Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Co-Teaching in an Autism Classroom: Grouping Students

Well…it is almost the New Year and I want to get back on the blogging bandwagon.  I fell off the wagon when I moved to a new city, started a new job, got a puppy, and started house-hunting.  Although I ‘d like to say I was extremely busy, I’ve actually been having a lot of fun relaxing at home with my husband and puppy, reconnecting with old friends, making new friends, and spending more time with my family. However, I have missed blogging and creating for TPT and am excited to be back.  I have been gathering blogging ideas and have a nice long list of topics to share with you!

Before moving onto new topics, I need to wrap up my Co-Teaching miniseries from the fall…

 Throughout this miniseries of posts, 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.

We will cover:
5.  Grouping in Co-Teaching
6.  How to Schedule Co-Teaching
7.  How to Plan for Co-Teaching

Monday, December 1, 2014

CYBER MONDAY (and Tuesday) SALE!

It's one of the best days of the year...Cyber Monday!  And what better way to celebrate than offering 28% off my entire store with code TPTCYBER.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for Special Educations BLOG HOP

What would we do without special educators in the world?  You are some of the most dedicated, hard working people that I know.  I am so excited that Christine from Autism Classroom News decided to put together this blog hop full of FREEBIES for all of you hard working special educators out there!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving yesterday....and check back soon for details on my CYBER MONDAY Sale!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Co-Teaching in an Autism Classroom: Topics to Teach

In the spirit of back to school, I 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.


We will cover:
4.  Topics to Co-Teach
5.  Grouping in Co-Teaching
6.  How to Schedule Co-Teaching
7.  How to Plan for Co-Teaching

The 3 main topics we covered when co-teaching were Group Skills, Literacy, and Math.

Friday, August 29, 2014

CELEBRATION SALE

I feel like I have a  lot to celebrate this weekend, so I am throwing a celebration SALE.  I know there have been quite a few sales this month, but since it is teacher "busy season," I figured one more wouldn't hurt!  Save 20% off my entire store, ALL WEEKEND LONG!!

Today  I am celebrating my birthday(!!) as well as hitting over 1000 followers on my Facebook page.  I am so grateful to all the followers of my blog, Facebook page, and TPT Store.  All of your comments and emails keep me motivated to keep on creating and sharing resources and ideas.

I feel like I have been a terrible blogger lately...and I blame it on my puppy, a new job, living in a new city, and traveling EVERY weekend!  Ugh...I don't know how people who are ten times busier then me or have little children are able to be such dedicated bloggers...!  A couple more puppy pictures to prove to you why it is so hard to get any work done!

Stay tuned to my Facebook Page this weekend as there will be some celebration Give-Aways as well!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TPT BOOST SALE

Some of you are already back to school...and some of you are starting within the next couple weeks! This is the best time to stock up on all your back to school necessities!  And thanks to TPT, I am throwing another sale where my whole store will be 28% OFF (today only!!!).  Click image below to be taken directly to my store!

And don't forget to check out the awesome blog hop I posted about yesterday.  I, along with 23 others have put together great back to school freebies tailoring especially to SPECIAL ED Teachers!!  There are also some amazing giveaways that include my Life Skills Classroom Product...so you should definitely enter to win!

Happy shopping/blog hopping!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We LOVE Special Education Teachers: Giveaways and Freebies!

I'm taking a break today from my co-teaching miniseries today to bring you a great BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY!!

Have we mentioned how much we love special educators??! 
Well just to show you how much, 24 of us have joined together to help you start your new school year out with a BOOM! 
I am so excited to be a part of this and even a bit jealous of all the great prizes available! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Co-Teaching in an Autism Classroom: Qualities Needed

In the spirit of back to school, I 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.


We will cover:
3. Qualities Needed in Co-Teaching
4.  Topics to Co-Teach
5.  Grouping in Co-Teaching
6.  How to Schedule Co-Teaching
7.  How to Plan for Co-Teaching


Today we will cover Qualities Needed in Co-Teaching Relationships. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Co-Teaching in an Autism Classroom: Reasons Why

In the spirit of back to school, I 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.


