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newzak newzak is offline
 
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Brand new teacher needs help!!
Old 06-22-2010, 06:24 AM
 
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Ladies and gentlemen,

I have just gotten my first teaching job since graduating college. I will be teaching K-3 special ed in a self contained setting in AR. I am super excited but FREAKING out. I would love any advice for a newbie teacher. Organization, classroom settup, lesson plans, etc. Please, please help


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my experience
Old 06-22-2010, 06:50 AM
 
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I just finished my first year as a self-contained special ed. teacher (grades K=5). . .

You will need to familiarize yourself with the IEP process for your school. Our IEP's are online, which I love. Find out when their IEP's will need to be updated and be sure to start collecting data well before that time. In my state, we have to provide updates on each child's IEP goals each quarter. You will need to prove that they have mastered their goals and be prepared to write new goals at the IEP meeting.

Scheduling is difficult in this type of classroom. I had students in all grades K-5 and we follow an inclusion model. Most of my students go to specials, lunch, recess and science / social studies with the general ed. class. Many of my students also need to have an assistant with them when they leave the room, and it is my job to coordinate that. Last summer, I was given a master schedule for the school. From there, I had to figure out my schedule as well as the schedules for my assistants. If your school requires this from you, I would highly suggest getting your hands on the schedules ASAP. You'll want to have that figured out before you begin.

Lesson planning is also a challenge. I will attach the lesson plan format that I made. It worked well for me this year. I color-code lessons by student so it is easy to find the lesson for each child. I also take out all of the lesson info and leave just the times, students, subjects and this document becomes my classroom schedule.

I do the Daily 5 and Cafe in my classroom. It really lends itself well to the varied abilities in my room. Search the Peony Room on this board to find more info.

I don't want to overload you. Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I know what you're going through. I was scared to death, but I LOVE my job and my students. Best of luck to you!
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one other thing. . .
Old 06-22-2010, 06:53 AM
 
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Please read this poem. I have it posted in my classroom. It serves as a daily reminder that my students have families that love them dearly, and it helps me deal with the "difficult" parents with patience and kindness.
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Wow!
Old 06-22-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Kshaw you really have it together! Thank you so much for posting your sample lesson plan. I read through it and I'm amazed by all you do each day with your students! Do you have any experience with running a behavior classroom? Or any ideas? If so, I'm interested in hearing them
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:58 AM
 
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Thank you so much. How do you plan your lessons fo the beginning o the year, straight from IEP goals? Your sample lesson plan really helped me out


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Old 06-23-2010, 05:11 AM
 
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I have not run a behavior classroom, but I did spend a year as a behavior support teacher. My students were included in the general ed. classroom as much as possible. I work in a small school district, and we don't have behavior classrooms (although I would jump at the chance to teach in one). With that being said, the "behavior" kids are usually my favorite. . and the most challenging. I would probably run a behavior classroom much the way I do my special ed. classroom. In my opinion, the most important things would be to have an effective behavior management system in place, build postivie relationships with your students and to be consistent, firm and fair in ALL interactions with your students.

Check out this link for a free e-book.

http://www.newmanagement.com/ebooks/clip_chart.html

I love the clip chart system because even when students make bad choices, they still have the opportunity to make things right. In my experience, the worst thing you can do when dealing with students with behavior problems is to take everything away. If they don't have anything to work for, they will really create problems. I use a modified version of a clip chart. I have logs with numbers written on them (-15, -10, -5, 0, +5, +10, +15) The logs are posted vertically. Each student has a frog with their name on it. They begin the day on +5. From there, they may be asked to move their frog up or down based on their behavior choices. At the end of the day, each child colors (or erases) squares from a laminated 100 chart. For example, if their frog is on +10, they would color 10 squares. If their frog is on -5, they would erase 5 squares. They get a prize when they reach 50 and 100. At the end of each day, they move their frog back to 5 for the day.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:25 AM
 
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In the beginning of the year, I will sort of pick up where we left off at the end of the last school year. (a huge benefit of getting the same students again this year). I will also spend some time completing assessments (based on their IEP goals) to determine where my students need additional instruction. I will begin the Daily 5 reading and start to introdude the Daily 3 or 5 math (which I still need to figure out). I will also use the first couple of days of the school year to review classroom procedures and help new students understand the rules and their responsibilities.

