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Calling All Special Ed/Resource Teachers (and there's a freebie)

I teach special ed in a resource room setting. I do mostly all pull-out, although I am going to try do more push-in services for my Kindergarten and 1st grade students. I'm not sure how it will work with scheduling though.

I really, really want to do some sort of Daily 5 with 3rd grade students that I pull for reading. I'll be starting the year with 5 3rd graders that I will be pulling from 2 different classrooms. So their schedules should be similar, which means I should be able to pull them for the reading block at the same time. This will be a HUGE improvement over last year. I do have to use the Corrective Reading (probably Decoding B1) intervention series with them daily. Last year, it took me about 45 minutes to do one entire lesson though, even though I rarely got to do an entire lesson in one day thanks to scheduling.

Has anyone used some sort of Daily 5 in the resource room setting? Does anyone think this could work or have any idea of how it could work? My semi-plan at this moment is to do this for an 1.5 hour reading block:

30 min - Corrective Reading lesson (and if I don't get a lesson done in one day, we'll finish it the next day)
30 min - Guided reading (because I just don't feel like Corrective Reading helps with comprehension at all) and Word Study time
30 min - Chapter read aloud, 20 min of independent reading, and AR time (I'm not sure if that will all work)

I'm not really sure if this will work, but it has to be better than last year's merry-go-round of kids coming and going all day long so I felt like nothing was done effectively. I'd really appreciate other special ed teachers letting me know how they do things and if they can use Daily 5.

Now onto the freebie, which looks like this:

Next Friday will be orientation for all of the students to come to school and find out who their teacher will be and see their new rooms. Last year, not many of my students came by my room to meet me. I do know most of my students already, but I still want to see them and talk to their parents. It's nice to see the parents at times other than IEP meetings. And I moved rooms, so I want the kids to know that as soon as school starts.  I made these cards to put on their desk in the general education classrooms. I hope that the parents will see it and bring their kids on by in my room. I'm not sure how effective it will be, but it can't hurt! There are 2 versions. One is for students that I already know from last year. The other is for new students that were either in the self-contained classroom and are transitioning to general ed or they are new to the district. I've also included two different cards with different graphics.

By the way, have you guys visited Digi Scrap Kits?  They're having a great sale until August 17th where their kits are $0.88!!!  I loaded up yesterday and may have to go back today for some more.  I got these graphics by Trina Clark there.


  1. Those cards are an awesome idea. I teach Resource and do a lot of in class support (about half and half). My resource kiddos get pulled for 45 minutes max. I don't have any experience with Daily 5 but I did use SRA last year and I'll tell you what we did for that. We did the word work boxes the first day and then the next day we would read the passage. The first day we got to focus a lot on decoding and second day we could focus more on comprehension- you are right, it definitely doesn't cover comprehension. We could get through that in about 20-25 minutes. This year we are not using SRA. District purchased SIPPS which looks like a great program. Only using it for kids with reading disabilities in the areas of decoding and fluency though as it also doesn't cover comprehension.

  2. I think your plan sounds great! I could really relate to your comment about how it feels sometimes nothing can be done effectively. I am a Title I reading/math teacher and I see students in a pull-out setting for 30-minute sessions. When factoring in travel time, it tends to be a very intense 25-minute lesson that I feel like I rush through every day. I am so grateful for all these wonderful blogs to get a glimpse into how things go at other schools. We need to build the "resource" or "specialist" teacher base though. Do you know of other good resources? I know about Little Literacy Learners and yourself. Good luck with your new idea for teaching 3rd grade reading! Have a great school year!


  3. Those cards are great, I think I will use the same idea and have them laying on the students desk in the general education classroom. I also do some pull out services and am throwing around the idea of using Daily 5 with them to teach them more independence. I have about 1 hour with my students so I am not sure how it si going to work yet, maybe cut the time at tasks to 15 mintues instead of 30 mintues with 2 minilessons instead of 3-4? I would love to know what your ideas are and I plan to blog some of my ideas soon...thanks again for the freebie! Everyone on here are such great resources.

