<-------- This cute graphic came from Crystal over at The Library Fox. It is me!! I am so excited to finally get my own mini-me that I just wanted to use it somehow!
I wrote a post over at TeachHub about getting ready for back to school, but it has not been posted yet. I feel like the information is important now since we are all in back to school mode, so I am sharing it here. I, of course, write a bit different on Learning Ahoy then I do for TeachHub, so there are some changes from the original.
Back to school time for special educators is a time where we can attempt to prepare ourselves for a year full of IEP goals, data collection, and of course fun. There are some things that I do(and am scrambling to do right now with the new position) to help make for a successful school year.
1. Update my teacher binder: I have wrote about my teacher binder on TeachHub and it is something that I still continue to use. Every year I tweak it a bit and this year is no different. This year I bought a new binder (yay for the lovely school aisle at Target) and some new tabs, however it all still sits in a bag. I have updated my Student Information sheet to include texting (using Remind101) and I will give it to parents to fill out at Open House. I also include IEP information sheets in my binder. If you would like any of these you can find them by clicking here. (They are FREE!!!)
2. Update data binder: I found last year that my data section was just to huge to be included in my Teacher binder, so data got its own binder. I update my data binder to include my new students with copies of their IEPs, goals, and data collection sheets.
3. IEP Goals: Speaking of IEP goals, I like to review my IEP goals and put each students goals on to one sheet. Another teacher I know even color codes hers by domain area. Having all of the goals on one sheet enables me to quickly look at a goal instead of flipping through 50 page IEP documents(or 75 pages....). I can also share these goal sheets with specials teachers(Art, Music, PE) and paraprofessionals so that they can also easily see what the student is working towards. I copy parent/teacher/therapist input forms that I use when we are writing the annual IEP and stick them in the back along with the copies of the data collections sheets (It is always great to have extras on hand so you are not running to the copy while trying to assess). There are some great ones available as a free download from Not2Crumby on Teacher's Pay Teachers. (Do I keep shamelessly plugging one of my best buddies blogs in here? Yes, she is a newly wed and just started blogging and really needs some teacher blog
4. Organize, Organize, Organize: I have admitted in the past how unorganized of a person I am, but I am really trying hard. I have found a few small systems that work for me, but I am still overwhelmed at times. I have finally come to the conclusion that to help me become more organized (which I feel will help me teach to my greatest potential) I need to purge.... big time. When you don't have as much stuff, then there is not as much to get messy. Do you really need to keep those copies of art orders from 1975 or lesson plans that you wrote in college?
If you are looking for more information about getting ready for back to school as a special educator or just need some more info about special education check out the series going on over at A Special Sparkle.