I know I'm a broken record always saying that time is flying, but it seriously is!! I can't believe we are already in the last month of school!
We have been busy in the SCORES room learning about Superflex's new Power Plan and the new team of Thinkables that work with Superflex to help defeat the Unthinkables. Hopefully you saw these pages come home in the blue folder and had a chance to discuss them with your child. This week and next, we are working on creating a book of the 4-5 Thinkables that we personally feel that we need to "activate" more in our lives. Click here
and scroll down to Thinkable Dream Team to see an example of the book we are making. Your child will be bringing their books home next week. When you see your child using these great strategies, be sure to positively reinforce this skill (ie. "It looks like you have Sunny Sun in your brain! That's awesome! What great social thinking!"). When you see that they are needing to activate these strategies, using the Thinkable's name is a good trigger to remind the student of what they have learned about the Thinkable (ie. "It looks like you are getting upset and Glassman is getting into your brain. Remember Rainbow Girl can help you!"). Supporting their social communication learning at home will help them to generalize skills in the various settings of their lives.
This is the time of year that we start planning for next year. We take great care and thought for the placement of your child's next class/teacher. Just like every year, we will be making summer social stories for the kids to have over the summer to read about Boone. I will take the students to meet their new teachers and take a picture. Please remember that this is a service that only SCORES kids have so I ask that you keep the information about your child's next year teacher to yourself. Everyone else will find out their teachers in August.
Last summer, I offered tutoring services. It went so well and I enjoyed seeing my students over the summer so much that I am going to offer this service again! My rate is $30 an hour. I can come to your house, you can come to mine or we can meet at a public library. My schedule is fairly flexible. I can tutor Reading, Math, Writing or anything else you think your child needs to work on. I can also work on social skills instruction if you would like them to get extra practice over the summer. If you are interested in this tutoring service over the summer, please let me know some times that work for you. I would like to know by the end of this month so that I can make sure to pack up some of my teaching materials to bring home for the summer. You are welcome to let anyone else you know that may be interested as well.
I think that's all for now! Please email or call me with any questions or concerns. Have a great May! -Angela Cardenas
Wow, the spring is flying by! We already only have 7 weeks of school left before summer! I hope everyone had a lot of fun at our Spring Carnival on Friday! We had a blast!
Last week in social group, we started a new management system called Class Dojo. Click here
and scroll down to Class Dojo to learn how we are using this system in the SCORES room.
Next week, we will be STAAR testing again. Third and fourth grades will be taking Reading and Math. Fifth grade will be taking the Science test. If you have students in these grade levels, encourage them to be practicing their test anxiety strategies we learned about a couple weeks ago.
In social group this week, we are working on Superflex's Very Cool 5 Step Power Plan. I will blog about this next week.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!
I hope everyone had a great Spring Break! The weather was amazing, wasn't it?! I enjoyed time with family and we got to take Teo to his first carnival in Rockport, Texas where my parents live. Great fun!
Andrea Ramirez, my student teacher, is in her "total teach" right now, where she is responsible for all lessons. I am still observing and working with students, but she is in charge of the bulk of the teaching. She is doing a great job!!
This week in social group, we have been working on different concepts based on the grade levels:
Kindergarten - Second grade social groups have been working on thoughts creating feelings. Click here
and scroll down to "What is a Thought? (A Thought is a Lot!)" to learn more.
Third - Fifth grade social groups have been working on test anxiety. With STAAR coming up, this is a very relevant topic to cover for these kiddos. Click here
and scroll down to "Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger" to learn more.
In Lunch Bunch, students participated in Conversation Tree. Most of the students have done this activity before so they were excited when they found out they were doing it again. Our topic was "spring brea" and students were able to tell stories and share their fun adventures from their week off from school! The kids had a great time. To learn more about this activity, click here
and scroll down to "Conversation Tree".
As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I'm here to help! -Angela Cardenas
Wow, February really flew by, didn't it?!
