Tuesday, August 23, 2016

All About Me...En Español!

One of my fabulous readers/customers made a request for my best selling All About Me product to be translated into Spanish for her Spanish Immersion Kindergarten classroom...and she wasn't the only one made this request.  But the coolest part, was that she made a bonus offer to translate for me!  So, here we are...my All About Me product available in Spanish...appropriately now titled Todo Sobre Mí!  One of my favorite parts (I'm a geek) of creating this was learning how to make all the accents and unique Spanish characters on my Mac (í, ñ, ¿....isn't that cool?!)

This product contains all the same interactive worksheets as my original product...the directions for the product are still in English, but all student material is in Spanish.  Pieces can be laminated and velcroed to the bottom of each page so students can move them up when answering the prompts...this makes them re-usable so students can repeat this activity daily!  I like to bind the pages together to form a book. 

 Three versions of this worksheet are also available with varying visual prompts for learners of differing ability levels.

I think this would make a great activity in any Spanish classroom (immersion or prep provider), as well as great for second language learners or as a homework activity to send home with your bilingual students!  Hope you enjoy...and please email me if there are any other products you would like to see translated for your students!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How to Keep/Get Parents Involved

Depending on your classroom makeup, you most likely have parents who are interested in different level of parent involvement.  I am a firm believer that students are most successful when their parents and teacher are on the same page...and this is the first thing I told parents in our beginning of the year letter.

And since this is so important to me, I wanted to share with you a couple of the ways I encourage parent involvement in my classroom. Click on links throughout the post for other posts that go more into depth on these topics.

Monday, August 15, 2016

What Should You Wear: Adapted Book Spotlight

I have been loving on Adapted books this summer.  Check out this post for some awesome resources for creating and finding pre-made adapted books.  I especially love this adapted book "What Should You Wear" because is targets so many different skills during one activity.  It works on reading (the book uses simple language and repetitive phrases), comprehension (there are pictures to aid in comprehending each page), it is hands-on (there are questions on each page for students to answer), and it targets important self help/independence skills (identifying clothes to wear in a variety of weather conditions/situations).

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

8 Ways to Use Binders in Your Classroom

As many of you are aware, I am obsessed with using binders in my classroom.  Today, I thought it would be fun to do a round up of all the different uses for binders.  As many of you are getting ready to go back to school, you may be looking for some new organization systems or work stations to set up in your classroom.  And this time of year is the best to purchase binders for discounted prices.

I used binders for a variety of different work tasks, student schedules, as well as storage and organization.  I included some pictures throughout the post, but please feel free to click on links throughout the post to get additional information/pictures of what is included in each of these binders.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Day At School

Do your students' parents want to know what they did at school today?  Do you want to help facilitate more conversations between your students and their families at home?  For many of our students with autism, communicating about their day is difficult.  And if parents don't know what happened at school each day, they don't really know what to ask their child besides "'How was your day today?"  "What did you do today?"  These type of open ended questions are so hard for many students with autism to answer.  If you send home a daily sheet so parents know what activities their child completed, they can ask them questions like "Did you have speech today?" "What did you make in cooking?"  These questions are more narrow in focus and can make it easier for students to answer.

I know, I know, having to write a summary each day for every student can be time consuming and hard to keep up with.  I often liked to communicate special activities with parents through sending home monthly newsletters, monthly calendars of special events, and sending text messages with pictures/info about my students' days.  The other way I communicated with parents, was through sending home these daily "My day at school" sheets.  To save time and energy on the adults' parts, I had my students fill these out for themselves!  What a great way to work on answering questions, increasing the ability to reflect on past events, as well as increasing independence.

As your school year is starting up, why not incorporate some time into the end of every day (15 minutes should do the trick) where you work on teaching your students how to fill this sheet out for themselves.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Time for the BEST YEAR EVER Sale on TPT!  I, personally, feel like it is a little early to think about Back To School (I'm enjoying summer too much!), but we might as well take this opportunity to stock up for the upcoming school year!  A little confession time...I may have stayed up until midnight last night, just so I could buy some materials as soon as the sale started...

Just enter BestYear at checkout and you will receive 28% off all of the products in my TPT Store!

And what better way to celebrate a sale, but with posting a new product!  I have been working on these Beginning Reader Center Activities for a long time and I am so excited to finally have it posted on TPT yesterday!  It is over 400 pages and can last you the ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR!  Most importantly, it is on sale for 50% off today only!

This product is great for students who have recently mastered letter identification. If they are still working on letters, think about checking out my letter identification worksheets and letter assessments and activities.

Once letters are mastered, our students are ready to begin reading and spelling!  For many students in special ed, typical sight words (I, but, the) are not the place to start. Instead, I like to start with functional words that have more meaning and make reading more motivating and fun for my students. 

This product can be used to work on reading, spelling, or both!. This product can be used with the pre-made word lists, your own word lists, or a combination of both! 

The activities and assessments included are good for beginning writers, although accommodations can easily be made to most activities for non-writers. Students do not need to be verbal to utilize this product.

This product includes:
*30 Weekly word lists for student use as well as a blank list for your own word lists.

*30 Weekly word lists for Parent involvement and blank parent lists.
*4 Parent letters with different ideas for implementation at home (plus a blank version for you to add your own suggestions)

*9 Center Activity Mats and accompanying materials
-Write your words 3x

-Build your words with letter tiles (tiles included)

-Stamp your words

-Word Bingo (using current and mastered words)

-Write your words in rainbow colors

-Type your words

-Match words to pictures blank activity mat (and all words/pictures provided).  This can be used as a cut/paste activity for students to complete or you can laminate/pre-assemble each set.

-Make your words out of play-doh (blank mat as well as pre-made play-doh mats for all 150 words)

-150 Worksheets (one for each word covering color in the word and picture, trace the word, write the word, fill in the missing letters, identify and circle the word)

*Weekly reading/spelling assessment for students
*3 Types of data sheets for progress monitoring throughout the school year
*Flash cards for easy assessment

*Picture labels for all materials
*Schedule templates and visuals for reading center schedule
*Implementation Ideas and Tips including photos of how this product is utilized in my classroom

This is a great product for a station run by paraprofessionals or for students to complete independently.  Let me know your thoughts...if you would like anything added, if you would prefer me to sell any of these activities as separates, etc.   Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mini-Series: Strategies to PREVENT Elopement #3

No....this mini series isn't about getting married....in the special ed world, we know that elopement is just a fancy word for running away.  This is one of the most challenging behaviors to deal with in a school setting as it is disruptive and can be very dangerous.  As a consultant in a school district, this is one of the most common issues I get called in to help with.  As some of you may already know from reading my blog, I do not like to be put in a position where I have to be re-active on the fly to challenging behavior.  I would rather PREVENT the behavior from occurring in the first place...and then if the behavior still occurs (which it most likely will), I want a specific plan laid out so everyone in my classroom knows what to do.  This mini series of posts will cover identifying function/replacement behavior for elopement, simple to implement prevention strategies, and creating a safety plan.

Even with all of your hard work in identifying the function of the behavior, teaching a replacement behavior, and putting tons of preventative strategies into place,  elopement will most likely still continue to occur for a little while (sorry...old habits are hard to break!).  And when it does happen, everyone in your classroom will feel better if there is a plan in place.  There are 2 parts of an elopement plan that need to be thought about...one is for less dangerous forms of elopement and would include all of the elements of a behavior intervention plan.  And the other is an actual safety plan where you will lay out what to do in emergency situations.