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Showing posts from January, 2019

Tips for the SDE National Conference in Las Vegas

Attending the 2018 SDE I Teach Conference in Las Vegas was so inspirational! I learned so much and got to connect with educators from around the country.  I loved hearing from a variety of speakers and teachers on all different topics. There was something to take away from each presentation and I loved being able to customize my schedule for the things I needed to hear.  Here are some of my highlights and top tips if you are planning to go:
1. Check In Early We checked in at the Venetian on Sunday evening and even then we experienced a long line...but it was nothing compared to the check-in line on Monday.  So, as soon as you get into town, I'd recommend checking in at your hotel.
Also, SDE was nice enough to open up registration on Sunday evening as well.  So we walked around the hotel a bit and then made our way to the SDE booth.  There was no line and I was able to pick up my registration materials and take some pics without fighting my way through hundreds of people.
2. Stay …

Sink or Swim: The Appearance of Reading

When my two oldest boys were in swimming lessons, I remember watching them, amused, as they'd literally walk back and forth between the width of the pool while making big swim strokes with their arms.  I'd see other kids in the class actually swimming...but my boys? They were walking.  They were going through the motions of swimming, without actually swimming.

This is often what we see in classrooms today.  Students appear to be reading...some even become quite expert at keeping up the appearance.  Their arms are doing their strokes perfectly...but if you look under the water?  They're only walking.   Let me explain.
I had a student one year who severely struggled in school.   By the end of her kindergarten year, she only knew a handful of letters.  I remember placing a book in front of her as I administered our state-mandated end-of-year kindergarten test.  She vaguely looked at the words on the page and then studied the picture.  She looked back down and found the sight…

Childhood Depression and What You Can Do About It

When N was diagnosed with depression last year, I was devastated!  He was only 7 years old...I felt like I had failed as a mother.  I mean, what sort of mom can't make her child happy?  Of course this is a totally unfair assumption, but those were the thoughts running through my mind at the time.  When the doctor had asked N if he was happy, he replied, "Not very much."  This broke. my. heart.

Dyslexia and depression often go hand in hand and the reason is obvious.  Every day N is forced to be in an environment that constantly reminds him he is failing.  Dyslexia doesn't just affect his reading ability but every aspect of his learning and life.  Handwriting is tedious, spelling feels hopeless, learning facts near impossible, multi-step directions are overwhelming, he even struggles to recall certain words as he speaks.   Every day he goes to school knowing he will face countless hurdles that are simply too high. No matter how hard he tries, he is never as successful…

My Favorite Flexible Seating Options

Looking for flexible seating ideas?  Here are some of my favorites!

1. Wobble Chairs When I think of flexible seating, the first thing I think of is the wobble chair!  My students love these. I have six of these at our "technology" center and six more at my reading table.  I also have a few extras that certain students use at their tables.  I think the 14 inch size is perfect for kinders.  If you're debating on sizes, I'd suggest to error on the smaller side.  It's nice for students to be able to have their feet planted firmly on the ground.  Even my 11 year old sits on this size just fine (although, 16 inch would work well for him too).  I like to purchase these at Amazon because of all the color options (9 to choose from).  -But you can also get them in 3 colors from Lakeshore Learning.
2.  The Couch I just recently got a couch for my classroom and I LOVE it!  It's called the Flex-Space Comfy Couch from Lakeshore!  I mean, just look how many kinders can fit…