Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bouncy Bands Review

Bouncy Bands!

I got this awesome opportunity to check out this product! It is meant to provide another way to help any student or I guess anyone a way to get some of that energy, anxiousness, or nervous tension out when they have to sit at a chair or a desk.  Here are pictures of the two different setups. This gives you great options because you aren't always in a room with a desk. There are some classes my students have (especially in middle school) where they sit at large tables or just in chairs or stools. So the chair option is nice as well!

I have a few students in my room that really needed another option for getting some of their energy out. They would not sit still at their desk and trying to get them to stop moving around in their seat was crazy. He was like a jumping bean, it was insane. So, when I got the opportunity to work with the product I jumped at it because I was willing to try anything that was made for calming those mover and shaker students of ours. I could not believe it! The kiddo got the hang of it in about 10 minutes! And he was bouncing away but in a functional way! 

The bands provide a great way for students to get some energy out and help relax them from all the fidgeting that they want to do. 

Just a few pictures above of students using the Bouncy Bands!

Right now if you use the code "15off"  you can get yourself a set of your own Bouncy Bands at a discounted price. I was really impressed at the cost of this product because there are so many items we use in our classroom for sensory needs that are so expensive! So, use the code and get them even cheaper! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

SPED Tricks and Treats Blog Hop- Freebie inside!

So excited to be a part of this blog hop! I think that connecting with other educators is so crucial in our survival and stamina to keep working with students that sometimes challenge us constantly! I have to say that the group of teachers I have gotten to know through We Teach Sped has been a lifesaver! Enough with the gushy stuff lets get to the good stuff!

I just got 4 new iPads for my classroom from Donors Choose. I am waiting on my cases to get funded so I can actually put them out to be used by the students. If you'd like to help you can click here to donate. Anyways, I know now that I'm going to need a way to store the iPads because I will have a total of 6 mini iPads for students to use throughout the day. I went searching on pinterest and found lots of great ideas but, I definitely wanted a space saving idea too. Here is the picture I found that I am so going to copy as soon as I get those cases!! LOVE IT! 

This one is a simple sensory trick. I had a student who would refuse to sit still at his desk. So you try all the things you can think of weighted vest, blanket, doing some exercises for heavy work to get him "worn out" to sit. Nothing worked! Then one day one of my paras had on a bracelet her grandson made her. It was a pipe cleaner with pony beads on it! The student grabbed her hand and started playing with the beads on the pipe cleaner moving them back and forth over and over. It kept his hands busy for at least 20 minutes! It was awesome, so my paras and I got to making more of these suckers to keep all over the classroom for him in all the places we needed him to sit for a bit of time! Talk about easy, cheap, and a lifesaver! 

LAST ONE!! I have students that needed to work on writing things all the time. And when you are working on a worksheet that doesn't provide you with the way to model how to write the word, letter, or number there I just use a highlighter! It is the perfect way to give that visual without writing it for the student and then they can trace and copy it with the model you provided! Super easy! 

FINALLY TIME FOR YOUR TREAT!!! I had posted these file folders earlier in the month but, thought that most of you may have missed them! These are great to have as a special activity for your parties or festivals for the end of the month as a station students can work at or as a work task for this time of year. Grab it at my TPT store! Oh and BTW I'm having a sale (15% off) from today until the 29th so happy shopping! :)

Keep going on this hop and visit Lola at Preschool Wonders !! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Social Thinking in an Autism Classroom

Social skills are so very important to teach to any child. They need to know manners when they are out in public for example. I am sure we all know a few people who could be taught them again. I am a firm believer that it is best to teach our students life skills and social skills as much as we can in a natural environment. This doesn't always happen and we have to create those learning opportunities for our students.

I was given the opportunity to look at some products from Social Thinking. If you have never heard of them or their website you are in for a big surprise. They have all sorts of social skills books, lessons, and games for all age ranges. I like that they offer multiple levels for different grades, ages, and scenarios that can happen in life. These materials are really versatile and aren't too babyish for older students. For example this picture below explains how all of our brains work differently!

Like I said, I love this because with teaching middle school it is hard to find materials that are appropriate for my students' ages that also works at a level that they can understand. My students range in academic abilities from Pre-K to 4th grade. That's a wide range but, I also don't want to treat 14 year olds like they are in pre-k so that's one of the reasons that these products are great!

I was able to trial the Incredible Flexible You 5 Storybooks.

I was really impressed to find that the topics were so relatable to my students although they were older. We just adapted some of the scenarios to make them more mature! These five storybooks teach: Thinking Thoughts and Feeling Feelings, the Group Plan, Thinking with Your Eyes, Body in the Group, and Whole Body Listening.

When we started the lessons I introduced each topic with the students. We talked about and created anchor charts or what to do and not to do with each topic as best as they could. Then we read the book and as we came up with more ideas to add to the chart we did! Then when we finished reading we even had the adults in the room act out some scenarios that went with the book and this was a riot for the kids. They thought it was so funny to watch the teacher and paras act like "kids".

I would definitely recommend these books for classrooms and at the beginning of the year it was just what my students needed! There is no doubt in my mind that we will use these again a few more times this year as reviews and reminders as we need it!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween File Folder Freebie!

I am kinda proud of myself. I am finding a groove again with blogging, TPT, and all things I have been neglecting. If you keep up on my TPT store, my facebook page, and pinterest you will find that new products have been coming out steadily for about a month now!

So, in celebration of feeling productive I made a freebie for everyone!

Go ahead and grab this product for free! There are two folders. One is just basic Halloween pictures and the other is all candy pictures for your picture matching kiddos! So enjoy and be sure to check back in to see if I am keeping up with it all! Lol