Spring Break

Happy Spring Break! I will be taking a week off to enjoy my spring break! I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing week :)
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Happy Hour!

After a long week, what else is better than a good ol' fashoin happy hour?!?!?  Well I didn't quite make it to the end of the week, but hey Thursday is pretty good!

Happy Thursday!!!!

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Organizing PECS

In my first year of teaching, I would spend so much time every day after school getting my schedules ready.  I would find PECS on the floor, in task boxes, behind furniture and in my coat pockets.  It was driving me CRAZY! I was trying to find the best way to organize them in a quick, easy to set up manner.  When I was at Joannes I came across these containers, and they were PERFECT!


I am able to have all of my PECS organized by each PEC.  I have four tubs full of PECS.  I have each tub sorted by category.  I have two tubs for schedule icons, one tub for communication icons and one for miscellaneous.  



I keep a small dollar bin in the front of the room where my staff and I throw PECS throughout the day. When I have a few minutes I can quickly put them away where they belong.  I also have some of my higher student's help me organize these, and they enjoy it!

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Playing Telephone

One of the most important life skills I focus on in my classroom is mastering your home telephone number.  We practice this daily in my classroom in as many ways as possible.  We practice reciting, typing, dialing, drawing and punching the numbers away.  One of my student's favorite ways to practice their telephone number is by "playing telephone."


We practice this during our "morning meeting" routine.  Student's do this in addition to competing their All About Me Morning Meeting Books.  
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Are You My Mother?


One of my favorite stories to read with my class is Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman.  It's a cute story that allows for easy sequencing practice.  

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Peek-A-Boo, Where is the Easter Bunny?

As you know, I am obsessed with Monthly Themes.  I like to use themes in all areas of instruction.  I am getting ready for spring in Room 83.  Now that St. Patrick's Day is over, it's time to move on to Easter!  Here is the April book from my series, Peek-A-Boo Through the Year.  This is an adapted book that focuses on prepositions with a sneaky Easter Bunny!

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Big vs. Small Adapted Book

I wanted to incorporate CAPA Math skills into my Adapted Books.  One of the biggest skills I work on with my lower performing students is big vs. small.  I decided to create a book with a scene on each page, one big object and one small object.  I chose to use everyday objects for this book so that it can be doubled as a math lesson as well as vocabulary! I love hitting more than one thing with one activity! Why not kill two birds with one stone?  We all know there is not enough time in our days as teachers to address everything we want to.

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All About Me- Interactive Books

One of the biggest goals I have for my students is to know their personal information: name, birthday, age, phone number, address, school info. I struggled with this for the past year, I felt like I was not helping my students succeed.  I tried all sorts of different games and strategies, but nothing was sticking.  With that said, I decided to try to create my own method, INTERACTIVE BOOKS

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What is the Dog Doing?

For today's adapted book I decided to combine two of my favorite things; Adapted Books and my two dogs!  When I look through all of my pictures on my cell phone, I have an embarrassing amount of pictures of my dogs.  I decided to turn my obsession with my dogs into an Adapted Book.  With this, I created, "What is the Dog Doing?"

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Month's of the Year

Welcome to Adapted Books Week!!!

I decided to start off Adapted Books Week with my best seller Adapted Book.  Month's of the Year was created to challenge my students who have mastered the basic calendar skills of identifying days of the week, months of the year and weather icons.  This adapted book is 13 pages long.  Each month has a page in the repetitive format to set students up for success.  In this book, student's are asked one question about each month and prompted to make a choice from two visual cues.  The last page asks student's to find their birthday month from a field of 12.

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Adapted Books SALE!

There is no secret, Adapted Books are one of my favorite things to implement in my classroom!  I have yet to share with you so many of my favorite books.  I am announcing that next week will be "Adapted Book Week!"  Every day I will showcase a different adapted book!

Most importantly, ALL of my adapted books will be on sale, 20% off, at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
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My Favorite CD

Music is key to keeping my kids motivated and excited.  I splurged and bought this CD over the summer, and am so glad I did!  This is a whole CD focused around movement and greetings.  I pick a few songs each day to get the kids up and moving.  This is great for my kids to practice listening skills, gross motor, and social skills.




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Rainbows

This month is full of fun themes. In march we have been reviewing colors as we talk about rainbows and pots of gold! We made a cute rainbow yesterday to decorate our room! Look how cute they turned out!



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Peek-A-Boo, Where is the Leprechaun?

