Teaching Public vs Private Behaviors

Teaching the different between public and private is important for so many reasons for our students with special needs. When teaching these concepts, I first talk about the difference between public and private places. We come up with a list and sort those places accordingly using visuals of one person versus multiple people. I created this sort from a boardmaker template and uploaded here on Board Maker Online.

After talking about places, we move on to talking about both public and private places AND behaviors. We talk about what behaviors are appropriate in each area. This book and additional resources are found for free here and are available in PDF or Boardmaker files.
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Skip Counting Money Math $5s, $10s, and $20s

My students work on the next dollar up method a lot. You probably know that one, basically you count out however many dollars you owe, and then add one for the change (or round up and count). I love the dollar over method as it makes tricky parts, such as change, so much easier!

Have any of your students mastered the dollar over method and need a bit of a challenge? For my students who are ready, I started using the "dollar over method" to pay for more expensive items by counting with $5s, $10s, and $20s. So it's not really next dollar or dollar up anymore, but more like skip counting by $5s, $10s, or $20s in order to pay for your items.

First, we practice counting exact amounts of money. For example, if the shoes costs $25 I would need five $5 bills to get to $25. Students practice this with classroom money and through the color-in money worksheets.


Once students are able to master the concept of counting to an exact price, I like to challenge them some more. Now, I might give them a price of $18 and they would have to pay with four $5 bills ($20) in order to cover the cost of that item. Tricky tricky! I have found that starting with $10 bills are the best way to introduce this skill, as it is easier to count by tens and a little easier to see how many more they would need.
And to challenge my students a little bit more (you are starting to noticed that I like to continuously challenge my students, haven't you?!), I have a worksheet that goes along with these ones that they can use in order to calculate their change back, since they are paying with an amount that is larger than their total.

Money Math $5, $10, and $20 Color-In Worksheets for Specia
If you like these worksheets, you can purchase them HERE in my TpT store! (Color-in  $1 dollar worksheets also available)


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After School 'Spring Event' for Special Education

Each month I plan an after school event for our students with special needs to hangout with their general education peers. This month I had the students vote (using a google form) between a spring event with crafts and snacks or an open gym event. The spring event won by a landslide!!
Some of you might have noticed that the day before the event I still didn't know exactly what we were going to do. What can I say? I work best under pressure!

After a little bit of freaking out and brainstorming with some of my classroom aides, we came up with the idea of making kites. I wanted to give the kids some freedom in what they wanted to make, so I came up with an easy paper bag kite or a more challenging tissue paper kite for them to choose from.

Craft/Activity: Kite making and decorating was a blast and then as a bonus, it was a great day to test out our kites with the crazy wind we had!
Me checking out some of the kites. 

It was easier for many of the students to just take their kites and run with them, but I think this one actually would have flown like a real one too.

And here's one of the paper bag kites. Super easy and very cool looking too.

Games: We played some games to get everyone moving around and getting to know some new friends. The first is a simple 4 corners game. I printed four different spring themed pictures (butterfly, rainbow, flowers, and kites) and taped them in the corners of the room. Students then choose a corner and someone (who is not looking at the corners) chooses one of the pictures to be out. Then, everyone who was at that corner is out. Everyone else can switch corners in between calls and the last one standing wins! Somehow, both times we played, the same person won. She'll have to share her secret with us sometime. :)

Then we also played a fishing game with my magnetic fishing pole and strips of paper that I attached to paper clips as activities the kids had to complete. They said things like "sing a song", "give everyone a high five", "hop like a bunny", and others.

Snacks: Everyone knows a party isn't a party without snacks! These are both snacks that I had either seen or done variations before, and as a bonus, they are healthy too.

Can you tell what this is supposed to be? Hopefully you were thinking a butterfly! I think it's pretty obvious, but it's celery with peanut butter, pretzels, and then sixlets for eyes. I was surprised at how much the kids loved this snack. One student was talking about donuts the whole time, so I thought for sure he would be disappointed with this healthy option, but nope, he scarfed it down and then said it was even better than donuts. WHAT?! Another student said "gross, no [celery] sticks" and then ended up eating 4 straight celery sticks! Ha. My students are full of surprises.

We also had some fruit kabobs - "caterpillars" if we wanted to go with the butterfly theme...and it was simply marshmallows (colored fruit flavored marshmallows definitely necessary) and grapes. 

It was nice to have two different options for snack so that kids could choose which one they wanted. Also, it was beneficial that we weren't all crowding around trying to make the same thing at the same time.

