Surprise! I'm teaching 5th grade resource

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Uzume, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Uzume

    Uzume New Member

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    Jul 26, 2009

    I just found out that I'm teaching 5th grade resource. Resource in my state means everyone that doesn't fit into a regular classroom.

    So I'll have 6-12 students ranging from those working on their numbers and sight words to kids reading and writing slightly below grade level.

    Any advice?!?

    Oh... and HELP!!
     
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  3. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 27, 2009

    Welcome! I teach 4th grade resource. I also deal with levels ranging from PK to just below grade level. I'll have 17 students! (One more on caseload, but he's completely mainstreamed.)

    My best advice is to figure out your data collection/organization quickly! In the past I have used one big binder for everyone (class section up front, then a section for each student) to keep all my records. It gets overwhelming with that many students...I'm trying to tweak it now.

    You will need some way to organize all the goals so you're not constantly flipping through 12 pages on an IEP. You'll also need to document their progress as noted in the IEP. I'm going to try to make an EXCEL spreadsheet to help with this. Last year I just made tables in Word. You can do them by hand also.

    Try to group like skill abilities together, if you have any control over when you have the students. It is almost impossible to be effective if you have a nonreader and a 3rd/4th level together at reading...very frustrating to meet both needs.

    Centers can also be very effective if you have many levels at same time. I did this one year.

    You'll want to do some kind of baseline assessment beginning year, so you know where everyone is. I use this data to plan my IEPs for the year (we write ours in October).

    Hope this helps some. Keep asking if you need more suggestions. Sometimes my brain goes a lot faster than my fingers.
     
  4. ebc

    ebc Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2009

    Excellent advice karebear.

    I am starting this year too- my first year- and I'm confident in the teaching aspect, but I'm confused about where to start!

    Any organizational tips would be appreciated.

    How do you manage the progress? With what sort of data system?
     
  5. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2009

    Well, mine has been evolving since I started 9 years ago. So each year I get some new ideas to try, some work some don't. Also, some years I'm much better at it than others. I really struggle with progress as it pertains to IEP goals, and documenting it with data. In the beginning, I would just think about their classroom performance and note making progress, not making progress, etc. As I've grown & become more aware, I know I have to have data to back things up.

    So, this is what I now do:
    Beginning of year baseline assessment: I pull all of my students 1:1 b/c most of my assessments have to be 1:1 (the teachers hate this, but it gives me so much info that drives what I do...it takes up to 3 weeks depending on how many students I have & their levels. I give: Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding (WADE) includes a sight word test; DIBELS Test of Oral Reading Fluency; San Diego Quick Assessment of Reading; a capitalization/punctuation pretest; a classroom math inventory; Targeted Mathematics Intervention Diagnostic; basic facts timed test, and maybe more that I'm forgetting... My math tests can wait until whole group if needed. The reading has to be 1:1.

    Then, I graph all of the data from those assessments. I've created some graphs, and use others that I've found. I use Word tables or Excel for lots of things in my room. This gives me my baseline and where I write my goals for the new IEP (we write ours by the end of October, and move ins when needed). I also determine class averages from this, so I have a reference for any evaluation meetings.

    I have a data collection binder (3") with a class section in the front with schedules, rosters, class graphs. Then a section for each student with: DIBELS graph, sight word reading chart, sight word spelling chart, basic facts graphs (required for my school), WADE test booklet, DIBELS booklet, math assessments, copy of IEP, interest inventories/parent answer sheets, parent contact log.

    I also create an Excel spreadsheet for my class list with fields for each: last name, first name, homeroom, disability category, date of birth, ETR date, ETR due date, IEP date, IEP due date, related services. This allows me to sort by needed data. My counselor gives us a list of all students K-5, so this helps me find the kids that have to have testing info, or IEPs that need to be done in a timely manner.

    I'm planning on making a form this year for each student and their goals so I don't have to flip through 12 pages on the IEP. It will be some kind of grid so I can note dates of attempts and performance.

    I also keep a manila file for each student to keep track of parent communications. If I send a note home, I make a copy of it and put it in the file with a date stamp. If I receive a note from a parent, I date stamp it (Rec'd xx-xx-xx) and file it.

    I use date stamps for all papers. Students have one to date stamp their papers, and I use one for correspondance. I also have a DRAFT stamp for draft copies of IEPs (I try to send home a week before meeting to cut down on time). I use a COPY stamp to identify any copies of forms.

    I use BLUE ink pens for all documentation. It allows you to see at a glance if it is an original or a copy. (b/w copies always show black, so it's harder to differentiate black ink/copy).

    Ok, that's all I can think of right now. If you have more questions, keep posting, I'll try to help!
     
  6. ebc

    ebc Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2009

    Wow, that is really going to helpful. I hadn't even thought of stamps for the date- but that will be extremely beneficial. I know the district I am in using blue ink for originals as well.

    How does sending out the IEP in advance work? Do you just mail it to the parents?

    I've heard that the first few week are generally spent scheduling and testing. I guess I'll find out how that goes at the school I'm working at. Do you do a pre-assessment on all students even if you had them the previous year?
     
