Friday, December 14, 2007


BS of Elementary Education
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

National Administrator Credential
National Child Care Association

Job Experience

1999 - present Director and Lead Teacher, Olivet Christian Preschool

Taught up to 90 students per year
Hired, supervised and evaluated staff of three teachers
Instrumental in obtaining a four star rating with the Iowa Quality Rating System
Obtained Reach for the Stars, Empowerment, VNS grants

1996 -1999 Administrative Assistant, The Quilted Closet, Johnston, IA

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lesson Plan #5

Materials Needed·
Paper· Pencil
Other Materials: Other Resources(e.g. Web, books, etc.)
3 hula hoops
laminated construction paper fish in red and blue, half with stars and in sizes small, medium and large from Mailbox may/June 2006
"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" by Dr. Seuss
Fee, Fie Phomemic Awareness by Mary Hohmann
Steve Spangler Science
Objectives(Specify skills/information that will be learned. It must be derived from the education standard(s) and address the Goal/Purpose)
Iowa Early Learning Standards 2006
Area 11 Mathematics and Science -
11.6 Measurement*Children understand comparision and measurement.
*The child can sort, classifiy and put objects in series, using a variety of properties.
Procedures(Describe what the instructor AND students will do at each stage of the lesson. This is a play by play of what will happen)
1. Gather children around in space large enough for large motor activity.
2. Read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" pages 1 -17.
3. Show the children the fish you have made. Have an assortment of fish photocopyed from Mailbox onto red and blue construction paper in small, medium and large sizes. Before laminating them, put stars on half of the red and half of the blue.
4. Have a red and a blue hula hoop on the floor on the other side of the room. Give each child a fish and expalin that their job is to run to the other side of the room and put the red fish in the red hula hoop and the blue fish in the blue hula hoop.Chldren will wait for their name and then run to the other side of the room to the hoops to put them in. Have the children count the fish and discuss which hula hoop has more fish and which has less.
5. Retrieve the fish and put a star in one of the hoops. Now distribute the fish and have the children sort them according to whether or not their fish has a star on it. Emphasize that we are no longer looking at the color but at the star. Children individaully run and sort their fish.Have the children count the fish and discuss which hula hoop has more fish and which has less.
6. Retrieve the fish, add a hula hoop and put a small, medium and large fish in each hula hoop. Have the children sort the fish according to size. Encourage them to take the time to compare the fish that they are holding to the fish that is already in the hoop. Demonstrate this. Individual children run to the hoop and classify their fish. Have the children count the fish and discuss which hula hoop has more fish and which has less.
Assessment/Verification(Steps to check for student understanding. (We will talk about this in Chapter 15. )
Watch the children and see who is able to sort according to the catagory given. Repeat the exercise as necessary.
Watch the children as they use several small manipulatives geared toward sorting. Are they able to do it?
Reinforcement/ Expansion Activities(Describe the independent activities to further develop or build upon this lesson. Often this involves independent or small group work. You may think in terms of seat work, web work, discovery projects, )
1. Read the entire book "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" to the children.
2. Set up a fishing area in free play with a hula hoop and some fishing poles. Use the fish and put paper clips on them and a magnet on the poles. When they "catch" a fish, have them sort them into baskets labeled either with colors, stars, or sizes.
3. Have the children sort colors in small manipulatives using the Montisourri color sorting box. 4. Have a tape measure and rulers out and encourage the children to measure things around the room, including the teacher's foot and hand! Help make a chart with pictures of what they measure and the number of inches those items were.
5. Put masking tape on the wall in the block area at various heights and have the children build towers to those heights. Have them count how many blocks it takes to reach the tape. Encourage predictions as to how many blocks it will take to reach the tape.
6. In housekeeping, label the food tubs with pictures of fruits and vegetables and have the children sort the food into the appropriate bin.
7. Question of the day chart - " What is your favorite color of fish?
8. Do a color mixing activity (Steve Spangler) and have the children explore what might happen if red and blue touch!
9. Use the Teddy Bear counters to classify according to size and/or color.
10. Have the alphabet printed on various colors of cards - Bigger cards with upper case and smaller cards with lower case. Laminate. Have the child find matches -either by color, by size or by letter.
Adaptations(Choose a special need and add adaptations where it will be necessary for those students).
Talented and Gifted
1. When counting the fish, have the child do additonal math with the fish - ask "How many fish are there altogether?" or "How many more red fish are there than blue fish?"
2. Read the entire book to the child in free time and explore other items in the book that could be classified - such as creatures with strange names or people.
3. Help make up more silly words that rhyme with the silly rhyming words already in the book. 4. Use the hula hoops to make a Venn diagram and explore ways to classify the fish that would fit into this diagram.
Hearing impaired
Look at the child when giving directions.
2. Always have the appropriate fish in visual sight and point to it as needed
3. Tap the child on the shoulder when it is the child's turn to go
4. Have the child repeat back to you the instructions
Additional NotesLesson plan for one teacher and 8 4-year olds.
Iowa Early Learning Standards 2006
"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" by Dr, Suess
Mailbox magazine
Fee, Fie Phomemic Awareness by Mary Hohmann
Steve Spangler Science

Lesson Plan #4

Materials Needed·

Paper· Pencil

Other Materials: Other Resources(e.g. Web, books, etc.)

