This time is crazy... am I right? I never thought I would be teaching during a time when I couldn’t see my students face-to-face and provide them with the support they needed to learn. This has been a huge learning curve for everyone involved from parents to teachers to the support staff to the students. So how can paraprofessionals provide that extra nudge during school closures? 1. Be There! I know we can’t really be there physically with our students but there are so many ways to be present with them during this crucial time. Technology is making a huge difference in this capability; 10-15 years ago online teaching would have been almost impossible for some places! I’m thinking of rural or lower-income areas; people wouldn't have had computers, tablets, and a good internet connection. Take advantage of the technology (embrace it even!) and check-in on your kiddos! This is just one on-line learning platform Side note: Teachers...... let your paraprofessionals hel...
While Boom Cards™ has been around for a few years, they are rapidly gaining popularity as we get more familiar with our new normal of distance learning. If you're like me, you love a good ol' task box to engage your students in an ongoing list of academic, vocational, and social learning topics. Boom Cards™ are essentially virtual task boxes that allow students to participate and have the same learning opportunities with familiar visuals, and promote progression in the topics we were working on before the school closures. Here are the top 5 reasons why I feel Boom Cards™ are so useful during distance learning. 1) Immediate Feedback I absolutely love that my students receive immediate and automatic feedback when working through a Boom Card deck. In a classroom setting, there are times when my staff and I work 1:1 with students on task boxes, which means we are there to correct and teach them when they get things wrong. With distance learning and so many parents having thei...
So far in my experience with distance learning,  we have done an incredible job of reaching students while outside of the classroom that we all wish we could get back to. Every educator across the globe, as well as every student working to adapt to this new way of learning, deserves a big round of applause.  Just as deserving of praise and recognition are the parents of our students. Managing their homes, jobs, and families, parents everywhere are also doing everything they can to keep their children's education on track. Especially for the students in our special education population, regression is a real fear for our parents. From weekly therapy sessions to individualized programming and inclusive classes, we simply cannot recreate our typical in school routines at home. It is important that our parents know this, and that we remind them that they are doing a good job! There are so many ways we can s upport parents during distance learning. Here are the 4 that I fe...
As teachers, we never expected to ever teach from home, especially students with disabilities that need us to be there supporting them.  This is not what we signed up for, but we have to keep everyone safe during this pandemic.  So let's do this together! Here are 5 quick tips to help you get started with e-learning.  1. Establish Communication and Set Expectations Now more than ever, it is extremely important to establish great parent communication.  Find a way to connect with every parent.  Make sure you set expectations for them as well.  My entire district established "office hours" for each department that we are available to answer questions.  I am available every day from 8am-9am.  Some districts set office hours all day.  Try not to work outside of those office hours because you will become so burnt out.  Teaching from home is a lot more difficult than in the classroom, so make sure you have everything in order so you don't lose your mind. Also,...