Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mail Call Monday- Most Asked Question about Unique

I can't believe that we are about to start our fourth week of school!  Although I have been teaching for 12 years, I feel like a brand new teacher this year!

I have mentioned in my previous blogs that I am no longer in the LIFE (Living in a Functional Environment) Classroom.  I am now our campus ITS (Instructional Technology Specialist) I just thought I was done with the acronyms! One of my main fears when I left the classroom is that I would not be relevant anymore in the field of special ed.... but with my copious videos and my blogs that I have posted I still get questions (and this makes my heart happy!)  I am also the mentor for the teacher that took over my classroom (who is rocking it out!)

One of the main questions I get is about my Big Idea poster

I absolutely LOVED using the Unique Curriculum and News 2 You.  It had so many resources, ideas, lessons and so much more.  Although I used the Unique Curriculum, I still had IEP's that I had to cover too. This is why the Big Idea board was  created.

Title- Was the Big Idea from the Unique Unit that month
Subtitle- Was each subject I focused on in class
Bullets- First bullet- The big idea for that subject
              Second-Fourth bullet were more IEP based
              Second bullet- Level 1 focus
              Third bullet- Level 2 focus
              Fourth bullet- Level 3 focus and extension activities

Each of my students was on a different level.  Unique is set up this way, but so is our standardized testing.  

Having this Big Idea board not only helped those that entered the classroom see what the different students were working on, but it also helped keep me on track!  Working with so many different grade levels can be a challenge at times (well worth it), but being organized in every way possible is important.

Do you have questions for me?  Have you checked out my youtube page?  Would you like to be a guest blogger for my Mail Call Monday?  Let me know!  You can find me on twitter @akbusybee or email me  I LOVE hearing from readers!

If you want to read a few more of my Unique and News 2 You blogs, you can find them here:
Unique Curriculum

Next week is Movie Monday and I hope to actually have a video up of my new office and classrooms!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Make it Monday- Preparing for International Dot Day!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter.. you know the chatter is about #DotDay.  This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of The Dot (one of the best books!)  I have written about International Dot Day several times and have had T.J. Shay even guest blog for me!

This weekend our school will be celebrating (along with over a million people) International Dot Day.  We are inviting families to enjoy festivities at school that will allow them to be creative and Make Their Mark.  My partner in crime (our Amazing Art Teacher- Alex Alkire) and I decided that we needed new shirts this year.   Last year we made Dot Day shirts using sharpies and rubbing alcohol.  It worked pretty well.. until you washed it.  This year we stuck with easy (and they turned out great!)

Dot Day 2012
Do you have a Dot Day shirt yet?  Here are 2 ideas for you to use!  The first one is uber easy... and the 2nd one takes a few more steps.

Shirt Number 1
-shirt of your choice
-fabric paint
-circle stampers
Finished product
 Step 1- choose your colors
Fabric paint and circle stampers
 Step 2- Stamp Away! We put placemats in the middle of our shirts so the paint would not bleed
Ms. Alkire adding some sparkles to her shirt
Step 3- Let it dry then it is ready to wear!  When I wash this shirt, I turn it inside out.

Shirt 2- Thank goodness for Pinterest!  Ms. Alkire found this blog with a cool tutorial for a do it yourself hand-dye t-shirt

-white t-shirt
-Elmers glue (the directions say the blue gel.. we use regular Elmer's glue and it seemed to work
-Rit dye
Step 1- Create a design on your shirt using the glue. Something we learned.. if you put a drawing underneath the shirt to trace, it will bleed through.
 Step 2- Let dry for 24 hours
 Step 3- Prepare your dye.  I did this outside.  I put about 3 cups of water in the tub and the full package of Rit
 Step 4- Let shirts soak in the tub for 10-15 minutes.  It was pretty cool to watch it change color
 Step 5- Let dry completely (I sure do love that we have space in our backyard to do this!)
 Step 6- Rinse- I rinsed it in the bucket first with a little dish soap.  I realized; however, that not all of the glue had come out yet.  I threw it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.  I then washed it one more time regular with a little bit of soap.
 Step 7- Take them out and let them dry!  I will probably wash the shirt on its own for a few more times.  There is still a little residual glue left (when we do this again we are going to try with the original directions of the blue gel)
Overall I LOVE this idea!  I can't wait to showcase our super crafty shirts!

Have you created your own Dot Day shirts?  How are you celebrating Dot Day?  Have you signed up at the Dot Club?