Thursday, August 21, 2014

Teacher Week: When?

**If you are here from the Special Ed Freebie Hop/Giveaway, click here for my post/freebie/to continue the hop!**

I missed yesterday's Teacher Week post on the "Why" of home too late from my weekly family dinner at my cousin's and just went to bed instead! So, moving onto today's "When"...all about scheduling!

I don't get my specials schedule until next week, and since there are a lot of specials that we go to as a whole class - and yes, I go with my class to every single special! (physical/occupational therapy, sensory, art class, music therapy, music class, adaptive PE, library, padded gym, life skills) and also those specials that only some kiddos go to or the whole class doesn't attend at once (speech therapy, swimming), I really can't create my daily schedule yet.

It makes me crazy, to be honest! I really wish I could have my schedule set and ready already! But, it is what it is. I did get this project done today - this is my usually unused white board in my circle time room, and it's going to become our weekly classroom schedule once I get it all set:
This is really going to be a schedule for me and my classroom staff rather than my students, as my students get our daily pocket chart visual schedule (and individual daily schedules as needed). This one is just going to be text. My plan is to type all our schedule items, laminate, and put sticky magnets on the back so I can move schedule items around as needed.

I used blue painters tape to make the grid, after measuring and marking the grid with dry erase marker, and I must say it looks better than I'd expected! No, it's not perfectly straight (and yes, that's going to bug me at some point since I will be staring at it every day during circle time and guided reading!) but it's definitely going to work. I wrote our times with dry erase marker in half-hour blocks - starting at 8:30 because that's when all students are at school. They begin arriving at 8 and straggle in from buses until 8:30. I'm going to be making the magnet schedule cards this weekend. I used Laura Friedman's Editable Name Plates for Dots on Turquoise Lovers for the day labels on the corkboard strip up top.
View from the door of the circle/morning meeting room.

Until I can get my daily schedule figured out, I'm at least planning out what's going to happen our first few weeks (whenever each activity/lesson happens during the day) using a simple little template I made on powerpoint - I've been carrying this paper copy around with me as I prep this week. My sketch of lessons for the first week of school:
At the top, I have the date, our pattern (on our calendar for the month) and our curriculum unit title (ULS). The other categories at the left are the other lessons/subjects I have to explicitly plan for - so this schedule doesn't include other daily stuff such as IEP goal work, therapies, or other every-day routines that mostly stay the same. Also not included are our curriculum unit materials, since I'm getting together with my grade-level team next week to plan out those (materials that supplement the curriculum until will usually go into the last section - ULS extras - but for the first week of school we'll not be delving into that too deeply yet). You may also see some titles of products I've purchased from TPT recently or in the past! :) Those include:

-There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books activities from Primary Graffiti's Old Lady Swallowed Sub Tubs
-"I Have a Backpack" sight word reader from Maria Manroe's Bundle of Books
-What's In a Name graph from Erica Butler's Name Graph Freebie
-Name Chant poem from Deedee Wills' Poetry Station and Shared Reading Monthly Set
-writing illustrations using A Sketchy Guy's Blank Faces Clipart
-September quilt art from Reagan Tunstall's Geometric Math Quilts
-Math from Wayne County's Essential Elements resources I talked about in this post, as well as Breezy Special Ed's More/Less Task Cards and Maria Manroe's Comparing Numbers set

The check marks I've made say whether I've prepped the materials (first check) and set up the activity in the classroom (second check). I like this little template also because it's going to be super-easy to copy/paste into my official lesson plans once I do get my classroom specials schedule!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You are so organized. Looks awesome. This is the first year I have to turn in lesson plans, and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I have to turn my first ones in on Monday - I might need to "borrow" the idea you have there. I like your template. I just need to figure out how to add in what we are working on for IEP Goals and state testing portfolios. I am also a little jealous of your schedule there - our school day keeps getting longer and longer. My kids are at school 7:45 - 4:00 this year!

  3. Sorry, I was logged in as my roommate and didn't realize it. Now I am me. :)

  4. Ok, me one more time. I just noticed you said you have official lesson plans. Would you mind sharing what you use? I am wondering if that would help me out. This is also my first year trying to use ULS for my classroom. The school purchased it for me toward the end of last year, along with News-2-You. I am interested to see how you incorporate and plan for that as well. How do you put IEP goal type things on your lesson plans? Sorry for all the questions - just so exciting to find others who do the same thing you do with the same curriculum even. :)


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