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Aimsweb Math Progress Monitoring

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Sometimes it can seem like a logistical nightmare to organize progress monitoring paperwork.  Here are a few ways that I organize my Aimsweb Math assessments for my students.  In the beginning of the year, I make a binder for each student.  I figure out which grade level of prompts I need to copy for each student.  I make all the copies at once, including the answer keys.  Then I three-hole punch them, put them in the binder, and am ready to start.  Each time we finish a set of prompts, I score them and put them back in the binder.  I keep them in order and put a sticky note on the next one up.  With a separate binder for each student, I find that it’s much easier to stay organized.  Keep in mind that, as you monitor your students’ progress, you may need to take them up or down a level at some point, which will constitute a need to make new copies.  Please feel free to post a comment if you have other ways to make progress monitoring easier.  Thanks for reading!

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Giving Thanks

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This is the month for giving thanks so I am sending out a big THANK YOU to each and every one of you fabulous folks that I have the privilege of working with.  Thank you for showing those around you how dedicated and passionate you are about the job you do every day.  Thank you for asking the good questions that make you a better teacher.  Thank you for supporting your fellow special education teachers and helping each other grow and improve each day, week, month, year.  Thank you for collaborating with your general education staff to bring your expertise to them and their classrooms.  Thank you for taking time on your evenings and weekends to finish those IEPs on time, to read up on that new student that is starting next week, to work on your lesson plans.  Thank you for finding out what makes each and every student special and letting them know you care.  Thank you for being an emotional support to your colleagues/friends to help make their days fuller, happier, more meaningful.  Thank you for sharing with me tidbits from your toolbox of strategies and tips to help make me a better teacher.  Thank you for caring the way you do to make the world a better place, one teacher at a time, one student at a time, one day at a time.  You are remarkable and I am thankful!

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Positives for Your Child!

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Here’s a tidy little list of positive things you can say to your child to make his or her day!  (Try to make it 4:1–four positive comments to every critical one.)

 

  • I knew you could do it.
  • Now you’ve got it.
  • You’re on your way.
  • Nothing can stop you now.
  • What an imagination.
  • That’s got to feel great to accomplish that!
  • You must be very proud of yourself!
  • You figured it out.
  • You’re really growing up!
  • I love you!

Make your child’s day–give him/her all the positives you can think of–and while you’re at it, enjoy how great it makes YOU feel to give them!

 

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Homework–How to Maximize Gains

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Provide these and see what happens:

  • A quiet place to work.
  • All materials handy and ready to go (pencils, paper, calculator, etc.).
  • A set time each day to do homework.
  • A positive attitude from you that your child can sense.
  • A good example (get out the checkbook, read a book).
  • Guidance from you, not answers.
  • Cooperation with your child’s teacher.
  • Refrain from too much involvement.  Let your child do it.
  • Stay up-to-date by checking your child’s classroom website.
  • Help do the hard homework first.
  • Let your child take breaks to help them focus better.
  • Reinforce the positive effort your child puts in.

Good luck and have a great year!

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Tips for Using Phonics for Reading

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  • Copy placement tests ahead of time.
  • Use pointing to letters or words when you teach to keep students attentive (in the script.)
  • Go through activities OUT LOUD, then have students write answers.
  • Teach it 4-5 days a week, on CONSECUTIVE DAYS, if possible, for best results.
  • Use delayed response feedback (wait until the student starts the sound of the word you want him to read and then join him by saying the word with him) to encourage strong reading skills, independence and success.
  • Use items like individual white boards for daily spelling reviews.  Use short amounts of time at the beginning of each lesson to quickly review the concepts taught the previous day.
  • Struggling readers are more helped by basic comprehension questions (who, what, where, when) rather than higher order questions (why, how).