In special education, our time is precious. Routines help to accomplish many tasks on a daily or weekly basis to ensure that our students are getting well rounded instruction. I use these routines to accomplish practice basic skills in my small reading groups.
It’s almost that time! Depending on where you live, you will soon be seeing sales for school supplies. For us teachers seeing those school supplies can put us into two moods. First mood is give me all the school supplies I can get because who doesn’t love new school supplies? The another mood is summer is not over so do not even think about getting out those school supplies! I am one where I get excited about new school supplies and a new year! As a special education teacher in a resource room, what school supplies do I need most?!
Supplies You’ll Need Most f Student Use
- Pencils (a LOT of pencils!)
- Glue Sticks
- Scented Markers
- Colored Pens
- Post-It Notes
- Privacy Folders
- Math Manipulatives
- Hundreds Charts
- Multiplication Charts
Supplies You’ll Need to Stay Organized
- File Folders for Each Student (I like hanging file folders!)
- Binder Tabs
- Post-It Notes
- Your Favorite Pens
Supplies You’ll Need to Prep Lessons & Activities
- Laminating Sheets
- Colored Printer Paper
- Spring Loaded Scissors
- Paper Cutter
- Ziplock Bags
Progress monitoring is overwhelming. Trust me. I know. It is one of the hardest things about being a special education teacher. It’s also the most essential.
How to Use Graphs to Make Progress Monitoring EASY:
Option 1: The Progress Monitoring Binder
Option 2: Student Data Folders
How to Make a Goal Graph
Copy Graphs with Dates
Set Goal & Draw Goal Line
Add Data Points
As a resource room teacher, I have SO many things that I need to get done. There are days where behaviors are crazy. Some days, I sit in meetings all afternoon and get next to nothing done.
However, I do have a few routines that I implement that I feel really help me “Get It All Done“…if that’s even possible!
Quiet Tasks vs Busy Tasks
I like to think of tasks as either quiet tasks or busy tasks. My busy tasks are things I can get done with other people in the room. My quiet tasks, on the other hand, are the tasks when I need peace and quiet. I usually come to school early and have the room to myself. I like to use this time to do things that require full focus and concentration. I struggle to read and understand when there are other people in the room. It’s also hard for me to type reports when there are conversations that I want to be a part of. I know, I’m nosey!
I try to get one quiet task done every day. Maybe that’s writing a report or reading several of the weekly reading stories. Either way, it is something I can accomplish while the room is silent.
Pick a Day to Stay Late
On Fridays, I do not leave until all of my reading and spelling tests are graded. I lay out all of my homework for the upcoming week and make sure that my intervention booklets are in my folders for the next week.
My family knows that this is my routine. They know I’m going to stay late. Every other day, I try to leave school right when contract time ends or soon after. For me, that feels like balance!
I like to sit down and do all of my accommodations for a whole unit of reading tests. When I’m done with a unit, I add them to a binder that I keep for each grade level.
Homework is something that many grade level teachers like me to give my students. I have a product from TpT that allows me type all my spelling words to generate homework right away. I can print homework for weeks at a time in minutes.
In my school, I handle the paperwork for our evaluations. Part of that includes completing classroom observations. I like to pick an odd day, like right before break, to do my observations. My goal is to try to get as many done in one day as humanly possible. Then, I work to type those reports the following week.
Assess Students on Present Levels of Performance
With evaluations, I also have to assess each the students prior to holding their meeting. My goal during my prep for one week is to get all those assessments done. Depending on how many students there are this could be quick and easy. Other times, this is quite a large list.
After assessing students, I add writing IEPs to my to do list. I use the assessments to write their IEPs. After a good assessment, this part is easy!
I use a template for my lesson plans. I usually print 6-10 weeks of the template and begin planning. I have a bucket for each group. I add any materials that I’ll need to the bucket, and I’m done!
No one really gets it all done. No matter how hard we try, we’ll still find ourselves with a crazy day or a week that just gets away from us. But when things get crazy, you’ll know that you have the basics covered! If you can get a good system into place everything else will work itself out.
As a resource room teacher, I only get 30-45 minutes with some of my students. They spend a whole lot of time in the general education classroom. Meaning, they need accommodations! Accommodations can help them to be successful with grade level material.
Below, you’ll find reading accommodations that can be used in the general education classroom or in your resource room.
Use a Screen Reader
Read Questions Orally
I like this accommodation for two reasons. First, it is easy to transition from YOU previewing the questions to THEM previewing the questions. It also helps them get in the habit of practicing a test tasking strategy that many teachers preach to our students to try!
Number Paragraphs and Questions
It helps my kids in two ways.
#1 They can easily chunk the test by reading a paragraph or two and stop to answer the question(s).
#2 They aren’t hunting and sorting all over the passage for the answers.
We know reading and testing is difficult for some of our kids, let’s set them up for a little bit of success!
Rephrase the Question
Let Them Draw
I like to have my kids draw what is happening in our reading stories each week. Some texts lend themselves to a picture better than others, but it’s a good practice to help them visualize and make the reading come to life.
Provide Sentence Stems
Preteach Vocabulary Words
I like to help my kids better understand vocabulary with pictures, examples, stories, or synonyms. Even the words hidden inside questions can make it difficult for students to answer. Break it down and try to help them understand what they’re reading or being asked to do.
What accommodations do you find to be the most helpful?