Tips For A Better School Year

A new school year is starting. Are you ready? For families of students with special needs, getting ready for a new school year involves more than buying new shoes, and gathering up school supplies. It also involves a partnership between parents, teachers, and school administrators. As a former teacher, who has worked in classrooms designed to meet the needs of children who had a variety of special needs, I thought I would share some advice that can help your child have a great school year. While some kids cannot wait for the new school year to start, this is often … Continue reading

Volunteering When You Have Other Children

Schools usually need a lot of volunteers throughout the year. There are many activities, programs, lessons and fundraisers that require parental help. And being a parent who volunteers helps you get to know what the school environment is like. You will also meet other parents, teachers and staff through volunteering. Increasingly though, it is becoming the norm for schools to ban any children from school property if they are not students. Our school used to be open to having siblings visit the classroom, but these days they are not even allowed during official visiting days or even school pageants. Since … Continue reading

Substitute Teacher’s Corner: Discipline in the Classroom

Good morning and welcome to Monday, by the time you are reading this, I will actually be substituting today. Our local school is doing their TPRI testing to judge the reading level of the Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students. Generally, this gives the teacher a sound idea of where the student is at with their reading, reading comprehension, sight words and phonics. ?The testing is pretty individualized and since the instructor has to judge each student individually that means they need a substitute teaching their lesson plan for the day. Which brings me to the topic at hand, discipline … Continue reading

Scrapbooking in the Preschool Classroom: A Few Tips to Get You Started

Teaching scrapbooking in the classroom is loads of fun. Depending on the age group, it can even tie into the curriculum. With a preschool classroom, it is mainly just a fun way to incorporate a new form or art, and keep it ongoing. There are a few things you should remember before putting it all out in front of them and having them go to town. Children that are preschool age should be allowed total freedom to create. If they glue a punchie on an upside down photograph, that’s okay. At this age, they are learning dexterity skills, and their … Continue reading

Scrapbooking With Your Elementary Aged Child

Scrapbooking with an elementary aged child, is without a doubt full of laughter, a lot of giggles, funny stories and a creative mess. However, it is important that this age be allowed the freedom to create whatever it is their hearts desire. And it is also important that they feel that their work has value and that it is honestly appreciated. Children in elementary school are beginning to notice when people don’t like what they do. They are beginning to show their feelings more, and internalize the hurt and pain from others. They are also itching to be creative, working … Continue reading

Preserving School Memories

Today I went to my daughter’s school to eat lunch with her because she was student of the week for her class. All of the other children who were student of the week in the class, their parents and the principal eat lunch up on the stage in the cafeteria. It was really fun and nice time for my daughter to feel special. But, guess what? I forgot to take my camera! I’m not too worried since we will have other great school experiences to capture in the future, but it got me thinking about all of the things I … Continue reading

Ten Ways to Help Your Child with Bipolar Disorder Succeed in School

Researchers are coming to the conclusion that a large number of children in the United States who were thought to have ADHD actually have early onset bipolar disorder. ADHD and early onset bipolar disorder are “look alikes” and can be misdiagnosed. There are many other ADHD look-alikes, which I will address in a future blog. The child with bipolar disorder can have difficulties in the public school system, for obvious reasons. Their mood swings, manic behaviors and depression can create obstacles to learning. A child with bipolar disorder should be in frequent contact with a caring child psychiatrist who can … Continue reading

Desktop Learning Technologies

Education has certainly come a long way over the past 100 years from the one room school house to interactive classrooms. Technology has created a plethora of electronic devices to help make learning more global, interesting and fun. At the forefront of the revolution are the steady old desktop computers. K-12 students who have a few of these computers in their classroom that are hooked up to the internet have an advantage over other students who do not have this tool. The internet can offer so much depth to what students are learning through their textbooks or via teacher lectures. … Continue reading

What is Inclusion

What is Inclusion in regards to the educational classroom? Inclusive education means that all students in a school, mo matter their level of learning, their strengths or weaknesses in any subject area, becomes part of the regular school classroom. All students want to have the feeling they belong or are included in the same activities as their student peers. Students want to be treated the same by their teachers and support staff. Before NCLB or No Child Left Behind, the original policy of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with its 1997 amendments, made it clear that schools have a … Continue reading

Is Your Child Getting the Best Possible Education?

As your child’s greatest advocate, you alone must determine whether the current education he is receiving is meeting his needs. In order to make this assessment, you must visit your child’s classroom, observe his teacher, and see how your child interacts and behaves as a student. Ask yourself the following questions as you make observations: The Classroom setting: 1. Is the room bright and lively, full of imaginative decorations, or is it drab and dreary? 2. Does there appear to be plenty of tools and materials for active learning, such as books, blocks, art supplies, and toys for imaginative play? … Continue reading