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).