About Me

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Hi everyone! My name is Noelle and I am a Special Education teacher (self-contained, grades 3, 4, and 5!) After graduating, I started teaching Kindergarten!!! I had only applied to sub when I was called in for an interview! The following school year I moved schools and changed grade levels. I absolutely love where I am now and what I am doing!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Behavior Techniques

I'm linking up with Christina from Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.  Happy Wednesday! Here is this week's picture and question:

What are some ways you throw in some additional love for your students who go above and beyond?
Check back later for my answer!

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Ok.. Here it is.. here's a way that I show students a little extra love when they are performing above and beyond in the classroom. 

I call it the "You Rock!" rock! My students love it! As I teach and move about the classroom I look to see who is doing their best work and who is on their best behavior.  I then put the rock on their desk for a while since they are "rocking" at what ever it is that they are doing. 

I had one rock that I used and said to my class (jokingly) that it would be great if I had another rock or two so that more than one student could "rock" at a time.  The next day two students brought in a rock each.  I am now painting the new rocks and can't wait to use them!

I just love that my students enjoy the extra attention and will work hard to earn the "You Rock!" rock!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

RI Reading Week!!!

The week before our April Vacation, we had Reading Week.  Reading Week is one of my favorite weeks of the whole school year!!  I know that every school does things a bit differently or has it at a different time, but here's what our school does to show our reading spirit.

Each year there is a different theme for the week.  This year's theme was: "Be a Hero - Read"  The school decided to not make the week about comic book super heroes, but about real life heroes. 

Each day had a different theme to go along with the weekly theme:
Monday - Mixed up Monday (wear mixed up clothes)
Tuesday - Tip Your Hat Tuesday (create/decorate a hat to honor your hero)
Wednesday - Wear Green Wednesday (school colors)
Thursday - Literacy Day/Parade (dress up like your hero)
Friday - Flashlight Friday (wear pjs or comfy clothes and read with a flash light)

I decided that I wanted to have a special guest come in for a day.  I had two FBI Agents come into my room to talk about being a real life hero.  This was such an amazing day, the kids absolutely loved this special little treat!  

The agents came in and talked about what they did.  These two agents are two people that go out and find missing people.  We used that to an advantage.  Once I knew that's what they mostly did, I knew I wanted to finger print my students!  I sent home a permission slip the week before, but did not say who it was that was coming to the room.  

On Monday, I pulled out some books on finger printing.  I let the children guess who was coming right up until the guests came to the room.  They were so excited!

Here are some pictures of Reading Week!

On Monday, we began working on a sign to wear for the parade.  We also began writing about who our hero was with a template from Ashley over at Schroeder Shenanigans.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we created the signs to wear:

On Thursday we had the parade and special guests:

One of my student's dressed up as a scientist!

 My assistant dressed up as Rosa Parks.. and I dressed up as my assistant!

The kids got to try on the FBI Coat and Vest.. and so did I!

On Friday, the children finished their hero writing pieces!!!

What an eventful week before vacation!!!
Whether you are going back to work from vacation or just back after the weekend, I hope you enjoy your week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Scheduling - How do you accomplish it all in one day?!

I am linking up with Angie from Lucky Little Learners and Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans  in 2nd for their monthly link up.  I know I am late, but here's my post!!

This month's topic is schedules! It's crazy to think of the amount of things that we fit into each day.  Well, here is my basic schedule:

This is the most basic form of my daily schedule.  Because I have a self-contained classroom, the times vary daily depending on how long it takes my students to complete their tasks.  There are many variables that can change the timing of the schedule, such as:
- Speech
- Occupation/Physical Therapy
- Counseling 
- School Store

Our schedule is also not the same each day.  Two days a week, itinerants are first thing in the morning at 8:15.  Because our schedule changed, I made schedule cards and change them daily to match our daily schedule.  Here's what my schedule board looks like.  You can find the labels in my TPT store or by clicking on the picture.

Now that you've seen my basic schedule, here are some of the resources I use.  Our district gives us programs to use, but due to classroom population, I often combine resources or use different ones for different groups.

For guided reading grades K-2 use Superkids while 3-6 use Harcourt.  I use both programs.  Based on abilities I choose which grade level or program to use.  This year I am using Harcourt for two of my guided reading groups (grade 2 for one group and grade 3 for another).  With another group, I use Fundations.  The district used to use Fundations, when they switched programs, I kept my Fundations materials.  I also use Reading A-Z books for another group.  This year I am not using Superkids for guided reading, but do pull from their grade 2 magazines for non-fiction resources.

For whole group lessons I use a book called "Guiding Readers and Writers."  Each student has a reading notebook that they use for independent reading to write letters to me about their stories.  The notebooks are also used for lessons based on different elements of reading (schema, connections, inferencing, etc.)

For homework, the students have a weekly fluency passage.  They have to read the passage three times.  They mark the words read correctly and the errors.  They also have a weekly reading log.  Each night there is a different topic/question to answer.

Within the first week of school I give my students the "Words Their Way" spelling test.  Based on their scores I group the students.  This year I have four spelling groups.  Each week spelling is completed in the same fashion.  They know that on Monday's they have a sort, ABC order, and Red/Blue (write the vowels in red and consonants in blue).  They know that spelling homework is always 2x each on Monday night.

For writing our district uses the program "Step Up to Writing."  I supplement based on needs.  I generally start each year with the basics.  We work on punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and spelling.

Our district uses "Growing with Mathematics" and "The Key Elements to Mathematics"  I use materials from both programs.  I also supplement with other tools.  I have three math groups going on at this time.  Groups change depending on the topic and how long it takes a student to understand what is being taught.

During intervention I like to work with one or two students at a time.  While I am working with students, there are plenty of different tasks the other children can complete.  They are able to use the computer for Xtramath and Dreambox.  There are also two tablets that have different math apps that the children can use.  I also have many different games sorted by topic for students to play.  Finally, there is the "I'm threw bin"  I purchase a math and literacy version from TPT.  There are games and worksheets for students to complete during this time or if work is completed early.

There is always a math assignment for homework based on what the students have been taught.

I completely supplement social studies.  This year I used a post card exchange to begin the year.  The post cards came in October and since then we have used our US Passport to travel to each state.  

For science, I use Lakeshore Science Kits.  The kits were something I received through DonorsChoose.org.  I change up science each year since I generally have students for two or three years.  I have eight different kits to choose from.  They vary from Electricity, to Matter, to the Human Body.

Hope you enjoyed your peek into my schedule!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Currently - April 2015

Linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the Currently Link-up.

Here it goes.....

Listening: I am watching/listening to Grey's Anatomy from last night.  I am still obsessed with the show, after all of these years!

Loving: I am loving being back in the gym.  I had been going on and off for a while.  Back at the end of January I joined a new gym.  I absolutely love it! I am feeling stronger and better about the way I look!

Thinking: Report cards go home Monday.  I've been done with them since last weekend, however, I have so many more things to finish!  As a special education teacher, I have to update progress made on IEP goals for each student.  The progress updates go home with the report cards as well.  I also have a painting that I need to finish for a co-workers baby shower this coming week.  I'd like to finish that by the end of the weekend too!

Wanting: I really want a popsicle or a slush.  It's been an eh kind of week and that's what I'm in the mood for.. I know random!

Needing: I really would love a day to do absolutely nothing but lay in bed.  I just have to make it two weeks and I am on April Vacation.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

EGGS-plain your name: Giggles at Greene.. well giggles.. who doesn't love to laugh?!?!

Enjoy your Easter weekend everyone!