Prepping A Year Ahead!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I know we are all in our final countdown to summer.  If you are like me, you may or may not have a countdown on your white board.  The daily satisfaction of changing the number to one day closer to freedom helps get through these final weeks of school!  While we all need our break, I have a few tips to make next school year start of with a bang.  Get all of your prep work for the basic classroom tools done this year so that you can focus on student files, IEP's and curriculum in August!

Schedule Sabotage

Saturday, April 23, 2016

This blog post is a fun one for me.  What I am about to talk about goes against the grain of EVERY special education teacher's instinct.  Yes, you read it right.  We are going to talk about sabotaging our daily schedules that are so crucial to our students success.  To read about visual schedules in my classroom click HERE to learn about some of the best practices of special education schedules!
visual schedules for an autism classroom
 One of the toughest things our kiddos experience in a special education classroom is confusion.  My students struggle the most when our schedules get mixed up, out of order or something happens out of our control that requires flexibility.  As special education teachers, we cannot always predict certain aspects of our day.  Sometimes a tantrum may require a smooth transition outside for a walk, a surprise fire drill, a visitor walk through or a cancelled special.  This can cause such epic tantrums in my classroom that I have started a new thing called "schedule sabotage."  This is when I mess something up on purpose.  Teaching flexibility is an important skill because our students will not have a perfectly planned out life- they must learn to go with the flow.  This is not an easy task.  But whenever I do mess something up I let my staff now ahead of time so we are ready to cope with any side affects we may get. 

Autism Awareness Giveaway

Friday, April 1, 2016

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance month.  This is something that is now near and dear to my heart, however it has not always been.   I wanted to spend today to introduce myself to my new followers and share why I became a special education teacher.  It is not your typical "I knew I wanted to be a SPED teacher since I was a child story..."  

How to use Social Stories Effectively!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Today I wanted to talk about one of my favorite tools to use in the classroom.....Social Stories!  I get a million questions asking about how I use them, when I use them, why I use them and who I use them with.  I wanted to take some time to explain how I implement them in my classroom!

Social stories for students with autism and special education

Switch it Up! Become An Aide for a Day!

Managing Prep Work as a SPED Teacher

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Being a Special Education teacher is far from easy.  Juggling behaviors, communication needs, data, IEP goals, communication with parents, curriculum organization (WHAT CURRICULUM?), adapting materials and the most time consuming of it all....

Calm Down Kits in the Classroom

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I talk about my Calm Down Kits in my blog posts all the time because I use them THAT much.  I get a lot of questions asking about them, how I use them, when I use them and why I use them.  I have blogged about them in the past but I wanted to do a refresher on these visual tools that I am SO dependent on in my classroom!  
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