For a two hour event, it sure went by fast! I'm so happy with how much fun the kids had together.
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Classroom Exercises on YouTube for Special Education

For my health class, we spent a couple weeks talking about the importance of exercising. Exercise is an important rec/leisure skill that I feel like a lot of times is left out at school. I know my students play sports in PE...but if they don't join a team, that isn't likely to continue after school. So we spent some time practicing different exercises that we could do in the classroom and that they could even do at home too.
Now, I'll admit, some of my students have a hard time following along to things, so I was a little disappointed when Zumba videos didn't work out and almost gave up...but then I landed on these few gold mines.

Walk Away the Pounds. MY FAVORITE! My students will follow this for the full 15 minute one mile walk
Search "Walk Away the Pounds" on YouTube and you will have plenty of options to choose from that range from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. I haven't dared to try any longer than the 1 mile though, but you could even do one of the longer ones for variety and just stop it sooner if you need too. I love how simple the directions are and that you do the same thing for a good amount of time before switching to the next. Practically all of my students were able to be successful with these videos and most of them by actually following along and doing the moves (there were a few students where I considered it a success if they were moving their feet, but hey, it's a start!)

Sit and Be Fit. These videos are hysterical! Check out the Sit and Be Fit channel here. Some of my students really appreciate the fact that they can sit and do these exercises. I haven't found an absolute favorite of these ones, but we've tried out quite a few of them and none of them are terrible either. Plus, they do lot more different exercises than the Walk Away the Pounds. This one was pretty good.

Go Noodle. I've talked about how I've use Go Noodle in the classroom before, and it keeps getting better. They keep adding awesome things for my students. They love Maximo (yoga poses for children) and also the Fresh Start Fitness. We try the Zumba videos every once and a while, but hardly anyone can keep up with those! There are also fun Olympic training videos that do a lot of running in place as well.

Here's one of the Maximo videos. You won't find the rest on YouTube, but they are all available (for free) through GoNoodle.


Are there any other YouTube videos that you use for fitness or break breaks with your students? I'd love to hear about them!
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Work Task Boxes with Pipe Cleaners

I'm teaming up with Life Over C's to help bring ideas of how you can be creative with your crafty materials in your classroom. I have used a lot of craft supplies in my work boxes especially, because sometimes you just have to get creative with what you have!

Work Box #1 with Pipe Cleaners: Fine motor and color match. 
I don't think this one needs much explanation but it's great for simple fine motor of stringing on beads and also matching the color of the beads to the pipe cleaners.

Work Box #2 with Pipe Cleaners: Counting 1-10 and fine motor. 
TEACCH counting and fine motor box
Very similar to the task above, the student strings on beads, matching the colors, but also needs to string on the correct number of beads according to the flag on the top. The visual below helps students who need assistance counting.

Work Box #3 with Pipe Cleaners: Packaging and Counting to 5. 
McDonald's fries counting TEACCH box
Students need to put 5 "fries", aka cut up pipe cleaners, into each fry bag. Print the visual from this post here. I include the visual for students who need additional support counting or remembering when to stop and put the fries in the bags. 

Check out my other work tasks posts here!

Another use for pipe cleaners in my classroom: They also can make a great sensory item as they are soft, small, and flexible!

Do you use any pipe cleaners in your work boxes or another way in your special education classroom? I'd love to hear about them! Please share! :)
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April Currently + My Little Secret

Hello April!!! I was a terrible blogger in the month of March, only got out 2 posts (but at least they were good ones!) Anyway, I'm going to be a much better blogger this month I promise, and I'm starting this month with letting you know what's going on currently!
Currently: We are watching my parents dog while they are in Florida, so it's been fun having two dogs, and also interesting to see how our dog acts differently with another dog in the house!

Loving: I'm pregnant! We are very excited to be expecting our first in September. You might have seen our announcement on Facebook or Instagram, but our little puppy was cropped out. You can tell she's not so sure what to think of this news!

Thinking: Our spring break this year was pushed back two weeks from where it normally happens and it felt like it was never going to get here! But it finally did and I'm ready to enjoy my break :)

Wanting: A "baby bump." People keep telling me that I look great and you can't even tell I'm pregnant, but I'm to the point where I feel pregnant so I just want to look it too! I know, it will come soon enough and then I'll probably wish to be small again...but that's just where I'm at right now.

Needing: I know I was a terrible blogger last month and I really want to get back on track. I'm planning to get ahead during spring break so that I'll have some blog posts ready to go and hopefully some new products too. (Speaking of TpT, be on the lookout for someone celebrating a milestone very soon!!)

Eggs-plain your name: It's not too creative, but if you were wondering what the Breezy was for in my blog name, that's for 'Brie" and Special Ed is pretty obvious :)

Happy Easter everyone!
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