5 Simple Things to Consider When Planning a School Wide RtI Meeting

While the RTI process is definitely not new, finding an effective way to develop and maintain a team for assisting students who are receiving an intervention is difficult.  In our school, fine tuning and perfecting our process is still a work in progress.  Over the last several years, we’ve learned a lot.  I thought I would share a post with some of the questions that you and your staff should consider as you develop your RTI team. Who should you invite? I think that this is a critical question and will vary from school to school.  At my current school,…

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I dislike the calculator accommodation! Find out why.

Today, I’m going to share my opinion on something that I seriously hope is not offensive or argumentative.  Over the last five years, I have spent a lot of time in upper elementary classrooms.  I’ve played two roles, a special education teacher and a general education teacher.  Regardless of my role, my opinion has remained the same.  At the elementary level, a calculator accommodation is really not necessary.  Despite that last statement, I’ve noticed that we tend to throw that accommodation to nearly all students with an IEP. Who should receive a calculator accommodation? Good question! Often times, I’ve heard…

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Struggling Readers: Three of the Most Common Reading Challenges

Today’s post is all about our struggling readers.  We’ve all had them.  We all want to do our best to help them.  But sometimes, that is easier said than done.  To begin to help our struggling readers, we have to begin by identifying their greatest need.  For most readers, they are struggling in one of three areas. Struggle #1: Sight Words One of the most common struggles that students have lies in their ability to recall basic sight words.  We have students begin memorizing words in primary grades, because we all know that some words just cannot be stretched out.…

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8 Things Your Special Education Teacher Wishes You Knew

As teachers, I feel like we all have topics or subjects that are near and dear to our hearts. For me, that topic is special education.  Specifically, the way students with disabilities survive in an inclusive classroom. I was once told that working as the special education teacher in an inclusive setting is one of the trickiest jobs around.  You are walking into someone else’s classroom, and attempting to serve the students that are often the most difficult for them to reach.  I try my best to always respect the classroom teacher, but I am also an advocate for that…

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Sight Words: My Easy Way to Assess in Minutes

I haven’t posted anything from my world in special education in quite a while, so here it goes.  I am currently teaching fifth grade, general education, AND squeezing in a precious thirty minutes of special education instruction with my fourth and fifth-grade special education students.  It is by far my favorite time of day.  Despite being my favorite time of day, we have HUGE deficits that we need to fill, and we cannot afford to waste a second. At the beginning of the year, I had a file with flash cards of each Dolch sight word.  I would print out the…

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