Thursday, September 26, 2013

Is it Really Almost October? (or Are You As Tired as I Am? :)

Hey there teacher blog readers!

I patiently look at my Bloglovin' blogfeed every day waiting for updates from the teacher bloggers I love to read (well, really I peruse it in the haze in between after school/supper/napish time/running/boys to bed/grading/our bedtime), and then I realize that they (you) like me haven't been blogging as much as the summer months allowed.  And I thought I better get going on more posts before this becomes long lost, which is something I truly don't want!

Yesterday, my special ed co-teacher and I had one of our two professional development days at our district office.  The morning is spent with other co-teaching groups (two were from our school, and one group of three was from one of our other middle schools) and the afternoon is spent planning.

This is our second year co-teaching in this style, and it's nice to have the time to focus on it, reflect, and do some planning.  Our cohort co-teachers always have us doing activities in the manner in which we can use them in the classroom, so we did some jigsawing, a tea party,  a team builder, a conversation activity that was like speed dating, etc. We also reflected on how we teach, ie:
  • parallel teaching
  • alternative teaching
  • teaching together
  • one teach, one float
  • one teach, one observe
  • station teaching

We really like to teach together, but it has been more one teach, one float lately as we are diving into new curriculum/lessons, and as we are getting into the school year.  Also, we only have common prep time every other day, so our time is more limited.  Nevertheless, we really need to choose a planning time again (like we did last year) and stick to it, at least now before IEP/paperwork season hits for her, which unfortunately, for Special Ed teachers is most of the year.

Right now, in our 5th period class we have 32 kids, and in our 6th period class we have 32 kids.  Also, in each class, 17 students have IEPs, ranging from help with writing, to students with 2nd grade reading levels, to students with ASD. Or a combination of the three.  

Take-aways from the morning:
Website: infinitelooper.com To loop videos if you'd like!
Website: viewpure.com  Paste in a YouTube address and watch the video sans comments
A little girl's first ski jump:  Here through viewpure
And this team building activity which I have pinned but hadn't ever done!

For the planning time, we looked over what we've done so far this fall, where we have re-purposed old texts and added new texts and activities, and reflected on how it went and places where we need to parallel teach for next year vs have the whole group.  We'll probably look for alternate pieces (articles and a piece from Sandra Cisneros) that will be a better fit for kids who struggle with reading.

Right now we are MAP testing for three days, so we have a little reprieve aside from looking at data.

Before I head off for the night, here is a link to the ELA Lead Teacher video for our district. It may be private, but I thought I'd try and see if it works here, too.  It's a look at our team and what we do :)

All the best, and TGIF!!

Michelle

PS  I promise more ideas/examples next time.  I love getting ideas from other teachers and am so visual, so that's something I want to offer here, too :)

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