Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pinterest Love!

I LOVE Pinterest, as I am sure many of you do!  I am creating my own linky party for Pinterest Faves!!  I call it Teaching + Pinning = LOVE
The Grab Code is over there ------>

Here are the rules:
1.  Post your favorite teaching related pins
2.  Grab my button code and link up to this post
3.  Check out other's blogs and leave comments or follow your favorites!

Here are some of my favorite "teacher" pins for the week:
A MUST READ for all working in Special Ed and specifically relevant to those working with kids who have Autism - Re-pinned by @PediaStaff – Please Visit http://ht.ly/63sNt for all our pediatric therapy pins
An interesting and thought provoking article
pom-pom Angry Birds
We will be making these little guys this week in my class to go with our Angry Birds Anger Management Unit

Word Work Ideas
fun for word work

GENIUS.  Teacher Toolbox (Lowe's hardware organizer)
And this one...because I ♥ organization (even when I'm not that good at it!)

We are halfway through the week!  Keep it up!!!
Pin away, friends and make sure to link up below!

:)  Mrs. H

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lesson Planning

Sunday nights are created for teachers.  I spend Sunday nights doing lesson plans.  I do some planning during the week, such as coming up with new ideas, but for the most part the heavy duty, common core studying, nose in the books, lesson planning night is Sunday night!

Here is a link to a Google Doc of my lesson plan template.  It is VERY simple.  No bells or whistles.  I teach five resource classes throughout the day. On this template I have room for those five classes and a column for notes.  PS...this is the first time I have published a Google Doc.  Hope it works out!
Lesson Plan Template

And one last thing!  A big thank you to those of you that are already following this blog!  I am so excited to be part of a teacher/blogger community!  I am looking forward to sharing and exchanging ideas!

Mrs. H

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Permission Granted

It has come to my attention that there is some Pinning controversy.  You can read about it here.

You have my permission to pin anything you would like to Pinterest!  I love Pinterest and I have gained so many creative ideas through the sharing that has helped my teaching.

Keep on pinning...

:)  Kim

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Angry Birds Anger Management

When I received my Bachelor's Degree in LBD (Learning and Behavior Disorders) I didn't realize, nor was I prepared for, how much "B" I would actually be handling on a day to day basis.  Recently, I came across an amazing idea for anger management and aggression from a fellow blogger.  Check out her post here.

I took this creative mama's idea and adapted it for my own classroom (That's what spec. ed. teachers are good at, right?  Adaptations!!)  I am using this anger management unit with my social skills group that I meet with daily.  The students in this group are diagnosed with Developmental Delays, Mood Disorders, Autism, ADHD, and OCD.  These friends have difficulty displaying their emotions in the most effective ways and it is a challenge for them to deal with upsetting situations without having a meltdown.  I have tried various programs/ideas with these friends, but so far this is making the biggest impact (and we just started this week).  Without further ado...

My friends LOVE Angry Birds!  It is such a trend right now and they enjoy "doing what others are doing."  It gives them a commonality with their peers and allows them to engage in conversations with peers that they may not typically interact with.  The best thing about this is that they are learning behavior management techniques while learning some great socialization skills!! BONUS!!

This is Part 1 of the Angry Bird Anger Management Series.  I will go into more detail about how to deal with anger in Part 2 of the series.  I think first of all the students must have a good grasp on what it means and how it looks and feels to be angry.  We will continue to work on this and I will begin introducing the "strategy birds" in the next part of our unit...stay tuned for that! :)

Part 1:  Introduce them to the Angry Birds

Below you will find the descriptions for each bird.  (Again, you can check back to the original source to see how she uses this with her daughter, but from now on I will explain how I use this in my classroom).  I began this unit my prefacing that we all have different emotions and anger is one of those emotions.  It is okay to get angry, it is okay to be mad at others, but it is not okay to express those emotions in ways that could hurt themselves or others.
 This bird has, you guessed it, angry eyes.  I explained to my students that our emotions often show up on our faces before they show up anywhere else on our bodies.  We all know that we can tell when "that kid" is getting mad just by the look on their face!  You know the saying, "If looks could kill."  Well...there you have it!  We discussed how our faces can sometimes say it all without telling anyone our feelings.  For each bird or step I gave my students a way to deal with that emotion at that moment and how to deescalate the behavior before it moves on to the next step.  My tip for this bird/emotion is to SMILE!  You try it...furrow your eyebrows and then smile!  Impossible.  I had all of my students try it and we all burst into fits of laughter!  It was great!!  

If you are not familiar with the game, this bird can cut through wood. I explained to my students that sometimes our words can be like this bird.  He can cut through wood just like our hurtful words can cut through someone's feelings.  We discussed many different hurtful sayings.  The kids had a great grasp on this concept.  My tip for this bird was to say something nice about the person that you are want to say bad things to OR if for some reason you cannot think of something nice, then say the mean thing to yourself (NOT OUTLOUD) or speak to the teacher about why you are upset.

Kids like to throw things!  It's a fact of life.  I don't know why.  Power?  All of the built up tension has to go somewhere?  I don't really know.  I do know that it does and will happen if a kid escalates. This bird drops exploding eggs to blow up the towers.  I discussed with the kids about the dangers of throwing objects out of frustration and even if your intentions are not to hurt someone that it could still happen.  My tip for this situation was to use items from their break boxes, including stress balls, crumbling paper (not their work), squeezing something, etc.  This still allows the child to get the tension out of their body, but in a controlled way.

