Sunday, September 21, 2014

Changes AGAIN, argh!!

So I had major plans to post at least once a week, if not more, with this new school year. But alas, there have been too many changes, and next to no district funding (can you say deja vu?), for me to feel settled and get into a groove. And now there are even more.

There were supposed to be 2 med frag programs in my school because of a large influx of new students, because the caseload limits for a med/frag program are 6 students, and we were getting 11. This is also one of the only special ed programs in the district that is not allowed to overload. So I thought I was set. But my classroom is now down to 2 students, and the other is down to 4, all through attrition such as kids moving out of district, staying home, changing medical status, etc. That is only 1 program worth of kids. Since they haven't funded it, there is a good chance they might pull the plug, leaving me without a job.

One of my admins, god bless her, said I shouldn't worry, they can try to patch something together. But I am not a patch kind of gal. I am a mod-to profound self-contained teacher by education, training, experience, and desire. I am not a resource teacher, nor do I have the desire to be one. I also believe that if I case manage a student, I should have the student in at least one class so I can get to know them and write the IEP from first hand knowledge. My union rep said in a worst case scenario I would be displaced. That is not going to happen because I am in charge of my own destiny. So now I am on a job hunt again.

 There are several jobs in my district still open that look interesting, all autism/severe profund, but at the K-2 grade level. EEEKKK. I have never done primary before, so it both terrifies me and excites me at the same time. Anyone else out there done both? How different are they? Anyway, I have put in applications, and now it is a waiting game. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Update and a couple of freebies

I got through the first three days and that first one almost did me in. I only have 3 students, but they are a handful. I still don't have any permanent Paras in my room, I am supposed to have 2, however they are hiring. I have one now that I am hoping becomes permanent. In addition to these 3, I case manage 4 students with Autism who are included in general education classes, and some resource, depending on their needs. I will only see them for 1/2 hour every Wednesday and Thursday when we do block schedules and  mentoring. My 3 students will fold in with one of the Autism programs for that time period.  I have no idea how those other students are doing, since they and  I have both had subs.

 It has been a slight learning curve for me. My 3 students are both lower and higher functioning than their IEP led me to believe, and I am still working only with the supplies I brought with me, although some supplies have started to trickle in. When they showed me the list of supplies I was getting for my classroom, I noticed that it said elementary Med/Frag classroom and I pointed out we were high school. They said they would adjust for that, but apparently it didn't happen since I got elementary supplies including finger paints and very small art aprons, and a teeny tiny blue chair that came all by itself. I giggle every time I see it.
I did get a CD/Tape player and headphones so we can listen to music, which has been nice. I still don't have any switches or iPads but I have been told they are coming. In the meantime, I have been scrambling to find work to keep them busy. I made a bunch of simple work tasks, and I am sharing 2 of them today. I have also had to adjust our daily schedule quite a bit since the first one I put together didn't work at all.  I will share that in another post.

The first item I'm sharing is a clothespin task working on simple AB, ABB, and ABC patterns. Simply cute and laminate.

The other item is a book I adapted from Tar heel reader called 12 Days of Halloween. This one needs to be laminated, or put in page protectors. Then add velcro to the squares outlined on the pages, and the icons on the end.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Workbasket Wednesday

Today I am linking up with  Autism Classroom News to share some quick workbaskets I made the other day for my students.
Workbasket Wednesday at Autism Classroom News

 I wasn't quite sure what my students were going to be able to do, so I made an assortment of tasks to keep them busy the first few days of school while I wait for my materials to arrive. Today was my first day of school, and it was a disaster (tomorrow will be better), except for these tasks. I only have 3 students, but one can do most of these tasks with assistance, one can do the simple put-in tasks, and the last child threw their container all over the room in a lightning quick motion before I could stop her, lol. So I will be making more and figuring what to do for this last beautiful child.
 One of my students has a thing for fries and he loved this workbox. I got the containers at the dollar store and the little rubber food items at the party section at Target.

 Simple sorting of big and small ghosts.

 A fine motor skills, putting the correct color on the pipe cleaner.

 Counting squares and putting the correct number of them in the muffin tin.

 Sorting frogs and skateboards.

 Finding the correct matching half, putting a pom pom inside, and closing them up.

 Another seasonal task, sorting leaves and acorns into the tins.

 I thought I had colored hole protectors, or whatever they are called, but need to get some more. In the meantime, they can put the cleaners in whatever hole they want to.

 Another simple put in task.

 Sorting pom poms.

Different container, same put in task.

So there you have it. I will be making a bunch more in the next week or two and will share again.