Super Improver Door


A couple years ago I read up on whole brain teaching and using a super improvers wall display in the classroom. I attempted to do it in the general education classroom that I co-taught in but it didn’t go as well as planned. So instead of starting this whole group I chose to start it in with my small group of IEP students in my resource office that I use to teach small groups.

This year I went for a chalkboard type theme for the wall. I bought some scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby and lined the back of my door before I put the Super Improvers’ Wall up.  I put each kids’ name up in the same color as the content area.  Underneath their names I write I can…. and leave enough space so that after they are laminated we can write and change out goals as needed. Next to each child’s name I put a circle that represents the color they are on on the Super Improver’s Wall. On that circle I write what that child can do at this time.

Let me just say this has been the ONE thing that my kids look at after each time we progress monitor (every 2 weeks). Their goal is to reach pink (Master). At the beginning of the year we set mostly year-long goals. For most of my kids learning the letters in the alphabet is a huge struggle. We are in April and I have kids that still don’t know all the letters.

I have a Literacy side and a Math side to my wall. As a team the student and myself choose one goal from each area. I have some students who are on writing IEPs and not Reading IEPs (that’s why I put Literacy, it covers it all!). To the left of my door I have student graphs that they color in to correspond to the color they are on the wall. This provides a visual for them to see where they are at and how far they have come!

When they reach pink I told them they can have whatever kind of treat they wanted since they worked so hard. I don’t let them choose goals that will be easily met within a month or two. I try to aim for long-term goals.  So far McDonald’s has been a favorite choice. (Come spring time and it seems I am venturing out more often because kids are meeting their goals, I love it!).


Reading and Cooking Family Literacy Night


So I will apologize with the writing on this picture above. I forgot to take a picture right away and by the time I got around to it my 3 year old at the time had already taken it upon herself to write all over it.

I happen to be on the Parent Advisory Board for my daughter’s pre-school so at one of our monthly meetings a parent night was brought up. In the past they just had the parents come in and the director/teacher presented information to the parents. I chimed in that at the school I teach at we have the students come with the parents and actually have them do the activities with them. Last year at my school we combined literacy and math night and did a cooking theme for our kindergarten grade level. We first read a book (Literacy) and then did a recipe (math) that related to the book.  I mentioned the idea to her teacher/director/board and they loved it. I worked with her teacher for the next month through emails and she gave me the recipes that she wanted to use for the family night.

Since I am such a ‘nerd’ when it comes to this type of stuff I told her I would create a hand-out for the parents. I thought what a better idea for a parent handout than their own personal Reading and Cooking recipe and learning activity book. So on the left side of the book I put the recipe that they used/made/ate with their child at the family night so that they could re-create it at home with them again. On the right side of the book I put the title/author of the story the book related to that we used at the family night. As an added bonus I also thought of an activity that they could do at home based on literacy/math in relation to the story that was read.

Here are the pages of the book we did at the family night:


Book: Pete’s A Pizza by William Steig. Students made personal pizzas to go along with the story. The activity to go along with this book was to have students roll out dough (play-doh) and make their name with their own pizza dough.




Book: The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola. We did not actually end up using this one but I didn’t know that before hand so it was included anyway! The activity to go along with this book was to print out popcorn kernals on paper (hello clip art!). Have your child (or parent) write one letter of their name on each kernal. Then they need to string the popcorn together to create a name necklace.



20140711-220304.jpgBook: If you Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff. The kids made donuts with their parent’s help. The activity to go along with this book that we used was to cut a circle out of brown or white paper to be a donut and then to cut out a long rectangle to be the line for the lowercase d. They would then have their kid put the pieces together to make a d and then decorate it to look like a donut.



20140711-220349.jpgBook: The Puddle by David McPhail. Cooking activity= Puddle Cake. Activity to go with story: Puddle memory game. Cut out pieces of blue paper to look like puddles. Put letters on them in pairs so that they can play a matching game.




20140711-220434.jpg This was what I put on the back cover.

This is how it looked at her school during family night: The teacher had pre-arranged groups with a board member to be the reader of the story. I had The Puddle Book with the Puddle Cake (let’s just say I didn’t think it was going to turn out because I am not a baker!). But I was up for the challenge. Each group read a book and created the recipe. While everything was cooking parents and kids read stories together. When everything was done cooking we had a big group meal (which is possible when you have a small private preschool with a full working kitchen right there).

This is how this all worked at my public elementary school when we did this type of family night: Each teacher was responsible for one “stations.” The kids rotated around to the different stations and were able to do each one. We had less time and parents were juggling between going from one grade level to another. I did counting and graphing fruit loops. Another teacher did following a recipe to make trail mix.  One teacher read a book about cookies and made cookies in her toaster oven. Honestly there were two more stations but it was at the beginning of last school year so I can’t remember what the other ones were.

Overall anything that has to do with food is successful!

What does the shape say? 3D


I would like to give credit for the drawings on this poster to one of my special education phase 2 students (teacher prep) for being a great sport and drawing these for me. I cannot draw 3D shapes for anything so I was excited when I found out she was a good drawer and I put her to work!

So our unit that we just finished up was on 2D and 3D shapes. I saw a anchor chart on Pinterest for a play on the song What does the fox say? The anchor chart was what does the shape say? I created the 2D one on the first day of our end of the unit assessment days. You can see that here.

Since we have 2 days at the end of each math unit devoted to finishing up benchmark assessments I decided to create a What does the 3D shape say anchor chart as well.  My sayings for this poster were not the greatest, mainly because I am not feeling well so my creative juices were just not flowing so well yesterday.  Here are the sayings the kids came up with for the 3D shapes:






What does the shape say? 2D


So yesterday we finished up our unit on 2D and 3D shapes. I found this great idea on Pinterest from here. When I saw this on Pinterest I just had to make it. My students are absolutely in love with What Does the Fox Say? So I knew that they would love this. Forgive my drawings, I am in no way an artist.

I had the poster created with the shapes on it and I had the students come up with the sayings for each shape.
Below are close-ups of all the posters.  After we created this poster and the 3D shape poster I had them get into pairs and re-create their own what does the shape say writing and I hung them up in the hall (well, the ones that were done anyways). We did not do a saying for the parallelogram because we didn’t talk about it in our unit I just wanted to float the vocabulary for the students.






Leprechaun Math Activity

leprechaungoldmath1 We have been working really hard on addition story problems in math. since St. Patricks day is right around the corner we decided to do a festive math activity. Each student got a pot and chose a few pieces of “gold.” I had them put some pieces of gold on one side of the pot and the rest on the other side of the pot.

After they had their gold glued down they had to finish the addition story sentence frame to relate to their leprechaun. It says my leprechaun has _____ proceeds of gold. I gave him _____ more Pieces of gold. Now he has _____ pieces of gold.
leprechaungoldmathI found this activity from  eberhart’s Explorers.


Ten Frame Heart Match Up: Numbers 1-30

ten frame 1to30

One of the biggest things my students are still working on is counting with one to one correspondence and number identification. Included in this packet are ten frames from 1 to 30 and the written numerals 1 to 30. Students match the ten frame to the correct written numeral. For the majority of my students this is what their IEP goals are in the area of math.

You can get it here!