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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Special Education Summer Blog Hop!

I am so excited to be participating the Special Education Summer Blog Hop hosted by Kyle from kinderspedadventures.blogspot.com!  You will want to tune in each week for the five week series of informative posts from some awesome special education teachers!  

This week is all about schedules!  Making schedules for my staff and students is one of those tedious tasks that I have a love/hate relationship with.  I have to revise them many times throughout the year as students transition in and out of the classroom and based on their needs, so it feels like I am always adjusting schedules!  If you are looking for more information on visual schedules, you read my this post from series on structured learning.

Once they are made – the schedules make my life SO MUCH EASIER. My staff know where they are supposed to be and I know where my students are at every minute. I can make sure that all of my students’ IEP goals are met and they are busy bees all day. That being said – making them can be a kinda of a pain in the but. But, I promise you it’s worth it. A detailed staff schedule and student schedule are a MUST. Take a look at my tentative schedules for September. 

I made these in Word and took screenshots of them, so they are a bit blurry.  If you want like to see them in more detail, you can download the student schedule here and staff schedule here.  I try to make my schedule so that each staff member works with each student throughout the day.  I do this for two reasons:  #1 to ensure generalization across people and #2 to prevent staff burnout.  Having one staff member work with the same student all day long can be exhausting, especially if it's a student who has a lot of behavioural challenges.

How do you schedule your day?  I'd love to hear from you!  Leave me a comment below!

And be sure to hop over to Special Little Learners for more great scheduling ideas!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Workbasket Wednesday

I am linking up for one final Workbasket Wednesday before school finishes on Friday!  Only 3 more days!!!  

If any of you are like me, at this time of year your budget is depleted and you are cleaning out your classroom and purging any items you no longer need.  While I was purging and putting away new office supplies for next year, I came across some items that I thought would be great for independent work tasks.  

My students love mini M & M's!  And I love the container they come in!  They are perfect to recycle and use for a simple put in task.  For this one, I used pom poms.

One of my students also loves to work to Dubble Bubble gum.  I found it in this container at the Dollar Tree.  It came with a slot already cut in the lid, perfect for a put in task using buttons.
This put in task uses a container that once held paper clips.  I cut a slot in the lid and now it's a put in task using poker chips.

For this task, I used the plastic tray that some paper clips came in.  Perfect for sorting big and little items!

For these tasks, I used all of my empty Altoid tins.  I have a slight addiction to these mints and saved the tins, thinking I could use them for something!  To make these, I made some matching templates, printed them on sticker paper and adhered them to the tins.  Then I put the magnets on the lid and voila!  Simple matching activities!

  There you have it!  Simple independent work tasks using recyclable items from your classroom!  

As a bonus I have to share these colour sorting tasks using shot glasses!  Yes, you heard me, shot glasses!  With all the summer parties that will be happening, the Dollar Tree has these fun coloured shot glasses to help you with your entertaining needs.  Now, most people will buy these with alcohol in mind, but when I saw them, I immediately thought of sorting colours!  I know, I know, what a nerd!!!  But seriously, they come with 24 cups in a package, which means I can make 24 separate sorting tasks for around $5!!!  

Why would I want 24 colour sorting tasks?  Well, because my classroom model is based on success in the inclusive classroom, I have many students come to my classroom for only a short period of time.  When they leave, they take teaching materials with them, including independent work tasks.  Which means, I need to have a lot of materials to make these.  So, I love it when I find items like this!  It stretches my budgets and my students get the benefit of having them when they transition to their home schools!

Well, that's it!  I hope that these tasks have inspired you to keep some of your recyclables and use them to make teaching materials rather than put them in the recycle box!  Have you made any teaching items from recyclables?  I'd love to hear from you!  And you are looking for more ideas on independent work tasks, head over to the Autism Classroom News blog!

Until next time,

Monday, 15 June 2015

Makeover Madness!

This week starts Week 1 of the #tptsellerchallenge and I am SO excited!! I have been getting so excited for summer and this is a great way for me to start working on my store. Revising some of my products (specifically old, ugly product covers) is something that I've been desperately needing & wanting to do! But, I have been focusing on creating new products and haven't had the time for any revisions! Here is one of the products that I chose to makeover!

I also added another token page.  Now you and your students have more choices for their tokens!
And the best part?! This product is free for the next 72 hours!!! Click the picture above to go to the product, or just go to my store HERE!

And don't forget to enter our Blog Redesign Giveway!  It ends on Friday, so don't miss your chance to win!  Click on the picture to enter!!!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

Many thanks to sweet Amy at My Bright Bunch for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award! We recently met through Marie from Once Upon A Classroom and have been chatting through email.  It has been a pleasure getting to know her, and she has a great little blog, so be sure to check it out!

I am very much a novice blogger, with my first post back in February. I never imagined what an amazing journey this would be! I have made so many connections with amazing teachers that I would have NEVER had the opportunity to, and for that I am grateful! The open hearts of teachers and their willingness to collaborate and create with other teachers is amazing! When I started this blog, I was invited by Christine from Autism Classroom News to join a Special Educators Bloggers Facebook group, which has been a blessing!  I have met so many wonderful SPED teachers and have learned so much from them!  I am also collaborating with some other SPED teachers in a book study for "10 Critical Components of a Special Education Classroom". These little things are some surprising aspects of teaching and blogging I never knew existed, but have become some of my favorite parts! 

Here are some fun facts about me:
1. I am finishing up my 7th year of teaching.
2. I have taught K-6 students with Autism for those 7 years.
3. Prior to teaching, I was a Senior Therapist in privately and publicly funded IBI/ABA programs for 7 years.
4.  I have two rescue dogs, Scout and Bailey.
5.  I have an incredibly supportive husband whom I love dearly!
6.  I recently started working out and doing yoga after a 2 year hiatus, and it has been tough!  I am totally out of shape!!
7. I am currently trying the Whole 30 program (this was my first week)!
8.  I am total Netflix binge watcher!  My current fav is Bloodline. 
9.  My beverage of choice is tea!  I love the Organic Strawberry Fields Green Tea from Steeped Tea.  Oh and Chai Tea Lattes from Starbucks!!
10.  I love to travel and go for weekend getaways.  One of my favourite getaway spots is Niagara-on-the-Lake.  It's so quaint with great wineries and the Shaw Festival!   

I nominate the following peeps because I love their blogs!

Erin from You AUT-a-Know
Stephanie from Mrs. D's Corner

If you accept, please comment below! Happy Blogging! 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Giveaway Time!

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Hi Everyone! I am really excited about my fresh, new, blog redesign! I love the bright colors and the "puzzle piece" theme describes my classroom and the journey I share with my students as we learn.  I chose the puzzle piece elements because it signifies the many parts of autism and its multiple characteristics and because it represents the diversity of the people who are affected by autism.  In my classroom, we are constantly working on putting the pieces of the puzzle together in order to teach our students using methods that work best for them.  I own a huge thank you to Lauren from Teach, Pray, Love Designs for her hard work, creative ideas and patience with me through the process!

To celebrate the NEW blog design, I am teaming up with 2 other bloggers who also recently got Redesigns on their blogs: Amy at My Bright Bunch and Marie at Once Upon a Classroom. They are fabulous teachers and bloggers, so be sure to check out their brand new blogs too!

To celebrate, we are hosting a giveaway!!! We will be announcing two winners, so that means you have two chances to win either $25 to Amazon or $25 to Erin Condren! All you need to do is follow our blogs, TPT Stores, and Instagrams by using the drop-down in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by to check out the new design!  What do you think?  I'd love to hear from you!

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