Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My 5 Random Thoughts of the Moment..

I know.. I know.. I know.. I am doing a horrible job of blogging right now. I have just been super overwhelmed with my job, my second job (coaching softball), and life overall. I have had a few busy weekends and this one is no different because it is my daughter's birthday party so please bear with me.

As I have gotten through the first month or more of school there are just some random things that I'd like to state. They are very random and weird but, when I struggled to find a topic to write about tonight I just said screw it I'm going to put it all together. So here are my top 5 thoughts of the moment since the school year as started:

1. My paraprofessionals rock! They have helped me so much this year with talking to college students that have come to observe my classroom that I just don't have the time to talk to when I'm teaching replacement behaviors to disruptive kiddos or just doing their job of working their butts off for my students.

2. New curriculums are great and the devil all at once. I love Unique Learning System and the opportunities it has provided my students to get more access to the type of curriculum their regular ed. peers get but on their level. But, learning this bad boy has been a killer pain in the butt. I am seeing results though so it is totally worth it! (It's also worth a blog post or two of sharing in the near future!)

3. When you are a teacher, you are entitled to have a life. I have just made myself turn off the laptop, the emails, and the lesson plans when I needed to be a human being and spend time with my family.

4. Why as teachers are we being required more and more to be parents in the classroom? It can be hard to draw that line of education as a teacher and education as a parent and I wish that our society wasn't pushing families to look at teachers to be the parents of the their children. I wish parents would take that responsibility back. Some are trying to do that (myself included) but, it gets harder and harder to do everyday.

5. My students make me laugh over and over everyday and it is the best feeling in the world. Despite the fact that I am tired and this is a lot of work. I love what I am doing and that's what I try to tell myself everyday when I have a tough moment or two or twenty-five!

Well, there is a little randomness for you.. as I go back to those emails that I promised to turn off in about 30 minutes so I can get some me-time with my pillow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Workbasket Wednesday- a Link Up

I am linking up with Christine from Autism Classroom News. She has started a new work tasks link-up for anyone who uses them in their classroom and wants to share. So, I finally went through my many tasks that I have this year and I ended up going through all of my materials and creating some new tasks, vamping old ones, and keeping the goodies from last year. The theme for this month is simple. So here are some of my newer and simpler work tasks...

Super Easy one here! I found these mini teeny time clothespins at a dollar store at a "Dollar General" for a dollar. Then I took different colored construction paper that matched the clips and laminated it to make it easier and sturdier to use. Then I just showed each student how to use and what is inside. Great fine motor task. 

This is another Edmark based work task. I use a lot of Edmark Reading Program in my classroom with my students and I am always looking for ways to incorporate this work into the curriculum outside of reading instruction so here we go. I made the worksheet a while back and saved the copies of the blank template to them write in whatever words I wanted. Then I got these alphabet stamps from Oriental Trading and one of the first times they ran the "Almost perfect" sale with some items that had one or two things wrong with them that they sold at a cheaper price. There was nothing wrong with these stamps and they work great! 

Lastly, I gave you a double photo to take a look at this one. I found this container with the dividers in it from a set of supplies I bought at a craft store and thought to myself what am I going to have them sort in here?? COINS! It is like the task that is a constant staple in my room. My students need to learn the difference between the coins, so we practice sorting them constantly. 

Thanks for checking out my easy to assemble work tasks. Hope you enjoyed it and check back as I plan to share more of my new work tasks for this school year! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September Currently... Oopps!

I know... I know.. I'm like a week late... but you should all understand.. or most of you should.. because you are teachers.. with lives.. and families.. and tons of commitments...

I promise I will be better at this soon. I'm still suppose to be posting some of my new work boxes.. if you read my facebook page you saw I slacked on that too.. That's coming I promise..

For now, I'm linking up with Farley for the September Currently..

Listening- My daughter is about to turn 3. I can't believe it. She is at such an awesome age where she pretend plays and says the funniest things when playing dollhouse and other things. I just love sitting, watching her and cracking up. Sometimes she even repeats things my husband and I say in the house when we think she wasn't listening.. uhh... think again! 

Loving- Yesterday in PA it was 90 degrees and disgusting. We got some thunderstorms over night and now it is like 75, breezy and gorgeous, just reminds me of the fall and why I love it so much! 

Thinking- Yeah, as teachers we are super busy, have mega long to-do lists and the work never gets done because the minute you finish one thing 343 more things are added to the list. There are times where we could be making better use of our time to get things done, but I say every once in a while, throw away the to-do list and have a relaxing day. You deserve it! 

Wanting- My printer... I'm so thankful.. due to summer sales on TPT I am able to use the money I earned to pay for a color printer for my classroom. My school district doesn't have them on hand and with all the TPT products and my use of News-2-You and Unique Learning System, having things in color would be great. So, I am planning to get a printer and 2 sets of ink cartridges with what I earned.. Talk about loving that it feels like I'm getting it for free. Thanks TPT! Thanks all  of those who purchased my stuff! 

Needing-After a very busy and stressful first two weeks of school and coaching softball after school with middle school teenagers I think I'm due for my chocolate dosage right about now!!

3 Trips- I love trips but, they are expensive. So when I take one I try to make it count. I want to go to Disney for my daughter (when she is older and can remember more) I loved it as a kid and as an adult when we went for spring training when I played softball in college. I always wanted to go to a country where I am from. I am about 25% Italian among a lot of other things but, find that I relate the most to that side of the family. I would love to go to Italy and learn about my family. I love that show Who Do You Think You Are.. I'd love to plan a trip related to that! Lastly, who doesn't want to go to beautiful beaches, clear water, and tropical experiences. Can't beat it!