Thursday, July 5, 2018

Expected vs. Unexpected: Behaviors in School Adapted Book

If you are a long time follower of my blog, you probably know already that I am a huge fan of adapted books (see additional links at the bottom of the page for more blog posts on this topic).
They just seem to be one of the best ways I have found to engage students in literacy and aid in their comprehension of the text. In addition, I find them helpful for teaching social skills for those students that a typical "social story" doesn't quite work for.  I like them because they allow for additional opportunities to practice identifying a skill.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Beginning Coloring Worksheets for Kids with Autism

I remember when I first started teaching and I had a mentor tell me about setting up stations.   She said that one of the easiest stations to set up would be an art station where my students could just complete coloring pages or draw.  Um...had she met my students? When I gave them crayons, they got chewed on or tossed back in my face.  The thing was, I realized my students did love art projects, they just needed tons of structure to teach them what was expected.  One of my paraprofessionals did end up running the art station in my classroom and as long as the kids had a model of the end product and clear steps of the process, they did much better.

Does this sound familiar to you?  Are your students struggling to color or draw independently? Then this newest product...Beginning Coloring Worksheets for Kids with Autism could be great in your classroom. It provides a visual model of the finished picture, which allows your students to understand what is expected and increase their level of independence.  I also like that the model/sample of the completed picture is right on the activity itself which helps students who struggle with looking back and forth between the board and their work.  And you guys...check out how great my students did with these...I am so proud of their work!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Social Stories for Expected School Behavior

Looking for some tools to have ready in your classroom day one of the school year to help your kiddos learn expected behaviors for a variety of school environments?  I love using these stories that cover some of the most important social skills needed in school.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Replacement Behavior

You know all those behaviors that drive you crazy? Running away, shouting out, whining, hitting, etc.? Replacement behaviors are what we wish our students would do instead...and they should serve the same function as the original behavior.  So instead of running away to get your attention, we would want our students to ask us to play a game with them.  Or instead of whining every time they want the iPad, we may teach the replacement behavior of having a student request in a non whiny tone "Can I have the iPad please?"

The key factor with this is being able to identify the challenging behavior as well as the function it serves (attention, escape, sensory, or access tangibles) and then the appropriate replacement behavior.

The tricky part is figuring out what the function of the behavior many behaviors can look the same, but serve a different function for each person doing them.  For instance, let's look at an example of a student who runs away.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How to Teach Students to Solve Conflicts with Peers

So many of our students with ASD have some sort of goal around learning social skills.  One social skill many of my students struggled to deal with was conflicts with their peers.  And trying to put on my teacher mediator hat and teach them how to deal with it in the moment wasn't enough.  They needed pre-teaching of the skills prior to being able to utilize them in real life scenarios.  Which brings me to today's post on a couple, simple teaching tools that are differentiated to individual student levels to help them learn how to identify what bothers them and how to problem solve with a peer.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Product Preview: Science Unit on Habitats

This month long unit was just posted on Teachers Pay Teachers and is on sale for the next 24 hours! It focuses on the following 12 vocabulary words centering around Animals and Their Habitats (ocean, farm, rainforest, dolphin, lobster, octopus, cow, pig, chicken, sloth, snake toucan).

This packet includes:
-Materials to create a vocabulary velcro-matching activity
-3 Levels of Assessments
-17 different worksheets
-2 Games (Bingo and Memory).  Multiple versions based on level of difficulty.
-1 Adapted book (with matching pieces and comprehension worksheet)
-11 Journal pages (includes 2 levels of difficulty)
-Parent note home about the unit
-1 Cover sheet for kids to color and use as a cover for all their completed work.

This unit has materials for learners at different levels.   Also, it includes a variety of worksheets which allow my students to work on their science IEP goals as well as a variety of other goals (language arts, math, speech, and OT).  I use this unit over the course of an entire month.  The kids repeat some of the work, but the repetition seems to help them learn the concepts as well as work on becoming more independent.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

10 Tips for Incorporating Sensory Strategies into Your Day

"He's overstimulated" "He needs a sensory space" "Maybe a fidget would help him focus" Do these phrases sound familiar? I feel like there is so much talk about sensory needs and fidgets these days and this topic can quickly become overwhelming.  I have no formal training in "sensory needs" (make sure you are consulting with your OTs since they are the experts), but we (teachers, parents, etc.) have invaluable knowledge about our students as well.  We know that some of our students need more movement in their day and that certain activities amp them up, while others seem to calm them down. Use that information (and take data) when deciding what sensory strategies you want to try to help keep your students calm, focused, and ready to learn.
Here are just some examples of sensory strategies you can try with your students...please leave me comments with any other ideas you have found to be successful...I love to hear things that are working for your students!