We will cover:
2.  Reasons Why to Co-Teach
3. Qualities Needed in Co-Teaching
4.  Topics to Co-Teach
5.  Grouping in Co-Teaching
6.  How to Schedule Co-Teaching
7.  How to Plan for Co-Teaching

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Co-Teaching in an Autism Classroom: What is Co-Teaching?

In the spirit of back to school, I 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.


We will cover:
1.  What is Co-Teaching in an Autism Classroom?
2.  Reasons Why to Co-Teach
3. Qualities Needed in Co-Teaching
4.  Topics to Co-Teach
5.  Grouping in Co-Teaching
6.  How to Schedule Co-Teaching
7.  How to Plan for Co-Teaching

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Sellers and Back to School Essentials!

In honor of the big TPT back to school sale, I am posting about my top-sellers on TPT for you to check out for the upcoming school year.   I love that my 4 top sellers couldn't be more different from one another.  From working on personal info, to visuals used as behavior supports, functional spelling activities, and an adapted book on appropriate clothes to wear based on different situations.   Click on any image to be brought directly to the product in my store.
 

Monday, August 4, 2014

New Chapter and a SALE

I literally have not opened my laptop in the last 2 WEEKS.  That is a new record for me.  A lot of changes have been happening for me in the last 2 weeks and I am excited to finally share them with you.

My husband and I have relocated to a new city, started new jobs, and adopted an adorable new puppy.  Here are some pics of my new furry friend!  Her name is Kinzie and she is an 11 week old Boxer/Lab/Setter mix that we rescued 1 week ago! I couldn't just pick one picture, so hope you don't mind seeing a few!

   


As far as my new job, I am thrilled to be able to continue working with school age kids with autism.  The only difference is that I will now be working in a clinical setting where kids spend their entire day at the clinic working on academic, functional, play, and communication skills.  I am super excited to be applying my skill set in a new environment, but it was extremely hard to say goodbye to my old kiddos, their families, and my amazing coworkers.  Words can't describe all the emotions I have had about ending one chapter of my career and moving onto a new one.  I have had many teary-eyed moments over the last couple months anticipating all these changes, but after starting my new job, my mind is much more at ease.  The kids are great (and will definitely keep me challenged) and the staff are welcoming and supportive.  I can't wait to continue to share with you my school experiences as well as add in my new clinical experiences as well!

In the spirit of all these new milestones, I am joining in the TPT Back to School Sale.  My entire store will be 28% off with the code BTS14 at checkout!  Click here or the image below to be redirected to my TPT store.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Best of Autism Tank: Most Comments

This week's blog posts are going to be a part of a BEST OF mini series...I am in the process of moving this week so don't have a ton of time to come up with lots of engaging and interesting material, so I figured I'd provide you with some refreshers of my most popular posts...plus I love data...so figuring out which posts have been most popular with my readers and followers has been kind of fun for me (nerd alert!).

We will cover:
1) Most read post on the blog
2) Most pinned on Pinterest
3) Most like on Facebook
4) BLOG POST WITH MOST COMMENTS

The blog post with the most comments was when I posted about my Language station (where we work on fluency skills).  This is one of my favorite stations in the classroom, so I'm glad to see this post got so much love!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Best of Autism Tank: Most FB Liked

This week's blog posts are going to be a part of a BEST OF mini series...I am in the process of moving this week so don't have a ton of time to come up with lots of engaging and interesting material, so I figured I'd provide you with some refreshers of my most popular posts...plus I love data...so figuring out which posts have been most popular with my readers and followers has been kind of fun for me (nerd alert!).

We will cover:
1) Most read post on the blog
2) Most pinned on Pinterest
3) MOST LIKED ON FACEBOOK
4) Blog post with the most comments

This simple activity about getting to know school staff got lots of Facebook Loving...I'm even giving away a free template today to go along with this post (something not offered on the original post!)  Click here to get your copy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Best of Autism Tank: Most Pinned

This week's blog posts are going to be a part of a BEST OF mini series...I am in the process of moving this week so don't have a ton of time to come up with lots of engaging and interesting material, so I figured I'd provide you with some refreshers of my most popular posts...plus I love data...so figuring out which posts have been most popular with my readers and followers has been kind of fun for me (nerd alert!).

