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Public Service Announcement: Teacher Hoarders

I've taught in a few schools in a few different states (thanks Marine Corps!).  One thing I've noticed is that some teacher are HOARDERS!!  Oh man, do some teachers like to hold onto things for a long, long time.

I was just offered a 2nd grade SPED resource position, so I'm back full time again.  There might be only a few months left in the year, but I can't stand a cluttered classroom.  I've been slowly going through things and throwing junk away.  I'm pretty sure the custodian hates me already!  

So far I've found some interesting things.

This play dough with MOLD on it might be the most surprising thing yet!  Yikes!  How long does it take for play dough to grow mold?  Scary!

A rice cooker and a toaster oven is something you don't see in a classroom everyday.

This blast from the past that I found last year was pretty awesome though!  Man, I loved He-Man as a kid!  Too bad there wasn't a SheRa book though.

I also found some pretty outdated curriculum.  Do we need to keep work books that are almost 20 years old?  

And oh man the worksheets.  Tons and tons and tons of worksheets.  I'm sure there was good intent to use these worksheets, but it just didn't work out.  Please, recycle that paper!  And I have one word of advice to leaving, transferring, retiring teachers.  Throw the worksheets away.  I know you mean well but most teachers don't have time to dig through old worksheets and see what's useable.  Most of us will find our own thing that fits our teaching style anyway.

If you think you might be a teacher hoarder, look around your room and think about what you can throw away or donate.  I've only made a small dent in cleaning out my new room, but I will get it done!  I don't know if I should be scared or excited about the possible finds that are lurking in my 4 floor-to-ceiling cabinets!

Communicating With Gen Ed Teachers (Let's All Be Informed)

I'm super excited to be linking up for the Bright Idea Blogger Hop!

This hop is going to be an awesome way for you find all kinds of bright ideas for you to use in your classroom!

As an intervention teacher, I've found that it can be super hard to find the time to meet and discuss students' progress with the gen ed teachers.  I wanted the gen ed teachers to be able to know what skills I was working on and the progress of their students at any time even though they may not be able to actually meet with me very easily.

I keep all of my data in a 3-ring binder for each group.

 I keep a sort of lesson plan that lets the teachers know what skills I was working on that day.  And it helps me keep track of which students attend intervention group.

For each student in my reading groups, I take a weekly fluency check and a cold read comprehension check.  I keep the original fluency and comprehension quiz in the binder.

In front of those, I keep a fluency graph.  I LOVE graphs.  They can really can give you that visual about a student's progress.  Although this student is reading below grade level, she's really improving on her fluency!

Graphs can also really let you see when students just aren't making progress like this student.  This is one that I'm super worried about.  Even though he's in my most intense, smallest group, he's just not coming along like I think he should be.  :(

I also keep this form at the front of the binder for each group.  This gives the teachers a quick snapshot of how everyone in the group is doing.

To keep track of their weekly comprehension check, I use this simple form.  As you can tell, comprehension can be really tough.

I also have a math group that I see daily.  On Fridays, I give them a quick quiz that covers several skills.  By looking at their data like this, I can quickly tell which skills I need to keep remediating and which skills they seem to get.  Here's a really good week!  Usually, most of my students miss the word problem.

So there you go!  It may seem daunting to keep data, but honestly, it's really quick.  Once you get the forms set up and your binders organized, it takes no time to add the new information.

Now you should definitely hop on over to Teachable Moments to find out all about how she used Dollar Stores finds in her classroom.  And can I just add that it's really unfair there is no Dollar Store in Hawaii!  You can find her post {here}.