Every child Reads - Heartland AEA

Tape - Kindermusik:Level one - Listening examples

Tape player

Large pieces of butcher

paperscarves - one per child

paint brushes - one per child and several buckets of water


Objectives(Specify skills/information that will be learned. It must be derived from the education standard(s) and address the Goal/Purpose)

Iowa Early Learning Standards

10.3 - Early writing: Children engage in early writing experiences

*child is given opprotunity to use large and small motor control in pre-writing skills

Procedures(Describe what the instructor AND students will do at each stage of the lesson. This is a play by play of what will happen)

Prior to lesson starting, tape two large pieces of butcher paper to wall. Each is large enough for 8 children to stand at .

2. Gather children and give each a scarf.

4. Play 3 or 4 (!5 second) examples and encourage chldren to move the scarf to match what they are hearing. Children move with their scarf to the music.

5. Take the scarves and give each child a paint brush. Have then paint with water , playing 3 or 4 examples on the tape. Again, chldren are encouraged to paint to match the music.

6. Move to the other paper and give each child a crayon. Encourage the children to color to match what they are hearing on the tape. Play several tracks.

7. All the time, encourage the children as they are moving to the music. Use body language to match the music. Be a good role model.

Assessment/Verification(Steps to check for student understanding. (We will talk about this in Chapter 15. )

Child is able to demonstrate control of scarf, brush and crayon.

Child exhibits an ability to try different strokes to match different music. Child is able to grasp various instruments to pre-write.

Reinforcement/ Expansion Activities(Describe the independent activities to further develop or build upon this lesson. Often this involves independent or small group work. You may think in terms of seat work, web work, discovery projects, )

1. Clothes pin drop - Child picks up cotton ball with clothes pin and drops it in a different container.

2. Dramatic play - "Pizza Hut" Cener allows for order taking with pad and pencil and pizza making with felt pizzas and felt toppings.

3. Art - finger painting

4. Water table - Use turkey basters, eye droppers and "syringes" from play doctor kits to strengthen fingers and grasping

5. Play-doh table - ABC cookie cutters, strengthening grasp

6. Crayons kept in freezer until used - their coldness adds interest

7. Add clappers to the music center

8. Magnets in the science center. Small motor is developed as they pull them apart.

9. Use wooden tracing boards with stylus

10. Have scented markers available

11. Put masking tape shapes down on the floor in the block area and encourage following the shapes with blocks.

Adaptations(Choose a special need and add adaptations where it will be necessary for those students)

Visually impaired

Child is able to participate in activity with aide along side to keep child in safe space.

Child encouraged to feel wet paper after brush exercise.

Child tops pizza and has order pad with raised letters.

Uses wooden tracing board without stylus and uses finger to trace.

Make the taped shapes in the block room raised so the child can follow them.

BD -

Child is able to earn tokens in token ecomomy system for appropriate behavior during activity

Praise often during activity, emphasizing successes and good choices

Stay near student during activity, placing hand on child's back if child starts to get too agitated.

Allow child to sit out of activity if needed.

Have alturnative paper available if needed to be removed from large group activity.

Additional Notes

Lesson planned for one teacher and 8 students (4 year olds)


Iowa Early Learning Standards 2006

Every Child Reads- Heartland AEA

Lesson Plan #3

Materials Needed
Paper· Pencil
Other Materials: Other Resources(e.g. Web, books, etc.)
Egg sized smooth stones with "s" printed on them - one per child
"Stone Soup" by Marcia Brown
Chart and marker
Paper bag with stone soup ingredients - stone, potato, carrot, onion, milk carton, soup bone (clean :-) ) Have enough so that each child can hold one.
Soup pot
Objectives(Specify skills/information that will be learned. It must be derived from the education standard(s) and address the Goal/Purpose)
Iowa Learning Standards, 2006
1. 11.2 Early Literacy - Children engage in early reading experiences
*child will be able to listen to and relate back the story of Stone Soup
2. 9.4 - Peer interactions
Children develop the ability to interact with peers respectfully and to form positive peer relationships
* child will be able to demonstrate sharing
Procedures(Describe what the instructor AND students will do at each stage of the lesson. This is a play by play of what will happen)
1. Place around the room egg-sized smooth stones with "S" marked on them.
2. Gather the chidlren around and ask them to go on a stone hunt with teacher.
3. After each child has found a stone, gather children together in circle time.
4. Ask "What are some things that we can do with our stones?"
5. Record answers on a chart.
6. Ask "How about making some soup with our stones?"
Introduce "Stone Soup" by Marcia Brown.
7. While reading the story, pull out of the bag each ingredient as it is introduced in the story eg - stone, potato, carrot etc.
8. Have the children take turns putting the items into a soup pot, emphasizing the sharing that is going on.
9. Have the children tell back the story using prompts of "first" then" and "last". Depending on the interest level, have different chldren lead in the maiking of the soup.
10. Finally, tell the children they make keep their "S" stones, emphsizing that "S" is for stone, "S" is for soup and "S" is for sharing.
Assessment/Verification(Steps to check for student understanding. (We will talk about this in Chapter 15. )
1. child will be able to relate back the story, using first, next and last prompts as needed.
2. Child will be able to verbalize some of the items shared to make the soup.
3. Child will be able to verbalize that he shared in making the soup.
Reinforcement/ Expansion Activities(Describe the independent activities to further develop or build upon this lesson. Often this involves independent or small group work. You may think in terms of seat work, web work, discovery projects, )
1. In the sand table, put egg-sized smooth rocks with ABC's printed on them.
2. Dramatic play - Add a big soup pot to the kitchen Provide real potatoes, carrots and onions to the kitchen for a limited time.
3. Make "Sharing Soup". Have each child bring a small can of soup ingredients - such as carrots, corn, potatoes, macaroni, broth etc. Mix all together and eat at snack time.
4. Question of the day with chart - "What is your favorite soup?"
5. Find words around the classroom that start with the letter on the rock.
6. In art center have paper bowls available. Encourage children to fill up bowls with the "soups" that they like.
7. Read "Growing vegetable Soup" by Lois Ehlert and "The Hungry Thing" by Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler
8. Large Motor - Bean Bag toss into a large soup kettle
9. Add plastic vegetables and bowls to the block center.
10. Have some metel pots and wooden spoons in the music center.
11. Use vegetable counters to make patterns and for sorting.
12. Have the rock collection out on the science table, complete with magnifying glasses. Adaptations(Choose a special need and add adaptations where it will be necessary for those students).
Downs Syndrome
1. Stay with the child as he finds the stone in the stone hunt.
2. Make sure child holds each object as it comes out of the bag during the reading of the story.
3. Have the child sit next to teacher.
4. Have ABC cards in relief available so child can trace the letter with finger. Help him find words that match to his rock .
Visually impaired
1. Let child handle all soup ingredients
2. Let child hold the soup pot and feel as each of the ingredients are put in
3. Have ABC cards in relief available so child can trace the letter with finger. Help him find words that match to his rock .
4. Emphasize the "ess" hissing sound
Additional Notes
This activity is planned for a circle time with 10 4-year olds.
Iowa Early Learing Standards -2006
Special Education in Contemporary Society, by Gargiulo
Stone soup by Marica Brown
Charts for Children by Judy Nyberg

