Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Live Butterfly Garden

A few weeks ago we took a field trip with the kids to the Insect Lore Bug Museum in Shafter, Ca.  It's a great outing and the kids always have a good time.  It's one large room but has all kinds of bugs that the kids can see!  The tour guide even takes many of them out of the cages for the students to "pet" and look at more closely. This year I decided to buy a butterfly garden so the kids could see the butterfly life cycle.  For about 30 bucks we got this cool meshed container and 10 little tiny baby caterpillars. My kids really haven't seemed to have much interest in them during their caterpillar or chrysalis stage but yesterday they started hatching!  

Omg is was sooooo exciting.  I will admit, me and my aides were much more excited than the kids (still) and I could have sat and watched them all day.  I swear I had a proud mommy moment every time one of them broke out of their shell.  So, now we have 10 amazing Painted Lady butterflies who are raring to get out and explore the world!  Tomorrow we are going to take a short walk and let our little friends go.  I read their life cycle is only 2 weeks, so I want them to have as much time as possible exploring the world.  Here is the link to the bug museum.  They actually ship the tiny little caterpillars all over the country.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Student Portfolios - Transition Special Education

I have been thinking about putting together portfolios for all my kids since I transferred to this job 5 years ago.  Every now and then I will mess with it and add a page or two, but have never been in a big hurry to get it done.  Starting next school year, my boss wants every student in our program to have a portfolio. We have many reasons for wanting the portfolios.  One is so we can bring it to the students IEP so the parents can see what the students have been working on.  It will also follow them through our program if they were to get a new teacher. When they complete our program at the end of 4 years, the portfolio will go home with the students to use as a resource and hopefully shown to their new adult day placement. It's taken me a couple weeks but I think we are finally complete!  Here's what it will include:  

Page 1 - Cover Sheet (you can see it there above)
Page 2 - Personal info sheet (this includes all student and parent info. Is the student conserved? Medical info and diagnosis.
Page 3 & 4 - Parent/Guardian assessment (what does the student do at home? with friends? with the family?  What areas do you want them working on?  What does their future look like to you?
Page 7 - Current IEP cover (I will show them all below)

Page 8 will show what each of the students goals are, what we will be doing at school regarding the goal and what the parents will be working on at home.  It will also be used to mark off whether the goal is met each quarter.  Page 9 will list what the parents transition goals are for their child each of the four years they are with us.  Each year the new goals will be listed.  Employment goal, educational goal, and independent living goal.  This page will stay in all four years. All these questions are also on our new IEP's.
Page 10 - Student Transcripts
Page 11 - Community Awareness.  This sheet has a list of all of the community based outings students need to attend (pharmacy, DMV, airport, Laundromat etc).  There is also a box to write the date that the students attended.
Page 12 - Resources.  We will add to this over the years.
Page 13 - Here I have added a 39 cent plastic 3 ring business card holder.  I had these in my portfolios years ago and the kids loved adding cards to them.  They need to include and resources the student may need (regional center, Dr., Dentist, independent living center, pharmacy the use etc).
Page 14 - Certificates of Achievement (perfect attendance, Student of the month, most improved, citizenship etc).
Page 15 - Job Training Log.  This will keep track of the job sites and dates that the student worked there.
Page 16 is where the students will write their own evaluation of a job site they have completed.  We change job sites every quarter so their will be multiple of these pages inside their portfolios.  This page has room for a picture of the student working, their job duties, what they liked and didn't like about the job.
Page 17 is a job site evaluation form.  This will be completed most likely by the aide who accompanied the student each day to their job site.  It will only take a couple minutes to complete this form each quarter.  
Page 18 & 19 is a sample job application the students can fill out to use as a reference if they were to need to fill out a real one for a job.
Page 20 - Resume insert
Page 21 - Letters of recommendation insert
Page 22 - A worksheet to write down any references they may have.  Name, address, phone number and relationship.
Page 23 - Yearly assessments insert

After the insert is the area where you can put any assessments you have done with the kids.  I add my "I can" pages - not included (you can find those on my blog). ***** NEWLY ADDED are the 4 assessments I do with all my kids (language arts, math, personal info and time/calendar).  The portfolio also included two vocational interest assessments you can see on your left, and one page where the students can choose the type of environment they want to work in.

Pages 24 - 27 are insert pages to sort the classwork you want to keep in the portfolio to show during an IEP (social,vocational, independent living and functional academics.  Here is a picture of all the inserts that are included. We will be including in ours 3 clear plastic 3 ring insert pages that hold pictures.  We figure the students are more apt to hold onto the portfolio after graduation if it contains pictures of them.  I am selling this in PowerPoint so that you can make any changes you need. I think it would be great for high schools too, it may just need a little adapting. You can also add your school logo to all of the insert pages.  To see a preview of each page, check it out on TPT.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Patty's Treats

 Monday is St. Patrick's Day sooooooo I made these cute little treats for my kiddos (and the office staff... shhhhh). I tried using a Rolo and a Kiss but finally decided on just a dollop of melted white chocolate to hold them all together. Super adorable and super easy to make!  Hope everyone has a great St. Patty's Day!

Don't forget to wear GREEN!!