What's going on in Room 125?

Weekly Update: 1-30-14

Hello there!

Here are some of the fun happenings of our last week of January:

  1. Ms Mosley was here! I think most of you met her, a teacher resident from DU. She spent the week with us to learn more about teaching in this type of classroom. She jumped right in a did some teaching, doing a fantastic job.
  2. Ms Raegan had a birthday and we had a party (today).
  3. We survived a few more days of indoor recess.
  4. We continued our new class morning meeting, with more hands on components to work on total participation and involvement.

Now, an idea. I would love feedback on this:

A few weeks ago, I had you send in pictures from winter break to serve as communication aids to our students. I think this could be a great conversation tool, serving as a visual to prompt sentences/words from some, or just to exchange for others. I was thinking about how this might be a nice tool to use more frequently, to help give students a voice about what they enjoy and to share with others.  I have spoken with DPS’s technology department about this idea using our iPads. They are open to piloting a program where we send the iPads home on weekends. Each weekend we could create a folder for you and your child to add pictures which they could share at school the following week. While this will take some logistic planning, I was curious to see if any of you are interested in trying out something like this? If so, we can work out more specifics and check out the corresponding waiver. Let me know your thoughts!

Have a fabulous end to the week!

-Ms Wales


Weekly Update: 1-23-14

Hello families!

Quick update this week.

This week we started getting into the swing with a slightly new schedule. Part of this schedule includes a group morning meeting time. I have been using my energy trying to find the best ways to get all students involved in our class community, in a way that is meaningful to them. I am also working to find ways to better communicate with students about who is here and what our day will look like. As you have probably seen, this may have entailed individual schedules and behavior charts. Lots of new strategies in the work over here, many of which are very individualized. If you have questions about what we have been using to support your child, please let me know. Thank you all for your collaboration as we work on the best strategies and supports for you and your child.

Talk to you soon,

Ms Wales


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Weekly Update: 1-16-14

Hello families!

I have an important announcement this week.

Ms Raegan was offered a position with a dance company starting immediately. Please join me in congratulating her on this exciting opportunity.

While we are excited for her, again we find ourselves in a time of transition as we work to find another team member. We are exploring a few options, some of which include Raegan continuing with us part time. I will keep you posted on how this unfolds.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued support, patience, and flexibility as we work with many changes this year. I know this affects our students more than anything else. I appreciate your support and collaboration as we find the best ways to support all of the students.

We are experimenting with a slightly different morning schedule to continue rigorous learning for all, even on days when we have less adults. If you would like more details on this please let me know.

Tomorrow is Western Wear day…send in $1 to support the community garden and dress like a cowboy if you’d like to participate!

No school Monday, so enjoy the long weekend.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Thanks for all you do!

-Ms Wales

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Weekly Update: 1-9-14


Not much to report this week since we just got back and are reviewing routines as predicted. Also there’s been many opportunities to touch base with everyone this week which has been great!

I did want to put the word out there that we are in need of sterilizing (e.g. Clorox) wipes and/or Lysol spray to help keep our room clean. If you’re able to send any our way, we’d be so grateful!

I plan on adding pictures of our Recess Buddies party later today…so check that site out this evening!

Have a great day!

-Ms Wales

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Happy New Year Room 125!

Hello Room 125 families!

Long time no see. I hope you all have had a fantastic break and are enjoying the last weekend before school! I have done a lot of reflection over this break, and have spent quite a bit of time thinking about how lucky I am to work with such amazing children and families. It takes such a strong community and parent-teacher relationship to really educate a child, especially when the child has special needs.  I can not thank you enough for the hard work you put in day in and day out to assure that your child is learning all that they can. Thank you for continuing to collaborate with me and other teachers to create a meaningful school experience for your child. You all mean so much to me, and I am grateful to be on your child’s team.

What Happened During Break?

I would love to know what you have been up to for break. An e-mail or note in the homework notebook with even just a sentence or two will better help us support your child in communicating about their break. If you took any pictures over the past two weeks and are able to send one or two in, your child can use these to tell their friends about their break, whether it’s by talking about the picture, or even just sharing the picture (if you have these digitally and e-mail me, we can print in our classroom). I am curious about what fun things they got to do, but their friends will be too! Sending a picture or giving me an idea will help me support your child when others ask about their break, and help make sure they’re not left out of conversations and sharing with their class.

Over break I performed with my dance company and moved to Boulder. I spent a lot of time working with the horse I pretend  is mine and exploring the trails around my new house. The past few days I have spent a lot of time in the climbing gym. I also spent a lot of time reading and hanging out with friends.

Transition to School

After two weeks off with less structure and perhaps more leisure, going back to school is going to be quite the transition for all of us. As we know, transitions such as these can impact children with autism even more heavily than others. Please spend plenty of time talking about school. Look at the “Edison Pictures” tab on this website. Show your child their lunchbox or backpack or anything else associated with school. Make production about getting ready the next few days (e.g. “Let’s go to the store and buy snacks for school,” “Do you want to help me wash your clothes for school,” “what shirt do you want to where to school tomorrow,” show the calendar and circle the first day of school, lay out clothes and backpack in front of them to show they’re ready for school, etc). Make a big deal about how school is soon to help prepare your child for the upcoming transition. If you need more specific ideas for how we generally prepare your specific child for transitions, feel free to e-mail me. I will check my e-mail today. I’ll be gone most of the day tomorrow, but will try to check in the morning and night when I am home.

Home Support

During conferences, IEP meetings, or just conversation, I have talked with several of you about behavior, communication, and/or academic needs at home. We have talked about ways to find more in-home support for you and your child. After two weeks at home, you may have a greater idea about what sort of supports may benefit you at home.  I would like to share a resource for this in which I am very excited! As you know, I dance with a company called the Ascendance Project. Another dancer in this company is also a special education teacher. She recently moved from teaching in school to starting an educational coaching business to provide support to families and children with special needs in their home and elsewere. I talked to her a bit about my classroom, and she said she would be more than willing to head to Denver to provide free consultations to anyone who is interested. This could be a great opportunity to get an idea of what sorts of supports you could utilize at home, without any initial charge. If nothing else, she may be able to get you started for finding supports and resources for your child and family at home. It is also nice that I have a relationship with Cassie, so she is not quite a stranger. I grabbed some business cards that I’ll send home, but if you’re interested you can contact her here: 303-854-8624; cassiedrewcoaching@gmail.com, or find out more info here: www.cassiedrew.com

This Week

The first week back is going to be focused on remembering routines, rules, and structures at school. Our new paraprofessional, Ms Valerie, will also be starting this week! We are very excited to welcome a new team member. Her first week will consist of some shadowing and some teaching/support. By week two week hope to be back in the swing of having a full team again!

Please let me know if you have questions about any of this or anything else leading into the new year.

Looking forward to seeing you all Monday! Have a great weekend!

-Ms Wales

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