In case you missed it, the Made For Me Math Growing Bundle is finally here! During our brainstorming process, Gabrielle and I decided to MAKE. ALL. THE. THINGS! We wanted our lesson plans to be versatile and meet the needs of every learner. Task boxes, file folders, assessments, recipes… our to-do list increased, and so did our ZIP files.
If navigating this massive curriculum has you feeling overwhelmed, fear not! We have reached out to special education teacher (and organization extraordinaire) Rachel Glassman to share a few tips and tricks on how she best utilizes the Made For Me Math curriculum.
While there is no “right” or “wrong” way to organize the units, Rachel emphasizes the importance of choosing a method that meets your classroom’s needs. Rachel was intentional in choosing storage methods that would allow the curriculum to be easily accessible to herself and assistants.
Rachel Glassman is a 3rdyear teacher in a preschool special education classroom. She works with students ages 3-5, with varying disabilities. Her students attend half day classes (about 2 ½ – 3 hours a day).
Made For Me Math Organization
by Rachel Glassman
I purchased Made For Me Math as soon as I saw it was posted this summer. When I opened the file I was not surprised at all that Michaela and Gabrielle PACKED this curriculum with so many valuable activities and resources for students on all different levels. I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest…and I was wishing I had all the time in the world to be able to implement all of these wonderful activities!!
After thinking about when and how I will be able to utilize this curriculum, AND I knew my student’s IEP goals, I had a better idea about what I should and should not print. We follow a curriculum in my classroom, so I was not going to be able to use Made For Me Math throughout the whole half-day session, but I thought small groups would be a perfect time to Implement it. During small group time my students participate in 8-10 min. instructional lessons taught by myself and my classroom assistants. They rotate through each group, so that they are able to learn with each teacher and participate in up to three lessons on a given day.
So now that I knew I was going to utilize this curriculum during small groups AND I read my student’s IEP goals, I was sure that I was not going to need EVERYTHING in the resource, but I would need simple, quick activities and lessons to teach my students in the 8-10 min. time period of a small group that align with their goals.
I ended up printing…
- 1 version of the vocabulary cards
- 7 centers
- 1 version of each book’s paper assessment
- 6 skills practice worksheets
- 2 anchor chart materials
- 3 craft instructions and pictures
This is not nearly everything that is in this curriculum, and that is OKAY! I really wanted to make sure I was not just printing everything because of how beautiful and amazing it all is (it really is). I wanted to be intentional and have a purpose for each thing I was going to print and prep.
I used a crate from target ($4) to store everything. My plan is to store multiple units in the one crate to save space. The sign on the front was originally page 11 in the centers document. Since I will be using this for multiple units, I cut it down to just say “Made For Me Math”.
I have the crate stored near my small group table for easy access.
THE HANGING FILES
I used plain hanging files that I purchase from Walmart (about $10 for 25). I was able to fit everything into 6 hanging files for this unit.
The files are as follows:
- Vocab cards
- More centers
- Books and book assessments
- Skills assessments
- Crafts and anchor charts
FOLDER 1: VOCAB CARDS
I printed, laminated and cut these vocab cards out. Michaela and Gabrielle literally have EIGHT different vocab card options for you to choose from. I just love the look of the black on the top and the real paint colors. I plan on using these to introduce colors, and then I will post them near my small group table so that we can reference them during other lessons.
FOLDERS 2 and 3: CENTERS
I needed two folders to store all of these centers. Michaela and Gabrielle include TEN different centers in this unit, so there are so many to choose from. I printed these seven because they best fit my students’ ability levels and needs. (Grab poly envelopes here!)
FOLDER 4: BOOKS & ASSESSMENTS
I purchased both books for this unit because they both seemed appropriate for my students and I think they will enjoy reading them even when we aren’t learning about colors. I also printed copies of the assessments for each book. Michaela and Gabrielle include digital assessments, which you can complete on an iPad, computer or SmartBoard, and paper assessments like these with different levels of difficulty. I printed the assessments with 3 answer choice options because I know they will best fit my students’ ability levels. I have enough copies printed so that I can pull them out and use them.
FOLDER 5: SKILLS PRACTICE
I was so happy to see all of the different options of skill practice in so many different levels. I had so many choices of what to print for my students. Again, I thought about what would address my students needs and fit into our small group time. I made copies of each and kept all of the master copies together. This way, I am ready to pull them out and use them.
FOLDER 6: ANCHOR CHARTS AND ART PROJECTS
This folder makes me super happy. I mean, look at how cute these crafts and anchor charts are! With each book there were multiple anchor charts and crafts provided to choose from. I went with the projects and anchor charts that I thought we would realistically use during our small group time.
This is all very specific to my classroom and my way of organizing. Some of you might LOVE it and copy it (go right ahead!!!), some of you might take bits and pieces of my ideas, and some of you might think this is just not for you, and you might want to organize it in a totally different way. THAT IS OKAY!!
If you are able to utilize this curriculum throughout your day, I am jealous! You might be able to use a lot more of the curriculum than I plan on using. Michaela and Gabrielle have truly put SO MUCH MATERIAL in this unit, that you can probably just teach this unit all day every day (LOL).
I hope that this was helpful for some of you, and hopefully makes you less overwhelmed. Please feel free to reach out with any questions…
Engaging Early Learners
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawn to people with special needs. It makes me happy to watch my students grow and progress with all their hard work. I truly believe I was put on this planet to work with these children.
If you’ve seen my posts recently, you may be thinking, “wow, Michaela sure has been posting a lot about her projects and activities! But why?”
Well, as a special education teacher in a self-contained classroom, I know how challenging it can be for my students to access the grade-level curriculum. Resources are limited and can require hours worth of accommodations and modifications.
The intention behind my TPT store is to provide teachers with adapted teaching materials that focus on the prerequisite skills needed to master grade-level standards and provide engaging, hands-on activities that make learning exciting and appropriate.