Lesson Plan #2

Materials Needed·

Paper· Pencil

Other Materials: Other Resources(e.g. Web, books, etc.)

"Seed to Plant" by Melvin and Gilda Berger

one white carnation per child

one plastic test tube and holder (Steve Spangler) per child

food coloring

sharp knife for teacher


chart paper and marker

Objectives(Specify skills/information that will be learned. It must be derived from the education standard(s) and address the Goal/Purpose)

Iowa Early Learning Standards 2006

Area 11.4

Scientific reasoning: Children observe, describe, and predict the world around them.

At the end of this lesson, the children will be able to sucessfully predict what color their white carnation will be after sitting in colored water and be able to tell why.

Procedures(Describe what the instructor AND students will do at each stage of the lesson. This is a play by play of what will happen)

1. Gather no more than 8 children to the table and read to them "Seed to Plant" by Berger.

2. Discuss the three things plants need to grow: soil, water and sun. Have visuals in addition to book - such as a glass of water, a picture of rain, soil in a cup, a sunny window.

3. Ask the children "How does the water get into the plant?" Show them the picture of the roots. "We can see the roots, but what is happening in the leaves?" Wait for responses.

4. Show the carnation - explain that the flowers used to have roots. Give each child their carnation and have them talk about and point out the various parts of the flower.

5. Have the children fill their test tubes with water and after they have chosen their color, help them put about 20 drops of food color in their tube.

6. Have the children make predictions about what might happen to their flower and why.

7. Chart their responses.

8. Have the children put their flowers in their tubes. Set aside until the next day of school.

9. Next day - have the children observe and teacher record what happened to their flowers.

Assessment/Verification(Steps to check for student understanding. (We will talk about this in Chapter 15. )

Record the children's observations on the classroom chart. Child should be able to verbalize that his flower was in green water and now turned green because the plant drank green water and it traveled up the stem.

Reinforcement/ Expansion Activities(Describe the independent activities to further develop or build upon this lesson. Often this involves independent or small group work. You may think in terms of seat work, web work, discovery projects, )

1. Dramatic play - Set up a green house with plastic flowers, baskets, aprons for workers.

2. Children can decorate a yogurt container with a face, put in dirt and grass seed. Water it and place it in a sunny window and watch a grasshead appear.

3. Put dirt in the sensory table along with 3 oz. disposable cups. Encourage the children to plant seeds to take home. Label cups.

4. Add tractors, farm animals to the block area.

5. Add various types of beans,seeds to the free art area and encourage mosaic work.

6. At home spray paint big lima beans and use them at school as markers, counters and for patterns.

7. Read Eric Carle's "The Tiny Seed". Children can participate in a wall mural which has many flowers in it and they can draw more and adorn them with tissue paper squares that they glue on.

8. Make a chart about which flowers or colors of flowers they like best.

9. If in the spring or fall, take a nature walk and see the flowers in peoples gardens. We are fortunate where we are in that we are right near a trail that goes by private homes and their back yards. Many gardens to see.

10. Play "Seed, seed, sprout". (Duck, duck, goose)

Adaptations(Choose a special need and add adaptations where it will be necessary for those students).

ADHD1. Allow the child to get up and move as necessary around the table. This might be accomplished by sending her on little errands - to get more water or a marker or something.

2. Have the child sit in the chair next to the teacher.

3. Have picture board available to follow steps. 4. Praise often for attention given.

Additional NotesThis lesson was planned as a table activity with one teacher and 8 four year olds.


