Sunday, September 7, 2014

Before and After

After a couple busy weeks at school as well as lots of time at home, my classroom is finally ready for another year.
I was able to transform this:

To this:

This year I am utilizing a structured teaching method that brings most of my students with disabilities into my class all day.  Following lunch and quiet time, our peer models join our class.  Our morning schedule consists of arrival time, gross motor time, snack, circle time and four twenty minute rotations.  During the rotations the students work in areas such as one to one (with the teacher to address IEP goals), Independent work (TEACCH tasks), Speech and/or OT, play, art, puzzles, and computer.  Each child as their own visual schedule and are learning to "check their schedule" each time the time goes off.  So far I am very happy with how this approach is working for my students.
Our afternoon is a "typical" preschool schedule with an overall group visual schedule and less individualized cues.  It is the goal of this "transition" classroom to help students move from a self contained classroom to an integrated classroom.

I'm trying very hard not to become overwhelmed with all the newly required paper work (that is for all of us in Early Childhood in Ohio) and the new Early Learning Assessment.  I'm hoping that by staying organized, I can stay ahead of this less than fun side of teaching!

Staying focused on the positive!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's almost time...

August first has come and gone.  Summer school is over.  Monday is the day; back to school.  No more afternoon naps for me.  In the last few weeks I have moved from making plans in my head and pinning my day away to making, creating, and getting ready. 

My favorite project is from Teachers Pay Teachers.  I have created drawers, labels, and binders to help keep me organized this year. I love the Let's Get Organized (Melonheadz Kids Edition) by Learning in Wonderland.  I also purchased binder covers, binder spines, and the labels pack.  I am looking forward to adding additional projects to my classroom.  I am able to edit and make these labels exactly what I need for my preschool classroom. 

I used  four Sterilite 3-Drawer desktop units to create twelve drawers for organization.  Our preschool program is Monday through Thursday so I have drawers for each days' "things" plus file, copy, to-do, send home, returned from parents, office, special education office, and OTES/SUTQ.  In my head these were going to fit on the computer cart but they were too tall.  I ended up getting two Lack tables from IKEA.  They were even on sale for $4.99!  I am looking forward to assembling and setting these  up on Tuesday.
Here's a picture of the finished drawers:

And the binders: 

I am also planning a focus wall using the same labels from TpT.

The labeles still need cut and laminated:

I'm looking forward to a great first week back to school!  I recently came across a quote on Twitter from Todd Whitaker: “@ToddWhitaker: One of the best things about teaching is you start the year undefeated. Make this year whatever you want it to be.”  My goal for this year is to remain undefeated and positive in an ever changing teaching climate.  It is all for the children and mine are some of our youngest!  Just keep swimming....with a smile and positive outlook!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Testing my resolve

I have made a promise to myself to be positive in all the challenges of teaching.  This promise was immediately put to the test Monday and Tuesday.  I proactively went to school Monday to be sure I was ready for Summer School which started at 8:30 Tuesday morning.  I couldn't get to my room because the floors were being waxed. 7:00 Tuesday morning, I walked into this: 

I did my very best not to panic!  My mom had come to help.  We managed to get the room ready in 45 minutes!  A new record....see there is a positive! 

The kiddos arrived at 8:30 and we had a wonderful morning! 
Just keep swimming!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Welcome to my life as an Early Childhood Intervention Specialist!

Here in Ohio there are many changes that are putting pressure and stress on all of our educators.  In the preschool world we are dealing with OTES, Step Up To Quality, new assessments, new Common Core aligned standards, changes in the curriculum, and pressures from many areas.  My goal for this blog is to share tips and strategies to cope with all these changes.  I want to approach these changes in a positive way and figure out ways to keep my sanity!  My personal rule this space is no negativity!

More to come as I prepare for another wonderful year teaching our youngest learners!