Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Just a few pictures of Elf on the Shelf Fun!

Our elf likes to play with the monkeys!

Our elf, Spike, has been taping notes to the desks of children who have worked hard!

Spike loves 2nd grade!

A student in my class drew the Grinch for me.  We are putting a heart on the Grinch for each act of kindness that is witnessed in our classroom.  

I just thought I would post a few quick photos of holiday fun!  What do you do during the holiday season in your classroom?

Kenzie (Visit my treehouse!)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Teaching Students with Emotional Disturbances

What is ED?
It's a broad term used to describe various emotional disorders and conditions. Some disorders that fit under this category are anxiety/mood disorders, conduct disorders, eating disorders, and psychiatric disorders. ED can affect every facet of student learning, such as concentration, pressures of student responsibilities and time limits, and social interaction.  

I think one of the most challenging parts of being a special education teacher is working with students that have emotional disturbances. I don't think there is one right answer for helping these students, but I can share things that I know have worked. You can also take ideas and adapt them to fit what works for you and your students. These are not quick fixes, and invested time is required to help these students. 

1. The most important thing is knowing your student. You need to study them. Know what type of emotional disturbance they have, their history/experiences, and try to access records from a psychologist or counselor if applicable. The more you know, the better you will understand that student. The more you understand the student, the easier it will be to sympathize with them and help them. 

2. Learn what the student likes and what their strengths are. Set the student up for success. Give opportunities that will allow you to praise them and build them up. 

3. Support the student by including them in group activities such as partner work and cooperative learning groups. It may be overwhelming for some students, so give them a place to go when they need a break from all the stimuli. 

4. Set clear classroom rules and expectations. Be consistent ALL of the time with your behavior procedures. Students with ED do not need wishy washy. They need to know what is expected of them throughout the whole day. 

5. Provide accommodations that help students reach their behavior IEP goals. Do not expect them to be successful 100% of the time. They are not going to be perfect and they will still have bad days, no matter what plan is in place. 

6. Communicate with their parents or legal guardians. They will be beneficial when making behavior plans for their child. Also, that is your way to stay informed on medication changes and any other changes that could affect their behavior. Life is tough for kids, too. I think we tend to forget that sometimes. 

7. Do not take things personally and do not get stressed over what isn't being accomplished. You are accomplishing more than you realize. We will never know what impact we make in children's lives, and students with ED cannot be successful academically until their behaviors are under control.

Since we are on the topic of behaviors... I made a behavior management system specifically for children with special needs. They are concrete learners and they learn best through visual and tactile experiences. The system has a weather theme because you can easily connect weather with emotions. All of the students start at the top on a sunny day. As necessary, students will move down to a cloudy day (warning), a rainy day (lose recess or whatever fits for you and your students), and a thunder storm (call parents). I've also created punch cards for the students and monthly certificates. I like to reward students in small ways and give them a bigger reward at the end of each month. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'Tis the Season to get freebies fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!!

Hi there sweet cyber friends,
So raise your hand if you are overwhelmed... yep, me too. BUT, how awesome would it be if I show you how to get a ton {I mean it!} a ton of free, awesome resources for your classroom?
I am linking up with Hillary from Rockin' Teacher Materials to bring you ...

CLICK HERE to get your Winter Ebook for grades 1-2.

Each year a number of TpT sellers contribute to create a holiday resource full of great ideas and FREE products! So, what are you waiting for??  Go, grab your flash drive and download 'til you drop! Lol!!! 

Enjoy these freebies sweet teacher friends!

My Store

Sunday, December 1, 2013

BIG CYBER SALE 12/02 and 12/03

Hey guess what?

Oh yeah! A-ha! Oh yeah! A-ha!!! Here at TLH we are throwing a sale on top of TpT's discount. Follow the link to our stores and get awesome deals on great products:
My wish list is about to pop you guys! Lol! Enjoy your weekend and happy shopping!

Laura :)