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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