Center for Information for Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Paraeducators.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Glossary of Terms

One of the suggestions from in service was the need for a "desk reference" of disabilities.  A quick explanation of a disability, how it manifests, what to expect and maybe a list of resources for getting more information.
I think this is a great idea, and figured it would be a snap to google search and locate a perfect little list.  How arrogant of me to think that these complex disabilities would manifest in such simple ways that a quick glossary would be easy to find.  There is a lot of reference and I will continue to search for good resources for you.
I did find a good place to start.  The Center for the Improvement of Child Caring has a nice glossary of terms.  This is the link:  http://www.ciccparenting.org/Glossary1.aspx

I have placed this information on the Para Moodle site also.

Please share if you find a reference or resource you like.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

PaTTAN Trainings for 2013-2014

For 2013-2014, all of the PaTTAN trainings for special education paraprofessionals will be provided online.
Starting August 1, 2013, a two-part training focusing on promoting student independence will be available to paraprofessionals, on-demand, at: http://pattan.framewelder.com. This series will focus on principles of instruction and strategies paraprofessionals can use to foster independence in the classroom and throughout the school day. Participants will gain knowledge related to the standards listed in the Pennsylvania Credential of Competency Knowledge and Skills Checklist and earn up to four in-service training hours.
Additional training sessions on various topics will be posted to the training site periodically throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

You can earn Certificates of Attendance for completing each of the online courses. To earn a Certificate of Attendance you must view the entire course and complete the assessment at the end. Participants are responsible for downloading certificates of attendance. Participants may access a record of their completed courses by clicking on the certificates button above. PaTTAN will not keep a record of participation in the online courses in the PaTTAN transcript system.

To complete each course watch the presentation and complete the assessment at the end. The assessment will be made available once you have watched the full course. The assessment is in multiple-choice format and you will receive immediate feedback.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

End of the Year Musings

It is almost the end of the 2012-2013 school year.  June 30 marks the completion of another year and also the deadline for completing the required 20 hours of professional development for all Special Education Paraeducators.  In years past, this has been a busy time with a flurry of forms swirling around my desk as paras rush to complete the requirement and submit the forms.
But this year is different.  My phone is strangely quiet (that's not a bad thing!) and my inbox is empty.  I have a few online forms to sign, but for the most part - nothing!
I think we have reached the point where 95% of our dedicated Paraeducator staff are on board and flying along on the professional development train.  Everyone understands the federal requirement, understands the process for securing the hours, knows the best places to look for opportunities for training.  I believe this is all due to the incredible work ethic and sense of duty our Paraeducators share.  Every school day, in Westmoreland County, special needs children in WIU classes are assisted by the finest individuals in the field.  These caring Classroom Assistants and Personal Care Assistants are truly professionals in every sense of the word. 
As of today, June 18, 2013, WIU Classroom Assistants and Personal Care Assistants - Long Term Substitutes included - have amassed 4,566 hours of professional development.  That is an average of 31 hours per person!  Pretty impressive!
So, pat yourself on the back.  Be proud of yourself.  I know I am proud of each one of you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Puns for The DEMENTED!

  • The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
  • I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .
  • She was only a whiskey maker's daughter, but he loved her still.
  • A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  • The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it still will be stationery.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  • A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  • Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, “You stay here; I'll go on a head.”
  • I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Some thoughts on Reading

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was lucky to attend the Pittsburgh Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association Fall Conference at Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Dr. Maryanne Wolf, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University was the Keynote Speaker. Her topic? "The Evolving Reading Brain in a Digital World".
Dr. Wolf talked about reading as a human invention, an invention that has changed all of humanity. We have no "Reading Center" in the brain. There is no reading gene. The human brain uses existing circuits of neurons - originally designed for vision, language and cognition - and we forge new pathways and connections. We are changed by what we read. The very act of reading changes the brain neurologically and intellectually. Wow!
She presented so much new information about the latest brain research, my brain was spinning!
I came away from the conference wanting to know more about reading, the reading brain and the dyslexic brain. What an amazing time to be in education. For the first time in history, we can see what happens within our brains when we are reading. This leading edge research will change everything we know about how to teach children to read.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Welcome to your Blog Site!

One of my goals for this school year is to create a blog for all the WIU Paraeducators. This is your site, a place for you to quickly post thoughts, interact with one another, and more. I will be posting articles of interest, important dates, websites and anything else I think you will find interesting.
I need your participation to make this site a success. Get ready to become a Blogger!