Since you won't be able to pick up where you left off last year, I would suggest spending time assessing your students, explaining rules and procedures and building postitive relationships with your students. I would have students complete an "All About Me" booklet. I would also have parents complete a survey. I'll attach some of the things I used at the beginning of last year.

Another big thing that I will begin to work on is completing the alternate state assessments with 3 of my students. I didn't mention this before, but in my state, the alternate assessment is a huge test of how organized the teacher is. I will prepare a portfolio for each of my participating students that will include 10 reading and 10 math objectives for each child that are based on grade level standards. It is my job to create an assessment for each objective and to prove that the child has mastered the standard. I will have to video tape some of the assessments and they are extremely picky when grading them. The good news is if my students do well, it will count towards our school's AYP. It is a tremendous amount of work, and I am determined to complete it early with my students this year. You should probably check into the state testing requirements for your students. (some of my students take the regular state test as well)

Last edited by kshaw; 06-23-2010 at 05:28 AM.. Reason: added more. . .
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:32 AM
 
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Here is a parent survey I used this year. . .
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File Type: doc beginning of the year parent survey.doc (46.5 KB, 258 views)
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:41 AM
 
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my sub plans. . .
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:42 AM
 
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parent - teacher conference form. . .


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Old 06-23-2010, 06:44 AM
 
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Wow. Thank you so much. All the advice and forms will really come in handy when I start setting up
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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great resources! I admire your organization and thoroughness (is that a word, ?)


Can I ask how many students you have? I have been interested in Daily 5 as well, but not sure if I could implement it the way it is meant to be implemented. Anyway, reading/writing is going pretty well for me/my students and they are making good progress (most of them!). I am curious about math though (Daily 5 math) as that is an area that I struggle with teaching ....not the teaching part, but the materials, program, format, etc. for lots of reasons.
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behavior classroom
Old 06-23-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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I have run a behavior classroom for K-4 for the last 5 years. I am glad to hear someone is getting into it....
Lesson Planning in a behavior class must be organized and realize that some days you don't get anything accomplished. I would recommend against a level system. These children have been clipped to death and recent studies have found that level systems are ineffective. We currently run PBS(positive behavior support). I have run both and the level system is a royal pain with having to keep daily counts however it is easier on documentation for annual review. But if you want to see real changes in a short amount of time look up Brenda Scheuermann positive behavior support
just remember what ever you decide it is a work in progress and must evolve as you determine what works for you and your students
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:04 AM
 
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I had 8 students last school year. I can get more students as the year goes by. I love The Daily 5 in my classroom because my students are involved in meaningful reading activities the entire time. I have time in my schedule to work with each student / small group each day (more like a guided reading model), so I am not true to the Daily 5 model. Basically, I like the activities (read to someone, read to self, work on words. . .) and the whole group mini-lessons.

I also feel that math is my weak area. In our county, general ed. teachers do not teach math (we have math teachers). I haven't really taught math before this past year, so I feel that I really need to work on that area. Unfortunately, The Daily 5 Math isn't out yet, so I'm going to try to apply the reading concepts to my math instruction. I just ordered 2 books from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Guided-Math-La...7380847&sr=8-1 and http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Math-P...ref=pd_sim_b_1 (both were discussed in a thread yesterday. . . gotta love PT) I'm hoping to really work on my math instruction over the summer.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:04 AM
 
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I just finished my first year of teaching 2wks ago. Although I had a tough year, I managed to keep sane through it all. My advise is to drill routine+classroom rules the first two weeks until the kids are self sufficient each time they enter your classroom. Explain your class agenda slowly and clearly to the students each day. Post your rules on the wall and refer to it each time a rule is not being followed. Implement a treasure box reward system using a stickers(10 stickers=computer time etc). Good luck, you will do fine. Have extra teaching materials ready to go, should you finish your lesson early.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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Hi newzak,

Where in AR do you teach? I am also in AR. Everyone has great ideas. My class is combined resource/self-contained so scheduling is very difficult as with kshaw. My principal has not required written lesson plans as of yet from me (I would check with yours), because of the programs I use, and the binder system for each child that goes along with their IEP (each child would have their own lesson plan) -- Although this year I will try to have something resembling more of a 'lesson plan.' I just have to figure it out.