We will cover:
1) Most read post on the blog
2) MOST PINNED POST ON PINTEREST
3) Most liked post on Facebook
4) Blog post with the most comments

The most Pinned Blog Post on Pinterest was my post about visual necklaces.  I still use these in my classroom to provide non-verbal prompts since my kids respond so much better to pictures than words!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Best of Autism Tank: Most Read

This week's blog posts are going to be a part of a BEST OF mini series...I am in the process of moving this week so don't have a ton of time to come up with lots of engaging and interesting material, so I figured I'd provide you with some refreshers of my most popular posts...plus I love data...so figuring out which posts have been most popular with my readers and followers has been kind of fun for me (nerd alert!).

We will cover:
1) MOST READ POST ON BLOG
2) Most pinned post on Pinterest
3) Most liked post on Facebook
4) Blog post with the most comments

Today's post is the most read post on my blog.  I was shocked to see that my short, simple review of this product I love is the most popular post...but it is!  I think Lakeshore should be sending me thank you gifts with lots of goodies!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer of Learning: Social Games

Remember all those fun camp games your used to play?  Why not incorporate those into your summer of learning? It's a great way for kids to work on maintaining social skills, making friends, and getting active!

Today's post will focus on some tried and true games we have utilized in my classroom over the years!  Most of these we have done during summer school this year and they have been a huge hit!  We have had 20 kids with autism engaged for up to 90 minutes (!!) using a combination of these games.   We usually write a schedule out on the white board, and then get to playing!  We call this generically DRAMA TIME since we are working on imagination skills, creativity, and using our minds, bodies, and voices in different ways.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer of Learning: Summer Unit

Welcome to Day 4 of my Summer of Learning Series.  Today, I will be sharing a unit I created to work on Summer vocabulary and counting!  I have a lot of kids working on identifying letters, identifying numbers, counting, reading words, and labeling pictures.  This unit covers all of those academic topics while using a fun and engaging topic (SUMMER!) with functional vocabulary words.

Click Here or on the picture below to see this product in my TPT store.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer of Learning: Cooking

Welcome to Day 3 of my Summer of Learning Series!  Today we will focus on my students' favorite topic: COOKING!  Cooking helps your kids work on reading skills, following directions, fine motor skills, math skills related to counting and measuring, science skills related to solids/liquids, communication skills of requesting required items and SO MUCH MORE!  Plus, everyone has to eat...so why not let the kids get involved and help?!
If you haven't already liked Autism Tank on Facebook, you should hop on over today because there may or may not just be a little Freebie posted today (wink wink).  Also, all summer long, I will be sharing Freebies and Giveaways exclusively with my Facebook Followers and Twitter Followers (@autismtank)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer of Learning: Crafts

Welcome to day 2 of summer activities to keep your kiddos entertained and learning this summer. Today, I've compiled a lot of my favorite summer crafts to share with you. Working on crafts help keep up fine motor skills as well as works on building vocabulary, and following directions skills. 

These crafts all include materials you should have easily accessible if not already laying around your classroom/house. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer of Learning: Community Trips

Whether you are a special education teacher at summer school, a counselor at summer camp, or a parent with your kids home for the summer, you may be about ready for some ideas to keep kids engaged and learning this summer!  This week's mini-series should help you come up with some fun, yet simple ideas to help keep your kids busy, while also retaining what they learned during the school year!
I was asked to participate in this post by Personal Creations who are trying to help encourage parents to spend time working with their children to keep them always moving forward with their education (even during time off from school1) 

Friday, July 4, 2014

JULY

Happy 4th of July!  Happy Summer!  Today is a beautiful day where I live and I just got back from a lovely run!  We have the best weekend planned of relaxing, bbq-ing, chilling at the pool, biking, and boating.  EXACTLY the way I like to celebrate America...ha!

Today's post I am linking  up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade!  Check out her site and link up as well!  I also wanted to announce a last minute flash sale!  I will have my entire TPT store 20% all day today and tomorrow in honor of the 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Before, During, After: Cutest Plants EVER!

