Guided Research Projects - Research Made Easy

I've never really been a fan of teaching writing, but I always really dreaded when it was time to teach informative writing.  Even as a student, research projects were the worst!  As a teacher, I especially hated when it was time for research projects to begin.  

For me, the topic was always too big and I didn't know where to start.  I had a hard time staying on topic.  I never really knew when it was time to be done researching and time to begin writing.  I found that a lot of my students were having the same issues and knew there needed to be a better way.

Staying Positive While Feeling Overwhelmed

It is a known fact that teachers have stressful jobs.  Many times, we do not know how stressed we are until we get totally overwhelmed.  Depending on your school environment, you may feel overwhelmed more often than not.  The following are some ways to remain positive and calm when feeling overwhelmed at school.

Building Strong Parent Teacher Relationships in Your Special Education Classroom

As teachers, one of our greatest resources can be the parents of the students we work with.  It takes time and effort to foster strong relationships with parents, but it is often more than worth it in the end.

I've worked with parents that are ready to jump right in and become a partner right away and others that needed more coaxing.  There are several things you can do to create a welcoming environment that produces parent allies or even parent partners.

Improve Editing In Your Classroom

If your students are anything like mine, they don't mind writing until we get to the revising and editing part.  So many times, once they get their ideas on paper, they think they are done.  Just like everything else, the more you practice a skill, they better you get!  Here are some tips on how to improve editing in your classroom.

Change Their Mindset

A lot of students are reluctant to revise and edit their work because they feel like they are having to go back to "fix mistakes".  Instead of thinking of editing as righting all of the wrongs, it is important to make it clear that revising and editing turn good writing pieces into great writing pieces.  Something I need to continue to work on is changing my own language from "let's fix our writing pieces" to "let's make our writing pieces better".

Tracking Accommodations Easily and Efficiently

Special Education teachers are the masters of data collection!  At times, collecting data can be overwhelming, especially when you sometimes have to outsource the collecting to other teachers, specialists, or teaching assistants.

Tracking accommodations is necessary to make sure an IEP is being followed and can be helpful in determining which accommodations should be added to or removed from the IEP.  Believe it or not, collecting data on accommodations and modifications does not have to consume your life!

Pull-Out Related Service Transitions Made Easy

Special education teachers are no strangers to the revolving door of students coming and going to various services.  It can be overwhelming and distracting but my team put together some procedures that made the transitions a few years ago that made a huge difference.

Organization Tips for IEP Meetings

It is back to school season again!  Special education teachers around the country will have a stack of IEPs in front of them with various dates and loads of information to process and remember.  

Don't get overwhelmed.  Get organized!