I am a little late with this, but better late then never!  I have been using this book, Peek-A-Boo, Where is Leprechaun, all month and my kids love it!  Here is the March book from my series, Peek-A-Boo Through the Year.  This is an adapted book that focuses on prepositions with a tricky little Leprechaun!

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Adapted Books Galore!

Adapted books are one of my FAVORITE activities to do with my kiddos.  Using adapted books promotes independence, vocabulary development, pre-reading skills, life skill awareness and sight word recognition among many other things.  It is such a simple way to hit so many crucial skills at once.  I have a full crate in my classroom FULL of adapted books.  I like to pull them out during ELD time and silent reading time.


I have found tons of free adapted books on the internet as well as I have purchased some on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I have also started creating my own that are posted on Teachers Pay Teachers.  They are a one time investment and will last years.

How to create an adapted book:

1.  Laminate the pages
2.  Bind the pages (I have tried a few formats, and I like all of them!  I have used 3 ring binders, binder rings, portfolio covers and file folders)
3.  Attach the rough velcro to the book pages
4.  Cut out the PECS and attach soft velcro to the back
5.  Create a selection page to keep all of the adapted book pages in one safe place.  I like to just laminate an extra page, and store all of the pieces on the laminated page.

There are several ways to implement an adapted book.  It can vary on the age of the students as well.  I use them for my higher students during silent reading.  These books keep them engaged because they can manipulate the pieces on their own.  I have these students raise their hand when they are done so that an adult can check the pages as well as help them put the pieces back where they belong! (I HATE finding PECS and schedule icons around the room.  Then I am on a scavenger hunt  trying to find where it came from!)  I also use the adapted books during ELD time with my lower students.  I do this in a small group setting and have all the student's take turns reading the book.  Either way, these books are a blast!  I am thinking for next year to set up an adapted book center!  I will have to figure out an effecitve format to promote independence!  More to come on that one :)
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Super Sale Sunday!

This Sunday I will be hosting my FIRST Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I am new to Blogger and TPT, and decided to try out all of the features.  Stop by my store and save some of your favorites to your wish-list.

Every item in my store will be 20% off on Sunday, 3/10/13!




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Shamrocks Galore!

It's March.... and here come Shamrocks! Today we had a blast making stain glass shamrocks.  I changed it up from last month's crumbling tissue paper hearts.  I traced a shamrock onto construction paper and had the kiddo's go crazy with clue and tissue paper!  They had two shades of green, making each shamrock turn out different!  After the tisssue paper was clued down, the mess began! They painted over their shamrock with White Elmer's Glue!  This makes the tissue have a shiny affect once the glue dries.
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Rules, Rules, Rules!


Let's be honest, managing behaviors is THE most important thing as a teacher.  I wanted to share how I post my rules in my classroom.  Of course, I use BoardMaker to make my rules readable for my beginning readers.  Here is my rules poster that I just love!  It is easy to redirect students to.  I also have my "teacher helper" read the rules every morning to the class!


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March Vocabulary

Every month I post new vocabulary words.  I use the monthly vocabulary and themes to drive instruction and discussions.  I create visual magnets for each vocabulary word.  I create them using BoardMaker, laminate them, and attach magnets to the back!  I like using them with magnets because they are easy to grab off the white board when talking with student's.  These visual vocabulary words are great for facilitating communication amongst my students.  I have a color of the month, themes and vocabulary.  Here is March:

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Working Cards

I love my class and all of the challenges I face with them.  While I have 11 sparkling personalities that I am blessed with, I also have a lot of challenging behaviors I have to manage.  Every student is different, and every behavior is stemming from a different cause.  It's important to remember that all behaviors are speaking for something; either internal pain, frustration, lack of communication, sensory overload etc.  I LOVE to implement individualized behavior systems that will set student's up for success.  I have shared all of my little creations with all of my co-workers in the district, and the feedback is nothing but positive.  I am not saying that these working cards will work for every student, but there is a good chance one of these will work just right!  Here is my bundle I'm selling on TPT!

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Calendar Time

Calendar skills are essential for any child striving for independence.  Traditional K-1 classes have a daily calendar routine filled with music, counting and reciting the days of the week.  This is a great way for children to master their days independent living skills.  I put a heavy emphasis on independent life skills for my students.  Knowing this, I knew I had to adapt the traditional calendar routine so that it would be beneficial for my students and their significant needs.  I have created a hands-on systematic routine with the use of my calendar books.  I have these posted on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss






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It's March!

Yay! It's March!!  A new month means new decorations!  We changed our bulletin board to green with a shamrock border, posted our new names on our door, and changed our vocabulary wall for the month!
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