New Years Eve Sale and 2013's Top Products

Hurry over to my TpT store as I'm having an end of 2013 sale! 20% off all products...so stock up now for 2014!

Top 3 products in 2013 (click on the picture to go to the product):
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Environmental-Print-Fast-Food-adapted-book-worksheets-Autism-Special-Needs-839107
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Do-you-have-enough-money-Money-Math-Task-Cards-for-special-education-886807http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Weekend-Reports-for-Special-Education-Students-413319
Thank you so much to all of my followers! I started my TpT store this year and am loving sharing my products with other special education teachers. I really enjoy this blog and my facebook page as they allow me to get to know YOU! Thanks again and cheers to a great year!
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Functional Special Education Final Exams

Since I teach in a regular high school, I am expected to give semester exams to my students. I often get asked what do we actually do for exams. I often do a following directions activity and fill out a simple rubric for each student in order to get their exam "grade".

Language Arts and Math Final Exam ~ Classroom Restaurant
I asked for parents to volunteer to bring in breakfast items like donuts - and we got so much more than I asked for which was wonderful! We had orange juice, chocolate milk, yogurt, bagels, pancakes, strawberries, chocolate donuts, and glazed donuts. As a class we created a menu and I gave each student $7. Students were graded on appropriate behavior, naming prices, counting money, ordered food, being patient, and saying thank you. See the rubric here. Students were even able to make their own pancakes in the microwave. We had a ton of fun with this!

Fine Arts Final Exam ~ Following Directions + Christmas ornaments
I used this following directions worksheet and let students complete as independently as they could. I then graded it on their ability level. For example, many students received full points even though they didn't color the correct number of objects. For some students, I expected them to read the directions on their own, and for others the directions were read and broken down into simpler steps. I was so proud of many of my students!
I got wooden ornaments from JoAnn's on clearance for about 70 cents each, and students painted them on their own and then we added a favorite picture from the semester on the back.

One of my CP students, has begun to use a coloring cuff this year, so even though she can't hold onto a pencil, she could move the pen/marker around and draw on her own. This has been awesome this year, but even so I didn't expect her to be able to color in the correct areas - and did she prove me wrong! She found all of the items and colored them on her own! Ahh - so proud. I wish I had taken a picture to show you!

Resource Final Exam ~ Cookie in a Jar (measuring and following directions)
Our resource exam doubled as presents for parents. We followed this recipe for cookie-in-a-jar mix. Students had to work on measuring and pouring in the jar. (Use of a funnel is HIGHLY recommended!) The final exam rubric I used is here. It got super messy, but that just meant I had jobs of wiping down the tables and vaccuuming to give to students when we were done.

And M&Ms are more expensive than I thought...so we mixed them with some chocolate chips as well. The cute little snowman top is a cupcake liner underneath the jar lid.


Does anyone else have to give their students exams? A few years ago we made frosted Christmas trees for one of our exams.
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Free Communication App for iPad/iPhone - Grid Player

I was so excited to find this FREE communication app! It is completely free; however you have to pay if you want to edit anything, but for most things you wouldn't have to edit anything so, ta-da, completely free! It is sometimes interesting because the app is British, so some of the words are a little different, but still pretty awesome for being free! Each morning as a class we take some time exploring this app and making sentences with it - I'm excited for all of the possibilities that Grid Player offers. There are four different types of communication devices in this one app. 

Text Talker phrasebook is the highest level, including various phrases for a variety of different situations. This would be great for students who are pretty high academically and can read, but cannot talk or express themselves. Here's the main screen on Text Talker Phrasebook. You can see most of the categories here are conversational.

Below is a screenshot of the greetings page.
Next is Talking Photographs. I love the real life pictures in this one, especially great for students who don't identify with symbols as easily. This is just the front page of categories.

I clicked on food and drink to get here, you can see there are even more categories to choose from.

Then I choose snacks, and here are a few of the pictures/words under snacks. You can see a bit of the British influence on some of these! There are two more pages of snack items that you can get to when clicking the "more" button.
Next we get into the Symbol Talkers, which I think of as the most common type of communication devices. First, here is Symbol Talker B. Symbol Talker B has more choices than Symbol Talker A, which I will show you last. Below is the first page of Symbol Talker B. You can see there are a lot of great categories to choose from!
Here is an example of the feelings page.
Next is Symbol Talker A, very similar to Symbol Talker B, with just less options. This is the one that I currently use with most of my students.

