Friday, July 22, 2011

Last Day of Summer!

Today is officially my last day of summer vacation!  Faculty and Staff report to school on Monday.  We will have a whole week of pre-planning before the kids start back on August 1st. 

I started the summer with a long to-do list of projects I wanted to complete for the classroom.  I'm ending the summer feeling like I didn't get much accomplished and wondering where did the time go!  The summer has flown!  Next week I'll be back in teacher mode and hopefully will be able to start using my blog to the fullest to share teaching ideas. 

The past 2 weeks I've spent planning a baby shower for my best friend who is having twins!  The shower is next weekend and I plan to post a few pictures of things I've created for the shower.  But I'm going to wait until after, because I don't want anyone peeking. ;-) 

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this GREAT bulletin board picture I found on Mrs. Picasso's Art Room.
I love the simple message.  I will definitely be recreating this one sometime this year for our hall bulletin board.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Mixer

I couldn't resist joining in my first link party!  Yearn to Learn is hosting a Blog Mixer Linky Party.

This is who I chose to spotlight:

1.  A blogger who is a "New Kid on the Blog":
Well, that would have to be ME of course!  I've only been at this for a few days. :)  But to be fair I will link up another Newbie... be sure to check out: All I Really Need to Know... I Learned in Kindergarten  She is just starting out and already has lots of pics up of her great shopping finds. 

2.  Post a blogger in your same grade level:

One of my favorite blogs is by a home-school parent of a child with special needs.  Check out all of the wonderful adaptations she's come up with to make activities fun and accessible to her son, Junior.  So creative!   Adaptions 4 Kidz

3.  Post a blogger in a different grade level:

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs is a wonderful blog, full of ideas for teaching students with severe disabilities.  I love the Wizard of Oz theme ideas that were recently posted.

4.  It's all about the button. Find a cute blog button and post it.

Love this button! 
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Create Teach Share"><img src="" alt="Create Teach Share" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

I had fun sharing links with all of you.  I hope you find them useful.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Technology in the classroom

Well, I have just started my blog and was pondering what my first subject should be about.  I have decided to talk about technology in the classroom.  I am so jealous of teachers who have SmartBoards mounted in their classrooms, I-pods, I-pads, and so forth.  At my elementary school we have ONE Promethean Board to share for the whole school!  I have never used it with my students because I have never been trained on how to use it and quite honestly it can be a hassle to get from the media center each morning, set it up with cords running in every direction across the room, only to pack it up and return it at the end of the day.  However, I really want to experiment with it in the classroom this year to see how my students respond.  I spent some time at the school this summer getting familiar with the board.  My goal for this year is to incorporate the board into a lesson at least once per month, just to get my feet wet and see how my students respond.  My only disappointment is that because it is a Promethean Board, my students won't be able to touch activate it with their hand, they will need to use the stylus pen.  This will be very difficult for all of my students due to their motor limitations.  I'm excited to at least try it though for the auditory and visual stimulation it will provide my students.

I also have a personal I-Pod Nano that I will be using in my classroom this year.  Previously, I kept all of my music on CD's.  But I'm hoping by using the I-Pod, I'll be able to store all of my classroom music in one place. I've been on the lookout this summer for a nice set of I-Pod speakers for the classroom.   I've also been searching the web for new children's music I can add to my collection. I'll make a post another day about some websites I've found with free music.

For now, my technology wish list for my classroom would include an I-pad, a laptop, new computers (I currently have 2 computers in my classroom, both are 8 years old and super slow!), and a mounted SmartBoard (touch activated).

I'll conclude with this great resource I found while searching the web this summer.  I plan on using some of the videos on the SmartBoard this year.  I particularly like the Alphabet videos. Check them out here:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Time Blogger

I have been doing lots of reading this summer of other people's blogs and have decided to start my own.  I am currently a special education teacher for students with severe to profound intellectual disabilities.  I love sharing ideas with other special educators so I thought starting a blog would be the perfect way to connect. 

A few years ago I created a website to share ideas from my classroom.  There are so many websites out there for "regular" education teachers, with lots of teaching ideas, printables, pictures, and theme activities, but not many sites that are geared specifically for teachers like me.  So I decided to start my own!   But recently I have been neglecting my website and have not been keeping it updated as I should.  What can I say, life gets in the way sometimes.  :)  I'm keeping it out there because I feel it has some useful information but am hoping I can keep the blog more current and up-to-date as I start a new year of teaching. 

On this blog, I plan on sharing teaching ideas, ways to adapt materials, thematic units, and any other interesting information that comes my way during the school year.  I start back to school in one week and I am anxious to get back in the swing of things and make this a GREAT year for my students!

If any of you are interested in looking at my website, the address is: