Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Number Sense and Special Education

Math instruction is so hard for some special education students.  Every time I think of the challenge we educators face teaching math, I think of this video.  It makes me laugh every time I see it.  You can follow their funny videos by following them here.
So we have all been here right!  We have felt the extreme frustration of desperately wanting to meet the needs of a student but our method just isn't getting results.  When you have to resort to using your fingers for counting you have exhausted your tool kit and are starting to border on desperation.  But teaching basic math number sense does not have to be this frustrating. 

In the 16 years that I have been working with and teaching special education students, I have never come across a better system for teaching all things numbers than Touch Math.  Using this program has helped so many of my students find success with numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and money. 

Understanding the system of dots and how to count them forward and backward, make a huge difference for students that use to look at numbers like this...
The dots eliminate the embarrassment of using your fingers to count.  Touch Math uses dots drawn on the numbers to help students count the value of each digit.  Then as students advance their knowledge and skills with the program, they learn to skip count.  This leads to an easier understanding of multiplication and division.  Then you can use Touch Math's money system to learn to count coins! 

I love it!  Now, Touch Math is an entire comprehensive curriculum and there is so much more to it than the Touch Points and Skip Counting Touch Points that I am so fond of using in the classroom.  For special education students, I believe that you can transfer that part of the system to any curriculum that your school is using.  They also have some great resources on TPT for individual teachers that do not have access to Touch Math in their school or cannot afford the program.  

I have a Touch Money adapted book on my TPT store for sale.  It is a great introduction or review on coins and how to count money using touch points. I am working on several more materials that will be uploaded to my store soon.  I use this system every day and LOVE the results that I see from my students.  They are so proud when they can learn new skills that seemed so foreign to them before this adapted way of learning was introduced.  CHECK IT OUT!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

New Launch

So...this year has been a crazy adventure.  My family moved to a new state.  I moved to a new job within special education.  I went back to school to add additional certification to my license.  I am considering continuing my education to pursue even more diverse areas of special education in the future.  This could mean second complete masters or a doctorate.  Scary thought! 

In the move with my family, we have downsized and paid off almost all of our debt.  We are trying very hard to live simply and comfortably.  This means role changes for our family that has all been great but really new territory.  Experimentation is not that fun!   We are really growing and learning from all the interesting things that have happened since selling our home in Indiana last June. 

In all of this, I have decided to try and help out making some extra income with what I already do and enjoy doing.  Creating a curriculum for special education students.  I launched a selling page on the Teachers Pay Teachers website to share some of my creations.  My thought was that I already have to make most of my curriculum materials to get what I really need for my students so I might as well attempt to sell it and share with others that might be in need of similar materials. 

I have been researching for some time and do not fancy myself one of these "amazing bloggers and get rich by staying home and creating" kinds of people.  I just hope that my little created materials help enough people to feel good about the work I do and make enough money to have a little fun with my family when we are lucky enough to have free time. 

I hope to see all of you lovely people that have always supported me to check it out.  I would appreciate the feedback as I dabble in this adventure.  I will be blogging more.  Self-advertising my products and seeing what kind of market I can create for myself, is my goal.  Only God knows the future but with prayer, grit, and determination I think I can make a good go of this endeavor.

Love to All,
Mrs. Terri
                  A few of the things I have started to work on so far.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

15 Year First Time Teacher

Ok...So as everyone knows I started my 15th year of teaching doing something I have never done before.  I was a confident, can do no wrong, bright eyed teacher.  I taught general education to middle school pre-teens.

Luckily, I have the experience working with kids for the past 14 years to to realize what works, what needs changed, and what was way wrong.  I implemented flexible seating, teaching stations, and a listening center.  I rocked out my decor and dressed up in all my finery.

Here is what was different today from the past 14 years of special education inclusion.  My voice is sore from either talking to much or too loud.   The jury is still out on that!  I have way to many similarities with Dug, the dog from Up.  SQUIRREL!!!!  I lost my train of thought a ton of times.  Repeating yourself four times in one day is exhausting and not much fun. The need to memorize all 110 of my students this year is going to be harder than I thought.  

