Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Busy times in SPED

Since school began on August 27, I've been a very busy girl.  In three weeks time, my students have learned our new classroom routine and hallway procedures.  For the first two weeks I didn't have any curriculum materials, so I was creating lessons and scrambling for materials.  We got printer access at some point in week 2, so by week 3 (last week), I was able to teach my higher functioning students how to send Word documents to the computer lab down the hall.  These same students have now learned how to insert clip art into a document (they knew how to insert pics from Google, but I am teaching them some basic Word processing commands). 

We have done a couple of fun projects in class.  Since my class involves vocational/life skills, I have been putting together center activities that are designed to simulate a vocational environment.  My first life skills box is a first aid kit:

I've put the instructions under the lid:
You'll notice that I've got real-life pictures of the items that go inside the bag, or first aid kit.  I began by explaining to the students that sometimes when we go out on trips, we get injured or hurt.  It is good to have things on hand in case we get hurt.  The students responded so well, and even the students with the greatest challenges were able to participate by filling their bags.  You'll also notice that the instructions specify the number of items that go in each bag.  This helps my students who are still learning to count.
Unfortunately, I'm having trouble uploading more pics.  I have pictures of my light table that I'd like to share, and I have some pictures of my science area, as well.  I will also have to post pictures of the personal care kits that we put together today.  The students folded laundry last week--just wash cloths, but I was pleased to see how well some of them did.
My alternative certification program hasn't wasted any time, either.  I've had my first evaluation already!  It went very well, thankfully--despite technical difficulties and having one of my aides out sick.  My evaluator complimented me on my skill in the class and my ability to manage so much going on.  I appreciated her assessment.  Soon, I'll be having my first formal evaluation by my administrator.  I have a couple of online courses to finish for my district and two more Saturday classes to take for my alt. cert. program.  It's going to be a fast and furious semester, and about the time I get my feet under me, I'll have STAAR testing to contend with (STAAR is the high-stakes test administered in Texas). 
For now, I'm tired.  I'm taking each day one at a time, with a keen eye on what's ahead.  I'm doing my best to stay organized.  Hopefully, I won't miss anything! ;)
Many blessings,

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