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

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

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.