2014 - Top 3 Favorite Posts, Products, and SALE

As we wrap up 2014, I thought it would be fun and fitting to share some of the highlights from this year...and give you guys a little sale to say thanks!

Your Favorite Posts of 2014
I pulled these favorite posts based on the number of page views each one received. I like to think I posted a lot of great stuff this year, so be sure to check out the posts below if you missed any and check out others along the way! :)

#1. As I looked through the most popular posts of 2014, I discovered you guys really enjoyed all of my work tasks posts. These posts were the most popular (by page views) by a landslide! Check all of those work boxes out starting here and hop through the links at the bottom of each post to see the rest!

#2. I also discovered this year that many of you share my love of adapted books! So, I started sharing the symbols for some classic books. You can check those out at this post and many others!

#3.  How to work with paraprofessionals was also a popular post for this last year. As I re-read it, I am reminded of the very good advice I shared and a few things I have slacked on this school year that I need to start doing again (like #2.)

Your Favorite Products of 2014
I have had a lot of fun posting more products to my TpT store this year, and I have really appreciated all of your support and encouragement! In order to say thanks, I have made these top 3 products 50% off for the rest of the year and have made the rest of my TpT store 20%! Maybe you can find something to help start off the new year smoothly and to put as a deduction on your 2014 taxes :)

Grocery Store File Folder Activities (special education)
#1. Grocery Store File Folders - I'll admit, I love file folders almost as much as I love adapted books, and my students love them too! I have been making file folders that are more age appropriate for my high school-ers and with a life skill focus. These file folders have been a winner for sure!

Kitchen Vocabulary Life Skills Unit (Special Education)
#2. Kitchen Vocab Unit - I found I needed something very simple and basic to help teach my student basic vocab, especially while working on cooking skills in the kitchen! This unit is great for that, and I have other similar household vocab units as well.

Where does the food go? Task Cards (Special Ed & Autism)
#3. Where does the food go? Task Cards. I love task cards because they can be used in so many ways! In my classroom we use them during direct instruction, in work boxes for independent work, and even to assess IEP goals. While, I love these task cards that work on where food goes in the kitchen, I'm surprised that these were more popular than this interactive book on the same subject which I have to admit I love even more :)

It's been a great year and I'm looking forward to 2015! Be sure to head over to my store to get any of the above products at 50% (which discounts them anywhere from $1.50 to $2.50!!) and get anything else for 20% off through December 31st! Happy New Year!!
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Christmas/Holiday Shopping Worksheets for FREE

Last Friday I took my students to the mall to go shopping for their family members. Thankfully, parents sent in lists so that they, um, I... didn't have to guess what everyone in their family would want for Christmas. I don't know about your students, but my students love to shop for the things that they like...not necessarily what others would like. We need to practice this more in the classroom, so I created some worksheets and am sharing those with you!
Shopping for Christmas Presents - Worksheets for Special E
Plus, some of our math concepts are just more fun to work with when you add the words Christmas and presents! :)

Some worksheets focus on simple perspective taking and choosing an appropriate present for various people.

Another worksheet works on choosing a present within a budget (with two levels, the first with the exact budget amount and the second with an amount under the budget).

And last, a couple leveled worksheets work on paying for items using the dollar over method.

Enjoy! I hope these six free worksheets make your last week before break a little bit easier :)
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Our Classroom Christmas Cards + Templates for Yours!

It's the season for Christmas cards! I always make one for my family...but had never made one for mu class...until now!

One thing I absolutely love about blogging and following other blogs is getting great ideas from other teachers! Sasha from The Autism Helper posted yesterday about her classroom Christmas cards, and I thought, OMG, why am I not doing this already? That is awesome! So, today, my class made Christmas cards and I am in LOVE! Seriously, how cute is this card?!

