What's going on in Room 125?

Weekly Update: 10-31-13

Happy Halloween! I talked to all of you about how your child is dressing up tonight. Whenever a big event/holiday like this comes up, please share a little of what this will look like for your child. This way, I can support conversation with others students, since naturally holidays are a popular topic around this time.

A few updates:

1. Tomorrow is Touch the World! Thank you for continuing to spread the word. We have been practicing our dance very hard for the big show! I am impressed with how everyone is doing, and love the positive attitude that comes with it. Please have your child wear their Edison shirt to the event. We will be performing earlier on in the event, so just make sure to be there by 6:30. Very excited for the fun tomorrow! Remind your friends and family members they can buy tickets on this site or at the door.

2.  We have restructured the room slightly to promote clearer boundaries for work and play. Please support these boundaries if you are in the classroom. Play and free time can occur in the expanded free choice corner or the library only. The rest of the room is designated for work. Please let me know if you have any questions or any ideas about how to make these boundaries clearer.

3. Ms Cordero, our school psychologist who works in our classroom on Thursdays, has a daughter performing in the Nutcracker. I have information about buying tickets and group rates, so let me know if you’re interested in this.

Thank you for constantly offering ideas and resources for working with your children. I appreciate your support.

See you tomorrow!

-Ms Wales

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Weekly Update: 10-24-13

Lots of fun things coming up for our classroom! Here’s a quick summary:

1. Fall festival is tomorrow! We will be running a popcorn booth. The money we raise at this booth will go directly to our classroom. There will be many teacher run fun activities and snacks right behind school from 4-6. Students can wear costumes as long as they don’t wear masks of have weapons. This is a fun community event that truly benefits our school. I hope you can check it out! We will be preparing for this as a class some tomorrow.

2. Touch the World is next Friday! We are in full gear now. Our project is official (see Thursday folder info and update to Touch the World tab) and I am thrilled to be raising money to support our inclusive community at school. Please market to your friends and families! The more people who come to this event, the more we will be able to pursue our project. Also, we will be doing a class performance along with some other students from school. Everyone has been doing a great job with our dance and seem to enjoy it. Very excited to share with you! Please let me know if you are unable to make it to the event. I hope everyone can make it since we’re the life of the party!

3. Remember to send in your spare change for Edison’s Penny Harvest! This is hosted by our Good Citizens Club, which is run by Ms. Kalisha and Ms. Freeh.

Let me know if you have any questions. Looking forward to seeing you at these fun events!

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Weekly Update: 10/17/2013

Hi there,

Thank you all for having great chats with me for conferences! Conferences are a great opportunity to get each other up to speed on things, share ideas, and decide on next steps at school and at home. I know that this requires time, schedule arranging, kid juggling, and more on your end; I really appreciate you doing whatever you needed to make sure we had time to talk about your child. Thank you for your continued communication and collaboration to help make this year a success!

A couple of reviews, though we discussed these at conferences:

1. Touch the World is November 1st from 6-8. We will be performing one of our favorite dances (Where Do You Start Your Letters?) to grow support and funds for our class. Please spread the word…direct friends and families to the “Touch the World” tab at left to buy tickets, which will benefit our classroom. We’ll also take donations at the door!

2. The new morning routine schedule is in each child’s homework notebook. The intent is that this routine is more meaningful for each student, especially in promoting communication right from the start of the day.

3. A “What I did today…” page will now travel back and forth with your child’s homework notebook. At the end of the day we will talk about what happened and complete this for you to review at home. The intent is for this to promote communication and recall about the day.

Thank you for all you do! Please do not hesitate to ask any questions or add anything you thought about after conferences.

Have a great weekend,

Ms Wales

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Good morning,

I neglected to put this in yesterday’s update, but this is an important topic so it deserves it’s own post:

Parent-teacher conferences are next Wednesday and Thursday. Please let me know the top two of the following times that work for you. I will try to meet everyone’s needs, and choose times on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Conferences are a great opportunity for us to catch up about the year, me to share student work and routines, sharing IEP progress reports, and collaborate about instruction and ideas. I look forward to them yearly and am eager to spend time with each of you next week!

Here are the available times, I will update as some are filled:

Wednesday (October 16) 4:15


Please connect with me via phone, e-mail, homework notebook, or in person ASAP to set up a time. If these will absolutely not work for you, please talk to me so we can work something out.

Thank you! Talk to you soon!

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Weekly Update: 10-10-13

Hello Room 125 Families!

Here are some quick updates and announcements:

1. Tomorrow is picture day! I have order forms from two people. If you would like to order pictures please make sure to send in your form tomorrow. Please also let me know any hints for helping your child smile for the camera. Generally, the photographers have been very understanding and patient. We want to get the best photo we can so any tips you have would be much appreciated:)

2. Please see the new tab for Touch the World. Spread the word to friends and families to buy tickets! The money raised from ticket sales will go directly to our classroom and others to support the use of technology and inclusive practices. It is a low key, but fun party, which will hopefully help our classroom!  If you are unable to purchase tickets, but wish to come, please let me know. Our families are the guests of honor so we can work something out.  We are planning on performing as a class so if you are unable to attend please let me know ASAP.

