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Showing posts from October, 2009

Busy, busy, busy....

I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to post that I'm still here.  Things have been crazy the last couple of weeks and will remain so through to about the middle of November.  I will continue to try to get some posts up but it might be mid-November before I get back to posting regularly.  
Right now we are fighting off a lot of illness in our classroom and school (as I'm sure many others are as well).  I was missing half my students on Friday and our school was missing about 30%.  I am also heading in to a two week stretch of IEP meetings almost every night so that will keep me very busy.  Add to this the very real possibility that we will be transitioning a new student in to our classroom in the next couple of weeks and there is just not a lot of time left to blog.  
I wanted to post because I didn't want people to stop coming around to check out the blog after a couple of weeks  of low posts.  Once I get through the next couple of weeks, I feel confid…

Wednesday's Weekly Comments

"Song of the Day" post on Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs: Yet another great post related to remembering that our students are teenaged kids first and foremost :). Love it!
I started visiting a new blog called Special Classroom this week.  I always love when I find another teacher who teaches this population as sometimes its a lonely profession in regards to colaboration with others.  I responded to the great classroom pictures posted in the post titled "Classroom Pictures".

Monday's Motivation: This Is The Truth

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would tend to say that my life is pretty perfect these days.  I have a great job, a wonderful son, amazingly supportive family and friends and things are just going in the right direction.  I turned 40 back in February of this year and as a result have spent some time taking stock of my life.  I have looked back to some of my darkest times in my early years of teaching.  Times when things didn't make sense and I was enveloped in depression.  In those times there, my friend's two children (who both happened to have Down syndrome) kept me going from day to day.  Surely the way that they approached life could teach me something.  Who would have known then the long-term impact they would have on my life as it is a direct result of them that I adopted my son and then later took the leap into teaching special education.

I saw this video this week on you-tube and it really made hit home with me as my life has turned around completely since those days.  I know I meant fo…

news-2-you: Wizzard of Oz Part 2 (October 13-16, 2009)

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Life has been crazy in our room the past three weeks.  One of those weeks was "spirit week" and we got all caught up in the competitions to the point that it was taking up much of our programming time.  The students really had a lot of fun so I do not regret the time we used for these activities.  This past week was the week leading up to Canadian Thanksgiving and I found that we spent a lot of time doing things related to that.  In the end, our three weeks for "Wizzard of Oz" seemed to get eaten up and other than the actual news-2-you stuff we have done very few of the extras.  I have therefore decided to spend the next 4 weeks doing the extras.  We will culminate with a "Wizzard of Oz" dress up day which happens to fall on the day that we will celebrate Halloween in our classroom/school. 
So my plan now is to post my outline of what we will be doing for the four weeks here.  Note that many of these things are things that I've already…

Northern Ireland Curriculum: Severe Learning Difficulties Thematic Units

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A while back, I posted about transition portfolios.  Since then I've joined forces with the other Learning Assistance Program teacher in our division (very small division) and we have started working on gathering resources and information related specifically to transitioning in our area.  This will help me narrow things down a bit more and get these transition portfolios more focused.  
As is so often the case with me, while doing research I come across so many other things that springboard a whole host of other ideas.  This is what this post is about.  While exploring the Northern Ireland Curriculum website, I came across some great thematic units that have been put together for students iwth Severe Learning Difficuluties that address topics that are important for students who are transitioning in to the community to have exposure to.  Immediately I see many ways to incorporate some of these things in to our program and I thought I would share some thoughts... 
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Thursday Think: Brainstorming Vocational Opportunities for Our Students

Having students that range in age from grade 3 to 12+ (as we often keep our students one to three years after their grade 12 year) is one of the biggest challenges that I face in this job.  Its very hard to make things "age approprirate" when dealing with this age so I find that some things just need to be divided up and different groups will work on different skills.  Although I've always believed this, my first couple of years on the job were spent on just getting thing established and wrapping my own head around things.  In the last couple of years I've been able to start directing programs based on the age of my students. 
With my older students, I'm working on finding a balance between academic, life and vocational skills so have been trying to increase the vocational component of our program.  I wanted to spend a bit of time sharing some of the ideas that I've had or implemented related to hands-on vocational experiences. Dog Biscuit Busines…