Iowa Early Learning Standard

Seed to Plant by Berger

The Tiny Seed by Carle

Steve Spangler


Lesson Plan #1

Materials Needed·
Paper· Pencil
Other Materials: Other Resources(e.g. Web, books, etc.)
Hobby Horse ( one for each child)
Song Sheets: " I'm a Little Cowboy/girl" and "I hop on my Horse" from
CD - William Tell Overture
CD Player
Objectives(Specify skills/information that will be learned. It must be derived from the education standard(s) and address the Goal/Purpose)
To practice developing large motor skills of walking, runnig, jumping, skipping and galloping
Iowa Early Learning Standards, 2006
Area 7 - 7.3
Large Motor DevelopmentStandard: Children develop large motor skills.
Procedures(Describe what the instructor AND students will do at each stage of the lesson. This is a play by play of what will happen)
1. Gather children together and sing "I'm a little cowboy/girl" Children sing nad learn appropriate motions.
2. Have children choose their horse. To avoid a "stampede", choose children according to the color of their shoes.
3. Sing "I hop on my Horse" Children sing with teacher and learn words
4. Turn on William Tell Overture. Teacher-"How does this music make you want to move? Let's move in this direction." All the children ride their horse in a clockwise directin around the room. 5. Stop the music. Teacher " I saw a lot of different ways to ride our horses. Let's try walking (skipping, galloping, jumping) them around the circle this time."Children move around the room in various ways.
6. Encourage children to verbalize different ways to ride their horses.
Assessment/Verification(Steps to check for student understanding. (We will talk about this in Chapter 15. )
Visual assessment: Which children are walking ( running, jumping, skipping, galloping ) on their horses? which children tire easily, trip or bump into other children?
Written check list
Watch at recess - who is running, who has trouble keeping up, who doesn't try
Reinforcement/ Expansion Activities(Describe the independent activities to further develop or build upon this lesson. Often this involves independent or small group work. You may think in terms of seat work, web work, discovery projects, )
Recess: Take horses outside and allow for more riding.
1. Since we are outside, encourage more running.
2. Set up a course which might pose some challanges such a stick to jump over, a sharp corner to turn, a place to trade horses.
3.Bathroom line - Use the cowboy songs and motions to help children transition to snack time. 4.Center ideas - Set up a Chuck Wagon center with a rocking horse. Children can take turns driving the wagon and riding the horse.
5.Allow for horse races in the hall if adequate supervison is available.
6. Add bandanas and cowboy hats to dramatic play area. Add a guitar to the chuch wagon area. 7. Add horses and fence pieces to the blocks
8. Put a CD with cowboy songs in the listening center
9. Read "Cowboy Small" and have a paper doll with cowboy clothes ready for the children to dress. Put in reading center and as children reread the book they can dress the cowboy.
10. Put out star books and have a small group constellatin lesson for those who are interested. Tell how cowboys wouldsleep under the stars.
Adaptations(Choose a special need and add adaptations where it will be necessary for those students).
Trent pulls an O2 tank. Teacher will ride next to him to carry his tank as he rides. Keep him on the edge of the mainstream so that no children will in advertenlty ride over the supply line. Zachary has CP and ankle braces. Adapt his horse by removing the stick. Allow him an alternate course to allow him room to swerve and to move at his own speed.
Lily has high functioning autism and doesn't want to ride her horse witht the group. Allow her to stand off to one side and observe the chilren, holding her horse.
Additional Notes: At any time be cognizant of children who are having trouble in the mainstream of the horses. Allow for plenty of room. This lesson plan was designed for our large motor room, 1 teacher and 8 students.
Iowa Early Learning Standards (2006)Department of Educationpage 57 - 58
Last edited on: December 7, 2007 1:45 PM

