantage Math Recovery. Last school year I completed the Kentucky Center for Mathematics Math Intervention Program. I am now a certified math interventionist, as well as my normal title of special education teacher. Along with Math Recovery strategies, I use Dreambox. Dreambox is an online (paid) program that follows closely with CCS and use the same strategies as AVMR.  (Both of these programs are research based and proven effective!)

During math I focus on four areas that are assessed in AVMR: Forward Number Word Sequence (FNWS) & Backward Number Word Sequence (BNWS), Structuring, Numeral Identification, and Addition and Subtraction.  I have my students for thirty minutes and the activities that I do with my students move very quickly, yet effectively.  I try to use one to two settings (this means the games and materials used) and keep the pace upbeat and engaging.

Here are a couple of activities that we would do:

Number Family Sorts

Materials needed:  numeral cards, something to sort your cards into (I used these cute little baskets from Walmart)

Number family sets of cards are face down on the table.  Students choose one card, say the name of the numeral (Numeral ID) and decide whether the card chosen fits in one of the number families they are responsible for.  If the number picked is not in their "family" then the student returns the card to the pile and play continues.  Above you can see the students sorting the cards into the correct family.  After all of the cards are sorted the student chooses one family to put in correct order.  (Sorry I don't have a picture of this) The student arranges the cards least to greatest.  They point to and say the names of the numbers on the cards (Numeral ID) forward and backward (FNWS & BNWS).  After the student can comfortably name all cards while looking at them, I flip over a few cards and the students must name the flipped over card.  I also ask questions about the flipped over cards, such as: "What is this card?," "What is the number before?"  "What is the number after?" "What is two more (one more, ten more) than this card?",  and so on.
My students have difficulty naming the cards when they are upside down, especially if I ask them to count the sequence backward.  We are working hard on this!  This activity seems incredibly simple, but my students really benefit from doing this type of exercise.  

Frog Jump (On 100s chart)

materials needed: large 100 hundreds chart, flipping frogs (I found these in the party aisle at Walmart)

Students flip each frog to a number on the hundreds chart.  The students then add the numbers together using mental math.  My students usually want paper and pencil, but I don't let them.  I am trying to help them develop strategies for addition and subtraction without using the standard algorithm.  For example:  This student landed on 15 and 15.  The student may know this double :)!  They could count on...which is a habit I am trying to break.  They could say, "15 + 10 is 25 and five more is 30."  They may even say, "10 + 10 = 20 and 5 + 5 =10.  20 + 10 = 30."  Any of those ways would make me jump for joy!!  Right now, I am just working on them not counting by ones. :)

I plan on sharing more posts like this!  Hope you like them!  :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

It is "Currently" October!!

Well Hello!!!  I can't believe that is already October and I also can't believe how much of a blogging slacker I have been lately!  Sorry to leave you guys hangin'!  This school year has been the smoothest ever (knock on wood).  Lessons, behavior plans, and even monitoring is coming along so smoothly.  I finally have a put together classroom and a schedule that seems to be working and my kids are making progress (which is the best of all!  Unfortunately, blogging hasn't been at the top of my priority list...I hope to change that!

Because it is is a Currently with Farley!

I have some WONDERFUL news to share with all of you!  In November, I will be presenting at the KYCEC Special Education Conference!!!!!  I am presenting about behavior management (specifically using the Angry Birds Anger Management that I used with my social skills group)!  I applied back in June to present and to my surprise and delight I received an email yesterday about presenting!  I am so excited and SOOOO nervous!  If you had known me when I was little there would be no way you would think that shy kid could be presenting to fellow special ed. colleagues at a state conference!  Times have changed and God is good!  I feel so blessed to be able to share something I have learned and used with other special ed. people!  I pray that at least one person can learn something and use what I present!! :)

I have so much to share about what I have been doing in class so far this year!  This week promises to be full of interesting and helpful information!  Stay tuned!!

Happy Fall Ya'll!!