4 Things You Must to Make Standards-Based Instruction Meaningful

Standards-based instruction can be tough for students with significant disabilities. Here are 4 tips to help make it meaningful for our students.






I’ve been thinking a lot these past few weeks about standards-based instruction.  I’ve been working on a presentation to help teachers teach based on the standards.  Most (if not all) states require standards-based instruction be identified in the IEP.  In addition, we evaluate our students based on the grade-level standards, even the students taking the alternate assessment.  So, how do we keep what we teach relevant to the lives of most of our students? How do we make our teaching meaningful and functional for students who are not college bound.  For those students who will need significant support after school, how do we help them use science and social studies information daily? Click here to read the rest of the story


Self-care 12 Week Challenge (Week 7)


Week 7 ChallengeRead

According to Pew Research Center, Some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said they read at least one book in the past year. The study also found that although e-books are on the rise, most people prefer reading a print book. So what does this has to do with self-care and reading? There are many benefits to reading books on a regular basis that helps in providing self-care. The benefits include:

  • reading can help you relax
  • helps you concentrate
  • slows down cognitive decline
  • Boost your vocabulary
  • Improves empathy

The focus for this week is to read books that will guide you in your journey towards self-improvement, self-discovery and personal development. There are many advantages towards reading  books that will enhance your own personal development:

  • reduces stress by reading uplifting books with positive words
  • You work through your own perception of your limitations

Below are a number of books that are considered “classic” self-help books that have withstood the test of time.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success- Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra’s the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success focuses on people understanding their true nature which is to learn to live in harmony with natural law thus brining a sense of well-being, good health, fulfilling relationships and enthusiasm for life. The laws include:

  1. The law of pure potentiality
  2. The law of giving
  3. The law of “Karma” or cause and effect
  4. The law of least effort
  5. The law of intention and desire
  6. The law of detachment
  7. The law of “Dharma” or purpose in life.

As a Man Thinketh- James Allen

Published originally in 1903, As a Man Thinketh is considered a classic in the self-help genre. Allen writes, “The mind guides our footsteps as we progress along the pathway of life.” This book purports that our mind and thoughts create our reality. The chapters include:

  1. Thought and Character
  2. Effect of Thought on Circumstances
  3. effect of Thought on Health and the Body
  4. Thought and Purpose
  5. The Thought Factor in Achievement
  6. Vision and Ideas
  7. Serenity

Awaken the Giant Within- Tony Robbins

Written in 1993, Awaken the Giant Within focuses on personal achievement in all aspects of your life by taking control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny. The book is divided into four sections:

  1. Unleash your Power
  2. Taking Control- The Master System
  3. The seven Days to Shape your Life
  4. A Lesson in Destiny

Keys to Success- Edited by Matthew Sartwell

Napoleon Hill’s Key to Success provides practical information on achieving success. The overall theme of the book is that you can achieve anything in life if you believe you can.

The Magic of Thinking Big- David Joseph Schwartz

This classic self-help book is more than just about visualization. It offers techniques and principles that will guide you to living a more fulfilling life. Like most self-help books, most of the information in the book focuses on self-limiting beliefs and how to overcome them. each chapter ends with a summary on applying practical tips.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen Covey

The late Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published in 1989. Although considered a business and self-help book, it provides a proactive framework on positive change. Sections include:

  1. Paradigms and Principles
  2. Private Victory
  3. Public Victory
  4. Renewal

Think and Grow Rich- Napoleon Hill

A classic and landmark best-seller, Think and Grow Rich s considered the all time best-seller in the self-help industry. The overall goal of the book is to help people overcome self-limiting beliefs. Although the book focuses on success and making money, it is also helpful for those seeking ways to improve their overall well-being.

How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie

Another great classic, Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence people is simply a great book on learning how to effective communicate with other people.

The Self-Care 12-Week Challenge


Week 4 Challenge – Gratitude

In life, especially when facing challenges in life, it is so easy to focus on the negative aspect of life. I do believe that we are all living magnets that what we think, we become. Leading to the thoughts that become our reality. When we express gratitude, we are acknowledging all the good that has come into our lives. It also prevents us from worrying about a future that may not happen by being in the moment, we have a chance to appreciate all that is good which in turn will attract more positive thing in our lives.

Benefits of expressing gratitude:
  • Helps to put problems into perspective
  • It reduces stress levels
  • It makes us happier
  • It strengthens our emotions
  • It puts us in a place of now
  • It improves sleep patterns
Steps to practicing gratitude:
  • Pay attention to the little things in life that you appreciate
  • Write down the things you are grateful for daily in a journal
  • Start your day by being thankful for all the blessings in your life
  • Be thankful for all the lessons that you have received

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”- William Arthur Ward

Resource Articles

9 new ways to practice gratitude

14 creative ways to practice gratitude

40 simple ways to practice gratitude

How to live your life of gratitude

Developing an attitude of gratitude can help you live a longer, healthier life

Discover your life’s purpose with gratitude

Expanding the science and practice of gratitude

Practice Gratitude

The power of gratitude: Why gratitude brings happiness

The science behind gratitude


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Self-Care 12-Week Challenge

self-care.title2Providing care to someone with long-term needs can be rewarding and at the same time bring some challenges. Whether you are a parent caring for a child with a disability or a professional providing care, it is often difficult to find the time to take care of yourself.

When we spend so much tine taking care of other people and neglect our own fundamental needs, lack of self-care begins to take a toll on our bodies, mind and spirit. lack of self-care can potentially lead to chronic stress. Early signs of chronic stress includes:


  • Frequent headaches
  • Back pain
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • chest pains
  • social withdrawal and isolation

We simply cannot help others who depend on us if we do not take care of ourselves first.


I hope you accept my invitation to participate in this self-care 12-week challenge. Starting next Monday, I will post a new challenge over the next 3-months just in time for Spring. With a new year, it is time that you spend time taking care of you.

Good Luck!