Health or Physical Challenges

Health or Physical Challenges
Definition - Students who have physical or health disabilities that interfere with their educational performance qualify for special services under three possible categories: orthopedic impairments, multiple disabilities and traumatic brain injury. Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease, and impairments from other causes. Multiple disabilities means concomitant impairments( such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment) the combination of which causes severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. Traumatic brain injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment or both, that adversely affects educational performance. Applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments on one or more areas. Such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or regenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma. Other health impairment mans having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the education environment that (I) is due to chronic or acute health problems such a s asthma, ADD or ADHD, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and (ii) adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Neuromotor impairments – abnormality of or damage to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves that send impulses to the muscles of the body. Often results in complex motor problems that can affect several body systems.
A. Cerebral Palsy – individuals with cerebral palsy have abnormal, involuntary and or uncoordinated motor movements.
Spastic – characterized by very tight muscles , resulting is stiff, uncoordinated movements.
Athetoid – movements are contorted, abnormal and purposeless
Ataxic – poor balance and equilibrium in addition to uncoordinated voluntary movement.
Mixed – combination of types
B. Spina Bifida – Spinal cord ins not enclosed during development, resulting in improper functioning of the spinal cord. The characteristics of spina bifida depend on the location of the defect. There is a lack of movement and sensation below the area of injury. Student will usually have difficulty in walking, requiring braces, crutched, a walker or a wheelchair. Almost always require catheterization.
Degenerative Diseases
Muscular Dystrophy – characterized by progressive muscle weakness form degeneration of the muscle fiber. Usually no disability is apparent at birth. Degeneration begins with leg weakness and continues until student is wheelchair bound.
Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal disorders
A . Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a chromic arthritic condition affecting the joints that occurs before age 16. Symptoms usually include joint stiffness after immobility, pain with joint movement, limitations in joint motion, sometimes fever.
B. limb Deficiency – arm)s) or leg(s) are partially or completely missing. Typically, a prosthetic device is fitted and used.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Refers to temporary or permanent injury to the brain from such causes as car accidents, accidental falls and gunshot wounds to the head. The effects range from no ill effects to severe disability.
Other Health Impairments: these can include seizure disorders, asthma, or AIDS,
A. Seizures – a sudden temporary change in the normal functioning of the brain's electical system as a result of excessive, ncontrolled electical activity in the brain. During an absence seizures, the person will lose consciousness, stop moving and stare straight ahead. Typically they last less than 30 seconds. The person “wakes” up and does not remember the seizure. In a complex partial seizure, consciousness is impaired and the person usually exhibits a series of involuntary motor movements. Tonic-mal seizures is a convulsive seizure in which the person loses consciousness and becomes very stiff, followed by jerkiness and will fall down. Can last from 2 – 5 minutes.
B. Asthma – The most common pulmonary disease of childhood. When triggered, the child has difficulty breathing. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, labored breathing.
AIDS – Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is a chronic illness of childhood. Poses little threat of transmission in the school setting.
Teacher/student ratio – adjust as needed
Classroom furniture – provide special furniture as needed, wheelchair access to rooms and building and bathroom facilities
Position of learning materials – within easy reach
Talk with all children about this child's needs and how to be respectful of and helpful to the child.
Establish and maintain a medication plan with the school nurse
Do not over-compensate for the child's weakness – for example, do not speak louder to him because his legs don't work
Use small group instruction and peer activities
Learn and respond to the child's form of communication
Use adapted utensils as needed, such as scissors, spoon and fork etc.
Offer alternative food choices to meet individual needs regarding health and safety.
Find alternate recess options for high-pollen days.

Hearing Impaired

Hearing Impaired
Definition – Hearing impairment is a generic term indicating a hearing disability that may range in severity from mild to profound. Persons whose sense of hearing is nonfunctional for the ordinary purposes of life are considered deaf. This hearing loss adversely affects educational performance and is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification. Residual hearing or “hard of hearing” describes individuals in whom the sense of hearing , though defective, is functional either with or with a hearing aid.
Minimal Hearing Loss – have difficulty hearing spoken language at a distance or in the presence of background noise
Sensorineural hearing loss – hearing loss caused by disorders of the inner ear (cochlea).
Conductive hearing loss – caused by a blockage or barrier to the transmission of sound through the outer or middle ear.
Mixed hearing loss – combination of both conductive and sensorineural loss.
Central hearing disorder – resulting from disorder in the central auditory nervous system between the brain stem and the auditory cortex in the brain
Functional or non organic hearing loss – disorder where the person experiences a hearing loss, but no cause can be found.
Normal hearing – Students can detect all speech sounds even at a soft conversation level.
Minimal loss – Students may have difficulty hearing faint or distant speech. Peer conversation and teacher instructions presented too rapidly, particularly in noisy classrooms, are likely to result in missed information.
Mild – Students may miss up to 50% of class discussions especially if voices are soft or the environment is noisy. Students will require the use of a hearing aid or personal FM system
Moderate – Classroom conversation from 3 – 5 feet away can be understood if the structure and vocabulary is controlled. Hearing aids and/or personal FM systems are essential. Specific attention will need to be directed to language development, reading, and written language.
Moderate to severe – Without amplification students with this degree of loss can miss up to 100% of speech information. Full time use of amplification is essential. They will probably require additional help in all language based academic subjects.
Severe – Students can only hear loud noises at close distances. They require individual hearing aids, intensive auditory training and specialized instructional techniques in reading, language,and speech development.
Profound – For all practical purposes these students rely on vision rather than hearing for processing information. This student is a candidate for signing systems and specialized instructional techniques in reading, speech, and language development.
Students with hearing loss need to see the teacher's face all the time to speech read and to get meaning clues. Keep looking at the student.
Speak naturally. Do not over-enunciate or speak too loudly.
Look tochild's location in classroom.
Word wall with plenty of daily vocab words
Visual schedule
Visual instructions – charts with pictures, story boards
Hand's on activities
Buddy system so that student gets physical clues as to movement etc.
Learn sign language for basic classroom cues.
Allow time for child to rest from the hard work of “communicating”. Supply a private place for work and play.
Remove unnecessary noise from classroom

