We've been benchmarking our kids and I actually really, really enjoy giving these assessments! We use AIMS web to progress monitor our kids. I feel like it's the best way for me to get to know these kids and what they are each capable of. I've seen the little things the kids are struggling with, but I've actually been pleasantly surprised by how successful some of these kids are in certain areas! I was blown away when one kid read over 150 words/minute!
One thing that I love about special education is that for every gigantic struggle these kids have, there is one area where they completely shine! I have 2 kiddos who REALLY struggle at reading, but their artistic abilities are astounding! That makes me think...I need to find a way to work some art skill into our reading groups...maybe it'll help them remember those sight words!
One thing I really like about this school is the way we differentiate reading and math instruction! Every class has 2 teachers, which teach separately for reading and math. This means we can teach completely different things and split the kids up between teachers and rooms to meet their instructional level. During this summer school session, we work out the kinks and find the best placement for every kid before the full school year starts. I really like both of my groups! Not to say they are easy, but my kiddos have some definite personality!
I am taking over for a very lovely teacher who moved to another department. One thing I really like is that her letter cards all have magnets on the back so I can arrange them on the board to spell words. Another thing I really like are these dry-erase sheets! They are simply sheet protectors with handwriting pages slipped inside. They work great and wipe off easily!