Archive for Professional Development

Do you know about Rosa’s Law?

Better late than never! Thought I’d pass along an important name change that is occurring on the national level, but in turn affects the vast world of teaching students with exceptionalities.

Rosa’s Law is named after 8-year-old Rosa Marcellino, who has Down Syndrome. After starting elementary school, the Marcellino family was shocked to find her labeled as “retarded” in school documents.  Their push to have this changed ended in a new law signed by President Obama, changing the way all people with exceptionalities will be addressed. Read the statement issued to educators below:

TO:       School District Superintendents
School District Special Education Directors
Charter School Chief Executive Officers
Intermediate Unit Executive Directors
Intermediate Unit Special Education Directors
[[I’m including you, too!]]

FROM:     John J. Tommasini
Bureau of Special Education

On October 5, 2010, President Obama signed into law Senate Bill 2781 (S.2781), referred to as Rosa’s Law.  Rosa’s Law (S. 2781) amends the provisions of Federal law to substitute the term “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” and “individuals with intellectual disabilities” for “mentally retarded” or “individuals who are mentally retarded.”  At this time, Rosa’s Law (S. 2781) does not require states to change terminology in state regulations for individuals covered by a provision amended by this Act.

Changes in Federal regulations will occur as they are reauthorized. Changes to both the Federal data reporting categories and Federal regulatory language is anticipated to occur with the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Subsequent to the reauthorization of IDEA, Pennsylvania will make the required changes in terminology in state regulations.  This change in terminology reflects the belief that language plays a crucial role in how individuals with disabilities are perceived and treated in society. No changes have been made in the process of determination of disability categories.

President Obama hugs Rosa after signing the law

I love the statement about the impact of language. So I hope you can begin to include this change  in your everyday vocabulary! Read more about Rosa’s Law here.

miss miller


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De.lic.ious makes staying connected — a treat!

All puns aside, this site is seriously a treasure chest of online gold for teachers!  Are you in the know about

Delicious is an online bookmarking site that allows you to post and find a plethora of websites based on tags or searches. It is like a revved up, personal google that allows you to keep track of all of your favorite websites and have them on hand, regardless if you are on your home computer or not.

Subbing one day and like a site the teacher is using? Go to a conference & learn about a new online resource? Instead of keeping post-it notes and scattered handouts — use delicious as a warehouse for all of those great websites!

What is even better about Delicious is that you can create a list of favorites for your students! Instead of sending home a bulky url, [you know the 54 character ones that include numbers, dashes, slashes, and periods] give a simple link:

WOW! In seconds your students can access ALL of your favorites websites!

Teaching a lesson on multiplication? Need practice websites for the kiddos to access? Consider it done with delicious.

Each site is tagged & given a brief description. Students can quickly find those sites by searching for the topic or clicking on the tag of “math” “multiplication” or “games.”

Think it couldn’t get better? It does!

To the right of every website title, you see a number in a box. With one click, you can see all of the other members who have posted this site. By clicking on to their homepage, you can stumble upon other great websites to add to your bookmarks for future use!

Looking for a fun lesson idea? Need an online game to help with spelling? Search & you will find!

Getting set up with delicious is very simple, requiring only a yahoo account. Go to the homepage, & click the green, join now, button & you’re set to go!

 happy bookmarking!

miss miller

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Staying Connected

“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.”

Thank you, John Cotton Dana, I couldn’t have said it better myself! We all know the importance of continuing education & continuing in our pursuit of knowledge, but sometimes as substitute teachers it is hard to get plugged-in to places that foster professional development.

Over the next few posts, I want to share a few ideas & resources that can help you stay connected to the ever-changing educational world and give you a leg up during your next round of interviews or observations.

The first method to stay connected is by researching educational organizations within your local district. Math & Reading Associations are common & often just a google search away! These groups provide training to members & non-members alike, offering a wide range of courses and seminars. For teachers in Pennsylvania, visit to find out about a local chapter! Be sure to ask teachers if there are organizations like this in your district in which you can be apart of!

If searching local ends up void, you can also find a great wealth of resources through the International Reading AssociationNational Council of Teachers of Mathematics , National Science Teachers Association , & the list goes on!  There you can find forums, research & reports, lesson plan ideas & so much more! These sources are just the tip of the ice berg. Thanks to sites such as twitter & delicious — teachers can now be linked to professional development resources or even current trends & issues in education.

So take time to do some research, find ways to get connected and stay in the the loop. These asssociations & organizations have a lot to offer in a variety of settings — you are sure to find a way to grow as an educator through them!

miss miller

Want to read more about educational associations & organizations? Read the full list at

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