  7. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2009

    I only teach 4th grade so I get new students every year, but I think I would still do the baseline assessments even if the students were ones I'd had before. There is some loss over the summer, so I'd want the most current data I could get.

    I've been told by the 'powers that be' that legally I'm ok to send out a draft copy in advance. Legally the goals & objectives are to be written together at the meeting...this equates into 2-3 hours for one meeting. I know the parents I work with would not want this, nor does anyone in the district. So I send home a vision sheet in the beginning of the year to get parent input, then I use my assessment data and parent's input to make a draft copy. I send this home with the student, or in the mail. This allows parents time to look over what I'm suggesting. I make it clear that nothing is final until the meeting is held. I also stress that anything can be changed until the parent is satisfied. This saves so much time, and my meetings now are 15-30 minutes usually, with an occasional parent taking more time for discussion.
     
  8. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jul 29, 2009

    As far as I know, everyone in my district does this (observation-based) - even the more experienced teachers. I've never seen any of the organized back-up data that you mention. And being a 2nd year, assessing is my downfall. I get so caught up with creating full days of learning that I forget to take the time to actually see WHERE THE STUDENTS ARE and if they are progressing. Also, I found that last year, my lower students suffered while my higher students got more of my attention. I'm not proud of this at all - it's something I know I need to work on. I was really grateful to you for typing all of that out. In fact, I read your longer post while eating a bowl of fruitloops. :lol: It was that long!

    I know I can get my hands on some DIBELS testing material... The WADE sounds familiar but I'm not sure that I can get that. I'm trying to think of some other general and math testing I can use to do baseline assessments with. Anyway, kb, thanks for the imformative post! Hopefully like yourself, I'll get better about these things as I gain experience.
     
  9. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 29, 2009

    Zoom ~
    Glad I could provide some reading material for your breakfast! :lol:

    I think it is something that you do get better with as you go along. I really did just make it up pretty much as I sat with progress reports.

    Our IEP forms are changing this year, so I think that data is going to be much more in focus than ever before.

    I started out with the Dolch words and my classroom math inventory that I found in my LD Resource handbook. I've added things as I go. I found the San Diego Quick in a book as well. DIBELS is free to download from their website, if you can't find it locally. The WADE is a commercial diagnostic that comes with the Wilson Reading Series (we use this K-8 with our spec ed kids).

    You might be able to find some things online.

    You can also make your own. For example, capitalization/punctuation, make up some sentences that include the different rules, type them up, and score them. Basic math facts: I'm going to use a sheet of mixed problems, probably 50, maybe 100; note the time they start, and the time they stop.

    You might want to see if your building has a copy of the Brigance. That would be all you would need really. I'd use it if I had one.

    For you reference, here are some links to assessments that I give, or could give:
    The San Diego Quick http://theteacherscafe.com/Workshee...Printable-Reading-Assessment-Instructions.htm

    DIBELS materials (requires sign up for account) https://dibels.uoregon.edu/measures/index.php

    (sorry I can't find a good math one right now. Google "math skills inventory" or "math skills assessment" one comes up but I'm having issues with adobe, so I can't access any pdf)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  10. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Karebear you always have such great info. I am new to resource, 6th grade this year. I will teach 80 minutes each of math and lang. arts daily (we use block scheduling). I am really concerned with keeping up with the data, your idea of keeping a binder sounds like a good start for me. I am lucky in that I do not have to write up the IEPs, our CST does that. I have a template listing all of the skills that they want the skills to have and I check off at report card time whether they are successful, need improvement, or that we have not covered the material yet. Be happy to share it - It was developed by the district.
     
  11. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2009

    My biggest stumbling block with data collection is TIME. I have 17 students, and will have reading and math instruction for 30 minute time slots (each) daily. It is so hard to keep up with the 1:1 assessments with that many kids. It takes a week to do, and I have to interrupt teaching, add in that I have 2 weeks of end of the nine weeks assessments, as well as the state assessments, so I really only get to teach about 3 weeks out of a month, if I'm lucky.

    For beginners, I suggest making out some kind of schedule that you block off time to assess end of quarter, month, etc (whatever coincides with the IEP goals) in the beginning so that you keep yourself aware of it.
     
  12. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2009

    My caseload of kids comes directly to me, they are never in the gen ed classroom. So sending them out to gen ed so that I can test them individually is tough. I am going to have to come up with some kind of system to get it done while the kids are working individually on other things.
     
  13. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Hey kb - thanks for the resources. I'm going to look into them. :)
     
  14. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 31, 2009

    Will you have any paras? If so, use them to guide a quiet whole group activity with the remaining kids while you assess 1:1 in a corner of the room, your desk, or even the hallway if it's quiet enough.

    If not, you'll need some kind of plan so the students are busy engaged in some learning task while you assess.

    I have to do this for any mid year testing I do, or IEP goal assessment. I only have strict 1:1 in the beginning of the year (I only give the WADE 1x year, and it HAS to be 1:1).
     

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