Kathleen Peck
Special Education Teacher - K - 5 Learning Center Teacher
(360) 978-4111

ME in Elementary and Special Education from University of Washington
BA in Psychology from Central Washington University


One of my favorite spaces in my classroom! With it being Dr. Seuss month I felt like it should be celebrated. 

Keeping a variety of books for students is important. The students have access to leveled texts that are organized by lexile level. They also have phonics readers that they enjoy reading. I work hard to keep a variety of nonfiction and fiction books that are of high interest to my students. 

While my students like reading the stories in their readers they get to see a variety of print styles and text features through reading real books. 





Having a space to calm down in the classroom is always important to my students. Needing to take breaks is expected. Knowing how to take breaks appropriately is explicitly taught. 

Keeping a calm corner in the classroom to calm down and refocus is important to my students. The students know where the calm down materials and kept and how to access them. 

Keep calm and learn on. 



It's almost the new year!

When I think about what we need to do to be better in the new year is to be consistent. 

When we return to school we will review our learning goals, take stock of our progress, and keep on working toward them. We will continue to strive toward these goals and make sure that what learning we are doing is consistent with our targets.

With all of the distractions of coming back to school after a long break it is hard at times to remain focused on our goals, but that is what we will continue to work towards.

Here is to a productive 2019. Keep up the hard work everyone. 


Love and Logic Rules

#1 Adults take care of themselves by providing limits in loving ways.

#2 Childhood misbehavior is treated as an opportunity for gaining wisdom.

Remember that children want limits. They will test your boundaries, but they want to know that you care enough to set boundaries for them.

Some students need more experience with consequences to learn from them then others. That's okay. Time and consistency is what makes progress. 


Thinking about reading.

Research now is saying that a child needs to get 80 - 120 minutes of reading each day in order to make progress in their reading when the student has a learning disability.

The problem with this, children often find reading boring.

So, what do we do?

We find ways to make in engaging.

We find tasks that will engage the student in their work.

We hold ourselves accountable for doing direction instruction in reading every day.

We find high interest/low reading level books for our students to read.

We use technology that may make reading fun for our students. 

More then anything, we make sure that our students are reading each and every day. 


Classroom Climate and Culture

The room is set up to promote focus and collaboration between group members. Group expectations are clearly posted for students to refer to. 

Get along
Respect others
On task
Use quiet voices
Stay in your group

The students have several seating options as well as being able to choose to sit in a chair. If the seating makes it difficult for the student to focus they are asked to make a different choice.

Group areas are divided into three stations that have the learning targets and success criteria posted for the students to refer to. 

We got through the first month! The kids have been benchmarked and started on their specially designed instruction. 

I am so proud of the growth that they have all made over the summer. I can tell that everyone has worked this summer to reach their goals.

Welcome to the 2018 - 2019 school year. I am excited about the work that we are about to begin!

This school year I look forward to helping my students set, work towards, and meet their goals. 

What do students need to be successful during state testing?

What we know is that they need practice and to be prepared for the tasks. That is something that we as teachers can do. We can make sure that the students know how to cite evidence and explain their reasoning.

My students practice this every day using the RACE and RAD strategy.

Answer the question

Answer the question

Having my students familiar with this has been a lifesaver during state testing. I simply as able to give them a graphic organizer with the strategy on it and room to write, and they form their answers. 

Other things we can control:
Environment - Non-distracting
Seating - With room and next to people they will be successful near
Tone - Use the same chipper but assertive voice used when teaching. Keep your voice down so the students will do the same.
Timing - Having the students work in 45 - 60 minute chunks. If it can be avoided, do not have them work more then 60 minutes in a day. Testing is a marathon, not a race. 

The challenge of keeping my students motivated through testing is always a challenge. Having a system for giving behavior feedback has been a life saver with many groups.

I use Classdojo, but have heard good things about programs such as Classcraft as well for giving students the immediate behavior feedback that they need without getting them hooked on extrinsic rewards.

I do a separate group for each of my groups in the older grades. Because these groups are diverse, there are diverse rewards attached to them. One group is working towards a coloring party. Another prefers individual rewards per earning a certain amount of points. Other students simply like the acknowledgement that they have worked hard that day, or that there are things that they can work harder on. 

The ability to be flexible and customize what students receive points for has been great. I am able to give points for things like entering the room appropriately or helping to clean up that are valued in my classroom, but may not be as valued in others. 


Something my students love is Rocket Math. There is debate about whether or not timing is appropriate. 


One of my student's favorite things is to have time to play games. They especially like ones that they are familiar with and that they can be good at. One of their favorites is their array game.

It is simple to set up and great review for multiplication facts, area, and perimeter. It also helps my students who struggle with visual/spacial reasoning make more connections.


The new year is upon us!

Getting my students back into order after a long holiday break can be exhausting for the students, who are already tired from very busy vacations. 

I try to keep it light, keep in routine, and to give the students options. One easy way is to give them a variety of choices on how to track when other students are reading. 

They can track:

1. With their finger (most commonly used and taught at the beginning of the year)

2. With a small ruler.

3. With a folded piece of construction paper.

4. With their eyes (for older students who I can trust to follow along)

5. With a book mark.

6. With a pencil (eraser toward the paper so it doesn't leave marks).

Remember, every student is an individual. Now that the students know the routine and expectations, allow them to explore what works best for themselves as a learner.


The holidays have arrived! Soon we will be approaching winter break. 

Keeping the routine and expectations high have been a big focus for us in the Learning Center over the past few weeks. It's important for the students to continue to know exactly what is expected of them as the year goes on. 


Sight word practice!

I'm always looking for new ways for my young students to practice their sight words. Each day we play a sight word game to keep them engaged and interested in this review.

One thing my kids love to do is play cross out. They love anything that gets them moving and enables them to be in charge of their own learning. 

The student reads the word from a sight word card. 

The students get both the practice of reading the word in isolation and finding the word among other words. 



The simplest intervention is often the most effective. To help some of my students who struggle with focus I have them highlight the ones before beginning the math assignment to remind themselves where to start with any problem. 

It's effective and gets the student thinking about the process of what they are doing before they begin. 


In social skills we are working on the zone of regulation. These are colored zones. 

Blue = Down/sad

Red = Angry

Yellow = Frustrated/anxious

Green = Good/Feeling Fine

The students are currently working on being able to classify feelings into different zones. They will then work learning strategies to help when they have those feelings.


I'm Kathleen Peck. I am an elementary special education teacher at Onalaska Elementary/Middle School. I am looking forward to working with your students this school year.