Thursday, May 19, 2011

can you read {inbetween} on the lines??

So I am a special education teacher. I love my job. It is what I was meant to do with my life. I teach Kindergartners - 3rd graders the fine arts of reading, writing, and math.

Before I get into my project I did today I want to share a few student successes. I cannot share their names or faces but I want to share so that one day {because there will be a day} I can look back this moment and smile.

*I have a 2nd grade boy. We'll call him Popsicle. In September 2009 when I {I meaning me and my wonderful instructional assistants!!!} started teaching Popsicle he could not write his name, count to 30, subtract or add without extreme verbal/gestural prompting, or even handle being in any classroom for longer than 30 minutes without having extreme {kicking, throwing things, crying hysterically} meltdowns. He was known in our school. Fast forward to this week... Popsicle missed ONE question on an end of year GRADE LEVEL math test. One, and only one kid in the whole class had a higher score than that. I want to cry just thinking about it. I had tears in my eyes today when this happened, no joke. Popsicle now knows all his letters {upper and lower case}, can sound out words, write sentences with details, subtract with regrouping to the hundreds, read at a first grade level, and PAY ATTENTION TO HIS TEACHERS!!! He can do so many more things than this, but these are the things I will remember from this week. Oh, one more thing. During math today {in his gen ed classroom} he CHOSE to finish a writing assignment instead of play math games!!! Tear.

*I have another second grade boy. We'll call him Tiger. Tiger is an extreme kid. He means well and is fully capable but does not always work up to his potential. Last week during writing {a particularly tricky subject for many of my kiddos, Tiger included} her ASKED for more paper to write MORE sentences. Amazing.

I am a very proud teacher and try to be an advocate for my student. I also try to make things easier for them. Though buying things is SO stinking expensive. So, I've made a few various things for them like Touch Math Cards, whisper phones, and t-stools. Which, until today, I have no idea why I didn't blog about. Between my home blog and this blog {meant for cooking/baking/homemaking} you'd think I'd have...

Anyways, finally on to what I made today!!

I think I'm going to call them Reader Guides. Not totally sure, we'll see if it picks up with the kids. The purpose is that some kids {well, a lot of my kids} have problems tracking which leads to problems in reading. The thought behind these are that if there is a color highlighting one specific line then your eyes will naturally be drawn, and stay drawn, to that specific line of text, thus improving your accuracy in reading. Accuracy increases fluency. Fuency increases comprehension. And that my friends, leads to good readers!!!

All I used to make these was old overhead transparency papers (which my school has a TON of in a cabinet) and see through divider tabs that I cut to make the right size. So my out-of-pocket cost was $0. How's that for efficient!!!

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