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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  1. Love these WH visual. Will be heading to your store to check out more!

    The Bender Bunch

  2. You are right on the money, being organized is a lifesaver in the classroom. Enjoyed your post.
    Burke's Special Kids

  3. So simple yet SO crucial! Even just walking to your desk for a worksheet gives my students enough time to become completely engrossed in something else! Thanks for sharing :)

    Mindful Rambles

  4. Great Post Jenn! I agree having everything at your fingertips is a lifesaver!!

    -Lindy McDaniel
    Considerate Classroom

  5. Organization is key, but I still struggle with it. I look to other classrooms for guidance, so this tip is handy! I loved your freebie, thanks so much!!

  6. I teach in a K-2 SPED self contained setting and I have 15 students. I really want to go to this system...once I save up enough money to buy all the shoe boxes! I was wondering, how many different tasks you have? With 15 students at numerous levels from non-readers to readers at the 5th grade level, it is a little daunting for me to think about all those boxes and storing them! I have to do something though because I'm pulling my hair out with my kids doing the same tasks every day that are way to easy for them, and my paras don't want to deal with behaviors when the students have to do the "harder" ones!


Please leave a comment I'd love to know your thoughts and learn more from you! :0)