This is a screenshot of the question page.
And there you have it! Four communication devices in one great FREE app!! Woot Woot! :) Check it out, what do you have to lose? I know Grid Player is available on iPads, not sure about Andriod.

A couple other things about this app. Do you see that little red bubble thing on the bottom right side of each screen shot? You can drag that across in other to close out of one device and go into another. Once you choose a device to go to, it will automatically open up that one each time. Pretty sneaky, right? And once you are in the app, you can turn on guided access if you are concerned a student will try to leave the app.

Also, when you are on the home screen with the different communication devices, you have the option to change the voice from a boy to a girl in the top right corner- love this feature!

Hope you all enjoyed my mini review! I'd love to hear if you use Grid Player in your class, or any other communication apps that you use! My students are supposed to be getting Proloque2Go soon, but we are waiting on the funding to come in, until then, free is always good!
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Cyber Monday & Tuesday SALE

O my goodness, can you believe it is December already?! Story of my life, everything goes by way too fast :)

I hope you are ready to shop because my entire TpT store is on sale for 20% off, plus you can get an extra 10% off when you use the code "CYBER" at checkout. YAY!!!

Are you working on hygiene skills with any of your students? I love this fun shark hygiene book.

I hope to get a blog post about this next product soon because it is AMAZING! This product includes 11 leveled worksheets on Dollar Over and Change Back - plus the numbers change everything you open the products, so you essentially get a new worksheet each time.
And you all know about my sweet money task cards, right? Check all four of them out here!

The last product I am going to highlight today is my Fast Food Vocab unit - includes flashcards, Bingo games, and lots of worksheets! My students are so motivated by food - anyone else? :)

You can see everything else in my store here - and, yes, everything single thing is on sale!
Happy shopping!! Don't forget to use the promo code CYBER to get that extra 10% off!
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New Facebook Page!!

I finally have a Facebook page and would LOVE for you to check it out! I'll keep you up-to-date with my blog posts, classroom pictures, cool ideas I find, and TPT sales.
Consider "liking" me here! (And see where I got my awesome and super cheap Otter-box like iPad case and free communication app - I'll have to blog about that later as well!)
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Making Placemats / Cards for Veterans + Free Resource for Honoring Veterans

Happy Veteran's Day! If you have served in the military - thank you so much for your service! We truly do appreciate it. My students showed their appreciation to veterans by making place mats to be used at a local Veteran's Day luncheon (and they received community service hours for this project). We made 100 of them! Luckily I had other students in our program helping out too.

It's easy to tell your writers/drawers to decorate a placement - but what about your non-writers and your students who don't really draw? Well here's what I did:
- dot markers
- paint splatter droppers
- die-cut shapes of USA and the shape of the United States 
- variety of flags to choose from
- phrases with symbol support (I cut up all phrases and have students choose which ones they want to say)
- tracing phrases (such as Thank You and Happy Veteran's Day)
special education - Veteran's Day appreciation
Download the flags, symbols (enough choices given to write an entire letter), and tracing phrases HERE! Hope this helps your students honor veterans. I would love to know if you use this to make cards, letters, or maybe more place mats!

And here's a few samples of our place mats. We had a lot of cool ones...but just be glad I remembered to take pictures when I did, and I'm sorry I can't show you more of the awesome ones!

And yes, one of my students is giving his place mat bunny ears...
special education honoring veterans ideas 
special education honoring veterans ideas
special education honoring veterans ideas
special education honoring veterans ideas
Thank you Veterans!!!

Teaching your students about veterans and the U.S. Military? You will love this unit created especially for students with special needs!
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How to Adapt Books for Students with Autism / Special Needs

I have been creating tons of adapted books this year! Some of them I have written myself, such as my environmental print Fast Food book or the Shark Hygiene book. Other books I have taken apart, added symbols from Writing with Symbols or Board Maker, laminated, and added adapted pieces. I love making book interactive as it checks for comprehension and gives the student a clearer purpose for each page.
Here's a few of my adapted books. Hope they give you some ideas of all the possibilities!