I really enjoyed attending parent teacher conferences over the past few weeks. If I wasn't able to attend your child's conference and you would like to meet with me, please email or call anytime!
We have been busy working on social thinking in the SCORES room. Click here
and scroll to Social Detective to learn more about our activities. Hopefully your kids told you about the scavenger hunt we went on. It was FUN!
Spring Break is around the corner! I hope you and your kiddos enjoy some much needed down time! I know I am looking forward to spending the week with my family! Take care,
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
We have been busy in the SCORES room! Last week in social group, we worked on perspective taking and inference through watching various Mr. Bean animated clips. There are many animated Mr. Bean clips on Youtube. Mr. Bean is a great way to practice perspective taking and inference because he doesn't talk much and when he does, he has major Mumble Monster in his brain! He also has really exaggerated and silly behavior so it offers a lot of opportunity for inference conversation. Plus, the kids are really engaged because he is funny-Bonus!
In Lunch Bunch, we worked on kindness. Click here
and scroll down to Wall of Kindness to learn more about this activity.
This week, we are working on empathy in social group. We are completing various worksheets together from the book, Teaching Children Empathy, The Social Emotion
by Tonia Caselman. Click here
to learn more about this book. We have been focusing on rating ourselves in regards to empathy and empathetic listening. You should see these worksheets coming home in their blue SCORES folders. Their homework has been to discuss these topics with you using their worksheets. In Lunch Bunch this week, students are playing a Valentine's Day Social Language game made by Jenna Rayburn. Click here
to learn more about this game that has many components of social language.
I am super excited about our social group activity for next week! We are going on an social skills scavenger hunt! There will be clues throughout the building that get the kids thinking about appropriate social communication skills and then they will have to demonstrate inference and conversation skills to get to the next clue. It should be super fun and engaging!
Parent teacher conferences are in full swing! I am attending as many conferences as I possibly can. Inevitably, there are scheduling conflicts when working with 13 teachers. If I am not able to attend your conference, I am happy to meet with you separately to discuss your child's social progress. Call or email me if you would like to set up a meeting.
I just received Summer Camp information. Click here
and scroll down to Summer Camps 2013 to download the packet. It has information about various camps available in our area. Many camps fill up fast, so if you want to get your child in a specific camp, I encourage you to start the process as soon as possible.
As always, if there is anything I can do to help support you and your children, please contact me. -Angela Cardenas
Hi everyone! Last week, we focused on yoga. Yoga is a great strategy to help with so many things! Lots of children struggle with focus, having too much energy, getting stressed easily and anxiety issues. Yoga can help all of these things! Click here
and scroll down to Yoga to learn more about our activities in social group and lunch bunch. This week, we are focusing on perspective taking and inference. More about this in my blog next week! I hope everyone had a great weekend! Email or call me if you have any questions or concerns.
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing and fun winter break! I enjoyed lots of time with my family and even got to see snow when we drove to Arkansas to visit my family! My son was very excited to play (and eat) snow! See the picture below to see what I mean! It amazes me that we are already in 2013! How time flies!
In the past week and a half in social group, we have been talking about resolutions and goals. We have been discussing that the start of a new year is a time when people tend to try to make changes in their lives. We brainstormed what we wanted to work on in our lives and created a bulletin board project called, "Hopes and Dreams for 2013". Click here
and scroll down to "Hopes..." to learn more about the activity and to see pictures. Also, check out our bulletin board in C pod if you get a chance!
In Lunch Bunch, we have been working on our conversation skills. We have been playing a "Bean Bag Conversation Game" to practice having conversations. Click here
and scroll down to "bean bag..." to learn more about this fun way to practice conversation skills.