  4. I am not a resource teacher, but I worked with a resource teacher who did Daily 5 in her room after seeing it in mine. It was a PERFECT match for several reasons. First, she was able to work with individuals while the others were actively engaged. She would do a combo of whole group and individual or small group. Second, on those occasions when resource had to be canceled and those kiddos came back to me, they could do Daily 5 with everyone else. I think you could definitely cut the mini lessons to 2. ALso, you might decide that everyone must Read to Self daily and rotate the other choices during the week. (Or perhaps some need word work daily, you could tailor it). Good luck!
    The Write Handed Teacher

  5. I think your plan sounds great!!! Once you get it going you will see that it might need some tweaking here and there depending on your students and their reading levels, but it's completely do-able and successful.

    I was a resource teacher last year with a good size number of kids and rotated my students thru Daily 5. I did a combo of small group, individual group and whole group with them. I was able to place them into groups that allowed me to pull them together or individually if needed and complete SRA with a group or groups.
    I did the same time frame you have utilizing comprehension as well & it worked great!! It did require some tweaking though. It always does :)

    I set up a rotation system for each day & every student participated in read to self daily. I always had some extra word work or reading sheets available in case one of my usual fast ones finished quick.

    It's definitely possible to do & it's great for the kids on days they don't have resource because like Kitty said they could go back into their classrooms and still participate in Daily 5 because they knew how it worked.

    Good Luck!


  6. Last year I used daily 5 with all my resource students, I was fortunate to get a great schedule so that I Had all my kids from each grade level at the same time. I did a daily three, and had "teacher time" "word work" "Reading" while they were in reading they were could choose read to self, read to someone, or listen to reading, It worked very well. We started with a CAFE mini lesson, choose centers, and rotated through each for 30 min. I broke up the SRA decoding lessons into two days, we did the first part of the lesson the first day, and then the 2nd half plus guided reading the next day. Friday I did conferencing with each student and assessments as needed. If I didn't need to meet with anyone we did another guided reading lesson. We only got through 2 lessons in decoding a week but it was worth it to add in the comprehension. Otherwise to fit it all in I would just condense some portions of the lesson to shorten it up a bit (I know that technically isn't research based but it did work for my kids.)

  7. I don't do Daily 5 per se, but I do centers and rotations. I have 14 first and second grade students in my classroom for a two and a half hour block this morning. I have two other students who are being tested and will qualify, so that will put me up to 16, and that is at the beginning of the year!

    Since I have my kiddos all morning,I try to run my resource room as much like a regular classroom as I can. I do morning music time and a read aloud. We take whole classroom restroom breaks to keep students from needing to go during our rotations.

    Currently I do four rotations. Two of them are independent with activities such as iPad, listening center, computer or printable centers that I created or downloaded from teacher blogs.) I do a 15 minute reading lesson and my assistant does language or phonics work.

    Eventually I am going to try to squeeze in a second rotation so that I can do writing work with my students, but it is early in the year so right now I am focusing on procedures and expectations.

    I don't know how I am going to do it. My class is SO BIG! But, I am not going to stress out because it makes me less effective in the long run.

  8. Thank you guys for your fabulous responses and sharing how your classes work! I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    I really like how some of you split up the SRA lessons into 2 days. That seems like a MUCH better plan to me. The poor kids are just bored to death and wore out after sitting there for 40-45 min if I could complete one lesson. I'm going to incorporate this and just plan on doing half a lesson a day. I have to track how many lessons I do a day and a district rep comes and checks my progress and watches me teach a lesson during the year. Hopefully they don't object too much to the way I'm going to do it. Last year, I had a bunch of 0's down for not teaching any lesson at all because of the scheduling restrictions.

    If I plan on doing only one lesson a day, I should be able to figure out a way to do Daily 2 or 3. I'm going to work on a new plan this week and let you know what I decide.

