Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It- July 21st

How is is Monday again? It sneaks up fast! I did a little back to school supply shopping yesterday and have *started* to think about school. I am in denial that it's only a month away.

I have been working on some new materials for the classroom. My students need lots of practice reading, signing and spelling those Adapted Dolch Words. I just finished up the Preprimer Adapted Dolch File Folder Activities and hope to get it up on TpT tomorrow. (These File Folder Activities will be available for the basic Dolch Word list as well.) Poor Hubby is cutting out all of this laminating as I type.


 I finished up my take home folders for my students. Having only seven students made this process very quick this year! Last year was the first year I have used Take Home Folders and I really figured out what works for us. I'll tell you all about that soon. (This set is by Clutter-Free Classroom, and I love the black line design.)


I also was able to get my behavior calendars prepped, printed and copied for the entire year. Last year I used a free download from Teaching with Love and Laughter that I loved, loved, loved. I was sad to see that the file wasn't there any more as a freebie. But... I did end up purchasing her Editable Clip Chart Take Home Calendar in a Power Point version. Oh my word! This made life easy peasy! I was able to cross of dates on the calendar, mark the holidays, etc. Also, the editable version made it super simple to translate the information to Spanish for some of my families. Last year I spent too much time cutting and gluing the Spanish info onto each month. So this purchase was well worth it!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It- July 14th
This summer is flying by! Why does the school year drag while the summer flies? Since it's pretty early in the summer, I haven't really focused on school yet. But I was able to get one little project done. So I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It series.

I have been struggling with storing my iPads at school. I only have two of them and usually they are stacked up on the computer desk and end up under a pile of paperwork. The cords are everywhere. I'm pretty limited where I can store them because of outlets and those darn short cords. These plastic drawers are the perfect solution to my problem. I can store the first two iPads in the drawers. The last drawer I plan on creating a few QR code activities for fast finishers.

I had my husband drill holes in the back of the drawers so the cords can plug into the iPads and charge while they are in the drawer. Now my students won't have to go hunting for the iPads under a pile of papers! Quick and easy solution for iPad storage.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Adapted Dolch Word Interactive Notebook

I am super excited that I finished my Adapted Dolch Word Interactive Notebook! Well, the first level that is.

So we've been using large 5x8 index card boxes to store our word cards the past few years. When the students learn a new Adapted Dolch word, they write the word and the number of meanings and signs on the front. On the back, they write a sentence and draw a picture for each of the word meanings.

The problem I have now is that several of my students have been working on the same words for a long time. They just can't seem to retain the words nor all of the signs for the multiple meanings. So I need to spice things up a bit and try something new.

The goal of the interactive notebook is to allow time for the students to process the signs, meanings and words through some hands-on activities.

I am looking forward to the students having a reference book. If it's a word I know they have learned before, they will need to look up the signs themselves in their notebooks. That's the real world. If we don't know the answer, we just need to know how to find it. Use your resources, right? Well my students will have a new resource this school year that I am very excited about.

The nice part about using the composition books will be everything is all in one place. The comp books hold 4 1/2 levels of the Adapted Dolch words. I imagine we'll only do 2-3 levels per comp book.

I am working on getting the primer notebook completed. As soon as I get the signs for 1st-3rd I'll plug away at those levels as well. So many fun things coming this summer! If you're interested in reading more about the Adapted Dolch Interactive Notebooks, click on the image below to head to my TpT store.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Special Educator Bloghop

I am linking up with Tales of a Carolina Girl tonight for a Special Educator Bloghop. I am on a quest to find other Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing out there. We are few and far between, but I know many of us are out there!

So here is a little bit about me and a few pieces of advice:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tech Storage in Small Spaces

I was very fortunate to get a small technology grant this past school year. I spent the money on supplemental tech stuff like iPad covers/keyboards, an iPad adapter to hook to my Elmo, external USB port, wireless mice for all the laptops, flashdrives for each student, computer cleaning supplies, and supplies for our Computer Lapbooks. It was like Christmas!

Also, due to the extra funding from the change to SBAC I also got four new laptops for my classroom. This meant with the two older ones, I had enough for each student in my classroom. And a brand spankin' new one for this teacher! That worked out really well for our Friday tech skills lessons and for completing our Computer Lapbooks project

But with the new addition of four laptops, I had no idea how to store all of the laptops. I don't have enough space to set them all up on a table, nor for a tech cart. Plus, I needed to store them next to a power strip for charging. Pretty much, every available inch is used in my classroom.

So I looked around, assessed what I had and decided to move some old binders off of the top of this filing cabinet and utilize the power strip that was already there. I broke out my old Cricut (I am lusting after a new Silhouette Cameo, but that will never happen) and cut some vinyl numbers to label each of the computers.  If you haven't used vinyl in your classroom, you should! It adheres to nearly anything and peels off without any residue. I have used it on my white board and love it!