I am not sure I can add anything more to everyone else's ideas, they all had good advice.
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clipchart
Old 07-01-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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I have heard that clip-chart is really a good resource. I am special education teacher and teach in a self contained classroom. So far every year in my building I have taught a different grade. Next year Im teaching 4th grade self contained.

Do you feel/think the clip-chart and your idea of coloring the 100th chart is a good idea for 4th graders? I have been thinking what reward/behavior management system I want to put in place. Thanks.

In additon, do you send anything home to the students parents about their daily and/or weekly behavior - or what points they end on?

Thanks!!!

Sarra
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clipchart questions
Old 07-01-2010, 10:53 AM
 
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On your clipchart do you have the points (-15, -10, etc..) written on the chart. Did you make your own chart and put those points? Just curious. If so do you have a picture I can see of it? Thanks!!
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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My management system works very well for most of my students (not as well for my little guys who are non-verbal). It worked the best for my 3rd and 4th graders. I took the clip chart idea and modified it to be "cuter" (which I'm always trying to do in my room) I bought frog and log cut-outs from Carson Dellosa (here is a link to a variety of them - I plan on using the fish and fishbowls this year. . . . http://teacher-supplies.carsondellos...0out%20buddies I wrote each students' name on a frog and the point values on logs. I then arranged them vertically on a tall cabinet in my classroom (with -15 at the bottom and +20 at the top) I'm sorry, but I don't have a picture.

I began this system last year. I did not send anything home, but this year I will be having students fill out a daily behavior log which will be kept in their CIRCUS binder (like a MOOSE binder). I have not created the behavior chart yet, but I do think it is a good idea to have student share with their parents where their frog was at the end of the day. I hope I've answered your questions.
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Grace Slick,
Old 07-06-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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I would love to talk to you more about your behavior classroom. I don't know how to send a private message and really don't want to post my email on here. Also, kshaw thanks for the ebook about clip charts. I read over that and it seems really positive and easy to implement. I love all of the great advice found on Proteacher! Thank you!!
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I posted later for help.
Old 07-08-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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Hey thanks everyone. I will be a new sped teacher next year also. All of this info really helped me. I am gathering all info I can get.
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multi-grades
Old 07-08-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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How do you decorate your resources room when you're teaching multiple grades? I will be teaching multiple (grades 1-5) and I'm not sure how to accommodate everyone with out making it look childish or what not.

There will be another teacher for half of the day in my room and I''m not sure how to address that....I want to start working in my new classroom but I don't want to step on her toes.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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Sharing the room would be more of a challenge for me. . .

As far as my decor goes, I have a cafe board a math board (or I plan to have one this year) an alphabet chart and number line and other resources. I try to have posted those things that will be used by the majority of the kids. I use bright colors and kid-friendly graphics. I also have a sensory room that is not decorated for my students who need a break from the visuals. . .
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Buy the book The Cornerstone. This book has everything you need to know as a first year teacher from setting up your classroom to parent meetings.

Here is a link to the website. I highly recommend this book!

http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/
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Another Behavior needs teacher!
Old 07-09-2010, 10:17 AM
 
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I'm glad to find another elementary behavior needs teacher. Last year was my first year teaching a K-5 self-contained classroom. Our school uses PBIS and my students participate in that, but that in itself is not enough to manage my students' behaviors. We use a level system, although it's more of a rainbow and the higher the students move up in the rainbow throughout the year, they earn more privlidges. It has really seemed to work for my students. I never got the opportunity to see these students in their regular education classroom, but from what I hear from my administrators and their previous teachers, they are all completely different students. I think what works for them is being rewarded daily (candy or sticker) and also something to work for long term (moving up to the next level, but also having the correct percentage to participate in our movie on Friday).

