Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Special Tidbits Blog Hop: Schedules

Hey everyone,

Sunday is here again, so it's time for the Sunday Special Tidbits link up! This week my special tidbit is about scheduling! Scheduling for our students and for our paras is so crucial for a smooth day, every day! It's also one of the trickiest parts of a sped teacher's job, in my opinion. The key here is to organize the materials you'll need to make your schedules! So, what things will you need? You'll need the service hours for your students, a schedule for the grade levels in your school, a schedule of lunch duties and flex times, a schedule template that is functional for you, and highlighters. You can use the highlighters to highlight the various times you need to remember as your making your schedules. I also like to use different color pens for various parts of the schedule, such as inclusion times. Also, focus on one grade level at a time! Looking at all of it as a whole can be very overwhelming! For example, I will be teaching grades 2-4 this year. I made my 2nd grade schedule first and that actually made it easier to make my 3rd and 4th grade schedules. Of course, I'm sure it will need to be tweaked as the school year gets started. What are some things that help you make your schedules? You can build on my special tidbit when you link up or share something completely different! I love hearing about your ideas. I read every tidbit last week and loved what I learned from you all!

Here's an example of the schedule template I use.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Special Tidbits Blog Hop

Hey everyone!

First of all, sorry for the technical issues this morning if you have been trying to link up!

Welcome to the first Sunday Special Tidbits link up! I'm excited about getting this started! So, here's my special tidbit. Laminate EVERYTHING! I know that sounds simple, but there have been times when I didn't think to laminate things and regretted it later. This year, I'm in the process of making things for my room and I feel like that's all I am doing, but it helps things last SO much longer! All kids, but especially sped kids, destroy things! They like to use things as fidgets and for their sensory needs. They also destroy things during their meltdowns. I got a cheap laminator at Walmart that I have been very pleased with. 

Now, it's your turn! Please link up and share your small bit of helpful information. It can be a tip from your own experiences like mine, or it can be about a useful product or TPT item you have been using. If it has been useful for you, chances are it will be useful for someone else! I am looking forward to reading what others have to share. 

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Free Login/Password Forms


Lynda from Teaching Science with Lynda is doing a link up for fall freebies!! This gave me a reason to finally make a login/password sheet for myself. I want to make sure I have one ready before school starts with all of my logins and passwords for the various websites we use within the classroom. I drove myself crazy last year! There are different colors for you to choose from. Here ya go!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Free Finds!!

Hello guys and gals,

I hope everyone has had a good start to their week. I have had a productive 2 days working in my classroom. I'm mainly just making sure I'm organized and trying hard to get my centers ready. My paras have came in and helped, which I greatly appreciate! They don't get paid through the summer, so I know they are doing me a big favor! What's your suggestions on ways to show them my gratitude?

Now, let's get to why I'm really blogging. I found some websites that have some very useful freebies. I feel that it would have been selfish of me not to share! So here they are -

I have printed off all of the craft templates from Crystal & Co. for the letters of the alphabet. I'm super excited about having those in a binder to pull from each week.

Your welcome! hehe ;-)

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Strengthen Reading Comprehension for Students with Autism

Hi! I am linking up with Angela from The Teacher's Desk. Yes, it's Friday now, but I didn't want to wait to join in on this linky. This post originally appeared on February 13, 2004. It received a lot of repins on Pinterest, so I wanted to give others a chance to read it that may have missed it. I hope you find it helpful! 

Working with students that have been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can be challenging, especially if he or she is non-verbal. However, it does not mean that they cannot learn!  So many times they can surprise you with their intelligence, and I have found myself wondering if some of my students know more than me! Here are a few strategies that I have found to be helpful.

Build background knowledge. This is so important for students with ASD because they lack the social skills required to learn through interacting. Providing background knowledge through social stories, magazines, movies, or pictures can be useful before reading a new book. I also think it's important to include them in as many social settings as possible (e.g., flex, recess, lunch, clubs, etc.). Whether we realize it or not, those things help build background knowledge!

Use the popular strategy called think-aloud! This is very common in regular classrooms, but it can also be effective for special education classrooms. The teacher thinks out loud to show students what to do in order to better understand texts. Use a graphic organizer along with your think-aloud to give them a way to process the information visually.

Act out the story! Kids of all ages love to pretend and move around! For children with ASD, this can give them a concrete understanding of what's going on in the story.

Retelling is a great comprehension strategy for a broad level of learners. Students can retell verbally, through graphic organizers, or through pointing at pictures. Adapt it to suit your students' needs.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know how you improve reading comprehension for students with ASD!!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Joining the Sped Blog Hop

I love link ups! I was especially excited to find one specifically for special education. Thanks Jamie!

Now it's time to read advice from the other teachers that linked up! :-) 

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Monday, July 7, 2014

July Currently

Linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade

Of course, I'm late again on this! I'm hoping when school starts back I can get in a blogging routine. Life has just been chaotic lately. The type of chaos that has been in my life is proof that I'm blessed, so I'm not complaining. 

listening: It's a quiet and relaxed morning! :-) 

loving: I can't believe how cool these past few mornings have been. It has felt amazing. I'm sure it won't last long with it being July! 

thinking: I am very hungry! My husband and I are both getting blood work done, so we will not be eating for a few more hours. I eat as soon as I wake up, so this isn't easy for me. 

wanting: We are in the process of moving! It's an exciting time for us. There is still so much to be done. I really hope the majority of it is finished before school starts back. 

needing: I also have a lot to do in my classroom. I was with 5th and 6th last year, and this year I will be with 2nd-4th. I'm quite overwhelmed between that and moving!! 

4th plans: I guess saying we were lazy isn't completely true. It was a hard day of moving things, so we were exhausted when the evening rolled around. We stayed in and watched The Chronicles of Narnia. Seriously, I can't believe I've waited this long to watch it. It was great! I can't wait to see the other ones! 

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