Friday, May 31, 2013

Special Education Teacher Planner

It's finished!  I took the suggestions of my blog followers and email participants and completed my special education teacher planner!  It has all I need (and hopefully all any special ed teacher needs) to make it through the school year efficiently and effectively!  Here's to one more step to being organized!
Below are some previews of my planner:

Front Cover
Calendar Page

This Lesson Planner is designed specifically for special education teachers. 
The pages are customizable in PowerPoint!

This planner has been developed by a special education teacher for other special education teachers. All you need to manage your resource and co-teaching needs are included.

This planner can be printed and put in a binder or have it bound at an office supply store. Print out the pages you need. You may need extra of some pages, such as the notes page, to do list, and lesson plan templates (I have printed out enough for the entire year).

The planner contains 28 pages including:
* Lesson Plan template
* Schedule
* Caseload List
* Annual Goals and Benchmarks at a glance
* Year at a Glance
* Due Date sheet for Annual Review, Reevaluations, and Referrals
* Accommodations Checklist
* Notes page
* To Do List
* Calendar (runs from July 2013-June 2014) 

Right now you can purchase this product through my TPT store by following this link:

Questions or suggestions? Please let me know! :)

I hope you enjoy!

Five for Friday and Advice Sought...

This has been our first full week on summer vacation!  It has been awesome!!

1. I turned in my keys to my old school.  It was surreal to say the least.  I am so excited about my new job, but leaving somewhere is always a little bittersweet.  There are several people there I will miss, but thankfully they are not far away!

2.  My kids love the Dollar Tree as much as I do.  They found a bug catching kit and spent the afternoon washing my car and then catching bugs!

3.  The summer reading program at our public library has started.  The kids kicked it off with a dino hunt.  Below Chloe is helping put together and dinosaur from pieces they hunted for and Barrett poses with a dinosaur that he dug from the dirt!

4.  We also watched EPIC this week.  My kids loved it and so did I.  The movie is really cute.  Our favorite part is when the slug says, "I'm a slug.  I ain't got no shell over hurr, baby!"  :)  

5.  If you've read my previous posts you know that I am all about some organization this summer.  I downloaded a great teacher planner from A Modern Teacher, but there are some things I wanted to add to it that are specific to special education.  So...after scouring the internet and TPT, I am having a hard time finding exactly what I am looking for...enter YOU! :)
Here are some ideas for what I need in my special ed. teacher planner:
  • accomodations checklist
  • caseload list
  • lesson plan template for resource/co-teaching classes
  • notes pages
  • calendar
  • due dates organizer (for annual reviews, re-evals., new referrals, etc.)
  • quick reference annual goal/benchmark page
What else would you want in your teacher planner (if you are a special education teacher)?

Here is a picture of the cover of this special education teacher planner:

Tell me what you think?  Would you like this?  I can make it customizable.  
What types of documents would you put in your teacher planner?


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Bucket List

Today I am joining in on the Summer Bucket List Linky Party!

Just like everyone else I have several summer plans!  Thanks to Pinterest, I plan to keep my husband very busy! ;)  

Organize my closets
Make a tent/reading area for my kids
Spend quality time with my kiddos

Besides getting ready to move into a brand new school building, my biggest plan is to
create a teacher planner totally dedicated to my needs.  I have searched the internet for the perfect teacher planner.  I envy the Erin Condren teacher planners, but I can't bring myself to spend $52 on one.  I did find a customizable teacher planner through TPT.  It is actually from one of the teachers sponsoring this linky.  Thanks to the Modern Teacher.  I have downloaded a much cheaper planner that I can customize to meet my needs and take to Staples or Office Depot to have laminated and bound. 

You can find it here:

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I am linking up with The Fourth Grade Flipper today for Tried It Tuesday and The Eager Teacher for Teachers Talking Tech on Thursdays. Summer gives me time to sit down and have time to explore new ideas. My husband bought me an iPad after I was hired at my new school. I have had an iPad all year, but it belonged to my old school so I had to return it. I really enjoy having my own personal iPad, because I can use it however I desire. So, I've been downloading several new apps to try out. One that I found that I am liking is ThingLink. 

  Click the image to go to ThingLink website.

ThingLink takes a plain image and makes it interactive. You can add text, video, sound, and web content to your image. According to ThingLinks website, "Every image contains a story and ThingLink helps you tell your stories. Follow image channels from your favorite bands, bloggers and friends. Your ThingLink interactive images form a channel that other users can follow."


Above is my first ThingLink image. 

I give this app 2 thumps up!  Oh...and a bonus plus to this's FREE!

Classroom uses:
Label a picture or diagram (cells, plant parts, the water cycle, etc.) and then add sound and explanation to the picture. This could be a great summative assessment. 
Make an interactive how to piece
Share with parents what students are doing in class
Embed images into student blogs
Students could include pictures from books and give interactive book reports that they can post to a blog or class webpage

Monday, May 27, 2013

Next year...Organization is the Key Word Here!

Kim over at Joy in 6th is having her first Linky Party!  As a teacher, I am always thinking about what I can do better next year.  This year has come to an end and summer has begun, so part of my summer will be spent getting ready for next school year.  One thing that I am incredibly excited for is that I am moving into a brand new my OWN room.  If you read my blog very often then you know that I have had to share my room with SEVERAL other people over the past three years.  I am elated to have my very own space to decorate!!

So, as I thought about what I needed to work on for next year, here are some of my ideas:

I hate getting up in the morning.  I hit the snooze button numerous times.  I need to wake up earlier.  It will make for a happier me and kids!  We'll see!

