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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mini-Series: Strategies to PREVENT Elopement #2

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.

As we discussed in my last post, identifying the function of the behavior and teaching a replacement behavior are key ways to reduce elopement, but today we will talk about some simple strategies you can implement to prevent the behavior from occurring in the first place.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mini-Series: Strategies to PREVENT Elopement #1

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.

As with any other challenging behavior, the first thing we need to think about before we can prevent the behavior from occurring is, What is the function?  In order to figure this out, we can look at antecedents and consequence (what is happening before and after the behavior occurs).  You can use an ABC chart such as the one below to take this type of data.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Animal Habitat Book

In one of my last posts, I wrote all about my love for Adapted Books and how they helped transform literacy in my classroom by motivating and engaging my students.  Today, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite adapted books about Animal Habitats.  The books covers habitats such as a farm, ocean, rain forest, bee hive, nest, desert and house.

Monday, July 18, 2016

10 Task boxes for Under $15: Target Dollar Spot Finds

Ok you guys...so besides the dollar tree, binders, laminating, data, and preventing problem behaviors....my other love is THE TARGET DOLLAR SPOT!  I had found some awesome materials that would be great to make task boxes or use for direct instruction back in January and now they are back...and they added even more!

Although I was overwhelmed with seeing the back to school section in the seasonal area of my local target,  I was thrilled with my dollar spot finds.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Adapted Book Resources

Gearing up to teach literacy skills to students across varying ability levels can be extremely difficult. Why not use a type of text that can be beneficial for students who have wide variety of literacy skills?....enter Adapted Books.  There are lots of ways you can "adapt a book."  You can do things to make the book physically easier to manipulate (like adding page fluffers), easier to read (modifying the text on each page, adding Braille, etc), or you can make them an interactive experience! This last point is typically what I mean when I say "adapted book."  I have found adaptive books extremely helpful in keeping my students engaged and motivated to complete literacy activities!  Depending on their level, students can work on concepts such as matching, identifying vocabulary, comprehension, as well as sight words and fluency. The goal of today's post is to give you some quick and easy ideas/resources for creating your own adapted books as well as where to find some great pre-made resources.

Adapt Pre-Made Books:
My first year of teaching, I found using adapted books a life saver!  I started with books that were already in my classroom  (i.e. "Brown Bear" by Eric Carle) and just found pictures (thank you google image and Boardmaker) of items on each page.  I would pass out the pictures to a small group of students and when we got to "their page," they would velcro their picture into the book.  Having pictures in their hands as we read kept their little hands occupied.  In order to know when it was their turn to stick their picture in the book, students had to pay attention to each page which helped keep them engaged throughout the entire story.  For more advanced readers, these books were also at our "quiet reading" station.  Students could read the words with story as well as velcro in the pictures as they read.  At one point, I also had a listening station with adapted books where students would listen to the books being read to them and velcro in the pictures as they went.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Teaching Cooking in the Classroom

Cooking was the key to my students' hearts from the very start.  Back in my first year of teaching, we used to cook every single week...sometimes multiple times a week.  Sure, I spent a lot of my own money buying materials, but when I had a group of students who could not sit together for longer than 1 minute for any typical "academic" task, I had to explore creative options to teach them in a way that was motivating!  Today's post is meant to describe not only some of the skills you can target during a cooking lesson, but also to give you a variety of ideas/resources for implementing cooking in your classroom.

Skills to Target During Cooking Lessons

We used cooking activities to practice COMMUNICATION.  I created communication boards so my students could request the necessary ingredients and supplies to complete the recipes.