Colorful Coasters for DIY Parent Christmas Gifts

I like to find DIY gift projects that don't look like little kid crafts (especially since I teach high schoolers), but that are also pretty simple to make! Cheap is always a bonus too. I think parents will love these fun coasters!
To make these coasters you will need:

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!

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 :) 


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. We used visual recipes.

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?

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!)

Differentiated Journals for ALL Beginning Writers

This year I started using errorless journal writing in my classroom in order to help all of my students journal their thoughts. It is important to me that my students aren't just copying sentences, but rather are sharing their own thoughts and ideas. 

If your students are anything like mine, you know getting them to express their thoughts can be difficult! Either they don't have the language to do so, or they are so focused on getting the right answer that they don't know what to choose. These journals help ALL of my students express their thoughts errorlessly.
Differeniated Writing Center for special education - errorless journal writing

These journals are completed daily in the journal station in my classroom. When journal is on my students' schedules, they go to the back table, get out their work binder and the journal binder. 

Just a quick post to say...

I had my baby!!!
Gavin James was born on September 23rd, weighing 8 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches. Everyone is doing fabulous! He's perfect and we love him to pieces!!!

Don't worry, I'll still be around but for now, I'm enjoying just being a mommy and lots of baby snuggles!

Follow me on Facebook at Breezy Special Ed or Instagram @BreezySpecialEd because I will still be sharing ideas from others and offering some fun sales even though I might not be sharing blog posts quite as often :)

Communication Apps for Special Education

I've tested these iPad apps out and I think you'll love these communication apps for your special education classroom!

So you are looking for iPad apps to use in your special education classroom. You can find endless list upon list pretty much anywhere you look online...which seems nice at first, but then it can get overwhelming and hard to figure out what is actually a good app or not! Right? Ain't nobody got time for that!! 


Kitchen and Cooking File Folders for Special Education

It can be hard to teaching cooking skills in special education classroom, especially if you don't have a kitchen! I mentioned before how I love "tricking" my students into learning by working on concepts using file folders. They still seem to think they are games! Or at least they enjoy them. Some of my students will even choose to do file folder activities during their breaks.
How to Teach Cooking Skills in a Special Education Classroom
A lot of file folders that you can find online are for basic facts, such as colors, counting, and what-not, but my students need to work a lot more on life skills that will help them become successful as young adults! So I created this set of file folders based on all things cooking and around the kitchen.


Where to Start: iPads in a Special Education Classroom

This will be my third year with 1:1 iPads in my special education classroom. I'm not going to lie, there's a lot to figure out and there's so many options of apps out there it is both wonderful and extremely overwhelming!
Here's how I would recommend getting started with iPads in your classroom (many of these tips should apply to both 1:1 or classroom iPads).


Simple Visuals can make a HUGE Difference

Visuals are a must in every special education classroom. They will help your class run much smoother! I absolutely love my hard core rule following students. You know who I'm talking about, I'm sure you have them too. They might forget the rules, but once reminded of them they will try their hardest to follow them! Let's use that to our advantage!

Visual Task Cards for Special Education

I absolutely love using task cards for my special education students. They are easy to store, easy to use, and great for practicing a wide variety of skills! They can be used during direct instruction, for independent work, and in TEACCH / work boxes. Plus, I've created my task cards to be used for non-readers as well as readers so they can be used by any students in my classroom who are working on those skills.

Using visual task cards to help teach students with special needs various life skills - great for TEACCH boxes, independent work, and direct instruction!

I have a range of money task cards, great for my higher level students. And I have functional life skill cards, great for both low to high students, including simple concepts such as male or female and more complicated concepts, such as determining if food goes in the cabinet, freezer, or fridge.

Check out this video to see all of my task card sets and to hear about how I use them in my classroom.

Here's all of the task card topics that I currently use! Click on the picture to check out each task card set.

Teaching Size Concepts using Task Cards: Big and SmallWork on Concepts of More and Less using Task Cards (special education)
Helping teach students what to throw away and what to save (Task Cards for Special Education)Distinguishing between Male and Female - Task Cards for Special Education

Want them all? I have two great money saving options for you!!
Visual Task Cards (great for independent work and work boxes) for Special Education
Buy all 9 (non-money task cards) in this HUGE BUNDLE!