I do stuggle with academics more having such a wide range of students. Next year I will have one student who is in 4th grade but on a pre-k level, one on kindergarten level, one on 1st, two on 2nd-3rd, and one on 3rd/4th grade level. I have thought about doing some kind of a whole group reading lesson (maybe excluding my two lowest if it's not working with them) then breaking up into centers. I have looked into the Daily 5 stuff and I really like the idea, but only having 6 students, I'm struggling to picture that in my classroom. Last year we tried to group them together and my assistant and I both worked with a small group. I would rather work with the students individually, or 2 of them if they are on the same level, and teach them to start doing some independent work in these centers. Do you do any of that in your classroom? Now I'm thinking about math and how that will look. I could possibly rotate the students through myself and my assistant as well, with the others working on an independent center. Isn't it difficult to plan different lessons for 6 different kids??? I think that's one thing people don't realize. When regular ed teachers have to plan one lesson for reading, one for math, etc, I have to plan 3 different lessons for math, 3 for reading, etc.

Any other suggestions you have for me I would love to hear. I have taught special ed for 5 years total but previous to this past year I did co-teaching and resource. I have found however, that I do truly enjoy the behavior students especially in a self-contained setting because it seems that I am a regular education teacher in the fact that I have to teach ALL the regular content, but to all special education students.
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Welcom to Holland Poem
Old 07-20-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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Oh my goodness...I LOVE the poem...Is it ok if I print it off and place it my classroom also?
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Poem
Old 07-20-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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Please print it out and use it however you would like. I love it too!
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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I'm sorry I haven't responded before now. . . somehow I missed your post.

It is very hard to plan for students with such varied ablity levels! It sounds like we are in very similar classrooms. It is SO hard (and time cosuming) to plan lessons for each student. I will post my lesson plan format for you. . .maybe it will help.

I do a modified daily 5 in my classroom (excluding my youngest who is autistic and has a different program). Below is my D5 schedule.
9:25-9:45 Daily 5 Rotation #1
9:45-10:00 CAFE Mini-Lesson
10:00-10:20 Daily 5 Rotation #2
10:20-10:35 Writing / Phonics Mini-Lesson
10:35-10:55 Daily 5 Rotation #3
I have my assistant supervise and help students with the daily 5 activities as my students aren't totally independent with them. During the rotations, I meet with small groups or individuals and work on whatever they need. I do require my students to do word work on Mon, Wed, and Fri which is when they are given their pre and post tests (for spelling) and read to someone on Tues and Thurs (they read their basal story to my assistant at that time) So, each day, they meet with me, do the required D5 activity and then do an activity of their choosing. They LOVE the choice.

I don't feel good about my math program from last year (we have math teachers in our county, so I never thought I would have to teach math). I bought the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons and I plan to do guided math with my kiddos this year.

Please PM me or post here if you have any questions. Sorry again to have taken so long to get back to you!
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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Thank You!
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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Kshaw- Thanks for sharing the "Sub Lesson Plans"!!
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Thanks!
Old 07-29-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Thank you so much for your response. I really enjoyed looking at your lesson plan format. It looks like a lot of work initially, but I'm sure week to week, it is quicker to change it for the next week's lessons. Again, thanks so much for the great ideas!
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New Special Ed teacher
Old 08-22-2010, 05:26 AM
 
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Hi everyone, I am also a new special ed teacher and will be teaching 30 K-2 children. Some of my children will be in my classroom and some I will have to provide services for in their classroom.
Can anyone give me advice on how to deal with the "TEACHERS" who do not want another teacher in thier room???
Love all the resources you guys have posted,....have accessed them all. Wealth of ideas,..thank you.
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Thanks for all of your posts...
Old 08-22-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I am new to special ed and new to trying cafe and daily 5. I want to thank you for all your posts since they have been so helpful to me as I try to figure this out. I am teaching fourth grade resource room, reading, writing and math. May I ask how you started the year the first time with cafe and daily 5. I belong to the sisters website and have become confused with their posting of First Five Days of Preteaching Daily 5 Skills. It appears you pre teach the skills necessary for the daily you will be launching next? Thanks.
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Thanks!
Old 06-22-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing your info. It is great to know that we are in this together to help our students. I am a first year resource room teacher and LOVE reading all the posts from everyone!
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