Language Disabilities

Language Disabilities
Definition: Language disorder – a child has difficulties with comprehension and or verbal/oral or written communication. It may or may not be a direct result of something neurological, physical or psychological in nature. A Speech disorder is when a student exhibits articulation difficulties and or impairment that can be a direct result of neurological, physical or psychological factors. Voice fluency is usually missing. Language delays include lack of understanding, comprehension and the ability to relay thoughts.
IDEA – Speech and Language impairment – communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment or a voice impairment which adversely affects a child's educational performance.
ASLHA – an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts of verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbols systems. A communication disorder may be evident in the processes of hearing, language, and/or speech.
Articulation disorders – errors in the production of speech sounds, including omissions, substitutions, and distortions
Fluency disorders – difficulties with the rhythm and timing of speech including stuttering and cluttering
Voice disorders – problems with the quality or use of one's voice that results from disorders of the larynx. Including phonation disorders ( breathiness, hoarseness, huskiness and straining) and resonance disorders ( hypernasality- too many sounds and hyponasality – too few sounds) .
Phonological disorder – abnormal organization of speech production or perception. The child had the ability to make the correct sound and can do so in certain instances, but fails to make the correct sounds at other times.
Apraxia of speech – child is unable to coordinate what to say and the motor movement used to say it.
Morphological disorder – child uses fewer grammatical rules and produces more grammatical error than same-age peers.
Semantic disorders – poor vocabulary development, inappropriate use of word meanings, and or inability to comprehend word meanings.
Syntactical deficits – difficulty in acquiring the rules that govern word order and other other aspect of of grammar.
Pragmatic difficulties – problems with understanding language in different social contexts.
Central Auditory Precessing Disorder – problem in processing of sound not attributed to hearing loss or intellectual capacity.
Observable Characteristic of expressive language disorders
uses incorrect grammar or syntax
lacks specificity
frequently hesitates
jumps from topic to topic
has limited use of vocabulary
has trouble finding the right word to communicate meaning
uses social language poorly
is afraid to ask questions, does not know what questions to ask, or does not know how to ask a question
repeats same information again and again in a conversation
has difficulty discussing abstract, temporal or spatial concepts
often does not provide enough information to the listener
Observable Characteristic of receptive language disorders
does not respond to questions appropriately
cannot think abstractly or comprehend abstractions as idioms
cannot retain information presented verbally
had difficulty following oral directions
cannot detect breakdowns in communication
misses parts of material presented verbally, particularity less concrete words such as articles and auxiliary verbs and tense markers.
cannot recall sequences if ideas presents orally
may confuse the sound of letters that are similar, or reverse the order of sounds of syllables in words
has difficulty comprehending concepts showing quantity, function, comparative size, and temporal and spatial relationships
has difficulty comprehending compound and complex sentences.
Reduce unnecessary class room noise
be near the student, make eye contact when giving verbal instructions and ask the student to repeat the instructions
provide a private, quiet place for work/play
speak slowly and clearly
provide visual cues – hand held story boards or wall charts with words and picture
model correct speech patterns
capitalize on the student's strengths as much as possible
be patient and give time for both speaking and responding.
make silly story cards and talk together with the child about why the story is silly
speak to the student naturally and engage in ordinary conversation often.

Behavior Disordered or Emotionally disabled

Behavior Disordered or Emotionally disabled
Definition: A disability that is characterized by behavioral or emotional responses in school programs so different from appropriate age, cultural or ethnic norms that the responses adversely affect educational performance, including academic, social, vocational and personal skills: is more than a temporary, expected response to stressful events in the environment; consistently exhibited in two different settings, at least one of which is school-related: and unresponsive to direct interventions applied in general education, or the condition of the child is such that general education interventions would be insufficient.
Conduct disorder – physical aggression, difficulty in controlling anger, open disobedience and oppositionality
Socialized aggression – display Conduct disorders in the company of others and may include stealing, substance abuse, truancy, gang member ship and lying.
Attention problems/immaturity - short attention span, diminished concentration, distractability, impulsivity, passivity, undependability, childishness
Anxiety/Withdrawal – poor self-confidence and poor self-esteem, hypersensitivity to criticism and rejection, generalized fearfulness and anxiety, fear of failure
Psychotic behavior – speech disturbance, bizarre ideation, delusions, and impaired realty testing
Motor tension excess – restlessness, tension,
Typically score in the low-average range in measures of intelligence
30-50% also have learning disabilities
Difficulty in building and maintaining satisfactory relationships with peers and adults.
Stick to the schedule and post the schedule on the wall
Create a structured classroom – use visual cues such as labeling, centers, dividers, private areas, direct supervision
Transition management – keep transitions to a minimum and keep them safe and structured. Keep student in positive peer group or by teacher during lines, lunch room and recess
Model and role play positive peer interactions
Catch the student being good
Have a meaningful token economic system for the child
Keep the rules of the classroom fair, applicable to all, enforced and consistent
Keep instructions clear and simple.
Keep the classroom safe and free from bullies, harassment and teasing
Keep communication line open with family


Definition: Students, children or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities
General intellectual ability:
formulates abstractions
processes information in complex way
excited about new ideas
learns rapidly
large vocabulary
Specific academic ability:
good memorization ability
advanced comprehension
acquires basic-skills knowledge quickly
high academic success in special-interest area
pursues special interests with enthusiasm and vigor
Creative thinking:
independent thinker
exhibits original thinking in oral and written expression
comes up with several solutions to problem
sense of humor
creates and invents
challenged by creative tasks
assumes responsibility
high expectations for self and for others
fluent, concise self-expression
foresees consequences and implications of decisions
good judgment in decision making
well-liked by peers
Visual/performing arts
outstanding spatial relationships
unusual ability for expressing self feelings in art, dance, drama, music
good motor coordination
desire for producing own product, not copying
Provide learning centers where children can pace their own learning
Create a room environment that encourages creativity and discovery
Get to know the gifted child and find out what his interests are. Make sure you have material to enhance his experience.
Create scenarios in which problem-solving skills are encouraged
Ask “why” and “how”a lot
Have plenty of books on hand, many of which are deeper in content or pictures or words
Have alternate activities available if skill is already attained.
Provide an adult mentor who shares similar interests