Hello again!  I got majorly caught up in the end of the school year and traveling, but now that I only have to teach half day summer school, I am back in blogging action!

I saw this cute idea on Pinterest and we decided to try it during our planting unit in June.  Simply add 50% grass seed and 50% dirt to a plastic cup, decorate, and watch them grow!

Here is the BEFORE picture,

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

BBQ in the Classroom

Since so many of my students are new to me this year, I decided to repeat our BBQ unit from last year.  It is the perfect way to end the year, because all my kids LOVE learning about food!  If you want more info on this unit, check out my post from last year detailing all of the activities included or check out the product on TPT.  

Our favorite part of the unit (and a new addition this year), was having a BBQ in the classroom.  I found a super cute red/white checkered table cloth from the Target Dollar Spot (LOVE!).  We split the kids into 4 groups to complete all the cooking work.  Group 1 did all the cutting of the veggies for the pasta salad; Group 2 put the pasta salad together; Group 3 made the hot dogs on the George Forman "grill;" and Group 4 made the Kool-Aid.

Once we were done cooking, we set up the food in a little buffet line so the kids could create their plates of food.  We had the non-verbal students use PECS to request what they wanted and the other kids had to tell the adults vocally what they wanted/did not want.  I bought relish, mustard, and ketchup for the hot dogs, and figured most kids would NOT want relish (I was right)...but I did this so that the kids could practice answering "yes" and "no" questions (i.e. "Do you want relish?"   "NO").

The kids had a blast cooking (and eating) their BBQ.  I was shocked that so many kids actually liked the pasta salad and hot dogs!  It was one of our most successful cooking sessions this year!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Research Projects for Students with Autism

We just wrapped up a 2 week unit with my higher functioning students on “Research Projects.”  I wanted a functional topic for my students to research, so decided on community helpers.  I know they are only in 2-4 grade in this group, but it’s never to soon to start learning about different jobs and help students discover the areas where they have the most interests.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

On the fly scavenger hunt!

Is it a beautiful day outside?  Are you and your students tired of being cooped up inside and antsy to get up and get moving?  This is how we were feeling last week, so we decided on creating an impromptu, outdoor scavenger hunt.  We had the kids brainstorm things we would be able to find outside that could fit inside a ziploc bag (and yes, we got some kids who said “cars” and “houses” haha).  We also had them come up with “how many” we needed to find (using numbers 1-5).  We quickly wrote these lists out on each bag and headed outside.  The kids quickly ran around the playground collecting flowers (dandelions), grass, leaves, sticks, and garbage to put in their bags.  I wish we would have added more things to the list, because our kids were super speedy!  


Thursday, June 5, 2014

What to do when your aids are out!

Some of you may have seen my Facebook post a couple weeks ago that 3 out of my 4 aids were all absent on the same day (if not, you should follow my Facebook page #shamelessplug).  

I went into the day ready to be calm and relaxed by having this photo available in my phone to look at over and over again.  However, realistically, aids are going to be out…and teachers are going to be out too (check this post on how I prepare for a teacher sub!).  So, how do we prepare for the days our aids are out?  I have some general tips to share with you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Token Economy

We started a token economy in my classroom a few months ago and it has been a tremendous success.  Throughout the day, my students are able to earn “points” for adhering to the classroom rules, answering questions correctly, helping a friend, etc.  They can also lose these points for breaking the rules or engaging in other inappropriate behavior.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

First In Line!

“Okay, time to line-up.”  These are some of the most dangerous words I say all day.  As soon as I say “time to…” my kids are running, pushing, and shoving to be first in line!  Do you have little guys like me that are clamoring to be first in line?  I have this problem very often in my age group, and I guess it is a good problem to have, because it is age appropriate (as I see similar behavior coming form the typical 3rd-5th graders as well1).  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yes and No Activity

We have been working all year on getting one of my non-verbal students to indicate "yes" and "no" through nodding her head.  She is starting to approximate nods in the correct direction, but it is hard to tell the difference between the two and therefore to know if she is really understanding the concepts.

