Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Sale

To thank you all for being such wonderful readers, I wanted to throw an end of the year sale!  Please enjoy 20% off my entire TPT store today and tomorrow (12-31-1/1).  You can visit my store by clicking the picture below or by clicking here!

The  newest additions to my store are my Christmas File Folders (stock up for next year!)

 These letter and number worksheets have been a hot seller ever since I posted them this fall…and I use them every day in my classroom, so I am a huge fan!

Happy NEW YEAR!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Science Unit Preview: Solar System

I was a real slacker and didn't post a science unit for December (sorry!!).  In my class, we did animals and animal habitats.  I will definitely post this unit at some point…but just didn't get to it this month.  But, on the bright side, I am posting January's unit a little earlier than normal!  This month's unit is on the Solar System (recently posted on TPT).  This month's unit revolves around 9 vocabulary words related to the Solar System (moon, sun, earth, telescope, planets, stars, telescope, space shuttle, and astronaut).

The packet includes:

-3 Levels of assessments
-Materials to create a vocabulary velcro-matching activitiy
-18 Different worksheets
-2 Games (Solar System Bingo and Memory). Multiple versions based on level of difficulty. 
-1 Adapted book (with matching pieces and comprehension sheet).
-1 Note home about the unit.
-1 Cover sheet for kids to color and use as a cover for all their completed work (wither to send home or for in the classroom).

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, December 26, 2013

Throw Back Thursday: Drama Time

While I am on vacation, I am doing some Throwbacks to old posts that are some of my favorites!  This is one I wrote almost exactly 1 year ago!  It is very relevant, since we just started doing drama time with my new students!  It can be a very frustrating activity to start, but knowing I have been through it before and seeing how much it helped my other students, I am definitely motivated to keep going….so enjoy this post.

So as I was getting ready to leave my classroom last Friday, I was thinking about some things I could share on my blog over winter break.  One of the first things that came to mind was Drama Time, our weekly drama activity where we work on addressing the social and emotional needs of our students.  I attended a training on this from the people at Red Kite (a play designed specifically for kids with autism) who had been doing drama with some students for several years and saw lots of great gains.  A lot of the ideas I will be sharing, came from them.  I have adapted them or added to them with some games of my own to meet my students' needs.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Scented Rice Scavenger Hunt

This activity involves so many skills and is super hands-on to help keep kids engaged!  Students practice reading, following directions, taking turns, fine motor skills, writing, and more! 

Items you will need: 
-Gallon Bags        -Rice         -Food coloring        -Peppermint extract      -Items to hide                

Merry Christmas!!!  My students had a blast with this 2-part activity last week.  We spread this across two days because I see my kids for direct instruction only 15 minutes per day.  On the first day, we made the rice.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Secret Santas

Well people…I am officially on Winter Break…and Officially on my Honeymoon.  Don't worry, I still have some fun posts to share with your while I'm gone including some new posts, some oldies, but goodies…and maybe even a sale!!  

Sorry I am only sharing this post with you now…but it was our first time doing secret santas at school and I wanted to make sure it wasn't an epic fail before I spread it all over the internet.  Now, it wasn't perfect, but it was pretty fun anyways!

We had a big discussion on what "secret" means and then had the kids pick another student's name.  Of course there were a few that shouted the name right as they read it….but others did a great job keeping it secret.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Punctuation Unit

I noticed several of my students were struggling to write sentences appropriately.  They were adding capital letters in the middle of sentences and forgetting to put punctuation at the end of their sentences.  Also, since we have been working on answering "wh" questions, I wanted my kids to be able to differentiate between a period, question mark, and exclamation point.  Check out the activities we did, complete with links to the FREE products!

I found this cute FREE book from Erin Palleschi about punctuation on TPT called "Meet the Puncs."  It is great because we could practice reading, learn about punctuation, and the book even has little exercises to work on the concepts.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Tree Crafts!

Last week, we completed a variety of candy cane themed activities, and this week, we did a Christmas tree theme! We each made our own small tree and them put them together to create a class tree in the hallway!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Simple, but Magic Behavior Intervention

This week in my morning group, we had a new student join us.  So, we have been reviewing some basic rules like sitting upright in our chairs and raising our hands without screaming "ME!!"  This is a very squirmy and competitive bunch!!  We have been having a hard time getting through our reading lessons, because I constantly have to remind one of the kids to stop laying on the table or to stop shouting out all the answers.  

This week, I decided to review the "rules" with them and make "following the rules" into a game.  We listed the rules on the board and came up with a prize for the winner (this group loves drawing pictures…so that was one option to choose as a prize).  Every time I caught them following the rules, they got a point.  Every time they broke the rules, they lost one.  In the end, we had one winner and several losing students crying.  However, on day 2, everyone was on their best behavior and they even asked to "play the point game again." (!!!)  This is not a game I will use every day, but it is great to bust it out when you are working on teaching new behaviors to your students.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reading Station

We cover reading at a variety of stations in the classroom.  I run reading groups with all my kids (whether the group is working on learning the alphabet or making inferences).  However, we also have a station specifically called "reading."  This is an aid run station, where the kids get to work on reading every day in a group of 2 students for 15 minutes.  I have 3 levels of work at this station which I will go over today.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Candy Cane Craft-a-palooza!

Last week, we had a little candy cane theme going on!  Check out these cheap and easy crafts we did…

We started the week with these finger print candy cane pictures.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday File Folders

I have had some requests to post some file folders on TPT over the last couple weeks…so now you have them!  This first set I posted is holiday themed, but I have several more sets in the works which I will be posting soon!  I printed these out and put them together last week and my students were chomping at the bit to work on them as soon as I was finished!  Gotta love my little worker bees!  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Just a reminder that today is the last day of the CYBER Holiday Sale!!  28% off everything in my TPT store!  Click the picture below for a link directly to my store!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Currently and CYBER MONDAY SALE!!

Happy Cyber Monday!  And Happy December! I am so excited for this month!!  I already have all my fun holiday activities planned out for the month, and yet, I just keep finding more ideas!  I don't know how I am going to fit everything in!!  

Anyway…onto this month's Currently! Hop over to Farley's Blog to join in!

Listening:  My husband and I had over 14 hours of driving this weekend, so we rented an audio book from the library to listen to!  I love that I can download things to my iPhone for free from the library!

Loving: I had the best long weekend at home spending times with family and friends!  

Thinking:  I am so pumped about my Christmas break! I am going on my honeymoon to Australia and New Zealand!  If you have any tips or suggestions on what we should do, please let me know!!

Wanting: I am so close to finishing my Christmas shopping and hope to finish this week.  I have never done my shopping this early before, and I have got to say, it is really refreshing!

Needing:  Since I basically ate my face off for the last week, I really need to eat some fruit and veggies (and maybe just that) for a couple days to detox.

Favorite Tradition:  My favorite Christmas tradition is something my family has done forever!  We cook up some rice pudding and put a blanched almond in so it is hidden.  Whoever gets the almond wins a prize.  The actual rice pudding isn't even very tasty…but the tradition is still my favorite!

Also, did I mention my excitement for CYBER MONDAY??  I have created my wish list and will be buying my items when I get home from work today…this was great motivation to get me planning my activities for the winter! 

Here is a link to my store or click the image below in case you are interested in saving some money!!  The sale lasts today and tomorrow!  My store is 20% off and when you enter CYBER at checkout, you will get the full 28% off the original price!  Happy Shopping!