The laptops are numbered 1-5 and the teacher computer has a K.  This made it easy to do a tech check out poster. The students come up, pick a computer, then move their magnet onto the tech they have chosen. This lets me see who has what, and every week it's a random draw of who gets to select first and so on. So sometimes you get a new laptop and other times you don't. The magnets are flat ones I found at Target. I printed out the student's initials then used a circle punch to cut them out. I adhered them to the magnets using my Xyron Creative Station with permanent adhesive. This system worked really well this school year and I will keep it for next year.

For the storage of the laptops, I needed to use the space I had available. So I re-purposed this sorter that I already had. I used more vinyl numbers to label each section to match the computers. That makes it easy for the students to return the computers to the right place. The computers slide right in and sit upright. It's perfect for the small space I have. I used an old basket to hold all of the power cords. I made sure to label the cords with my handy dandy label maker so the students are then also responsible for plugging them back in.

To be honest, the cords drive me nuts. I wish they went on the inside and didn't hang out all over the place. (In case you don't know yet... I'm pretty type-A and everything has to be neat and tidy.) But it didn't work out that way.

Now the laptops are stored neatly out of the way when they are not being used. Re-purposing and re-evaluating what you already have available saves time and money!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hello Summer! I've Missed You!

I swear we have the best jobs around! Sure, we work our tails off for 183 days... but then we get a nice long vacation. I live for summer every year! This year was no exception. It wasn't a horrible year. It actually flew by much faster than in the past.

But I live for flip flops, sleeping in (as much as my girls will let me), and a flexible schedule. I really enjoy these few weeks of being a Stay At Home Mom.  Honestly, I couldn't do it year round, but a short stretch is perfect. Park days, swim lessons, and picnics in the backyard. My kind of summer!

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet the sweet and talented Alison from Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'.  She's the first blogger I have meet since I started this little blog over a year ago. Blogging certainly brings people together from all over! She was all the way out here in California from Florida and I just had to meet her! Seriously, I swear we were long lost friends! My girls swam in the pool while her and I chatted. We talked about our classrooms, families, blogging and TpT. I had a million questions for her. We could have chatted for hours, but I was crashing her little vacation. =) Mostly, she inspired me to get my bum in gear to get some projects finished and to be more active blogging. Summer is the perfect time to do that! I did! I finished up the first project that I've been working on forever! I created these little Multiple Meaning Adapted Dolch Word sight word readers. These are specially designed readers for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students. My small group of D/HH teachers reading this blog will understand what Adapted Dolch words are. But I want to make sure all you regular ed teachers reading know what I am talking about. You see, the Dolch sight word list has a bunch of words that actually have several meanings and signs. Reading comprehension is the key. When a Deaf student reads (signs) they need to use the correct sign for the word to convey the correct meaning. For instance, the word 'run' has NINE different meanings and ELEVEN different signs! The water runs. My nose is running. He's running fast. The car stopped running. Etc. Etc. These are tough concepts for the Deaf/hard of hearing students to learn, but it's key for reading fluency and comprehension.  My students have been memorizing all of the various signs for the words, but they are having a hard time carrying it over into our Guided Reading lessons and independent reading. They need more practice reading these words in context. cue my new materials I am excited to use this fall! Thanks to Michelle, one of our Instructional Assistants and another one of our interpreters, they have hand drawn all the multiple meaning signs for the first two levels for me to use in these projects. What an undertaking! Thank you!

Right now the Preprimer Reading for Meaning- Multiple Meaning Adapted Dolch sight word readers are available. I'm working as quickly as possible to get the Primer level done as well. As soon as the signs are done for the 1st-3rd grade levels are done, I'll get those out as well.You can download the 'get' reader for free to check it out and make sure these readers will work in your own D/HH classrooms.

I am super excited about a few more projects I have in the works right now for the Adapted Dolch word lists! Be sure to follow my TpT store and my blog to get updates on when my new materials are ready!

Let's hope this summer moves nice and slow and there is plenty of time for everything!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Thank You Gifts- Monday Made It

I am excited to be linking up with 4th Grade Frolics and her Monday Made It's this summer! Today is my first Monday of summer vacation! Thank goodness!

Last week was my last week of school. I made some little thank you gifts for the teachers that I mainstreamed with this year. I was very fortunate to have some great general education teachers that worked with my Deaf/Hard of Hearing students this year. Some had sign language interpreters that went with them to class. Another went to the general education class with an instructional assistant. I had another student that was fully included and I went into the classroom to help with one of the reading groups. It was a busy year and the general education teachers work hard and do extra when they agree to mainstream with my program.

For the male general education teachers, I put together these little bags of highlighters and added a quick little thank you card.  The card reads, "Mainstreaming in your class has been a highlight this year!"

For the female general education teachers I made up these little simple manicure kits and a thank you card that said, "Mani thanks for a great year of mainstreaming!" 

I put these little thank you cards in my TpT store as a freebie. I changed up the wording to be very generic and can be used for any volunteer or colleague.  
I also made some goodies for my students for the last day of school. Who doesn't love Pop Rocks? I was shocked that some of them had never tried them before! 

Both of these thank you tags and Pop Rocks tag are freebies over on TpT. I know I am one of the last ones to get out of school and you all have already been enjoying summer for a week or two... so save the printable for next year. 

Happy Monday!