So the great debate of who has the harder job will be answered by me at the end of this school year.  Will the winner for the hardest job be the special education teacher with paperwork insanity, adapting, and modifying?  OR Will the general education teacher win with the large amount of students, constant grading, and standard mastery?   Only time will tell!!!!

Thank you for every teacher and friend that took the time to ask how my first day in general education went.  I appreciate your kindness and caring!

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Change!

There are two things I know about myself...the placemat at my favorite Chinese restaurant as a child said I would be successful in any field I try (Go Monkeys!) and I hate change that wasn't my idea!

So...after 14 years of putting my heart into special education I will
be teaching general education next year.  I have always been licensed in elementary education and special education but knew I was meant to teach special education.  I love the challenge and newness of everyday.  I gladly implement IEPs knowing that this is one of the best ways to advocate for students.  The power I could wield with an IEP to support students was AWESOME!   Although I have often felt as though I could have done more or something different to help my students find success, I loved being able to try again and again until I found what was best.   I had a few and far between OH SO SWEET moments of seeing my students beat the odds and make it in the classroom and graduate!  Knowing I was a small part of their success made me so happy!

It was not my idea to move.  My moving did help with a staffing problem and allow everyone currently employed to still have a job next year so that is a win.  I will embrace 6th grade language arts and kick butt doing it.  It is still up in the air as to whether I will love it as much as I love special education but I refuse to not put my heart into whatever it is I do.  I still get to teach and I still get to be a part of students succeeding.  I will get used to doing it in a new and different way.  

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Final Slice - SOLC 31

I made it. I can't believe I was able to write everyday for an entire month and post it on a blog for the world to see. Feeling very proud of myself right about now.

A year ago...
A year ago today I was going insane trying to finish up my IEP paperwork prior to spring break and making final plans for my wedding in two days. What was I thinking! It was the craziest of times. I was freaking out and wouldn't have been able to pull it off without my mom. She was the best wedding planner ever. My friends and sisters were also so helpful. They did all the decorating while I panicked about work. I don't know what I would do without them. I am so glad it is a year later and I am sitting here relaxing and writing on a blog I never thought I would have. This is so much better than the stressing of last year.

Thank you for sharing the slices of my life all month. It has been a blast.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Can I do it? - SOLC 30

I am not doing anything for spring break this year.  My husband has to work so we are staying home. I decided I needed to challenge myself to read some of the many books in my classroom library that I still haven't read yet.  When I first started teaching I promised myself I would read every book that I bought for my classroom.  I did pretty well at first but now with about 1,000 books in my library, I have seriously fallen behind.  So, I decided to bring home a few of the books and see if I could get them all read before going back to school next week. I brought home six books.  I have been reading Mockingjay for quite a while.  One of my fourth graders is reading Catching Fire and I challenged her to finish it and read Mockingjay before the end of break.  Then we could talk about it when we get back to school.  I definitely have to finish that one.  The other 5 books I brought home are: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Confessions from the Principal's Chair, The Teacher's Funeral, Fish, and Falling In.  I will keep you posted on my progress.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Firefly - SOLC 29

Obsession.  Firefly is one of my obsessions.  It is an amazing TV show that was so stupidly cancelled after only twelve episodes.  They still had three other episodes finished that they never aired.  It is such a shame and I mourned its loss.  Fans of the show effortlessly attempted to get the show moved to another network but it didn't happen.  The fans did put up enough of a fuss to get a movie out of it.  Now, the short series with the unaired episodes is on DVD for my continued enjoyment.  The movie inspired by the series is also on DVD.  

The series portrayed an outlawed crew flying through space continuing to rebel against the Alliance.  This was the superpower control group that governed the Allied Planets.  There were nine crewmen on the "Serenity" which was the name of the firefly class ship that was home to the crew.  The world was created with the premise that China and the United States were the last to controlling nations so therefor everyone in the future worlds spoke a mix of English and Chinese.  This of course made for some hilarious moments on the show.  

The humor mixed into the future worlds that were sometimes stuck in the past made for a great show where anything could happen and it often did.  A friend got me addicted and I got my family addicted and now I encourage you to check it out.  Even Dr. Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory liked the show.  :D

Enjoy some of my favorite quotes from the Series and Movie.  

Mal: "Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back!"

Wash: "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

Mal to Jayne: "Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

Jayne: "You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here."