Ok, quick background: I am a first year sped teacher, not credentialed (won't be until winter of next year), basically an intern with full autonomy in my classroom. My only other experience in education is as a sub for the prior year and a half (was in a completely different job for the previous 20 years). Letting you all know this so I don't sound ignorant regarding acronyms, policies, procedures, etc. So here I am in the classroom with no knowledge of curriculum, aside from what I find by snooping and looking in the library, storage rooms etc. Immediately I see that the children with deficits need specific types of curriculums to learn. Don't have but one or two from what I've scavenged. Example: student clearly possesses some sort of dyscalculia and nothing I have works. So I have resorted to using manipulatives, songs (remember schoolhouse rock?!) anything I can think of to make it work. I am clearly not using "core materials" to reach goals. How finicky are they on that? I have also found great success with making plays and creating sets, costumes, etc. Clearly not "core"material. But the kids seem to learn better when we're having fun as opposed to sitting and working. Then, the catch-22, I don't want them to get used to having fun because they'll never want to leave, right? Or they might exhibit problems in the future when the y find out life isn't really about having fun.... So basically, I have found with engaging fun materials and lessons we learn, but how do I put that in my data? lots of questions and of course, feeling like I require some sort of validation. I don't know if I doing the right thing. Doesn't feel like I'm preparing them for a "regular" classroom at all. PS. If it wasn't for reading these threads and realizing that I'm not alone, I might have made the decision to change my credential!