Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Sensory Path

I have seen so many amazing sensory paths in schools and have wanted to make one ever since.  This summer I cut out some basic arrows using my Silhouette. I bought several different wall/floor stickers from wish.com. The stickers I ordered ended up being smaller than I expected, but it made it easy to make the path inside of my classroom. I have a small class and was able to make the path around my small group tables and along the walls. My kids love it!

Students begin by jumping on the arrows with their toes pointing in the same direction as the arrows.

When they get to the paw prints, they push against the lockers as hard and as silently as possible.

Next, they work on balance by following the train tracks.

The next part is the 'Fly Zone.' Students fly until they reach the green arrow.

At the green arrow they turn and follow the underwater path. Students squat/crawl/crab walk following the arrows to the submarines.

Finally, students come to the alphabet. F0r my older students, they jump from A-Z. Other students jump to spell their names. When our preschool friends use it, they just bunny hop on all of the letters. There is a red stop sign at the end of the alphabet that students hop on to show they are finished.

Our sensory path is very simple and plain compared to many that I have seen, but it works just the same. I would love to see pictures of sensory paths that you have in your classroom/school.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Publish Your Own Classroom Book

At the end of the year, we spend our days doing research on animals and writing expository essays. This year I decided I want to make the students' work even more special by helping them publish their own book. Studentreasures is fantastic! They offer their services to teachers for FREE! Each teacher receives one copy of the book for free for their classroom. Students (and teacher) have the opportunity to buy individual copies. Each book is printed on high quality paper with a hard cover.

Here are some of the pages my students created. After they researched their animal, they followed a step-by-step tutorial to draw their animal. They had to color it with their final draft.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Pencil Grips

I was contacted by Firesara pencil grips to review their pencil grips. I received them at the very end of the school year and didn't get a chance to try them with my students until we started back to school. Let me tell you, they are AMAZING! They sent me three different kinds but the first set is my favorite because it helps our students who struggle the most.

Students place their index finger in one pocket and their thumb in the other pocket. The pencil grips are made of rubber so they do not slide down the pencil when the student grips it. 

 These are great for students who need a little less support than our students who have very limited fine motor skills.

These are great for students who need a reminder of where their fingers should be placed on the pencil.

All of the grips are very sturdy and durable. They are smooth and did not bother my students who are sensitive to different textures.

If you need pencil grips, I highly recommend  Firesara pencil grips.  You won't be disappointed!


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Easy No-Prep Reading Curriculum for Students who Struggle with Reading

Last year I shared about my easy, no-prep Reading Intervention Curriculum. I have seen AMAZING growth in my students. I started using it with 2 5th graders but they moved and didn't finish the year with me. After they moved, I began using it with 4 students for the rest of the school year. I had to collect data to prove it was successful with my kids so that I could use it with more students this year. Well, my students surpassed my wildest expectations! My students showed more growth in reading than they ever had in one year.

All four students were in the 4th grade last year and I was tracking their reading fluency on the 2nd-grade level.
Beginning of 4th-grade Words Correct Per Minute
Student 1: 15 words
Student 2: 20 words
Student 3: 24 words
Student 4: 23 words

At the end of the year, they increased to the following (still on 2nd-grade level):
Student 1: 55 words (266% increase)
Student 2: 44 words 120% increase)
Student 3: 37 words (54% increase)
Student 4: 86 words (274% increase)

I was thrilled with these results. We started back to school and I did my beginning of the year assessments. As I tested each student, I ask how much they read over the summer and if they participated in any type of tutoring services.  Student 4 was the only one to read over the summer and said he was tutored by a family member. The others said they didn't read anything or do any type of school work.

I am required to give each student a reading fluency probe on their grade level and each grade below until I find the grade level they are reading between the 10th and 25th percentile.  My students tested at the following grades/words per minute:

Beginning of 5th grade:
Student 1: 4th-grade level 66 words per minute
Student 2: 4th-grade level 68 words per minute
Student 3: 2nd-grade 42 words per minute
Student 4: 5th-grade level 107 words per minute

With this much progress, I can no longer justify pulling 3/4 of these kids out of the general education reading curriculum. They are back with their peers with minimal support services!

I am not a brain expert but I think it's because of how the words are chunked and the syllables are marked. It helps the students understand how multi-syllable words can be attacked. They are able to see the smaller parts and sound them out which allows them to begin to internalize how to attack larger, more challenging words. I am most fascinated that all of the students showed even more growth after the summer even though they didn't read.

If you need an easy reading curriculum for your students, this is the program for you. It has everything you need (all teacher lessons and student worksheets.) Since it is digital, you can make as many copies as your kids need and use it year after year. You can also project the teacher pages on your whiteboard which will save you a ton of copies. Also, the student pages have been updated and you can now assign them as Google Slides!
You can find it {HERE}


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Social Skills- Conversation Club

Do you have students who struggle with participating in conversations with their peers or adults appropriately? I found some great materials that you are going to love. This curriculum is called Conversation Club and it's fantastic!

First, it comes with data sheets!! These data sheets align with the curriculum and are very easy to use.

There are lesson plans that go along with the student read-aloud book.  Some of the activities are games that allow the students to further practice the skills they are learning with the read-aloud book.

All materials that are needed with the activities are also provided. You just need to print and cut them out.

 I love the student read-aloud book. It's full color. The text both tells the story and asks students questions to get them thinking about the topic/skill they are working on.

At the end of each section are club rules to help the students remember how to apply the skills they are working on.

I know you are going to want to order these books for your class. You can find them {HERE}

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