November is HERE! and there's a sale TOMORROW

This school year is FFFLLLYYYIIINNN by! I can't believe it's November tomorrow.  To celebrate all of my products will be on sale this weekend, 20% off!  Click HERE to visit my store!

HERE ARE MY NOVEMBER PRODUCTS!

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My Plans for Halloween in the Classroom TOMORROW

So we all know we have Halloween tomorrow.  I'm lucky to have a school where students are allowed to dress up and participate in the halloween parade.  However, tomorrow can't be all fun and games.  But I can assure you, everything we do will be Halloween based!

Majority of our "academics" will come from this FREEBIE I found online on TpT.  Click HERE to grab it yourself JUST in time for tomorrow!

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October Crafts

October is such a fun month. We really go all out with Halloween. The kids love it and so do I. I wanted to share with you a few crafts from the month!
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On a Personal Note- My Best Day Yet, As A Teacher!

Today I am not writing about reading, writing or math.  I’m not going to write about behavior or communication strategies.  I’m going to share with you one of the biggest accomplishments I have achieved as a teacher, and it’ really not about me at all, its about my little student, Susie. (name changed)



Susie is a sweet little girl who came to me two and a half years ago in a wheelchair with a 1:1 health aide.  I was told that she would never walk unassisted.  She would require a gait trainer or adult assistance at all times.  She was a cute giggly girl that loved to socialize, but was limited to only her wheelchair or the hand of an adult.  She is a non-verbal student who is limited to speaking through her communication device, the Nova Chat. She has also undergone several surgeries for her pace maker and to repair her shunt.  
I have always joked that with Susie, comes an army.  She comes from a wonderful family and a huge support system.  Susie works closely with many service providers within the school system and outside to get the services she deserves.  All of these community members have celebrated the milestones along the way because Susie’s laugh captured all of their hearts. 

In the beginning of last school year (fall 2013), Susie started making mini milestones with her physical ability to walk on her own.  She was starting to stand on her own for up to a minute without any assistance.  We celebrated this milestone.  Susie began to walk on her own on October 28, 2013, one year ago today.  She took 10 little steps on her own from one work table to the next in between work rotations.



We celebrated this milestone.  We celebrated HARD.  I am pretty sure that the rest of that day we did nothing but celebrate.  We had a party and watched movies…but heck, my class deserved it!  The very next day she took off and was walking all across campus on her own.  The entire campus celebrated in this milestone, as everyone saw the progress she made. The janitor was excited, the secretaries were excited, students were excited and other teachers were excited.  More importantly, her face when she was walking on her own was just elated with excitement.  She finally felt the feeling of freedom.  The emotions from that week are hard to put into words, as it was something you really ahd to “be there for” to fully understand.

The “icing” on the cake was when we called mom to tell her.  She left work immediately and was there within 15 minutes.  Mom’s instinct was to run to Susie to give her a hug, but we stopped her.  We had her wait and let susie walk to her.  We were lucky to capture this on video, something Mom and Susie will cherish forever.

While she still needs assistance with some aspects of her physical day such as getting up off the floor, climbing into the lunch benches, walking on uneven grounds, she is still making progress each and every day.  We’re waiting for the day that she begins to run!  And don’t worry, I’ll update you on that day when it happens!

So with this story, I remind you to not sweat the small stuff.  Don’t let those challenging days get to you.  Don’t let those annoying co-workers or service provider’s ruin you day.  One student tantrum isn’t the end of the world…Just remember- we are here for the kids.  We are here to make a difference and to empower those around us.  While we might not get “first steps” milestones every day, we do get something to celebrate.  Focus on that to get you through those hard times.






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Monday Motivator





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Daily Math Practice- Level 4 (Subtraction with Visuals)

I created a "Daily Math Practice" curriculum that provides daily practice on each skill.  Each skill is sold as a "level" in my teachers pay teacher's store.  Each level provides 180 worksheets targeting the same skill.  Each worksheet is double sided.  Each worksheet is presented in a clear format with large font.  The pages are repetitive to build independence for each child.  The worksheets are created with large font and enough space to minimize distractions.  The curriculum is designed so that there is one worksheet for each day for an entire school year.
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Daily Math Practice- Level 3 (Addition with Visuals)

I created a "Daily Math Practice" curriculum that provides daily practice on each skill.  Each skill is sold as a "level" in my teachers pay teacher's store.  Each level provides 180 worksheets targeting the same skill.  Each worksheet is double sided.  Each worksheet is presented in a clear format with large font.  The pages are repetitive to build independence for each child.  The worksheets are created with large font and enough space to minimize distractions.  The curriculum is designed so that there is one worksheet for each day for an entire school year.
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Daily Math Practice- Level 2 (Counting Quantities)

I created a "Daily Math Practice" curriculum that provides daily practice on each skill.  Each skill is sold as a "level" in my teachers pay teacher's store.  Each level provides 180 worksheets targeting the same skill.  Each worksheet is double sided.  Each worksheet is presented in a clear format with large font.  The pages are repetitive to build independence for each child.  The worksheets are created with large font and enough space to minimize distractions.  The curriculum is designed so that there is one worksheet for each day for an entire school year.