I started using Reading A-Z to supplement my reading program last year.  I have printed several books and then stored them in a file folder for next year's use.  I need a better plan. I found this idea on Pinterest:
Click on the picture to link to the teacher blog where this idea can be found.  I like how she laminated the covers and used duct tape to keep in sturdy and yet flexible.  

I have soooo many things to laminate this summer that I bought off of TPT.  During the year I would just use what I have printed, unlamintaed, and then store in large manilla envelopes.  I need a better system! 

It's going to be a busy summer, but I couldn't be more excited about it!  

Join in with this Linky and you could win a $25 TPT gift certificate!  Click the button below to go join in!

joyin6th Homepage

Make It Monday (The Beginning of our Summer Plans)

At the link above you can find a neat summer plan printable. It goes something like this:

Monday-Make Something Monday
Tuesday-Take a Trip Tuesday
Wednesday-Wet & Wild Wednesday
Thursday-Thinking Thursday (visit a library, museum, website, anywhere that you will learn something)
Friday-Fresh and Fun Friday ( do a new craft or activity that you have found on Pinterest)

Today we kicked summer off right by making some yummy Memorial Day themed cookies (without arguing I might add). 

Chloe did the icing and Barrett did the sprinkling. 

And the finished project:

They were as equally yummy as they are adorable!

Want to make these too?
Well, it is so simple. We will call it semi-homemade!

You will need:
Soft baked cookies (we used Kroger deli chocolate chip)
One tub of icing (our fave is Pilsbury Cream Cheese icing)
Red, white, and blue sprinkles

Lay out bottom part for sandwich cookie
Pipe icing in a circle in the center of cookie rotating outward to the edges. 
Top with second cookie and press until the icing starts to squish out the sides. 
Roll the cookies in the sprinkles like a wheel

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five for Friday! :)


Time for a Five for Friday Link Up!  

I am out of school for the summer!!  Wednesday was our last day.  I love teaching, but I LOVE summer!  I am excited to spend some time in the sun and hang out with my kiddos!

My baby is headed to first grade!  He has had an amazing year and an equally amazing teacher! Here is my little Bear on his last day of Kindergarten! :)

My oldest will be a fifth grader?!  How did that happen?!  Only one more year in elementary school with her mommy.  Next year I will be a puddle of tears!  My Chloe is in the purple shirt and khaki shorts in the front.  This was taken on the last day of school with her girl classmates and the most amazing teacher ever!  Chloe and I love you!!

I have time for crafting!  Yesterday, I made this wreath!

BIG NEWS TIME!!!  I have accepted a new job!  I will be teaching special education at a brand new school in the county that I live in.  I will miss my teammates and friends at my current school, but this opportunity is such a blessing!  I am beyond excited!  I can't wait to take all of you along on my journey!

God has blessed me BIG this week!  He is good!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last Day!

Today was the last day of school!  Congrats to all of my teacher friends for making it another year!  I love my kids and teacher friends near and far!  Have a wonderful summer!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Things That Make My Heart Smile

Today was one of those magical days that makes you say, "Geez, this is why I became a teacher!"

Every year, our intermediate students get to go to the YMCA to swim if they gave their best effort during our state testing.  I had a great time swimming with one of my students.  I have blogged about this sweetie before and our trip to the pool and this year was just as special as last.  This particular student had never been swimming in a "deep" pool before last spring (and she was in 4th grade), because of some physical disabilities.  She had the most wonderful time last year and this year she couldn't wait to get in the pool.  Her smile as she jumped from the edge of the pool into my waiting arms just made my heart smile.  You see this student is a quadruple amputee and has a few other physical disabilities that makes walking, moving independently and definitely swimming incredibly difficult.  However, when she is in the water she becomes light and carefree.  Although she can't swim and won't let me let her go, she joins in with her friends of games of Marco Polo and has a wonderful time.

This is why I became a special education teacher, to help students with the most difficult of disabilities become successful and feel accomplished in some way.  Although this little girl can do several amazing things, to see her in a pool having a wonderful time and moving so freely is heartwarming.  I could see this year after year and never tire of it!

To her I say, "You go girl!  I love being part of your life!"


Sunday, May 5, 2013

State Testing Time!!! AAHHHH!!

This week begins state testing in Kentucky which is now known as K-PREP.  These five letters strike fear and angst into many students and teachers across the state!  It is the time when everything you have taught all year is put on the line as the students begin to "show what they know."

I think at this point it is so easy to stress out,  but then you have to remember that if you've done your best, then they (the students) will do their best!

If you are a parent, here are some testing week suggestions:
1.  Send your child to bed early.  You don't want them to be sleepy during testing!  We need alert and well rested students.
2.  Eat a healthy breakfast.  A good brain runs on good nutrition!
3.  Encourage your child to do their best.
4.  Remind your child that this is the time to show what they have learned, but still keep in perspective that this is only a test of knowledge, not of self-worth.

If you are a teacher, here are some testing week suggestions:
1.  Go to bed early!  More rest...less stress!
2.  Eat a healthy breakfast.  Your body will run best on good nutrition, too!  Just be careful not to drink to much coffee (or anything for that matter, because potty breaks are few and far between during testing!)
3.  Encourage your students to do their best!
Here are some cute testing motivators that I found for free:

4.  Keep testing in perspective.  The students are going to show all they have learned.  Encourage them to give it all they've got, but remember this is a test.  It does not determine your self worth either!
5.  And...when this week is all over...go for a massage, or a night on the town, or something to unwind and relax!

For some other motivation for making test motivators check out my Pinterest Board:  Testing Motivators

Good luck this week to my fellow Kentuckians!  Good luck to all of you across the nation!