Monday, November 23, 2015

Writing a Class Book with Special Education Students

I love to write books with my class. When we write books that feature my students and things/places they know, my students are motivated to read and become more confident in their reading abilities (even when reading other things). Our class books are always a favorite of my students, and who can blame them. Everyone loves to be a star!
We have written books after our community trips and also with our monthly mascots. For our community trip books, my aides and I take pictures during the trip and then put them together in a PowerPoint slide and together we decide what we want each page to say. Sometimes I need to help a lot, but my students can always contribute something, even if it is just who is in the picture. I say this, because if you think your students can't write a book, think again! ANYONE can do this!
A couple years ago, we had a Nutcracker candle for our December mascot. In order to make our book, each student had to think of two places to put the Nutcracker and take a picture with my iPad. Then I showed the pictures on the screen and together we came up with the words as a class, often with me giving simple sentence starters when needed. I usually make it a pretty big deal that they are authoring this book and are coming up with the ideas.

Each student also had their own page with the nutcracker and they LOVED seeing themselves and their classmates in the book. The books we make ourselves are always my student's favorites to read, of course, because they get to be the stars! I have found that I don't need to add symbols to these books for my students to read (even though many are non-readers). Since they are familiar with the pictures and items in them, and then fact that they helped write it, they can usually read it pretty well! And if we don't get everything exactly right, who cares?! :)

Download our Nutcracker Book for free! (All pages with students pictures have been removed). Do you make class books? I'd love to hear about them!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Math Life Skill Worksheets: Thanksgiving Themed

If your students are anything like mine, they love working on skills with a theme, whether that be a holiday/seasonal theme or our community trip of the month!
I was busy this summer creating daily journals to go with our themes, and now am busy creating life skill math packs to go along with those journals! I absolutely love these math packs, because they touch on the skills that can be hard or impossible to find in a worksheet. 


I have included 3 levels so that this one pack can reach all of the students in my classroom (and hopefully those in your classroom too!) The page below shows the concepts and levels included in each math pack.

In my classroom, we do a worksheet each day and then do a math activity that corresponds to that worksheet so that we are getting hands-on practice in addition to the worksheet. 

Check out the thanksgiving math pack on TpT or in the video below! And check out more life skill math packs here.

I'm working on creating more so that you can use these year round with your students! I'd love to hear what you think :) 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cooking Skills: Preparing a Thanksgiving Feast

One of my favorite parts about teaching life skills is cooking! It's a lot of fun, kids are usually motivated to cook, and it helps them become more successful young adults. Win, win, win!

Last year,  not only did we cook during class, but we also had an event with our Hangout Club where we prepared a Thanksgiving Feast with our buddies after school! Since this was an after school event, we were able to use the culinary lab, which meant I was able to have a lot more students cooking at once.

What was on the menu for our Thanksgiving Feast? Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, and stuffing. And of course, some dessert!

Once we were ready to start preparing our feast, I let each student pair up with a buddy and find the entree they wanted to make. Sasha from The Autism Helper has some great Thanksgiving visual recipes for FREE!

Since a turkey takes a little bit longer to cook, I put those on in crockpots in the morning. (The football sized turkey breasts are perfect for this!)

I don't know if we had more fun cooking or eating! Will you make a Thanksgiving meal with your students this year?

Monday, October 26, 2015

SPED Tricks and Treats (aka awesome ideas and FREEBIE!!)

Happy Halloween! I'm enjoying spending time with my little dinosaur :) and am excited to join this blog hop to bring you some sped tricks and treats just in time for Halloween. Be sure to keep reading because you can grab a nice treat for FREE!

(This little cutie is one month old already and is already 11 pounds!)

All special education teachers have many tricks up their sleeves. Here's a few of my favorites...
Did someone accidentally use a permanent marker on your dry erase board? Draw over it with a dry erase marker and it will come right off!!

Need to get something laminated but don't have time? Have a student who tears up every paper you give them? Or maybe drools on or tears up worksheets? Use a clearboard! 
I use these for certain students when we play Bingo (I've learned it's not worth it to laminate all of those). I also use these for seasonal worksheets that I want students to practice on over and over again...but don't want to laminate. 
Some people have been able to find these at their Dollar Tree! Of course, Lakeshore Learning will have them. Or you can buy 10 for $12.99 on Amazon!

Have a skill you want your students to work on? Are they sick of worksheets and direct instruction? I don't know why exactly, but all of my students LOVE file folders! They don't seem to think they are real work and enjoy playing file folder "games"! Trick them into learning! Haha. You can tell I love file folders because I have a wide variety of file folders that trick my students into practicing their life skills here on TpT

Here's one file folders from my best selling Grocery Store File Folder Pack that works on product matching and size sorting. Or, if you want to use with a lower level student, just focus on their being able to match the products. Click the graphic below to get this file folder for free!

Still looking for some fun instruction for Halloween? My students have been loving these Halloween journals and math packs!

Check out what A Special Kind of Class has to offer by clicking on the blog button below!
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