So, the other day, I came up with the quickest fix I should have thought of sooner.  I literally ripped a note card in half and wrote "yes" and "no" on the 2 cards.  We were working on these concepts while playing a letter recognition game.  I would ask the student, "Do you have the letter __?" and she would answer "Yes" or "No."  Then I would ask her the same question about her peer or myself, "Does Ms. Hailey have the letter ___?"  When given these simple little notecards, she was able to indicate a correct answer every single time.  Not that it isn't important to continue working on nodding her head, but this quick intervention, helped me ensure she was at least understanding the concept of "yes" and "no" as related to this activity!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Day the Crayons Quit

Have you read the book,   The Day the Crayons Quit ?  We read it during a professional development day and I fell in love!  It is the cutest book about crayons who write letters to the little boy who owns them.  They all come up with reasons why they are quitting (i.e. the boy colors to sloppy, he never uses them, etc.).
 My co-teacher and I were getting ready to do a big drama unit with Mr. John from Red Kite, and I thought this would be a good book to use to create our own play adaptation.  We started by reading the book altogether.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reinforcers Come in Unexpected Places

Often, we forget the TRUE meaning of reinforcement.  We assume that praise should be reinforcing and yelling should be punishing...but that is not correct.  Reinforcement is defined as something that occurs after a behavior which increases the likelihood of the behavior in the future.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a very SPECIAL week to me.  And since we just wrapped up this year's Spring Games, I wanted to share with you a little bit about how much it means to me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Learning about Others

One activity my students loved, was learning about different staff members in the school.  We polled all of the staff about their favorite things (like food, color, etc.) and some personal info (their birthdays, names, etc.).


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Sale

Happy Tuesday!!  And, Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, my entire store will be 28% off with the promo code shown below!  You can find my TPT store by clicking here or on the image below.  

Some of the items I will be using these last months of school are:

My Plant and Landforms Science Units.
    

My BBQ Unit (which includes flash cards, games, an adapted book, and some fun worksheets)!

Some of my Top Sellers this year have been:

All About Me Book on Learning Personal Info

50 Worksheets for working on Letter/Number Identification

Visual Necklace for Behavior Management in an Autism Classroom

To see a list of all my products here on my blog, click on the MY PRODUCTS Tab above.  Here, all my products are sorted by type of activity/resource.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Lesson Planning in an Autism Classroom

Lesson Planning is very different for autism teachers in a self-contained classroom than other teachers.  After posting about my different stations and schedules, I got a couple emails regarding lesson plans.  So, this is how I lesson plan and my principal is very accepting of the fact that my plans are done in a slightly different manner than the other teachers in the school.

First of all, I have all of these pieces (as well as my weekly schedule for each student and adult and evacuation plans) posted in a top-loading sheet right beside my door for easy access for anyone who comes into the classroom.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Currently MAY

I am SO HAPPY it is May…now I am just waiting for some warm weather to stick around!  Hop on over to Farley's website to join in this fun link-up!



Listening: to Parenthood.  I am about to finish the last episode on Netflix!!  Now, I need to find a place to watch all of this season's episodes stat!

Loving: that I get to stay home this weekend...in the past month, I have been to Dallas, Miami, San Diego, and Wisconsin (twice!).  I need a little R&R and time to catch up on the rest of my life...like laundry!

Thinking:  about too many things...I have so many dates going around my head, I'm struggling to keep them all straight.  From my principal observation, to field trip dates, our "class play" rehearsals/date, and end of the year meetings...sheesh...and that's only the work stuff! 

Wanting:  WARM WEATHER!  Seriously…I need some vitamin D in my life. 

Needing:  to eat healthy.  I've been indulging a little too much lately.  Gearing up for some healthy eating this month!

Surprise:  www.teachloveautism.blogspot.com  Jenn is new to the blogging world!  We have all been there as new bloggers and trying to get followers, make connections, etc.  So I wanted to feature her blog to help her gain even more exposure. She has been blogging for just about 1 month now and I have really enjoyed reading her posts.  I especially have loved her posts about new work task ideas...they are very creative!  Click the image below to be linked to her site :-)