Sunday, September 2, 2012

Common Core, Shopping, & Prepping

I made a post the other day but I skipped talking about my Professional Development I spent Thursday in.  We had a Common Core Math Crosswalk hosted by one of our CI (Cognitively Impaired) teachers and while of course I was itching to be in my classroom I did find it to be helpful.  I was unaware of the Common Core Essential Elements that have been established for us Special Education teachers to follow in Michigan.  In the document I have linked there is a list of the other states that are currently following these standards as well.  The Essential Elements are in most cases a simpler form of the Standard. For example, instead of needing to count to 100 by ones and tens in Kinder, students need to count to 10 by ones.  

At the PD we were also given an index card for each standard with ideas for activities, an assessment for our students to be given twice a year that relates to the math standards, and best of all a bin FULL of the materials needed to teach the standards in the way were being asked to!  What a great PD, we actually walked away with everything that we needed to begin instantly applying what we learned.  Oh, we also walked away with a 2" binder FULL of every Common Core Standard and it's relating Essential Element(s) for Math and Language Arts.  The binder is a bit much because I would more commonly turn to the internet to find standards but it was helpful to look at the different standards together as a group.  

On to shopping....

I found this set of two posters with position words on one and opposites on the other!  The position words will be hung right away, my kids are always working on better understanding these words. I also grabbed another pencil box, 2 plastic file holders for center materials, and a thermometer that I hope works.  I had a really hard time making weather concrete for some of  my students last year.  
One of my kiddos cracks us up because when it's time to put the weather up each day he gets insistent that it's actually something else.  For a while each day he wanted to put up "stormy" and would practically wrestle us to put stormy on our weather chart instead of whatever the actual weather is.  I showed videos of what a storm was and pointed out the window to the fact that it was not storming it was sunny (or whatever).  I took him to the window with the picture of the weather and tried to show him how it looked similar outside.  Unfortunately, it did not seem to click.  We will keep trying though and this year I've moved my calendar area over to the side of the room with windows so we can consistently look out the window to check the weather and I will be adding this thermometer to window as well.

I went in to Staples yesterday in need of making a poster size image. (I'm freaking out because I thought I had all of the months printed for my calendar but I'm missing September and October.  To fit on my calendar they need to be quite large!)  I am unwilling to pay what they are charging so instead, I wandered around the aisles.  There were indeed things on my list I needed and I managed to find almost all of them on sale.  It's time for some new crayons, glue sticks, erasers, and we can always use folders.  I'm stealing an idea from Miss Allison and making welcome back gift bags for my aides. So I bought the items needed for the gift bags.  I also grabbed those two pencil boxes for just a penny each!  

I have been laminating like crazy!  I hope that as the school year picks up my laminating habit will slow down:)  I love how thick the lamination is though and that I can get stuff done from home instead of waiting to go into work and laminate.  I am of course saving stuff to laminate there too.  But things that I think will be used again and again and last better with this thick lamination I'm going for.  

I also just peaked on Pinterest a minute ago and these caught my eye:
They would be great for my kiddos when they are mainstreaming (click the picture for a link to them at amazon).  A fidget that doesn't stand out.  I could also see every kid in the class wanting one of their own:)

Have an enjoyable Labor Day everyone!

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