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Daily Math Practice- Level 1 (Big/Small, More/Less, Colors)

Math is such an important skill.  For the past several years I have really struggled with teaching math.  It's tough because my students need SO much practice with any particular skill.  Every curriculum that I have found out there has been great, for about a week, and then it moves on to the next skill whether or not my students have mastered the previous skill.  I really struggled finding curriculum that provided daily practice on the same skill so that my students could gain enough practice to master it.  I could not find this ANYWHERE, so I decided to give up my summer and spend my life creating these worksheets!

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Monday Motivator!








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Friday Frankenstein Crafts!!!

Look what we made today! I found these adorable Frankensteins crafts on Pinterest.  We made them today and I am in LOVE.  I put them on our seasonal bulletin board right by our classroom entrance and I've already gotten a ton of compliments! 

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October Sequencing Activity- Big Pumpkin

We do our "Thinking Map" activity each month.  Our district has been a big supporter of thinking maps and I have to say, so am I! I love using thinning maps to help build comprehension skills for my kiddo's.  We especially love the bubble map, flow map and tree map!  This month, we sequenced the story, Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman!

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Math Anchor Charts for Students with Special Needs

Yesterday I shared about my writing anchor charts that I use within my classroom.  Today I wanted to share with you the math anchor charts that I am currently using!  I love to use anchor charts during small group instruction because they can supplement my verbal instruction with visual supports.  Some of my more independent students will reference these when working independently.  I have these visuals behind my blue table during my work center rotations.  To read more about my work centers, click HERE.
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Writing Anchor Charts for Special Needs

Do you use Anchor charts? I DO! I love them.  I have math, reading and writing anchor charts posted behind each work table.  My students love an excuse to get out of their seat to use an Anchor Chart to help them get their work done.  Today, I wanted to share with you how I constructed my Writing Anchor Charts.  I used board maker to create simple, easy to use anchor charts for students with special needs.  Here is my Writing Wall used at my green table during work centers.


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Monday Motivator

….I have so many dreams and ambitions, with hard work and dedication I know I'll get there :)




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Emergency Sub Plans for Today!

I am going to be out tomorrow for personal business.  And I am SO glad that I have not used my Book of the Month Unit- Big Pumpkin because I am having my class go through this WHOLE bundle in one day.  I literally just ran off copies today and they are GOOD to go for tomorrow.  In this unit they have math, reading, matching, sequencing, comprehension, following directions and writing.  It makes for a fun friday, easy sub planning, and great seasonal activities!!!





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math MATH math & MORE MATH!

Math is SUCH a complex subject to teach to any child.  When you add in sensory processing disorders, speech and language delays, visual impairments and outright behaviors, it makes math THAT much more complex.  For years, I was creating my own worksheets and supplementing every curriculum there is out there.  For my students, they do not progress at the same rate as their same grade peers.  This made it difficult for me to find enough worksheets to provide them the practice over and over again for them to master any one skill.  Most store curriculums only provide 20 pages of practice on one skill before it gets more challenging.  This does NOT work for my students, as some students may be working on the same skill for 6 months, or 2 years.

With that, I have created my own Daily Math Yearly Curriculum

 

This Daily Math Practice is designed for students with special needs and Autism. It is sold separately by "levels" as we all know that every special ed classroom has a wide range of abilities.  Each "level" has 180 days of practice pages (double sided) and also has anchor charts to support student learning.  These anchor charts can be used as a reference for students when completing their daily math worksheet. Lastly, also included are sample IEP goals that can be used when creating student IEP goals. The IEP goals are created using these worksheets.

Using this curriculum will create consistency within your classroom which will promote independence and success for your students with autism and special needs. Each worksheet is designed using a simple clutter free format to minimize distractions. Each side of the worksheet has only a few problems and the fonts are large print. 

Levels posted so far:
Level 4- Subtraction with visuals











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What Chore is Matthew Doing? A fun interactive book!

Do you use adapted books in your classroom? I SURE do, and my kiddo's love them.  They are teacher tested and student approved.  They are a fun way to test comprehension and build vocabulary!  Check out my kiddo doing this DURING FREE TIME.  Yes, he chose to do this as his reward…. melts my heart :)


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Monday Motivator






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On a personal note...


I decided to cancel and postpone the blog post that was scheduled for today to take a moment and remember a very special person to me.

My brave, courageous, inspiring and loving aunt passed away yesterday far too young after fighting a long and challenging battle against cancer.  She lived more in her 48 years than most people dream of.  I hope to grow up to be half the woman that she was.  I know you will be with me forever.  I love you.







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Healthy Eating. ORG

Building A Healthy Me! This is a GREAT FREE resource for California Teachers.  Click (HERE) to order it!  Healthyeating.org is a wonderful resource.  The program provides curriculum for grades K-12 as well as many online resources.  I was able to call and get all of these materials sent to me for free.  I order it every year, and we typically spend about a month on it!  I chose to order the Kindergarten curriculum this year as it would allow my students to complete a lot of the activities on their own.

So what's included?

A teacher's manual
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Dolch Noun Sight Word Activities

One of the biggest misconceptions people make is that students who can't talk are not able to read.  THIS IS NOT TRUE!  You are able to do SO much with these kiddos.  I created these Dolch Sight Word puzzles to provide practice for students to identify sight words.  It's also a great way to assess students on their sight words.
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