A Very Hungry Caterpillar: I added exact words with symbols for all but the counting part - I simplified counting to Day of the Week, Number, Fruit. I found the pictures from the story online, laminated the book, bound it together, and added Velcro to the pieces.

Who Lives in the Arctic?: I love these simple scholastic readers! I added symbols on top of the words already written in the book. I found other pictures that describe the picture through clip art. This makes for a higher level comprehension, the student looks at the picture, the symbol, and has to then find the clip art of that same animal to add to the picture.

The Way I Feel: I added one sentence to each page (I feel ____ when _____). This is a great book for staff and students to read together. The staff reads all of the "regular" words, and the student can read the symbol sentence strip. The student chooses the correct feeling picture to add to each page.

My Messy Room: For this book, I also added the symbol right above the word. I love the adapted pieces for this book, because the sentences specify where the item goes (ex. I like my shirts on my dresser). This is one of my older books - before I discovered the book binding machine!!!

Cars book - Old, New, Red, Blue: This one I taped the symbols to each book. I have not laminating this one or added additional symbols. Not sure if I will, but it is a possibility. Adding the symbol to the story makes reading less intimidating for many of my students.

Frog's Lunch: Another book that I did not laminate or add interactive pieces too, just the symbols. How the words were on the page determined whether I covered them up or added the symbols on top or below (example: paragraphs, I covered the entire thing).

Fast Food Restaurants: And sometimes the book you want just doesn't exist, so you have to make it yourself, like I did with this Fast Food Restaurant book. (And if you want this book, you can find it here at my TPT store).

And those are just a small sample of my books in my classroom! So do you have any questions about adapting books? Or do you have any other ways that you adapt books? I'd love to hear about them!

To get symbols for some of these adapted books and others, check out my posts HERE for free symbols to download!
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November Currently

It's November! And I'm linking up with Farley's Currently this month.
Listening: My husband is obsessed with the TV Castle right now. I think it's pretty good too...but I can't watch it non-stop so I often multitask like I'm doing now.

Loving: So I was really excited on Friday as it was the first of November. I found a beanie baby turkey and her name was Gobbles (we added the Mrs.). My class interviewed her using the News-2-You interactive group page and started making a book with her in it too! I plan on having a lot of fun with Mrs. Gobbles this month! :)

Thinking: I am trying to figure out Thanksgiving decorations for my house. Should I buy them? make them? What to do?

Wanting: A new computer - my current laptop works okay, but sometimes overheats and turns off. Plus it can't do much at the same time, and I would love to use my computer for photo editing and BoardMaker.

Needing: My closet is still full of my summer and in-between clothes. I started to unpack my sweaters...but they are currently just spread out on the floor in our spare bedroom...

A Yummy Pin: Crustless Pumpkin Pie!! I love it!
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Community Trip & Book: Denny's

Most of my class went to a trip to Denny's a week ago. It went really well. We prepared for the trip using this restaurant unit. A step up from McDonalds - and my kids stepped up to the challenge! After going on the trip, I created a book (using powerpoint) of our trip and it has been a favorite read since! Because everyone loves to be featured in a book, right?

Here's our book. Please excuse the post it notes that are covering up my student's identities...
Hope this give you some ideas of books you could make from field trips/community trips! I've been having a ton of fun this year creating and adapting books this year :) Can't wait to share more of them with you.
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Fast Food BINGO + Fishing!

We love to play Bingo in my classroom! But, who doesn't, right? Of course, for fast food month, we had to have a Fast Food Bingo. We also used these words as our vocab words for the month. (I store all of my Bingo boards inside of page protectors in a binder.)

I decided to add a new way to play Bingo and it was a blast! I got a few magnetic fishing games at the dollar tree, added paperclips to our calling cards, and BOOM - we were fishing for our calling cards. My students loved taking a turn being the fisher/caller!
Simple - and tons of extra fun. You can get this Fast Food Bingo set along with a bunch of fast food materials at my TPT store. And I have more fun ways I play Bingo, so stay tuned, I'll share them sometime (Is the suspense just killing you?!).

Do you add any fun twists to your Bingo games?
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