3. Yesterday was the first day of Recess Buddies. I’ll keep you posted as we get farther along. The 5th graders seem excited!

6. Many students have been absent or sent home from school for illness. We try to keep the room clean and wash hands frequently, but if your child does get sick please remember:

-keep them home from school if they have had a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting within 24 hours

-call the attendance line to let them know that your child will be absent from school

7. Thanks to the suggestion of a parent, we are going to work on a “What I did today” project next week on our teacher work day. The intent is that we can work with students to identify some things from their day to take home and share with you. The will aid communication and recall. I would like to include 3-4 sentence stems that student can complete with a picture or word. Right now I am thinking:

-“I played with……[person]”

-“My special class was…..”

-“I worked on….”

Please let me know if you have any feedback on this form and we’ll try to incorporate ideas when we get things made.

8. No school Monday or Tuesday for students. See the calendar tab for other upcoming events.

Have a great long weekend! Let me know if you have any ideas or questions!

-Ms Wales

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Weekly Update: 10-3-13

Hello there!

I am going to add a few more thoughts to our update earlier this week. Make sure to check out that post (below this one) if you haven’t already!

1. Morning Routine-starting tomorrow we are going to transform the morning routine. We have chopped down the Learning Tree to pave way to more relevant learning. The tree is not as meaningful this year, so now that we have our feet under us in so many other ways, it is time to move on. Students’ morning task will now be at the “name table” and the goal is to work on IEP/social skills more directly relevant to each student. Some will be working on answering the question “what is your name?” Others will be working on writing their name and possibly the date. This is a work in progress, but I wanted to give you a heads up for the morning and also to let you know that I am addressing this team to make it more meaningful for each student.

2. Touch the World-Last year I participated in a community fundraiser with other DPS teachers of students with autism. We called it Touch the World and its intent was to raise money for our classrooms to use towards technology and/or inclusion projects. This was a fun event where our families and friends came together to celebrate our amazing kids. Each class also performed for the group. There are many more details which I will provide as they unfold, but right now I want you to mark you calendar for Friday November 1st at 6pm. The event will be held at the Mercury Cafe again, and we will be doing a dance to our favorite classroom song (“Where Do You Start Your Letters?”). If you know that you are going to be unable to attend, please let me know as soon as possible. Otherwise get excited for this great new tradition!

3. As mentioned previously, we will be starting Recess Buddies next week. I would like the 5th graders to spend a few weeks getting to know their Buddies, then I would like to organize a parent event like last year where you can (if willing and able) come in and meet the 5th graders, talk about your child, and answer questions they may have. This event had a great impact on the kids last year, as they got to learn more about their Buddy and seemed to enjoy meeting their parents. I’ll let you know when we’re ready to organize this!

4. Check out the calendar tab for upcoming events. Picture day is next week! If you have any tips on how to help your child smile for a camera, please let me know. We’ll practice!

I guess this post including a lot of “coming soon”….let me know if you have any questions but also know that I will let you know more as time goes by.

Have a great day!

-Ms Wales

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Two Updates

1. Today was the first Recess Buddies meeting. That blog will now be active, so I encourage you to check it out and/or follow it to stay informed with our Recess Buddies happenings. I am excited to get to know the new Buddies and to get some good matches going on! http://www.recessbuddies.wordpress.com

2. Here is some great info about a music opportunity from Lukas’ mom:

Hi there! It’s Lynn Truell, mother of Lukas, who is in room 125 with your boys.

I am writing to let you know that our family’s music teacher, Dr. Jeremy Dittus, is very interested 
in doing a trial music class for kids with autism and/or special needs.
Jeremy is the director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies.
He is an energetic, positive, patient, knowledgable teacher, who currently teaches both children thruough adults.
He is also familiar with the delights and difficulties of a special needs child.
Jeremy’s classes involve music and movement – which was applauded by a recent visit from an OT.
Here is a quote from his site that answers the question: What is Dalcroze.

Dalcroze Education is a unique, exciting, and powerful way of knowing music through the body. 
The Dalcroze approach explores musical concepts through social and interactive methods that invite students to trust their ideas and develop their own intuitions.
I know my son, Lukas, enjoys music and I have been wishing for some type of music class that he can be a part of….and now, I – and YOU –  have 
the chance to participate!

Jeremy would like to get at least a few children from the ages of 5-9 together in the next several weeks.
Please let me know if you are interested in this trial class(es).  They would most likely be held in the Washington Park area.
Please contact me with any questions.

All the best,
Lynn Truell
Enjoy this lovely weather today! See you tomorrow:)
-Ms Wales
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