Summer is a such a great time for teachers to recharge their batteries and turn their school brain off. Right?!? Well we always go into June believing that but let’s get real it is SO hard to turn off our teacher brain. The main goal I try to accomplish every summer is how I can prepare for the next year without having to take up so much of my nights and weekends.
I teach in a self contained special ed classroom. My students are with me more than 60% of the day. We go into the general education for social opportunities like recess, lunch, specials, and fun events, but their core academics take place in my small group classroom. I will be going into my 11th year (YIKES 11 years!) this fall and one thing that has been a struggle since year 1 is the lack of curriculum. I have ALWAYS been told the curriculum should be driven by the IEP goals and I 100% agree with that! BUT I need something to keep myself organized so I make sure I teach them new material and prepare them for their alternative assessments in the spring.
So what standards should we follow? Common core is often too difficult for students. I am lucky to live in a state, Ohio, that provides extended standards. If you want to look at them they are available online Here
this was my main point of reference when I made my curriculum map.
Here is my 3-5 curriculum Map
Programming is the post important step in planning your curriculum. You can make a beautiful grid like I did but if you do not have materials to back it up then you will not get very far.
This is why I love Teachers Pay Teachers for Special Education. There is very little Curriculum out there for us, mainly because there is no one size fits all for our kids, but we need something.
Here is some programming I use in my classroom that aligns to my curriculum map
Math: I have been creating a math curriculum to meet my students needs. K-2 is available here
stay tuned for 3-5 is available individually
. 4th and 6th grade will be coming soon!
Reading: I use PCI reading in my classroom for sight words and reading fluency, but what about reading concepts. I created a reading curriculum that helps measure my students ability to learn reading skill such as main idea, fantasy vs reality, fact and opinion, and much more! Check it out here
and the 2nd edition here
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Science and Social Studies: My district has purchased UNIQUE Learning. It is great for incorporating the science and social studies standards with differentiation! You can check out more
this great blog post by my friend Kayla at My Special Learners
and how she uses it in her classroom
I also LOVE to use Made for me Literacy for my monthly themes which hit many science and social studies standards! Check that out here
Social Skills: I love love love Autism Adventures Social Skills Curriculum. It is a great structured way to work thru many social skills that our students need to learn and/or need to review! Check it out here
Let me know in the comments how you plan out the curriculum for your classroom!