Interested in the 4 money task cards? They are bundled HERE
(Australian money task cards are also available here.)

Do you use task cards in your classroom? Do you have another idea for task cards? I'd love to help you out, so let me know what you need. I'm sure my students would benefit from it as well!

Money Saving Bundles + TpT Back to School Sale = Insane Savings!

I have having a hard time believing it's already back to school time! We start a week from Tuesday, on the 11th. Going back into my classroom today to get started. Yikes! There is no denying it now, it's time to get ready!!

Thankfully, Teachers Pay Teachers is having their annual back to school sale today and Tuesday. I have set my entire store to 20% off, and then you can get an additional 10% off by using the coupon code "BTS15" when you check out.

This is a fabulous deal on all products, but an even more fabulous deal on my bundles, which are always discounted. With the sale you can get these for about half the price of what you would pay regularly on all of the products separately!

My new journals created for non-writers, tracers, and writers have been bundled HERE so that you can get an entire years worth (180) of differentiated journals in one pack at a major discount! I absolutely love using these because of my all students can participate. Options are given for students so that they can begin to complete sentence starters on their own.

Check out all of the different options for your students.  I bet there is a level for each one of your emerging writers (with no additional modifications from you - SCORE!) 
Grab all of these journals HERE. Need journals for higher level students? Check these out!

Another popular bundle that you can find in my store is my File Folder Bundle Pack. This bundle includes 69 file folders from 7 different packs in my store, all which have a functional, life skills twist, such as grocery store, cooking, household items, etc!
I love using file folders for many different reasons. First, my students seem to think they are games instead of actual work, WIN! They are easy to use in task boxes, or for independent work. I also send a couple of these home with some of my students for homework each night. They are also great to grab when you have some extra time.

Here's a couple of the file folders you can make from this pack!

You can also find more file folders in my store that have not been bundled yet, such as this Coin ID Pack, Telling Time File Folders, and School File Folders. Grab the file folder bundle HERE.

In my class, we go on one community trip each month and we spend the entire month preparing and getting excited for those trips. This pack includes materials to help you prepare for 8 unique community trips. My favorite trips are Restaurants and Grocery Stores!
Each pack includes Bingo boards, vocab cards, worksheets, a field trip social story, coloring book, a class book, a social scenario game. 
You will be all set for your community trips! Grab them all and make your community trip planning for the year a BREEZE! Grab this community trip unit bundle HERE.

I have even more bundles in my store that might interest you, such as these household vocab units, task card bundle, money task card bundle!

Happy shopping and happy back to school! As always, let me know if you have any questions or anything I can help you with to help get your school year off to a great start! And be sure to check out the rest of my TpT store for items that will help you ease back into the school year prepared!

Our Morning Classroom Routine: The Morning Meeting for Special Ed

I love our morning routine and morning meeting in my special education classroom! It goes so smoothly because it is structured and my students know what to expect every day. After everyone has signed in and completed their jobs (see part one of our morning classroom routine), we start our morning meeting.
Morning Meetings for Special Education

Wait, Pause! Not all students will complete their jobs at the same time. Sigh, if only we lived in a perfect universe...however, I have a solution for that. First, if I can add something to the job, I go right ahead and make the job a little bit more work for them. Second, remember how they grab their binder with the schedule and their sign in sheets? I keep morning work for them in there too.


Our Morning Classroom Routine: Coming in and Classroom Jobs

Especially important in the special education classroom, is a consistent morning routine. When students know what to expect and there are no surprises, things run a whole lot smoother. As an extra bonus, it makes things easier for the teacher as well!!
Morning Routine and Morning Meeting - predictability for special education class helps the entire day run more smoothly!

My students come in anytime between 15 minutes before the bell rings to 5-10 minutes after the bell rings. Before the bell rings, I'm very relaxed with what they choose to do. Some students prefer to just sit at their desk, others follow a sensory diet, and others want to get started with their daily tasks, but oddly enough, no one has ever picked a "free time" choice, even though it has been offered!

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