I'm excited to introduce Andrea Ramirez, my new student teacher! She will be with us until the beginning of May. She will be taking over various parts of my schedule until she eventually teaches everything for 3 weeks total. Below is an introduction from her: Hello! My name is Andrea Ramirez Cristoforo and I will be a student teacher in your son/daughter’s SCORES classroom for this spring semester. I was born and raised in Mexico and I am a senior at the University of Texas at Austin where I am studying my bachelor’s degree in all-levels special education. Through this program, I have had the opportunity of teaching in a general education classroom for one semester, in a PPCD classroom and Autism setting for an entire semester, and in a bilingual resource room for another semester. I am looking forward to working with your child and I hope to make your child’s learning experience fun and meaningful!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please email or call me! -Angela Cardenas
Wow, this month has seriously flown by! We have been super busy working on perspective taking in social group. The kids have been practicing "putting themselves in others' shoes" through various scenarios and videos. I love seeing them practice such great social thinking!
In Lunch Bunch, we discussed doing kind things for others during the holiday season. We made a super adorable bulletin board in C pod. If you haven't gotten a chance to see it, click here
and scroll down to "We Can Light Up the World With Kindness!" to learn more.
As we roll into Winter Break, I hope you enjoy some time off with your sweet children. In light of recent events, I know that I have been holding my baby extra close and getting in as many cuddles as possible. I've also been reflecting a lot on the hardships of parenting, teaching and life in general. It can be very easy to get wrapped up in the stress and frustration of life. In the past few days, I have been really focusing on being thankful for every moment, good and bad, with my students as well as my own child. As I cleaned yogurt off my kitchen wall, I reminded myself to be thankful I can have that experience because so many do not have that anymore. When my toddler had a meltdown in the grocery store, I tried to remind myself that I am lucky to be on this emotional roller coaster with him because many had that taken from them in the blink of an eye.
If you start to feel inevitable feelings of frustration, take a deep breath, remember that every moment is precious, and be grateful for all experiences. I know it's much easier said than done, but that's my goal! I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful Winter Break full of love, laughter and precious moments with your families. Love, Angela Cardenas
Last week was a busy week with benchmark testing for third, fourth and fifth grade!
In social group, we played the game, "I Mustache You a Question". Hopefully the students were able to explain the game to you when they came home. The kids had a really fun time wearing mustaches and working on their conversation skills! Click here
and scroll down to "I Mustache You a Question" to learn more about this activity.
In Lunch Bunch, we played an inference game where I gave the students clues and they had to guess what animal, person or food I was describing. The kids loved it and really came together as teams to help each other out! Many kids wanted to share their own mysteries for us to solve, which was really cool!
This was Ms. Bankhead's last week with us. I am already missing her like crazy, but it's nice to still see her in the halls since she is observing PPCD. We are making her a book this week and will give it to her along with the gift card on Friday. Thank you to all the parents that contributed to the gift!
I hope everyone is having a great week. There are lots of fun things to look forward to, holiday parties and all that exciting stuff! I know the
Wow, it's already time for Thanksgiving! I can't believe it!
In social group, we've been working on Media-based Inference. Click here
and scroll to Media-based Inference to learn more.
Last week in Lunch Bunch, we discussed what we were thankful for. We made a cool bulletin board where the kids wrote something they were thankful for on various fall inspired shapes. Check it out in C pod if you get the chance!
This week in Lunch Bunch, we played "Guess What I Am!
". This is a super fun inference and perspective taking game. Each student takes turns holding a face frame and asks questions of their peers to figure out what person or animal is on the frame. There was SO much laughter during this game! They had a great time and didn't even realize they were practicing inference and perspective taking!
My amazing student teacher, Ms. Bankhead, will only be with us for another week. Her last day with us in SCORES will be November 29. Then she will spend a week with Mrs. Lee in PPCD here at Boone. I am so sad to see her go, as she has truly become a big part of this team! She has worked so hard with your children and they all love her! If you would like to contribute to her going away gift, please contact me.
There will be no school from Wednesday-Friday of this week. I hope you all have a fabulous break enjoying your family and friends. I am thankful to have a job, students and co-workers that I love. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! -Angela Cardenas