Saturday, August 22, 2015

It's Elementary!: Check out My New Classroom!

It's Elementary!: Check out My New Classroom!:  It's that time of year again! Everyone is posting pictures of their super cute classrooms and sharing ideas on Pinterest. Last year m...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's Elementary!: Building Back to School Blog Hop

It's Elementary!: Building Back to School Blog Hop: I'm joining up with teachermom for her August linky. There is a new topic each Monday for the rest of the month. This week is all abou...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's Elementary!: Reading, Reading, and More Reading!

It's Elementary!: Reading, Reading, and More Reading!: Next year in 5th grade we've decided to semi-departmentalize. That means we're splitting into a group of 3 and a group of 2 to share...

It's Elementary!: Savvy Schedules

It's Elementary!: Savvy Schedules: I'm once again linking up with delightfully dedicated for week 3 of her summer series. Call me crazy, but I L-O-V-E sitting down the...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oh blankblankblank!!! The things kids say!

My first year teaching I had ECSE PreK in the AM session and Special K (self-contained kindergarten) in the PM session. The kinder class was all boys, 12 of them! until the last month of school when we added one little girl with no English. The other teacher's referred to my class as "Kris' boys." Welcome to the new boys town!
I had one sweet little guy, JB (of course the names are changed to protect identity theft... oh,  and stay within special education legal compliance FERPA and all those acronyms).
JB didn't have a butt... even with a belt his jeans never stayed up. He ran with one hand holding up his britches so they wouldn't fall down. JB was tall and lanky for a 5 year old. He had speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy several times a week at school.
He wouldn't say more than a one or two words at the most to the speech therapist. But he would talk to me using 3 word sentences. With lots of questioning I could figure out what he wanted. Hey, I speak fluent 3 to 5 year old!
He was a little lazy for the physical therapist. He ran with an awkward lopey gait and couldn't turn while running. If it wasn't in a straight beeline for the playground, forget it!
We did inclusion time with a general education kindergarten class for about an hour every afternoon. One day Ms. S had one of the dads bring in a tarantula in a 10 gallon aquarium. Now I have a thing about those creatures. I shudder just writing and saying the word "spider." ugh! My class and hers were on the playground. She wanted to surprise the kids with this dad's "pet". She had me stand guard at the door when it was time to line up to come inside. They went directly into her room from the playground, no halls to negotiate. I was supposed to have them go up the right side of the room and straight on to the circle time area and keep them from going to the left and passing the table with The Creature. She had 25 kids, the kinder class next door with 25 kids was invited, and I had my 12. That's a lot of traffic to direct. About 4 of them managed to get by me, and one of them was my JB. He heard my directions to "go this way and sit down on the carpet." But he was running and since he could only run in a straight line he went directly across the room and you guessed it--- to the table with The Creature.  In order to not crash into the table he had to make a right turn to get to the carpet. He never slowed down a bit, holding his britches up with one hand, did a double take glance at the table just as he pivoted on one foot to make that sharp turn - Wait til I tell his physical therapist what he just did! She'll be so surprised! -  and then he yelled, "OH SHIT, A BUG!" I was jumping up and down with excitement! He said 4 words consecutively! WOOHOO! Can't wait to tell the speech therapist! (and yeah, that's exactly what I thought, too, "oh shit, a bug!")

Friday, September 6, 2013

Welcome to Huckleberry's Teacher Tales

I've said for years "I should write a book of all the things my students have said or done." Well, maybe someday. Along with organizing all my photos and making digital scrapbooks. I don't procrastinate, I just multi-task too much!
My friend Debbie and I together went through the last two years of our Bachelor's in Special Education and right into a Master's in Early Childhood Special Education with an endorsement in Autism at UNLV. We spent more time together at school than we did with our families. But, we've never had the opportunity to work together, until this year.  I stepped out of my craftily constructed comfortable Early Childhood Special Education classroom and into the scary realm of Special Education Instructional Facilitator. Debbie is still at the same school she started at 11 years ago right out of the sacred education halls of UNLV. Meanwhile, I have had starring roles as an ECSE Pre-K and Special K (self-contained preschool and kindergarten programs) teacher, and one adventurous-disastrous year 8 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska.
Wait, back on track... so this year I am a facilitator at three elementary schools: mentoring, assisting, mediating, monitoring, and getting in the way a lot. I work with 16 special education teachers. My home-based school is  - Yes you guessed right, at Debbie's school! I get to be with her two days a week. We've had a blast swapping Preschool and Kinder tales; discussed the diagnostic criteria for M.O.M. Disorder (which I'm convinced should be included in the DSM-V) and identified a new special education eligibility category: P.I. (Parent Impairment).
Come back for more entertainment... or sleeping material soon!
(aka Huckleberry)