Learning Disabled

Learning Disabled
Definition: A diverse group of individuals who, despite normal intelligence, fail to learn as easily and efficiently as their classmates and peers. There is a discrepancy between the student's academic performance and his estimated potential. A learning disability cannot be due primarily to sensory impairments, mental retardation, emotional problems or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
Gross and Fine Motor skills issues such as poor eye-hand coordination, poor handwriting, difficulty in using precision tools such as scissors
Language issues such as delay, difficulty in retelling a story, vague language with fillers, rhyming
Limited interest in books or stories
Difficulty understanding instructions
Reading issues such as confusion of similar looking letters, poor memory of printed words, slow reading, poor retention of new vocabulary
Written language issues such as delays, reversed letters and numbers, poor spelling, expresses written ideas in disorganized ways
Math issues such as difficulty with one-to-one correspondence, learning and memorizing basic facts, difficulty in comparisons, time telling, calculations
Social/emotional issues such as poor response to teasing, peer interaction, expression of feelings
Attention issues, such as difficulty in maintaining attention, follow through, organization, daily routine
Has difficulty listening and taking notes at the same time
Inconsistent performance
Difficulty in generalizing skills from one situation to another
Have student repeat directions back to teacher to show comprehension
Maintain daily routines in classroom, provide secure structure, have visual chart for schedule
Provide student with visual cues for organization
Use multi-sensory activities
Use rhymes, poetry and repetition to help improve memory and vocabulary
Provide a private area for distraction-free play/work time
Role play appropriate peer interaction
Allow for frequent breaks or change of activities

Mentally Disabled or Cognitively Delayed

Mentally Disabled or Cognitively Delayed:
Definition: This disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before age 18.
Difficulty in focusing and attending to relevant stimuli
Memory problems
Doubts own abilities due to past failures – external locus of control
Learned helplessness
Reliance on others for cues and guidance - Outer-directedness
Poor interpersonal skills, socially inappropriate behaviors
Academic performance: deficiency is seen in all areas, but, generally, reading is weakest.
Difficulty in generalizing knowledge – transferring knowledge gained in one area to another
May have problems with hearing, sight or speech
Impaired cognitive functioning (IQ below 70-75)
Significant limitations exist in two or more adaptive skill areas
Physical and emotional problems such as depression
Accommodation strategies
Student is within close proximity to teacher or teacher's aide during instruction
Have a “private” place available for distraction-free reading or small motor work
Always present oral instructions coupled with visual instructions – such as a story board or visual chart
Allow additional time for special needs student to adapt to situation
Provide learning experiences that are multi-sensory
Modify or shorten task to insure success
Provide opportunities for cooperative learning
Allow for short attention span
Use meaningful positive reinforcement


IEP – From pre-referral to th development of the IEP
As a classroom teacher, my first goal will be to retain my student in my class, even though I am concerned about specific behaviors. With the input of other professionals who have contact with the student, as well as his family, an intervention will be put into place. This intervention will be a strategy designed to lessen or overcome the said behavior or learning deficit. It will include a problem statement, data collection and problem analysis, intervention design and implementation, goals, progress monitoring and evaluation. After implementing the intervention and collecting data to evaluate whether or not not it was successful, then a more realistic decision can be made s to the student needs a special education evaluation.
If the intervention proves to be unsuccessful, then the child is referred for consideration for special education services. As a member of the general intervention team, we will need to ensure the rights of the parent. We need to fully inform the parents of all information and obtain a written agreementdualized, non-discriminatory assessment , using a variety of strategies and tools including input from the parents, will determine the special education needs of the child.
As the regular education teacher of the child, I will be part of the IEP team. Other team members include the parents of the child, a district representative, knowledgeable in the district's resources, someone who can explain the assessment results, and any one who has special knowledge or expertise regarding the child. It is our responsibility to fully describe the following categories.
As we write the IEP, it will contain the following information:
Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAF). This must include his academic achievement and functional performance, including the child's strengths and weaknesses.
Measurable annual Goals – includes academic and functional goals, designed to meet the child's needs that result from the disability, to enable the child to e involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum and meet each of the child's other educational needs that result form the disability.
Reporting on a Child's Progressive – include a description on how the child's progress will be measured, and the timetable for progress reports.
Services based on Peer reviewed Research – a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child, and a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel.
Consideration for Participation in General Education – an explanation of the extent, if any to which the child will not participate with non-disabled children in the regular classroom.
Description of services – projected date for the beginning of the services and program modifications and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of these services and modifications.
Transition services – beginning no later than when the child is 14, and undated annually, include appropriate measurable , post secondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment and independent living skills and the transition services the child needs to reach those goals.
Final outcomes – Behaviors and skills levels are needed to progress to the next level of development. The IEP will contain both long term and short term goals, and are reviewed annually.
Finally, as the child's general education instructor, it will be my responsibility to accommodate this child's specific needs, as outlined in the IEP, in my classroom, to better facilitate the reaching of his goals.

