Friday, November 28, 2014

Special Educators Blog Hop and a Freebie!

This is exciting! I love when people that are so passionate about something can come together and do something awesome! All the bloggers that you are going to see during this hop are super talented and have great ideas to offer! I am just lucky to be considered a part of that group.

So first, I am going to start you off with a tip/trick. This might seem like a simple one but, it definitely keeps things running smoothly in my classroom. There are so many factors that can help or hurt a lesson when you are trying to keep students on the autism spectrum engaged. They can be focused on their favorite movie, the next ipad game they are going to play, and when they get to take their next break so you can NOT have anything putting your lesson to a stop because these students are so easily distracted. Things have to run smoothly, if you can make it that way.

 I started to notice a pattern in my classroom that the little things started hurting those lessons and I'd loose my students attention. I started paying attention to the details. The fact that I didn't have pencils right at the table where my kids worked was a distraction because someone had to get up go find pencils or the students had to go back to the desks and that was horrible trying to get them to come back to the table to work. I realized that everything having a "home" that made sense and was functional for everyone was very important.

So my big advice and tip to you is:

Have everything at your fingertips where you need it for each activity. Be proactive and plan ahead! 

That's it, I know super easy but, let me show you some pictures of my classroom set ups and give you an idea of what I mean. 

Yeah, I know that board is a mess, but it works! So, here is a break choice board that one of my students use to vary their reinforcers for their breaks. Otherwise we would draw 30948390 times a day! So, I have all the things there that she would need to check off, clean, and keep track of her breaks. You know how annoying it would be if she had to disturb someone teaching to get her a marker! 

Everything is accessible! If you have been to my blog before you have seen this chart. I use this to tell my students what work boxes they are working on that day. The part I wanted to point out is the marker ready to go already velcroed to the sheet so that if a box needs to be changed it can be done right then and there with no searching around the room for a marker. Also, the "Today is..." clip that gives a visual to my student helper that places all the letters and numbers on each student's desk is essential to helping that student be independent in completing that task. 

 I know weird basket of random objects. This is a caddy I use to store most of the materials that I use during my Morning Meeting time with my students. The point is, that it is all there and ready to go. I don't need to run around the room to look for a calendar number or a holiday marker. I got it all together!
Last but definitely not least, my caddy that I keep at my table when I'm working with students. There are endless tools in this puppy and I didn't post it but, right next to it is a second one with more goodies in it! There is no excuse for a student to get up when I have all this right here at both of our fingertips and I get to keep instructing and they get to keep learning. I even have visuals in the back and data sheets underneath for easy access! 

Speaking of keeping great things at your fingertips it is time for the freebie! I had to think hard about what I wanted to give you this time around. I wanted it to be useful and perhaps something that you'd keep in your bag of tricks close by like I suggested in my tip.

I decided that something I have at my table in a separate caddy is this product! My WH- Visual Chart. It can be used in lots of different ways but, mostly I whip it out in a quick situation where a student is being asked a question and they need a visual prompt to remind them of how they should answer their question. In this freebie you will find who, what, where, and when examples. Check out the freebie here WH-Visual and my TPT store  Teach.Love.Autism for other great products!

By the way, before you leave during the time of this blog hop from Friday, November 28th to Sunday November 30th everything in my TPT store is 20% and on December 1st-2nd I'm participating in the big sale from TPT. 

125 × 125

Thanks for checking in.  For more freebies and tips, continue the trip through the blog hop by checking out Mindful Rambles...just click the button below.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Guess What's Coming!

On Friday November 28th all of these wonderful special educators are going to be involved in a blog hop. You can start here by looking at my blog for my great tip and freebie and then move along to others to get theirs as well! Stay tuned it's going to be fun!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Work Basket Wednesday, November Style...

Workbasket Wednesday at Autism Classroom News

Yes! I think this is my favorite time of the month! Work Basket (or in my classroom Work Task) Time! I love working with my students on these. They are the most independent and functional tasks my students do in the classroom. I was lucky enough to have 2 areas of my room that I can dedicate to this. The theme was "packaging tasks" and as I looked in my room I wasn't sure if I had them and then it dawned on me. So keep reading as I share my tasks for this month's linkup with Autism Classroom News.

My work task shelves are my pride and joy. I got great ideas from The Autism Helper and a few other awesome special education bloggers out there on how to set this up the first year in my classroom. I have over 100 boxes currently available for my students to use and I have tons more just stored away neatly in ready to go bags that all I have to do is dump and go! I love it! It is so efficient and so fast and my students get countless hours of meaningful work to do!

This month for Work Basket Wednesday I decided to share two that I have shared in the past. These are new ones for the school year but, I did do a post on them previously ------> here. Check them out!

With this box the students have to repackage the clips in the boxes that they belong it. Way easy to come up with! I just had an abundance of these clips in my supply closet! 

The next one is a packaging task where the students have to follow the template to fill the small square containers with one of each color of the blocks and close it with the lid. Simple but, multi-steps are needed to do this so following structure and routine is important. 

My other new baby this year is my "Life Skills Area". In this area I have taken things that students are likely to be doing at home or on a job site to practice in a more meaningful way. They vaccuum, wipe tables, sort laundry, and more! (A post about this is coming so I don't want to give away the juicy details!) So I choose 2 tasks from there as well to share! Here they are!

For this task the students have to put together the test tube and the top and place it into the carrier tray. Once they have filled it they have to take them out and take them apart again.
Sorry this pic is upside down. I can't figure it out so hopefully all you teachers out there can read it! This is a packaging task where the students take the beads that match the colors on the paper and have to package them as if they were pills into the pill container. I love this because it is definitely something they would need to do in their real life! 

Well, I hope you got some great ideas and please stop by again soon as I plan to share the rest of the making of my "Life Skills Area" of my classroom. I am so proud of the work my students do and so proud to share it with all of you! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November Currently...

Okay, okay I was just getting back into the blogging groove and I lost it again. I'm late on my currently, and a few other monthly posts I like to join in on. Here is my super brief currently. Thanks to Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for making this super cute one! Take a gander! :)

Listening- I always have background noise on when she sleeps and when I sleep.
Loving- I think that this is my favorite time of the year. Then my least favorite comes... WINTER
Thinking- I have so many great things going on in my life right now. Just feeling super BLESSED!
Wanting - I ruined my current pair when dealing with a student while having a meltdown. That's what I get for trying to be trendy at work.
Needing- This bed time thing just never seems to come early enough. Like tonight.
Reading- I am not much of a reader, but if I find a good blog I like I will stay up forever and read it!