A little background of Me: I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, (which is why I can't help myself being a Steelers fan). My wife, 2 teenage kids, (who attend Campo Verde High School), and myself have a small farm, 3/4 of a mile northeast of Val Vista Academy. We have chickens and grow a variety of fruit that we share.
I got an Associates at Penn State, a BFA at Arizona State and a Masters in Special Education from Northern Arizona University. I was the Production Manager/Art Director for 23 magazines for 14 years and worked in advertising for a total of 24 years. This will be my 15th year teaching Special Education in Arizona, along with 2 years of teaching Art.
Ms. Crist, (my Resource Para), is a Reading Specialist from Montana. She has been trained in a variety of reading programs. Together we have seen some amazing growth with our students here at Val Vista Academy over the past 2 years.
We have a solid system in place which has proven to be successful. This is a job that one does not take on to get rich financially. It is a job one takes on because they get rich when you see a student grow, have success and build their self esteem.
In the 4th through 8th grade Resource room:
We work on a "Positive Behavior Intervention System, (P.B.I.S.)". They get checks for following routines, behaviors, participating, good effort and being a good neighbor.
Reading: We work on reading fluency, comprehension and multi-syllabic words using successful programs like Super Speed 1,000, Sonday System, Article A Day and Rewards...
Writing: We use the programs; Thinking Maps, Write-Up A Storm, Step-Up To Writing and 4 Squares.
Math: The students first tackle a "Common Core" word problem a day. Then they learn alternative methods to solve math calculation problems, (Tools for their Tool belt).
We also work on a variety of techniques to improve social skills, organizational strategies and coping skills.
Together we build a classroom on a foundation of trust and excitement to learn.