Special Education Laws

PL – 94-142 – The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1975)
This federal law, also known as IDEA, requires states to provide “ a free, appropriate public education for every child between the ages of 3 and 21 (unless state law does not provide free, public education to children 3 to 5 or 18 to 21 years of age) regardless of how, or seriously, he may be handicapped.”
PL 94-142 was the first law to clearly define the rights of disabled children to free appropriate public education (FAPE). Included in this part is the idea that related services will also be provided.
It requires the school systems to include the parents fully when meeting about the child or making decisions about his/her education.
It mandates an individualized education program (IEP) for every student with a disability. The IEP must include short and long-term goals for the student, as will as ensure that the necessary services and products are available to the student.
This law also requires that students be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE). LRE means placing the student in the most normal setting that is possible.
PL 94-142 also ensures that students with disabilities are given nondiscriminatory tests (tests which take into consideration the native language of the student and the effects of the disability).
Due process procedures, such as confidentiality of records and written notifications are in place to protect the parents and the students.
PL 105-17 amendment of 1997 identifies the following thirteen categories of disability:
Development delay
Emotional disturbance
Hearing impairments, including deafness
Mental retardation
Multiple disabilities
Orthopedic impairments
Other health impairments
Specific learning disabilities
Speech or language impairments
Traumatic brain injury
Visual impairments including blindness
(Two personal comments here – I couldn’t help but contrast the purpose of this bill, as stated in Sec. 601(c) – to assure that all handicapped children have available to them …a free appropriate public education…to assure that the rights of handicapped children and their parents are protected… with something I saw on a recent trip to Washington DC. We went to the Holocaust Museum and there was quite a section on the law set into motion in the 30’s by Hitler, which effectively murdered the entire handicapped child population of Germany. Something like 300,000 children were killed simply because they were handicapped. The other item of interest to me was something I read in The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. One of the main characters in the book had a Down’s syndrome child in the 50’s. Very interesting to see her struggle to get a FAPE for her daughter.)
PL 93-112 - Rehabilitation Act (1973)
Section 504 is the one sentence final provision of the Act. It states that “No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the US…shall, solely by reason of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. “
Individuals with disabilities is defined in what is known as “ the three-prong civil-rights definition” of disability. People need satisfy only one of the three prongs. 1. Have a permenent medical condition that significantly limits the person in major life activities. 2. Have no such condition but have a record of having had one in the past. 3. Have no condition, but are falsely thought to have one.
There is no requirement in the definition that people “need special education “ or other services. In special education, section 504 is important primarily for
Children and youth who have medical conditions that do not demand specially designed instruction (a good example is a child who has epilepsy). These children fail the IDEA requirement that they ”need special education” and thus may not be served under IDEA
Children and youth who have medical conditions that are not on the list of conditions that is part if IDEA’s definitions. (For example, c a child with AIDS).
Children and youth who need “related services” in order to benefit from instruction. Placing these children into educational programs with out offering them the needed related services would be discriminatory. An example might be a deaf child with exemplary academic skills and thus does not need specially designed instruction, simply and interpreter in the classroom.
PL 101-336 – Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)
The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. Disability is defined as “ a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The Act covers employment, public services/transportation, Public accommodations and telecommunications.
Its applications to special education lies primarily in that its protections apply to nonsectarian private schools and preschools and it requires public schools to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. These reasonable accommodations might include facility accessibility, modification of exams and policies, provision of interpreters.

My Philosophy of Education

“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
My philosophy of education has changed and developed over the years that I have been a student, a mother and a teacher. I hope it has become less idealistic and more practical as I have had many more experiences to develop it and to temper it.
I am an early childhood teacher because I firmly believe that the very early years are critical to the future success of the child. Research has shown that the critical years in a child’s life for essential foundations in learning in such areas as curiosity, creativity, music, language, math, emotions, and spirituality are from birth to five years of age. While the primary source of learning needs to be the parents/home, as an educator, I can have an impact in these early years.
The attributes that I feel make my classroom successful can be described in the following acronym.
E – Enthusiasm – I love what I do. I love getting to know the students and their families every year. I love bringing innovations into the classroom and seeing the light bulb go on. I love figuring out the best way to present an idea and building upon learning experiences.
D – Developmentally Appropriate Practices – Understanding that children develop at different times and rates and making our expectations and educational practices match their development is key to a winning environment. DAP apply to and are adapted fro children with disabilities.
U – Uniqueness of students – Celebrating each child’s differences, rather than wishing they were all the same actually eases a lot of frustrations. Finding a way to reach into these differences is the big challenge of the classroom. Some differences are just personality, or culture or gender, but other differences can be physical limitations, learning abilities or emotional strength. All need to be addressed.
C – Cultural sensitivity – Each child comes from a unique family with structural and cultural differences. Family involvement is key to a successful classroom and tapping into each of these unique family structures can be a gold mine of resources. Conversely, the resources that I know about can be very useful to the family and I strive to make these resources available in such a way that all families can benefit.
A – Accessibility by all students – We strive to make our classroom available to all students, regardless of their race, gender, economic status or disability. I believe that our students without disabilities benefit as much as our students with disabilities by being in the classroom together. At this young age they are so willing to accept the differences and carry on.
T – Triumph – It is every teacher’s delight to see a child have success over an obstacle. I love to see a shy child gain the confidence to join in group activity, a frustrated child write his name or a petulant child gain the self-control needed to be successful in a social situation. Just as children are unique, the problems they need to solve are unique and so are their successes.
E – Elasticity – I need to be flexible in my classroom. I love to seize the teachable moment, or to take extra time to comfort a distressed child. Children with different abilities require different amounts of time and technique to learn. Lesson plans are important, but they are not gospel.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer saw first hand a society that exterminated a large number of its children for racial, political and economic causes. He was murdered by the Nazis in 1945.
While I cannot change what happened to him, I can work hard to aid the children in my society. That is why I teach.