    I can't wait to go check out some of your blogs that you have posted. The only other special ed blogs that I know about are:

  9. I will be recommending your site :) I am currently employed as an RTI Coach and Special Education Facilitator (handler of all things paper and coach for the special ed team). I will be browsing your site and sharing. Please feel free to scoot on over to mine and check it out as well. Please follow if you would like :)

  10. LOVE these cards!!!! I'm going to steal them for our Open House...thanks!

  11. I am nominating you as one of my Top 10 Teaching blogs!

    Go here to view the post:

    Here is the link to get your award:

    I love all of your ideas! I can use them with my low third graders and my ESOL kids! Over half of my class is ESOL!

    Thanks! Ginger

  12. I love this! I am an inclusion teacher and I LOVE your ideas!!

    BTW - You made my Top Ten!

    <3 Third Grade Bookworm!

  13. I am the teacher in a multi-need class at a small school. The students in my classroom (11 currently) range between the ages of 5-16! Each of the students are with me all day with the exception of one going to breakfast with his class of peers. So this being said, along with my two AMAZING teaching assistants we are able to work individually with every student in the classroom. We basically are team teaching the assistants are able to help with classroom management and help with teacher guided groups. At no point during the day are we all doing the exact same thing (other than early morning calendar time)...every single activity is modified for the student. We have a total of 12 reading/math groups. It takes lots and lots of planning to get it all started however, having group rotations has cut out so many of the behavior issues that we used to have.
    To be honest, my kiddos are so much more independent now... They are basically running the classroom. We are free to work on focus skills with each student.

    SO...can you see that I am a MAJOR fan of group rotations?????

  14. I an a resource teacher for fourth and fifth grade. Most of the day I push in to the classrooms where my kids are clustered. It works great! For one hour per day the kids pull out with me. I am attempting to rotate through three centers right now. The hitch so far is that my kids have a hard time working independently while I work with a small group of 3 or 4. This is definitely something I feel is necessary so we'll keep plugging. We are working on reading stamina and problem solving. I try to tell myself that it will happen with perseverance and lots of planning. :)

  15. I feel your pain with scheduling. I teach 3/4 grade learning support. This year I have 19 students, 5 of which have personal care aids with them. Those students have been labeled or diagnosed with severe autism, seizure disorder as a result of chemo, Down's Syndrome, William's Syndrome, and Behavior Disorder. I have the third graders for a LA block for less than 90 minutes. When they leave for special, the 4th graders come in for LA. By the time they get a restroom break, get their snack, and all get to my room, I am left with 30 minutes. Then they are all in my room for 40 minutes for math. I have two 4th graders who only see me for LA and are still in my room while I need to teach math. After lunch, I have everyone for 30 minutes of math and then 40 more minutes of LA with 4th grade. Two problems with the end of my day is that I no longer have the two fourth graders that only see me for LA because they are in their rooms for math. Also, the 4th grade is burned out by then because they don't have recess until the end of the day. I am trying to get one student in 3rd grade in Corrective reading and 3 of my 4th graders because they all tested into Level A. You're right about it not helping with comprehension very much, but is great for fluency. I also teach using Whole Brain Teaching which I find to be an awesome method. Thanks for all of the great resources. You have an awesome blog. Good luck with your schedule!


  16. Hey there! I just happened upon this post while searching daily five and spec Ed. I already follow your blog and was excited to come across this! I am a collaborative/ resource teacher. Our school is implementing daily five school wide and I want to use it withy resource kids, but was unsure of how to go about setting up the schedule/right components of the program. Are you still doing D5 in resource? Did it work well for you? How much choice did you give your students in choosing their reading material? I have a tentative plan, but I would live to hear from a sped teacher that actually has done this!

  17. Nice Teaching resource for Kids.. I am sure with good resource teacher improve there skills and its good impact on students

  18. This blog also has some great resources for parents of children with special needs. I have a son with autism and I try and work with her during the summer as much as possible because he loves to learn! The special ed teacher at his school has had such a large impact on his life I am so grateful!

  19. I teach K-6 resource and only get my students for 30 minutes tops for pullout.
    that leaves time for a reading intervention program only. I usually take 1 day per week to add in a learning game or IPad time, tho. Good luck!

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