Saturday, August 15, 2015

New "school" Years Resolutions!

It's that time of the year again folks. The time of year teachers make our new school year resolutions. Whether it's new things we are going to implement or old things we are going to stay more diligent towards, the commitment is there!

I have two things this year I am going to work on. The first one, which I heard about at the autism conference I just attended comes in two parts. #1 I am no longer going to say the words NO or Don't to my kids. I don't think I say it often, and when I do, I back it up with reasoning "NO, we don't have time to play with that now, but later, after lunch you will". So, I am going to try to leave the "NO" part off. Be more positive. Instead of saying "don't slam the chair down" I will say something more like "I understand you are upset, but let's think of other ways to get out our frustration". Or maybe instead of "NO we can't go to the snack bar now" I can say "now is not a good time, let's see if we have more time later".

#2 Instead of telling the kids what to do "go wash your hands", "go get your folder", "sit in your seat" we will say "what would be the proper thing to do after we sneeze?",  "what do we need to have to start out our day?", "where should we be if we are ready for our lesson?". Does that make sense? The speaker expressed that we feel the need to rescue them. While he was talking I totally saw that this is what we were doing all day in my room "go sit there" "go get your book" "get your jacket" "line up for breakfast". Not that these are bad things, but we are not allowing them to make any of their own decisions or to even think about what it is they need to do. We need to be teaching them self-regulation.
  1. Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and control our own behavior, emotions, or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation.
I am going to really make this a priority in my room and model it for my aides so I can get them on board as well.

Ok, my second resolution is to hold a morning meeting with my kids everyday. It's so hard to find the time mostly because my kids arrive separately over a 45 minutes period. So here's the plan. When they arrive (7:30 - 8:15), they write their brief morning message, and work on one functional academic page in their folders. Then off to breakfast (8:15). When they come back (8:45), I am going to take this time for no more than a 15 minute meeting. I am going to really try to not go over that time frame as they will still need to finish their work and be out at the buses by 9:30.

I want it to look something like this:

Good morning ..... 

Ask students how they are feeling this morning and let them share that.

Go over the calendar for the day.

Count coins together from the wall (nickels, dimes, quarters)

Include a question: ex. "if you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?"

or 

short teamwork activity ....  ex. block tower, ball toss

"I hope you have a fantastic day".

So, that's the plan and I'm sticking to it (fingers crossed)!
Do you have any new resolutions for your classroom this year? I would love to hear about them!



8 comments:

  1. I like your resolutions! I do that second one a lot, too. I'll be more mindful in the future. My new year's resolutions are to be more diligent with my data gathering, and to be more organized with my planning instead of flying by the seat of my pants all the time. I am doing a ton of work on those things now so that I can start the new year a little more smoothly without so much stress. Congrats on your new house and sorry you had to be homeless for a bit. Been there, done that when we bought our home a couple of years ago! By now you are probably all settled in. For some reason I wasn't getting your blog in my email anymore, and I didn't realize, so I have signed up again. Have a great week!

    www.specialedconnections.blogspot.com

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    1. Nope, still homeless, lol. I too need to plan better. I did try that a few years ago, but things kept happening and I kept getting set back and then I gave up. I don't teach near as many classes as most of you do, so it's probably easier for me. We start back tomorrow and I'm actually pretty excited!

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    2. I second both your resolutions, Jannike! I'm a speech pathologist so it's a little different, but I made all-new data forms for all of my students, and I made a whole year plan of lessons for different types of groups. One thing that I am hoping will help is that I bought a pocket chart for my wall (it's meant for centers - has velcro pockets you can pull off) and I am using mine to store all the things I need for an activity so I can grab it and go. I'm hoping this year will feel less chaotic! Good luck in the new year, I'm looking forward to seeing more blog posts again :)

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. I removed this as it was a duplicate post. Don't want anyone thinking I'm being mean or anything :-)

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  4. Hi Karen
    I have a spec needs 17 yr old who could really use help with her prepositions.
    i was wondering if you still sent them out for free? Otherwise, I could surely purchase if that is what you are doing-we actually have 4 adopted with cognitive issues, and I think they would work great for all of them!
    I feel like a spec ed teacher more than a mommy, but this could surely help:)
    Blessings
    Chris
    waughtal@mwt.net

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Karen
    I have a spec needs 17 yr old who could really use help with her prepositions.
    i was wondering if you still sent them out for free? Otherwise, I could surely purchase if that is what you are doing-we actually have 4 adopted with cognitive issues, and I think they would work great for all of them!
    I feel like a spec ed teacher more than a mommy, but this could surely help:)
    Blessings
    Chris
    waughtal@mwt.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sent! Let me know if you don't get it.

      Delete