Vocabulary Instruction for Students with Disabilites

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Are you tired of messing around with traditional vocabulary instruction?

Vocabulary is such a hard skill to teach our students with disabilities. Typically the tradition routes don't work. Over the years I've had several kiddos who can read any word you put in front of them. One of my 3rd graders was able to decode all of the words in the Brigance Assessment all the way to 10th grade. 
The problem was though that the words he could decode got lost in translation.... or should I say comprehension. Vocabulary is the essential foundation of comprehension. Many of our students struggle with comprehension because they lack the essential vocabulary to make sense of what they hear. 

As teachers I think it is hard to remember that just because our students can decode words doesn't mean that they can comprehend them. That's a key distinction that many of the first and second year teachers I work with sometimes forget. 

You Might Be a Special Ed Teacher if...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I hope you've had a great start to your year. It's been quite the start for me, so I thought I would post this light and somewhat funny post for you all. So I bring you....

You might be a Special Ed Teacher if...

1. You hear “Student A needs his AT when he goes to OT. Make sure to review his ETR and IEP and follow it to the letter because IDEA says that he needs to be in his LRE.” and you understand that!

2. You never thought you’d say “No, it is NOT okay to lick your friend!” Or “Do NOT eat the fuzzies off of the gym mat!”

3. You have tried to take data on your own friends, kids, spouse, you name it, you’ve tried to take data on it. 

4. You’ve ever hidden Velcro in a "safe place" (aka your desk drawer, under the false bottom, so no one can find it…ever.)

5. You’ve tried to analyze the function of your family’s bad behavior.

6. You’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to use positive reinforcement to get your family to complete their household chores.

7. You can complete paperwork with your eyes closed, hands behind your back, while standing on one foot.

8. You differentiate in your sleep.

9. You’re kind of like a superhero. You can write IEP’s, deal with parents, collaborate with general education teachers, relate accommodations to specials teacher, communicate regularly with related services, and tailor lessons to individual students in a single day!

10. Your bladder is bigger than most. You’re a busy person. Going to the bathroom takes some time and some days you just don’t have time for that.

11. Your heart is bigger than most also. You love your students and are excited to watch them grow, learn, and make progress. Sometimes the progress is as little as being able to say hi to a friend at recess, other times it’s as huge as helping your 3rd grader finally read!
So what makes you a Special Education Teacher?

Leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you. 

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