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Holiday Activities

As you go through your first year as a resource room teacher, you will gather a lot of ideas and materials from the classroom teachers.  Get a 1-2 inch binder to hold your holiday materials.  I bought the dividers that are pre-labeled with the months on them.  I set up my binder to follow the school year (started with September) and added a few page protectors to the back.  I started this binder while student teaching so I had a small collection of materials already.  As the year progresses, I make copies of any activity I like.  I can easily just stick it in my binder when I get back to my room.  I use the page protectors for tracers/examples that can't be hole punched. 

PLEASE forget trying to keep all of your materials in page protectors.  You will not have time to pull out all the papers every time you need to make copies.

Only collect activities that you really like.  You don't have time to do multiple activities per holiday.  At the beginning of each month flip through your holiday binder and make copies of anything you will use that month.  Do your holiday activities EARLY.  If you don't, the classroom teachers will ask you to push in so the students can do their holiday activities.  Happy Holidays! 

Wrapping up the Year

Today I began packing up my rooms.  In one building, I'm switching rooms so I started moving things into my new room.  There is an unbelievable amount of work involved with switching rooms.  On top of that, there was a lot of stuff I should have done before students left (if I had known about them before now!). 

1.  If you have students who are moving to the middle school, contact all of the middle school special education teachers and see what information they want (IEPs, Behavior plans, sample work...).  You don't need most of that stuff the last few weeks of school.  Gather it up and send it out early! 

2.  Write your progress notes/report cards early.  You don't want to do it the last week of school and lets face it, the students aren't learning much the last few weeks anyways. 

3. Start a shred pile/box.  Let the classroom teachers know that any confidential papers they don't want, they can throw in the box (at my school we are responsible for teachers IEPs). 

4.  Go through your filing cabinet.  Hand back any work you want your students to take home.  Recycle any papers that you don't need anymore.  I sent a bunch of  paper home with students as scrap paper.  The kids don't care if there is stuff written on the other side.  Just make sure you don't send another students work home as scrap paper. 

5.  Organize your desk/shelves.  Pick a day and have your students help you.  They LOVE to help and you have 25-40 helpers! Once they leave, you are on your own.  Have students return books and materials you borrowed from other teachers.  They can take inter-office envelopes down to the office.  It will save you a lot of running around the building. 

6.  Find out what materials you need to keep on each student.  I needed to keep draft IEPs for next year, WIAT tests, final progress notes, Running Records, and a few work samples that show their ability. 

7.  Go through your plan book and make sure it looks decent.  We have to turn our plan books in to the principal and you don't want to try to re-write lessons the last day of school. 

If your desk, filing cabinet, and bookshelves are organized and cleaned out before the students leave, packing up is just a matter of boxing books and turning in your keys and planbook.