End of Year Gift for Teachers (Freebie Gift Tag)

My daughter's last day of school is next week and I wanted to throw together a little something for her two teachers.  This time of year is super busy for everybody so I wanted to make it as simple as possible!

5 Tips for Co-Teaching Success

Co-Teaching can be one of the most rewarding, yet challenging experiences.  The co-teaching partnership is kind of like a marriage and usually it's an arranged one!  Often, two teachers are partnered up without knowing much about each other.  Administrators dealing with staffing issues may not be able to look at teaching styles and personalities before pairing teachers up.

Here are some tips on how to make your co-teaching relationship a successful one!

It takes time to develop a rapport. Get to know your partner over the summer, if possible. Attend trainings together. Go out for lunch and chat about your family, interests, likes, and dislikes. The trust built over the summer will make the entire year run more smoothly.

Paraprofessionals In The Classroom - Working Together In Harmony

As a special education teacher, I have to collaborate with several adults throughout my day such as related service providers, general education teachers, parents, administration, special area team members, etc.  Through being a self-contained teacher, a push-in provider, and a co-teacher, collaborating with other adults is one thing that does not change.  With each new position, I have had the privilege of working with great teams of paraprofessionals.

Working with paraprofessionals in your classroom can be challenging but when done correctly, everybody benefits - especially your students.  It takes a lot of effort to make your classroom team work together collaboratively.  Here are some important things to remember that I have learned along the way:

My Favorite Holiday Cookie (& Cookie Hop)

I love December.  I love the smell when you first turn the heat on in your house.  I love the first snow fall, but not as much as I love snow days.  I love Christmas.  I love baking cookies.  I love eating cookies.   

A bunch of my friends from Classroom Tested Resources have joined together to share our favorite cookie recipes that you're going to want to try this holiday season!

Why You Will LOVE Student Led Conferences

We are headed into parent conference season and that always is a little extra hard on teachers.  Conferences can take up a lot of time and energy!  But, have you tried student-led conferences?  There are so many ways to implement them in your classroom but I can assure you, that if you do, you will LOVE them!
We all know that when students take ownership of their learning, they are more likely to put forth more effort in their daily performance.  You can read more about having your students set and track their own goals in this blog post.  

How to Have Successful and Productive Team Meetings

How many of you have weekly meetings with your team?  I know it is best practice, but it is soooo hard to stick to a consistent schedule, especially when my inclusion team involves 3 general education teachers, 4 paraprofessionals, and myself.  And that is not even including the special area folks and related services providers.  

When you have several adults working with the same group of students, it is vital for everybody to be on the same page.  It is especially important to keep the paraprofessionals in the classroom up to speed on student progress and your expectations for continued growth, both academically and behaviorally.  

Over the years, I have learned a few things about successful and, more importantly, productive team meetings and I am hoping to put them into practice before I go on maternity leave in October.  That way, my team can easily continue our schedule.   

Student Led Success

With back-to-school season here, it's a great time to start thinking about implementing student led goals in your classroom!

One thing I have found is that students work so much harder when they have created their own goal.  They put forth even more effort when they are involved in the progress monitoring.  And, boy, do they celebrate their success harder when they reach a goal they set for themselves.  Feeling that success makes them crave more!