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End-of-Year Planning in the Special Education Classroom

 

Finishing the year strong means making each day count!

It can be challenging to continue everyday classroom requirements, while getting yourself and your students ready for summer. René Zeltone of Attainment Company's Training and Account Managers, with 17 years of experience working as an educator, shares her ideas  for making the end of the year easier. She has even provided some fantastic printables to help you to get organized!

Inventory Your Curriculum

1.) It will make the start of the year much easier for you and your aides, if you know exactly what you should have in stock and where it's located. Here is a example inventory form with some materials already listed: Curriculum Inventory. You might also find this End-of-Year Checklist to be a helpful starting point.

2.) Utilize your team for this task, whether that includes paraprofessionals, instructional aides, or volunteers. If you can divide and conquer this will go much more quickly.

3.) Make a note of any missing or damaged items, and find out what you need to do to restock. This could mean utilizing the PDF CD that comes with a curriculum kit for visual images or printables (as in ELSB, below), or submitting a request with your administrators.

 

4.) Take note of when the budget opens for your district. It likely opens in July for August purchasing. Start identifying things you may need for your classroom now, so you are ready when it's time to place your order. Keep in mind, that often your district will have specific guidelines for submitting a request.

5.) Make a copy of your full inventory and store it somewhere that it will be convenient to find. Perhaps, tape it to the lid of the box or even inside your filing cabinet!

Organize Student Data

Student data often comes in many different formats making it especially tricky to stay organized. René recommends using two types of storage for each student: a binder and a flash drive.

 

Keep all your “pencil data” that cannot be stored electronically in individual binders for each student. This will be items like IEP data, benchmarks tied to the curriculum, or even student projects. Then, anything that can be electronically saved, can be saved into the same drive. This could include data sheets, IEPs, behavior intervention plans, or any visuals that support their contracts.

It’s so important to have student data accessible to reference at the beginning of the year. You'll be able to remember the student's achievements from the year before, making it more convenient to identify any concerns of regression over the summer and to track progress from where they had been.

Here's a sample Student Profile Card that could be printed and completed, or could be updated in Microsoft Word and saved on a drive. This sample includes behavior and primary-level curricula data tracking. We've included Attainment's ELSB, ERSB, Early Science, Early Numeracy, and Hands on Math in the example.

Get More Out of Your Summer

1.) Take time for yourself. This could be taking time completely alone, with your family, or friends: Whatever is going to help you rest, relax, and recuperate!

2.) Consider professional development opportunities. There are so many options available online that a class could be on your schedule and doesn’t have to involve travel! Try Autism Internet Modules for free online training and Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism On-Line Training. Both require creating an account to access the modules.

3.) When you're ready, start thinking about lesson planning. A new school year lets you start fresh with your classroom! You could revamp your syllabus entirely, or integrate new lessons and activities here and there. The internet can help immensely, with tons of other teachers creating and posting materials and suggestions online. Not to mention, right here on the Attainment Connections Blog, we try to offer advice to help you to lesson plan with our curricula.

Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite resource, or a question about end-of-year organizing!

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