Sunday, June 28, 2015

Special Ed. Summer Blog Hop: Week 1 Scheduling

I am honored to be a part of the Special Ed. Summer Blog Hop hosted by KinderSpedAdventures.  My blogging buddies and I will be sharing posts with all of you wonderful readers for the next five weeks.  You can find the schedule below:

This week's post is all about SCHEDULING!

 Ok...I've got to come out right here and tell you that scheduling is my nemesis...and it becomes even more difficult when you are a Type B kind of person!  I am Kim Hinton and I do not love making schedules!  Whew!  Now with that off my chest, I can get on with it! :)

No matter how hard it is for me to make a schedule, it must get accomplished.  So, to begin making my schedule and my paraprofessional's schedule, I gather together the essentials:
1.  School Master Schedule (You gotta know when specials, lunch, recess, and all of the academics are taught)
2.  Grade Level Schedules
3.  Student IEPs to ensure all minutes are met

First, I begin making my schedule by checking the IEP minutes for all of my students.  I write down the student's name, resource minutes and subject for resource, coteaching minutes and subject for coteaching.

Next, I ensure that I am able to get in the regular ed classroom for coteaching during (at least part of) reading and math.  *Note: I teach special education for 3 grade levels.  Thankfully, my colleagues have been good about staggering start times of math and reading so that I can get to each grade level. Be a team player, people, it will make your life easier!!*  In my school district, it is considered best practice that if a student has resource  (reading, for example) that they also receive coteaching minutes in the regular classroom.  Makes sense, right?  How can we expect a student that needs additional support (resource support) in an academic area to be able to "survive" in the classroom without supports?  Also, in my district, the students must have access to the general curriculum.  The students must attend general ed. reading/math/writing and resource has to be at a different time and "extra" instruction on top of the general instruction.

Then, I begin fitting my schedule around the master schedule and teacher's daily schedules.  This is the hardest part!  It's like a 1000 piece puzzle and at times I am trying to "bang" one piece of the puzzle into the next, but at the end it all just fits so perfectly.  (Well, until someone moves in and I have to redo the whole darn thing!)

Here is what my schedule looks like (with student names removed of course):

I like to have the time, place/teacher, and student's needs listed on my schedule. On my paraprofessional's schedule I like to include the same 3 columns in addition to a final column outlining the task I expect the to be completed during this time.  I keep this very general so that the schedule can be used throughout the year and not changed every week.

This is an example of my paraprofessional's schedule from last year:

Finally, everyone's schedules are complete and ready to put into use.  Flexibility is the key word, however, because there is always going to be something that needs to be tweaked a little or changed.

Next week, I will be back with this Summer Sped Blog Hop with all you need to know about Classroom Setup!

Hop on over to Ms. P's Specialties for some more advice about scheduling!

Mrs. P's Specialties

Monday, June 22, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Week 2 Dare to Dream

This week for the #tptsellerchallenge the instructions are to Dare to Dream!  Although I am not one of the big time sellers on TPT I have seen my profit grow over the last year and that definitely excites me.  I have also connected with a great group of special education bloggers/sellers and they inspire me to be better and in turn create better products to share with all of you.  When I was thinking of my dream and how they are related to TPT, I can say that TPT (and blogging) have helped my dreams come true!  Here are some of the dreams that I am still making happen (or would like to see happen):

1. Vacation:  The profit from TPT has allowed me to pay for some great vacations including a fun Bahama cruise with some of my girlfriends!  I am thankful for that and for the little bit extra money it gives me to take my family on vacations.  I would love to treat my family to a vacation, completely paid for by TPT!  

2.  Pay Off Debt:   My husband and I are proud graduates of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, but we still have some debt that we would like to get rid of, including a car and my hub's student loans.  

3.  Inspire Others:  One of my favorite parts of blogging and selling is the reach that I have to other teachers, especially special ed teachers.  It truly makes me feel so special that a teacher all of the way across the country wants my advice on reading or math or behavior.  The emails I receive from others confirms to me that blogging and selling on TPT is the right thing to do.  I know I have blogged before about the opportunities blogging has awarded me.  As long as I can continue to inspire others, I will continue creating and dreaming big. 

4.  Consult:  One of my biggest dreams, professionally, is to become a special education consult.  I have been lucky enough to do this on a small scale within my school district by presenting PD, being on our autism cadre, and assisting others with evaluations.  I am thankful that my products are able to give other special education teachers out there a way to reach their students or organize their special ed forms.  Maybe one day, when TPT can truly supplement my salary, I can become a full time consultant.  That is my BIG dream!!! :)

Now it's your turn!   What are your dreams?  What do you want to make happen through TPT?  


Giveaway: Gumdrop Cases Donating 10,000 Tablet Cases to Special Needs Classrooms

Hello, friends! Gumdrop Cases is donating 10,000 of their DropTech cases to special needs classrooms across America. The program provides special needs classrooms with up to 20 free protective cases for their tablets - and up to 60 cases per school district.

Gumdrop will be giving away all kinds of cases - iPad, Kindle Fire, Dell Venue, Nexus and more. The deadline for Gumdrop Gives Back is July 31st, 2015, so enter as soon as you can!
Follow this link to enter the giveaway and learn more: Good luck!

Friday, June 19, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness

I am excited to be a part of the TPT Seller Challenge this summer.  I chose to revamp my Role Play Scripts and they got a makeover from top to bottom!  The scripts were one of the very first items I posted on TPT and it is also one of the most downloaded items.  The comments for the product are always positive and about needing and looking for scripts for social skill groups.  I love the makeover for this product and I already have scripts for other social skills in the works!  

Check out these Role Play Scripts for Conflict Resolution and Anger Management here!  This item will be on sale throughout the weekend! :)

Don't forget to head over to Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Peppy, Zesty Teacherista or Teach, Create, Motivate to find all sorts of wonderful (makeovers) resources!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer 2015...Reflecting and Rejuvenating

It's finally here!!  Summer 2015 is here!!  The end of the school year is always a bit emotional for me and this year is no different.  I miss my school kids, my friends, and having a schedule.  I had big blogging plans this school year, but my real job took precedent and blogging often got put on the back burner!  Good news though...I "plan" to share some of the fun I had this school year with you this summer.

This summer I'll be reflecting on some great strategies and teaching practices I've used.  I'll also get rejuvenated with my loose summer schedule and get prepared for next school year!

I can't wait to share with you all what this summer holds!!!