Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Special Ed Blogger Giveaway!

Happy month of LOVE!  In order to show my appreciation for all of you fabulous people reading my blog today, I have teamed up with some of my favorite special ed bloggers to offer you freebies every day this month!  Today, it's my turn!!  

Today on my TPT store (all day....or from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed), I will be offering my Spring and St Patrick's Day Stories (with comprehension worksheets) for FREE.  I mean, it's almost St. Patrick's Day....and hopefully spring is coming? soon? please? 

I love using these stories to help prepare my kiddos for seasonal changes and holidays!  And the comprehension worksheets are a great way to check on your students' understanding of the stories!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!  

Make sure to check out all the other amazing bloggers doing giveaways the rest of the month! 

 Special ed bloggers are sharing the love this February!   Click on any of the days below to be redirected to the blog listed to see what type of giveaways are going on!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amazing Valentine Blog Hop-All Month Long

 Special ed bloggers are sharing the love this February!


 Every day in February, you can have a chance to get a FREEBIE from one of the amazing special ed blogs shown above!  Just click on the day, and you will be directed to the blog where you can claim your freebie!  Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Adapted Books Starring Your Students

As a special education teacher, I am always looking for ways to make learning engaging for my students.  If work can be motivating for students to complete, we may be able to teach them something, while also preventing problem behaviors (especially escape-maintained  behaviors) from occurring. 

One way that I have found to engage students is when you involve them in their own learning.  When I first started out teaching, I used to create little books that had pictures of my students or photos from field trips we went on.  These books used simple language and were very repetitive so as to make it easy for my beginning readers.  Each book also had an adapted component, where the kids had to velcro something (picture or word) into the book.  These were used during reading groups or as independent work and my kids loved them.

This book featured our trip to the zoo.  Each page has a picture of an animal we saw on our field trip...many of the pages had pictures of the kids posing by the animals as well.  The kids are responsible for filling in the correct word on each page.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Task Box Tuesday (Sorting by Class) and a FREEBIE

At my new job, I have been in the process of setting up a task box system for a couple weeks now.  In my old classroom, it was so easy because I was always hoarding collecting items to make up new task boxes.  In my new job, I did a little digging in a storage room full of unused toys, but struggled to find enough containers/items to create more than a couple new tasks.  

So...what to do?  Of course I took a massive trip to The Dollar Tree...and I now know the stock well enough in these stores, that when I can't find something I am looking for at one, I hop on over to the next.  Sure enough...2 Dollar Tree visits and $75 later, I have enough containers and materials to put together all of my task boxes!  I am still working on putting the finishing touches on everything and getting it ready for the kiddos/staff to use, but figured I could start by sharing one of my favorite task boxes I created and of course the FREEBIE for you to use to create this yourself.

I bought a $1 muffin tin at the dollar tree, then made the following labels (food, animals, plants, people, vehicle, and sports) and taped them into the bottom of each compartment of the muffin tin.  

Then I laminated pictures of items from each of these classes.  During the task, kids sort the pictures by class into the compartments of the muffin tin.  I like this task because it involves NO velcro, which makes it much easier and quicker to put together.

Click here to get the labels and pictures (all you need is the muffin tin) to create this task!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sorting "Expected" vs. "Unexpected" Behavior Pictures

If you know my philosophy on teaching my kiddos about appropriate behavior, you would know that I think it is fine to categorize behavior as "good" and "bad" when teaching kids with autism.  However, I know this is up for debate with many people.  This is simply my own opinion...when working with kids with lower language skills, I find this concept is easier to latch onto than using more subjective terms.  With that being said, at my new job, the terms of choice are "expected" and "unexpected" behavior.  So, I am trying something new and seeing how it works...I'll keep you posted if I change my mind. ☺ 

Anyways, during our social skills group, one of my staff members did this great sorting activity.  She verbally gave a scenario or explanation of the picture and had the kids sort pictures of expected and unexpected behavior onto 2 different color pieces of paper.  I love sorting activities because I think this is extremely beneficial for kids with autism, most of whom are very visual learners.  I have made these visuals available for FREE here in case you are interested in re-creating this activity in your classroom....I did not make include any terms for you can call it whatever you want good/bad, appropriate/inappropriate, expected/unexpected ☺  NowI am curious...what are your terms of choice? 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Belated Holiday Craft Ideas

Happy Holidays (a couple weeks late!!)  Well, even though the holidays are over, I though I would share these cute crafts we did this December.  If you like them, you can always put them on your to-do list for next year :-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Co-Teaching in an Autism Classroom: Planning

Throughout this miniseries, I really wanted to share with you one of the best things I ever did as a teacher: Co-Teaching.  Co-Teaching with one of my colleagues best friends was almost always the highlight of my day.  I learned so much from her, and I truly believe that the two of us working together helped our kids make more progress than either one of us could have done alone.

Co-teaching is not something I started with in my first year of teaching...I waited until I was a few years in before taking on this project.  Since our co-teaching set-up is quite complex and involves a decent amount of prep work, I am going to take the next few days to bring you through the nitty gritty of co-teaching in an autism classroom.

Today is the final day of my miniseries on co-teaching. Please feel free to click on any of the links below to read more about what goes into setting up Co-Teaching in your own classroom.

7.  How to Plan for Co-Teaching