So I first found a few backgrounds that I thought would work for cards. I had my students choose which one they liked the best. We counted our votes by putting our picture next to our choice.
Clearly, the blue option won. I then took a picture of each student next to our classroom Christmas tree (which is felt like this one* - best Christmas tree ever, takes up no room, and is easily decorated by students with no additional help. I also love this magnetic Christmas tree* you can get from amazon!) *affiliate links
I then uploaded the pictures into PowerPoint and resized them all together and added a frame. (I love all of the options that PowerPoint has for pictures!) I then printed them on card stock and we cut them out with a paper cutter.

I then had students sign the backs of the cards that would be going home and to a few other "special" people. I thought about doing all of them, but we came up with 30+ people we should give cards too, and let's be honest, I was lucky I got my students to write their name 8 times.

Students addressed our envelopes and they are ready to deliver tomorrow! And we will be mailing home the ones to their families!

And I just have to show you one more time...Isn't this the cutest thing ever?
If you have powerpoint and want to make Christmas cards as well, feel free to download and edit from this template. Four options are available and it will print 2 to a page. You could add individual pictures like I did, or if you're lucky enough to get a nice picture of your entire class, you could add just one instead! :) The size for these Christmas cards is 4x8.

Enjoy! Let me know if you make any!
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Practice Paying for Items in the Classroom

Today we finished our banking lessons a little bit earlier than usual so I decided to give out these Christmas themed dot-to-dot worksheets. I was just about to tell my students to put their classroom wallets away when I realized I could make them pay for their worksheets with the change back they had received from our lessons. :) Haha, I know I'm such a mean teacher. 
So I quickly set up this "store" and students came by and had to pay for each marker that they wanted to use and then choose the worksheet and pay for that as well. I even had a student come back up and give me another dollar because she decided she wanted to use red to make the reindeer into Rudolph. 

This little added step made our last ten minutes of class seem so much more meaningful. Anything to practice money exchange! I do this a lot with free time choices, but just think about everything else you could do here. Give each student a paycheck, have them cash it in for money, and when they need to get supplies, they can pay for them! Oh, the possibilities :)
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Functional and Community Lessons - read my post at Special Education Guide

Hey everyone! I'm blogging over at Special Education Guide today. Head on over to read my thoughts and ideas on planning functional and community based lessons for students with special needs.
I talk about how I use worksheets, where I find curriculum, how I make my own lessons, and how I set up real world practice opportunities. So, head over and if you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear those as well!

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Hand Santizer 'Tis the Season' + December Currently

As an early Christmas gift to my classroom paraprofessionals, I bought mini hand sanitizers with jelly wrap carriers and then made a cute (okay, cheesy) sign to go with it. It says "Tis the Season for the flu, let's keep those germs away from you!" I figure we have to enjoy these Christmas scents BEFORE Christmas, right?! :)
Feel free to download the graphic here (the preview shows in google drive, but download in Microsoft Word to get the right fonts and edit as you want!) And the hand sanitizers are available from Amazon (affiliate link) but I couldn't find these fun winter scents anymore, but I guess it makes sense to use a year-round appropriate scent too!

Now, onto this month's currently link-up!
Listening: My husband and I are really into Chicago Fire and are eagerly waiting for season 2 to arrive at the library. It's in transit now, so we know it will be soon! But, since it wasn't there tonight, he grabbed Chicago PD instead. Honestly, not as good.

Loving: I finally got my computer back and I think it's working at 100% again!! It's been on again off again since September. Best Buy was no help, but it looks like the Lenovo warranty guys did their job. 

Thinking: It's the last day of the TpT sale. I bought a nice bunch of items on Monday but am thinking I have to take advantage of this sale while it's in the last few hours! So, that will be where I'm heading next!

Wanting: I can't even tell you how excited I am to go visit my little niece! My sister just gave birth last night and we will be waiting until Friday to go up to Michigan to see her. I don't want to miss school, but I can't wait to meet this little one!!!

Needing: More Christmas decorations in my classroom, because how fun is that?! We have a nice little felt tree that my students decorated already, and a few random bows, but it's still all coming together.

Giving: Hope you enjoyed my little freebie and gift idea above!! We can always use more hand sanitizer, right?
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