Thursday, December 11, 2014

Unique Week Part 2

For Unique Week, we also created activities for each classroom. Below is a run down of what we did. 

Primary: Students read It's Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr. After the read aloud, students completed an activity that can be found here or here. Below is a picture from one second grade teacher's bulletin board.


Intermediate: Students read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. After the read aloud, students completed an activity that can be found here or here. Below are some pictures from the AMAZING co-taught lesson in fourth grade. You can see that one teacher is reading while the other asked discussion questions while sitting with the student's on the rug. The teachers referred to one another often and the students were so excited and engaged. It was a great lesson to watch!

Middle School: Students watched this video from Kid President. It's called "20 Things You Should Say More Often" and it's incredibly cute. Kid President is all about being kind and thoughtful to others. Students discussed the video as a group. Finally, they wrote an exit slip sharing what they would say more often. 


To read Part One, go here:

Unique Week: Different but United

Monday was our first day of Unique Week! Unique Week is where we take a whole week to celebrate our community and everyone in it. Below is a break down of what went on!

Slogan: The week before Unique Week started, I started a contest in middle school. I asked students to come up with the best slogan using our Unique Week theme: community. Our winner was a seventh grade girl that came up with the snappy but elegant slogan of UNITED BUT DIFFERENT. Nice.

Posters: Two weeks before Unique Week started, a wonderful parent took the time out of her day to come to our school and take pictures of students playing and laughing together in groups. She took pictures of students during lunch and recess. The amazing art teacher created posters using these pictures and we displayed the pictures around the school. These posters will stay up all year.

Teacher Lunch: We had a teacher appreciation lunch on Wednesday. Not only did we want to work on the classroom community, but we also want to focus on our community as a staff. Thank you to all the staff members that stayed in the library, laughed, and talked to one another. Our community is strong because of YOU ALL! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fidgets: A Love Story

One of the first things we hear and talk about in the inclusive classroom is supporting students by using fidgets. Fidgets are those items that allow restless (fidgety??) students to move and get their sensory needs met without distracting their peers or becoming completely distracted themselves by needing to move.

To get more information about figets:
In middle school and the upper grades, I am all about introducing the fidget individually, slowly, and academically.

1. First, broach the subject of fidgets individually. I had one student in mind who mentioned that she felt the most calm when she was able to squeeze and run her fingers through something. We went online and she choose this one.
2. When it arrived, I showed her one on one how to use the fidget.

3. I gave her 30 minutes to practice during her class of the day.

4. The next day, I had her put the fidget in her pencil pouch so that she can take complete ownership of the fidget. It is hers to use throughout the day.

5. Moving forward, I plan on introducing the fidgets to anyone that's interested.