Simple Special Education Tips to Prepare for a New School Year

Goodness, as a special education teacher, there are about 100 things to do every day. We need the summer to rest, relax, and prepare for the new school year. In this post, I’ll be sharing ten things that I try to do every summer in order to prepare for the next year.  Reflect on Last Year Be honest with yourself. What went well? What didn’t go well? What changes would you like to make for next year? As teachers, we should always be looking to grow, learn, and change. I try to reflect and determine a handful of strengths and…

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5 Quick & Easy Ideas to Motivate Your Students in Math

In my small math groups, we are often doing HARD work. We do it repeatedly in order to make it easier. But doing 3-Digit computation over and over can be frustrating and easy to avoid for our students with disabilities. I’ve been working to find 5 quick and easy ideas to motivate my students in math by encouraging them to keep working hard and trying difficult tasks. Countdown or Token Board I like to use a countdown or token board as a motivator to keep my students going. I add a number to the countdown board with each and every…

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How to Make a Progress Monitoring Tub

Progress monitoring is a necessary part of being a Special Education Teacher. It is important to student growth, but it shouldn’t take a lot of time. For me, I save time by creating a progress monitoring tub full of all of the essentials for assessing my students.  Progress Monitoring Storage Let’s first start with the container. As teachers, we LOVE containers, tubs, and all things cute storage. I love this ice cube chest from Amazon. It is large enough to hold file folders, but it is still small enough to carry around easily.  Progress Monitoring for Specific Skills I have…

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Special Education: What To Do in 30 Minute Groups

As a special education teacher, there are literally NEVER enough minutes in the school day. I do my best to make the most of the precious minutes that I have with my students, even if it’s only for 30 minutes!  For my reading groups, I typically have thirty minutes on my daily schedule. With transition time, I don’t always have a full thirty minutes. I split my time between spelling and reading. In the images and descriptions below, you’ll find a breakdown of the amount of time I spend each day on each area.  I introduce a new phoneme or…

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5 Professional Development Books for Special Education

I love to read. I’m also a total nerd when it comes to professional development and learning new things. I literally have bookshelves full of books. Some I’ve read. Others are on my “To Be Read” list.  I feel like there is always something to learn in special education: a new strategy, developing research, a mindset shift. We can never learn or know enough. I hope that you will take a minute to browse these books and see if any of these areas are a good fit for you to read this summer.  Pre-Referral Intervention Manual This book is literally…

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