Friday, December 19, 2008

Well, it's been awhile!

It has certainly been awhile since I have posted here. Things are going well. I'm back at Head Start and working with a classroom of children with some pretty high needs. I'm learning lots, that's for sure! I'm also working on my Ph.D in Early Childhood and I'm contemplating getting my Early Childhood Special Education license for the state of Wisconsin.

Here's a little info about the room I'm in this year:
  • I have 19 students who are all age three.
  • Two of my students have a documented disability and IEP
  • Three of my students have some behavioral concerns but no IEP at this point
  • Most of my students are present for the full day (my Head Start room has wrap around child care).
Here area some of the helpful accommodations or schedule adjustments that I have made at this point:
  • Large, posted visual schedule
  • I use visuals, such as a "First/Then board," as needed.
  • I have completely taken "large group" activities from daily schedule and have replaced them with small group activities only. For instance, many preschool classrooms have a large group for circle time. I do not because of the level of behavioral concerns that pop up when I have everyone together at one time. Instead, I do circle time during our "small group" time. Small groups are on a rotating schedule, so everyone does not do circle time every day.
  • I provide "heavy work" activities for the children who need them.
  • I have taken out all unneeded transitions. If I can make something happen without a large transition, I do. Because of this, our day looks relatively seamless. It may even appear that there is no set time for anything. Vanderbelt University has some wonderful work on transitions and how to make them more effective for your students. This guide was very helpful in my adjustments. Early Childhood Today also has some terrifc tips for succssful transitions.
  • Think proactively. I do a lot of prep. I over plan and I have stuff out and ready to go so that I do not need to spend time while the children are in the room getting things going. When the children are outside with the other teachers, I set up the room for our small group time so that we can dismiss right to small groups as we enter the room.
Until next time. . . . . .

No comments: