5 Things to Know When Printing Online Resources

I love that we live in a time when we have so many resources available right at our fingertips. Gone are the days of flipping through workbooks at the copy machine, just find what you need online (lets be honest...on Pinterest or TpT) and print!

When printing your digital resources, check out these tips and let me know if you learned anything new or if there are any tricks I missed!

First, ALWAYS, print from Adobe (or maybe another PDF reader). If you print directly from the internet, things are more likely to get messed up and you don't have as many options.

Tip 1: Want to save your color ink? 
Print any worksheet black and white by choosing the "grayscale" option.

Tip 2: Print Multiple Pages Per Sheet:
Sometimes I find awesome printable books online, but I don't prefer full 8.5x11 page books. If you choose the option to print two to a page, you instantly have a smaller sized book!

So that printable book would be perfect if only it had interactive pieces. Well, you can simply print it again even smaller, say 9 to a page (custom 3 x 3), and then you have smaller identical pieces you can match to each page.

I also love using this feature to turn my file folder activities into worksheets as seen below.

This tip also works great when you want to make smaller sized pages of anything, such as turning posters into flashcards, or worksheets into task cards.

Tip 3: Print Poster Size for extra large visuals (great for students with visual impairments or classroom samples)
The preview on the right hand side shows how many pages it will print using the dashed lines. So, in the example I am printing 4 pages.

 You can see how much bigger this journal is compared to the original size!

Tip 4: Print borderless!
I love the look printing borderless gives products like my greeting cards. Everything stays nice and uniform when folded and it looks so much better!

Also, the pages on the adapted books I've created will be exactly the right size IF you print borderless. Then all you have to do is cut right down the middle and you're good to go, otherwise you may have to trim a little bit off.

Tip 5: Print ONLY the pages you need

Use the table of contents to print exactly what you need (and nothing more)! This also makes it easy to create individualized student packets. For example, for my students math packets, I mark which level each student is with their color. A few students (pink and yellow) are in different levels depending on the subject, so I've marked those on the table.
When printing a student's packet, I just look at this sheet and make sure to print exactly what each kid needs!

So there you have it, those are the printing settings I find myself using most often. Did you learn anything new today? Did I miss any printing tips that you find helpful? Let me know!

Incorporating Theater into the Special Education Classroom: Five Myths

I know what you're thinking, theater in my classroom? Yeah right, my students don't even talk. Well, I beg you to think again! I've recently met Katie from 4th Wall Theatre Company, and, guys, she writes plays for people with disabilities for a living! What a cool job, right?  I was so excited when she asked if she could talk about theater with you all on my blog.

As a special education teacher, you might be thinking how on earth could you incorporate theater into your own classroom, why you would even want to, how hard would it be, and how you could do it. Well, keep reading!

At 4th Wall Theatre, we teach that theater is made up of three elements: Singing, Acting, and Dancing.  Every student is bound to have a favorite (just like the professionals!), but all students are capable of participating in each of these elements.  Within each “element of the theater” are opportunities for supporting all abilities.

How to Prep Adapted Books for Special Education

I love making interactive / adapted books for my students! By giving students something tangible to interact with on each page, you promote engagement and can check for comprehension through out the story. 
Interactive / Adapted Books also give students a clear purpose for reading books if they don't see the value in reading yet. You can adapt the current books you have in your classroom by adding symbols or you can print and create your own books! Here's the steps I go through when putting together adapted books that I have printed.

Pageant Fundraiser for Special Needs Princesses

Every little girl loves dressing up and looking beautiful. What a better way to do this than a pageant?

One of my fellow special education teachers and blog readers, Lori Bush, put together this amazing pageant as a fundraiser for her special education classroom and featured princesses with special needs. Check out how she created this wonderful experience for special princesses and raised a ton of money for her classroom as well!

How to Write Amazing IEP Goals (and take Data like a Boss)!

How often have you gotten a new IEP goal and thought, how in the world am I going to track that? Or even worse yet, wrote an amazing IEP goal only to later realize you aren't really sure how you were going to collect data on that goal. Been there, done that. My first year of teaching I found myself writing really good IEP goals that were specific and described how students needed to grow...but sadly I found myself unable to keep track of their progress as detailed as I would've liked.
Sure, you can read a million different ways to collect data and maybe you've tried them all: clipboard, notecards, binders, and the list goes on. But your data collection might not get better until you make your student's IEP goals work for you!

Why Fidgeting is Helpful + Focus Fidget GIVEAWAY!

As special education teachers, we know our students need to fidget, right? But usually the question is what is an appropriate fidget that will help our students focus AND aren't too distracting at the same time.
I was contacted by the Focus Fidget and knew I just had to do a giveaway for you guys so you could check this out!

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