S'more Stuff

Something new and shiny for your teacher bucket.

Today YOU Will Make Magic Happen

Your Sped team knows that you are incredibly talented teachers. We get the opportunity to watch you teach every day and support you in your endeavors. We watch the moments where it finally clicks for a student as they learn the content you are teaching. Frequently we see the magic as it happens and we are grateful for you. Thank you for all you do each day - You Make MAGIC Happen!

Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

You know that student survey you fill out before each ARD meeting? It is very important. The information presented in there goes directly into the students PLAAFP, which is the foundation for the entire IEP. Teachers write what the students strengths are and what their needs are. Any needs identified in the PLAAFP must be addressed in the IEP through accommodations, modifications, goals, or objectives. Needs should be based on individual students as they compare to typically developing students in the same grade level. Needs should be based on quantifiable data collected over time. When listing a need be ready to identify ways you will be able to support that need in the classroom. It is beneficial to send along those suggestions in the development of the IEP. Working together to meet the needs of students is the way to developing a workable IEP. Want more information on the PLAAFP and how you contribute to it? Join us for a round table discussion with snacks on 12/10/2015 4:15pm in B214 (Ellen's room). Please email Ellen if you think you will be attending so that she can have enough snacks.

Take a Breath

Students have been seeking opportunities to do just that. To just breathe. They are noticing the higher demands in the classroom with frequent movement from task to task. When they are in the hallways they are having to "hurry" and "get to class". As they get busier at school, they are also getting busier at home. For some of our struggling learners this constant movement is a detriment to their ability to take in new information, synthesize it into new learning, and to apply it to task.

Middle school students are working on defining when they listen to authority and when they can decide for themselves. In the elementary world students were told when and how to do the most basic function (think about scheduled restroom breaks). In middle school they are having to navigate between a need and a want. They rely on the teacher to be explicit in helping them navigate the self governing skills found with increased independence.

One way to help students is giving them "down time" in their day. Scheduling time for them to pause and fill out their agendas. Scheduling time for them to just breathe. Teaching them relaxation strategies. Discussing what you do to handle increased demands.

The first time I did a lesson on guided meditation I thought the students would just play it off as a waste of time. After we finished, a student came up to me and said, "I needed that. I needed to just take a break and breathe." After taking just 5 minutes to rest, the students were much more productive with the non-preferred task of writing. They were more willing to attempt the strategies I was teaching. Just 5 minutes of taking a breath improved student engagement.

Your SpEd Team

Shanna Ellis, Team Lead

Paul Mitchell and Crissy Morris, 6th Grade Inclusion

Dawn Bjorge and Colleen McAllister, 7th Grade Inclusion

Hope O'Connor and Karen Taff, 8th Grade Inclusion

Kim Walker, GOALS

Ellen Deckinga, SCSS

Nancy Perkins, ICAP

Jenny Davidson, LSSP

Robin Alkek, Diagnostician

Susan Cox, Speech Language Pathologist