Saturday, July 8, 2017

Small moments

I've been relishing my time off!  Nothing beats retirement! Except looking forward to a wonderful part time job working with some exceptional kids (see previous blog post).

Anyway, this past week, I've done some serious walking, and have come across a few delightful friends from the animal kingdom.

Two doors from our house is a beautiful piece of property where James Taylor grew up. These guys were hanging out in the James Taylor front field when I strolled by. (That property has 20 acres, mine has about 1--in case you were wondering.)
Also near our house is a beautiful set of trails owned by the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. This guy and I had a stare-down going.
My husband and I have been going back and forth to Brevard from Chapel Hill a lot lately for family reasons.  We often take a break during driving.  This day was in a park in Morganton, NC where we encountered a newborn fawn parked on a trail by her mama.


We left quickly. I'm sure mama and fawn were fine.





I have so enjoyed these moments, and look forward to many more.



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Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Fork in the Road

Retirement didn't last long for me.  Those of you who read my blog may remember that I retired last January after 24 years in the same elementary school.

photographer

    What you may not know is that in addition to being a speech-language pathologist, I'm also a certified teacher of the hearing impaired.  When a half-time position as a resource teacher for hearing impaired children popped up in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District, I decided to try for it, altering my plans from hanging out at home, to possibly re-entering the world of IEPs, paychecks, and adorable children.


This change in course meant writing a resume, filling out an application, lining up references, and interviewing for the first time in 25 years.
Nice interview outfit

To make a long story short, I got the job.  As a retiree, working half-time gives me the best of both worlds.  The big perk for you is that I will now have more blog posts and new materials coming!  Working with kids fuels my ideas.

Stay tuned!!!!!  First teacher workday is August 21st!





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Saturday, May 20, 2017

New Voices Foundation--Lara Jane Parker Award Recipients

Last month, I had the privilege of being part of the Lara Jane Parker Awards ceremony.  As a previous recipient of this award, I introduced a new winner, and enjoyed the warmth and comeraderie of all the people involved with this fabulous foundation.

Here's a little background on New Voices. The mission of this group is to help children with severe communication and physical chappenges maximize their learning potential. The ultimate goal is inclusion in all aspects of life.  New Voices seeks to do this through community awareness, training for professionals, family support, and increased access to assistive technology. I am personally honored to serve on the Board of Directors.


The Lara Jane Parker award was named after an outstanding young lady who graduated from UNC in spite of significant communication and mobility challenges. The award was established to provide both reward and recognition to those outstanding teachers, therapists, parents, education and health professionals and leaders who work daily to improved the lives of New Voices children. These individuals help improve their schools and their communities in ways that will allow these children to be fully included in all aspects of their daily lives. The recipients are local--Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake Counties, along the with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

Lara Jane Parker award recipients

I was in awe of these award winners, three of whom are speech-language pathologists, and one a teacher of exceptional children. My Chapel Hill--Carrboro City School colleague, Kara Van Hooser, has been using creative, and cutting edge therapy techniques for years with her severely handicapped students.  Another speech-language pathologist, Caitlin Burke, recently gave voice to a student who had not had a functional communication system for the first 14 years of his life.  All four of these individuals are leaders in their field and constantly strive to perfect their skills, and improve the lives of their students.  Congratulations!


If you want to find out more about New Voices, or would like to offer financial support to their mission, please visit their website.    
You can also follow New Voices on Facebook.

From time to time, I'll be posting about projects and the children of New Voices.  Stay tuned!



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Friday, May 12, 2017

FREE Father's Day Interactive Book

Mother's Day is in two days, but let's not forget about Dad!  His special day is outside of a typical school year, but if you are not in school then, celebrate early!

This is an interactive book to go with Father’s Day. This book is meant for the more linguistically challenged students and is perfect for  speech/special ed collaboration. The interactive book focuses on verbs associated commonly with fathers. These are the same verbs that were in my Mother’s Day interactive book found in my store. Clipart is by Smarty Symbols copyright 2017.

Enclosed:
What do Dads Do? Verbs, Verbs, Verbs” real photo interactive book (pages 3-13)
Icons for ‘What do Dads Do? (page 14)
Sentence Frame for “What do Dads Do?” (page 15)
All free of charge.  Let’s not forget about the important dads out there!


                  



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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"It's Raining"---Free Interactive Book

I recently went to a workshop run by Karen Erickson.  There is not enough space on this page to list all of her skills and accomplishments, but please look up her various projects here.  The workshop was an awesome reminder why I like working with students with significant verbal challenges.

I like creating interactive books.  These books are meant to not be for mere matching, but for shared reading.  The interactive piece is nice for highlighting concepts, and keeping attention, but a core board should always accompany this so the adult can model comments.  You can download samples of core vocabulary here.

Anyway, we just had an awesome rain shower last night in Chapel Hill, which reminded me that weather is a common topic in an elementary classroom. I created a free interactive book just for all of my internet friends struggling with finding materials with no instructional budget.  Have fun!





You can download this free book here.







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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wedding

If you ever want a beautiful site for a wedding, venture down to Hilton Head Island.  We just had one!  Yes, this is my lovely daughter, back from the Peace Corps (almost two years ago), now walking with her dad to marry the love of her life.

father and daughter


We are excited about a new son-in-law, and are excited for Andorra as she enters this new chapter.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mother's Day Interactive Book and Craft

Here's a very affordable, fun little packet for Mother's Day (which will be here before you know it!).


This is a language/literacy pack to go with Mother’s Day. This packet is meant for the more linguistically challenged students and is perfect for  speech/special ed collaboration. This is nice for integrating literacy and hands-on activities. You are purchasing one interactive book, and a meaningful craft activity with visuals. The interactive book focuses on verbs associated commonly with mothers. The craft includes a step by step set of instructions, and ultimately the child is to pick words or pictures to describe his or her mother.   Clipart is by Smarty Symbols copyright 2017.
Enclosed:
What do Moms Do? Verbs, Verbs, Verbs” real photo interactive book (pages 3-13)
Icons for ‘What do Moms Do? (page 14)
Sentence Frame for “What do Moms Do?” (page 15)
Mother’s Day Flower Craft  (pages 17-24) Fun activity where the kids choose words/icons to describe their mom to go on a flower. This comes with icons, step-by-step pictures, and patterns for cutting out the flower. No fancy craft items needed---construction paper, glue, scissors, and printed icons only!  Make this as a Mother’s Day gift!
Descriptive icons for the flower (page 25) print one for each
child
Communication Board for Mother’s Day craft (page 26)

Here are a few screenshots, but you can go to TPT for previews.  It's a great deal, and easy fix to having to plan for Mother's Day.  
Title page of Interactive Book


Click Here to view this on TPT
Sample Page

Craft
Personal News Update---Daughter is trying again to get married (first wedding canceled due to Hurricane Matthew last October).  Date is April 22 at Hilton Head!  This should be a blast!