Groundhog's Day Craft!

ANOTHER interest find :)  Look at these cute flippable groundhog's day crafts we made.  My students were able to do the entire craft on their own.  I introduced groundhog's day by using my social story with my class.  We then created these cute little things!

Who's READY for Some Football!

This weekend is the BIG Super Bowl!  How can you resist to talk a little football in your classroom?  Check out these cute crafts we made.  They got to vote and pick who they thought were going to win.  Can't wait to talk about the game with the kiddo's on Monday!

I also loved these adorable fine motor footballs!  The students had to hole punch the footballs themselves which was great fun.  We stuffed the footballs with scratch paper and used yarn to sew it together! 

And- for today only- I let them throw them in the class.  We had a blast.  Let's hope this behavior doesn't transfer over tomorrow to throwing worksheets and school supplies! (fingers crossed!)


Groundhog's Day Social Story

HOW do you teach Groundhog's day to a child who takes EVERYTHING SO LITERAL.  A shadow predicts the seasons?  A shadow?

Well I created a visual social story to explain the holiday and the tradition of Groundhogs day.

Winter Crafts!

Winter is a fun season because it lends itself to such amazing crafts in our classroom.  I wanted to share a few that I found on pinterest that turned out successfully in my classroom!

First craft is a q-tip painting snowman!

What I Want for My Students-

I care so much for my students.  
I want what's best for them.  
I want to shelter them from the cruel in the world,
I want to push them past their comfort level.

I want them to succeed in every way possible.  
I want them to reach their full potential.
I want them to exceed every expectation,
I want them to surpass any limit that was ever set.

I want them to surprise themselves.
I want them to feel proud.
I want them to feel successful,
I want them to feel LARGER than life.

Most importantly- 
I want them to feel loved.
I want them to feel safe.
I want them to feel nurtured,
I want them to feel cared for.

IEP goals, benchmarks and objectives only mean so much.
You cannot take baseline data on the quality of life.
You cannot report progress or set goals for one's self esteem.

Remember the big picture- at the end of the day, do what's right for you students.  

My favorite quote from a family friend-
"It's all about the good, It's all about the happy."


Kinetic Sand

I have a new favorite toy.  Have you ever played with kinetic sand?  It's not play doh, it's not moon sand, it's KINETIC SAND!  It's like a wet moist sand that is clean and easy to clean up.  If it spills on the carpet- you can pick it up!  It's not like play doh that gets smashed in the carpet and then it's gone forever!

Check it out- you can buy it on amazon HERE


Making Speech Fun!?!?

Looking for a fun way to encourage students to speak? Especially those shy kiddo's that prefer to look away and not respond?  I've got a few tricks to share with you!

First things first- a microphone.  It's amazing how a simple microphone can give your students super powers to talk! and to ENJOY talking!

Snowman Writing

This is an oldie but goodie!!!!  We did this activity last year and my students had so much fun so we did it again! Today, we worked on building a snowman.  For the whole month of January we have been discussing the body parts of a snowman and how to build one.  I created this bubble map activity so that students could add and remove velcro pieces as we discuss the parts of a snowman.  My district is pushing hard the "thinking maps" so this is a great way to integrate it into our classroom!


Monday Motivator


Quesadilla Cooking!

Friday's are fun in Room 83!  We typically do cooking.  And by cooking I mean have a FEAST.  (for the staff too!)  We kept it simple with the quesadillas.  It is such a simple snack to prep and the kids love it.  We went through a pack of 40 quesadillas for 9 kids.  Yup…. 40 quesadillas were eaten!  

Full tummies = happy kids
happy kids = happy teachers!

Adapting Writing for Students With Writing

Writing is by far the most challenging subject in my classroom.  For some reason- when it comes to a pencil and a paper it instantly becomes a dreaded task for my kiddo's.  I developed my own writing curriculum that has helped reduce the resistance to writing for most of my students.  IT is leveled and simple for my students to make progress at their own rate.  

However- for a few of my kiddo's I needed to design individualized worksheets for them!



In lieu of a blog post today- I'm dedicating my time to respond to ALL my emails.  I have about 200 that need answering.  YOu guys are awesome- KEEP SENDING your questions and requests my way.  Just be patient. I'm trying to get to all of them!!


Martin Luther King Day Craft

How do you address holidays in your classroom?  I try to make it a History lesson for the most part.  We talk about the day, how we celebrate it, why we celebrate it and what it means.  Martin Luther King Day is no exception to that!  However- it's a tough one to teach.  

Monday Motivator

My friend Mandy shared with me a success story that I am SO happy to share with you :)

"My entire class was able to attend (and stay the entire time) in an indoor school assembly last week! This is great considering I was told that 3 of my students were never given the opportunity last year due to maladaptive behaviors."

Assemblies are a tough one.  This is a HUGE success in my books! Thanks for sharing.  And remember to find the good in those challenging days :)


Martin Luther King Day Social Story

Ready for another holiday? I am! I have this wonderful little social story perfect for our kiddo's to help them understand what Martin Luther King Day is and why it is such an important holiday!  To read more about social stories click HERE to learn about the who, what, where, why and when of social stories!  Social Stories are a great tool to use with students with Autism or Special needs.  The visual format is great for comprehension! This is also a great resource for little students in early education!


January Vocabulary Unit

Oh my gosh, it's January!  It's 2015!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is my January Unit!

January Pinterest

I wish I invented Pinterest.  It is my best friend.  I love it.  I love organizing things into monthly boards so that it's easy to plan/create/organize crafts and activities for the month.  All year long I pin things in the board and it is constantly expanding.  Be sure to click HERE to follow my board.  You will love to find new monthly goodies!


Best of 2014- Calm Down Kit

Drumroll PLEASE…. my number 1 post from 2014 was one about my Calm Down Kit!

Read on :)

Best of 2014- TEACCH Task Boxes

My 2nd most popular post from 2014 was about my TEACCH system.  I still love it and still implement it the same way as I did when I wrote this post…so read on!

Best of 2014- Calendar Time

My 3rd most popular post from 2014 was about my Calendar routine.  I love my routine and have not really changed it for years.  My students benefit from the routine and visuals and make progress daily! 

Best of 2014- PECs Communication Book

Oh man- my VERY favorite subject of Special Ed :)

Best of 2014- IEP Tubs

The fifth most popular post from 2014 was one about my IEP tubs.  WHile I have re-arranged my daily schedule since writing this post, I still somewhat implement it the same as I used to.  Rather than focusing on IEP tubs I have set up work centers in a better way to where my students can get some of their IEP goals addressed within our math/reading/writing rotations.  However- I still have IEP tubs and data clipboards set up so that I can provide quick assessments and monitor progress toward IEP goals.  We do not do "IEP tubs" every day like I used to.  I typically do it 2-3 times a week depending on our specials such as APE/OT/Speech!


Best of 2014- Toilet Training our Kiddos!

The 6th most popular post from 2014 was my post about Toilet Training our little kiddos.  Well- sometimes they are not too little.  This makes it even more tough yet SO much more important.  Teaching our students to become independent should be our "end all" goal each and every day.  Being independent in the area of personal skills is SO crucial!  Using visuals in our routine can help make this skill so much easier to master!