Just like a bomb bird, sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we explode.  Children with difficulties handling emotions can sometime "explode" at a moments notice (which is all the more reason to learn ways to deal with anger).  I taught my students that explosions are not an appropriate way to handle anger or disappointment.  In previous lessons I have taught my students what to do in situation when they were about to explode, such as leave the room with adult supervision, go to a cool down area, and other stress management strategies.

  • I made bookmarks for my kids of the 4 Angry Birds together so they can look at that card when they are feeling upset and identify that emotion.  The kid can then have a visual to show to me what they are feeling so I can help them identify their needs.
  • The kids in this group have behavior charts and also rewards and breaks built into their schedule.  The kids can choose to play Angry Birds on the computer for a reward.
  • Honestly, this has been the best anger management plan to date.  They have a buy-in, it's a popular theme, and it is fun to play the game.  I know it is making an impact, because they are telling their peers about it, and that is the best reward of all, to hear "my" kids teach others about what they are learning.

And just one more time...a shout out to thehometeacher.blogspot.com for her creative idea!  Thanks for letting me borrow this great idea!!

Mrs. H  :)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Grand Tour

Welcome to my room!!

I thought a guided tour of my corner of the world would be a good introduction to me.
I share my room with a lot 6 other people.  1 primary spec. ed. teacher, 1 speech therapist (2 days a week), 1 school psych. (2 days a week), 1 SAM (school adminstrative manager), 1 guidance counselor, and one OT (2 days a week).  I know!!!  Three of those people have "offices" or glorified closets in the room.  The rest of us all share the big part of the room.

I teach in an old  antique building.  My room has been everything from a Ag Shop, to a preschool, to a it's current day Resource Room.  It is a very large room, but when all of us gather in there and other staff starts walking in and out, and the phone starts ringing, then the rooms resembles Grand Central Station instead of  a classroom in an elementary school.  I hope this didn't come off whiny, because I truly love all of my roommates!  It wouldn't be the same "living" without them!! :)
This picture is taken from the back of the room.  This is my desk (and I have no idea who L. Whitaker is...I just inherited that chair).  Sometimes its is clean, sometimes it is hidden under a pile, this is a Tuesday desk.   That means the piles are beginning!   Beyond my desk you can see another desk belonging to our school psych and past that, beyond the divider and filing cabinets, is the area of my partner in crime (our primary spec. ed. teacher).

This is behind my desk.  These are my "important" binders.  One day I will give you a little tour of my organization.  Yes, I do have a system.  :)  The red pocket chart holds behavior charts.

This is my reading area.

This is my bulletin board of Homeworkopoly.  (More on that to come!)  It is not the best looking BB, but I threw it together in a pinch when I had some kids decide that homework was not for them!  Amazingly, this really works to get those reluctant homework doers busy!

This is my table where all of the real work takes place.

Yep!  You know what this is.  The poster says, "What to do when you're angry."  This isn't necessarily my desk, but I do have kids frequent this area!  The door to the right is our SAM's office.  He is in charge of discipline, so most of the time his friends are sitting at that black desk.  :(  The door to the right is the OT's closet.   My own daughter loves going in there to see what kinds of "toys" that are on the shelves.

This is my shelf with the curtains I MADE!! Oh yeah!! My first sewing project since 4-H in the sixth grade.  I know the patterns don't line up, I realize that it is patchy, but it works and covers the MESS you will see below!!

That's the MESS!!  This is an assortment of resources that desperately needs to be organized.  It will happen...   Somebody shut the curtain!!!

So, there you have it.  My little piece of space in the Bluegrass!  It isn't exactly the way I would like to look and I always have new ideas ready to try out, but for now it is what it is.  And, maybe now that it is out there for the world to see, maybe I will be inspired to do a little bit of redecorating/organizing!  We shall see...  ;)

Mrs. H  :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Day in the Life of....Me

As a special education teacher, I have a different type of schedule than most teachers.  I spend some time in my own classroom (the resource room) and some time in other teachers classroom with my children (this is known as collaboration or co-teaching).  Another aspect of special education scheduling is that you have to remain flexible, because at any time my schedule could change.  This could be for many reasons, a new student, new needs, or changes in IEPs.  My schedule is based on academic and social needs of my students and minutes designated in their IEPs for specially designed instruction.  Recently, my schedule went through a makeover due to changing student needs.  

This is my schedule (as of now).  I wanted to give you an idea of "A Day in the Life of a Special Education Teacher."  I stay busy and there is a never a dull moment (that is for sure).

I can't wait to share my classroom with you and show you how I organize my life as a teacher.  I also cannot wait to start sharing some of my lessons with you!  

Stay tuned and follow to get ready the best I have to offer!!

Mrs. H.


I love blogging.  I love teaching.  I love combining the two.  The combination is what you are reading.

On December 30 I started this blog and sometime in January I deleted it.  Now, February 20th, I undeleted it.  Indecisive?  Just a little! ;)  Why the wishy-washy-ness?  I write another blog (you can find it here) that is mainly about my personal life and just a fun site to for me share my feelings.  I started this blog the first time so I could separate life and work and then I thought I could just do some teaching posts on the other blog.  I couldn't ever find the right time or place to add in those posts, therefore, I am back to this one!

My hope is to post at least weekly here (at first).  I hope to post more often, but I know 2 blogs can be hard to maintain.

Please enjoy this new teaching blog, join, and share!!