Friday, May 31, 2013

TGIF...Summer Count Down

Well, we have officially started our countdown to is still a long ways off (16 school days to be exact!).  We made this paper chain this week, and have been cutting off one piece per day.  I remember making paper chains like this in school growing up and saw some bloggy friends doing it as well, so I decided to do it with my kids as well.  As I we were putting it together, I realized how many goals I could target.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rebus Stories FREE

Do you ever have a time where you find an old activity you forgot about??  I found one this week that I love...and it is available for free here at  

They are rebus stories that have pictures incorporated into the stories.  My early readers love these, because they feel like they are actually reading!  The picture supports not only help them understand, but also encourage them to be independent readers.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Scrapbooks are something my students look forward to making all year.  In years past, we would make one page every month.  However, this year, I decided to wait until the end of the year and put the whole thing together then.  Last week, I ordered over 500 pictures of our entire school of field trips, holiday parties, working around the classroom, and any other special moments.  I divided the pictures up by student and stored them in baggies.  The kids got such a kick out of looking through all the photos of themselves!  This is a super motivating activity to encourage speech from my students....they love to talk about each picture, the event going on, who they are with, etc.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Sale

Happy Memorial Day!  In honor of the holiday (and day off of work!!!), I am having a sale.  My entire store will be 20% off today only.  I can't even tell you how excited I am to have today off.  Not only do I get an extra day to my weekend, but we also only have a 4-day week left when we go back tomorrow!  Hooray!  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Research Projects and Presentations

Next week, we are going on a double decker bus tour of our city (I got a grant for this through donors choose...see this post for more info).  We wanted to do this field trip because many of our students have lived in this city their entire lives and never seen some of the major landmarks in person.  Even when we were driving to special olympics a few weeks ago, the kids were ooohing and awwing over the smallest things they could see out the windows of the bus (like the lake, a train, etc.).  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Robot Craft

I have been off my regular blogging routine...and I don't even have a good excuse.  I have been obsessed with being lazy and doing nothing school related in my time off.  I don't know what it is about this time of year and how exhausted work makes me...maybe the 90 degree work days?  or the fact that I'm trying to plan for the rest of this year as well as for my new class next year?  Well...anyways, after being a lump for the last couple weeks, I am ready to get back into my normal routine again!

This week was very busy with a lot of visitors.  We often have people in our room to observe, however, this week we had a visitor come to actually interact with the kids!  Mr. David came from Camp Red Kite (a camp for kids with autism) to do an interactive art/drama activity with the kids.  They made robots displaying different emotions.  He started by posting these awesome picture directions that he had made!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Emotion Book

Earlier this year, I posted about an adapted book I made to work on identifying emotions.  My kids love this book, because it features pictures of them on each page displaying different emotions.  Here are some examples from the books I made.  Each page has 2 choices of emotions.  As the students read the book, they are supposed to velcro a star on the correct emotion the person is feeling.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Science Unit: Plants

A few of you have been asking about our science unit this month.  The theme is PLANTS and I now have our unit worksheets available for purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers (click here for the direct link).  If you want more information about how my science station is organized, check out this blog post and this blog post.  

Similar to my other science units, this Plant Unit is based around 9 vocabulary words: 
*Seeds        *Petal        *Flower        *Roots        *Stem        *Plant        *Branch        *Trunk        *Leaves

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Last week, the autism teachers in my school were approached by our Assistant Principal and told that our school would be participating in it's FIRST EVER (at least since I have been here) lockdown drill.  This is the kind of drill that you typically get no warning for since the police want to see how your school reacts in the moment.  Basically, the school announces a lockdown over the intercom, and everyone is supposed to act as though an intruder is in the building.  With all the current issues with school shootings, etc. I am surprised we have never done this type of drill before...but I am glad we are at least starting them now.   How do you prepare your students for a lockdown drill?  I really have no idea.  However, I figured I would make a brief social story explaining the drill as well as practice the drill a few times. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coco the Therapy Dog

This week, we had Coco (a therapy dog) come into our classroom.  Coco is a Bernese Mountain Dog....and she is BIG.  I have several students who are very scared of dogs, so I was very interested to see their reactions.  I had two students stand on top of chairs the entire time she was there, however, they remained very interested in watching her and never got upset....they just preferred to watch from a distance.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sorting by Seasons on TPT

After a recent post on a sorting task I was created, several people requested I put it up on TPT.  So, now that I am done with graduate school and have a little extra time on my hands, I was finally able to do so!  This product (find it on TPT by clicking here) consists of 2 sorting tasks.  The first sorting task is sorting by season.  For each of the 4 seasons, there are 10 pictures to sort (for a total of 40 pictures).  The pictures consist of seasonal activities, weather pictures, and holiday pictures.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Although this weather is quite confusing (75 degrees one day and 45 degrees the next?), we decided it was about time to do some planting.  Our science theme this month is plants (I am hoping to get this unit up on TPT soon!), and our experiment is planting/taking care of our own plants.  So, last week, my students did a sequencing activity where they cut and pasted the order to follow when planting.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Draw a Picture

I recently added a new product to my store to work on following directions and reading comprehension.  The whole packet comes with 20 total worksheets, and is made up of 3 different levels.  You can purchase them at my TPT (click here to go directly to this product).

Friday, May 10, 2013

Special Olympics: Spring Games

This is a week my students look forward to all year!  We usually have 4 days of Special Olympics fun, but this year, due to scheduling conflicts we were only able to participate in 2.  But boy, did we ever get the most out of our first day!  We played on the playground, jumped in bouncy houses, had a giant dance party, watched an awesome tumbling team...oh, and we ran individual and relay races as well as did the long jump! Whew!  We had lots of gold, silver, and bronze medals.  And ribbons...However, this year, my kids realized that ribbons aren't as "good" as a medal, so there were quite a few tears shed over not getting a medal.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sorting NON-Identical Pictures and FREEBIE

One of my little guys has an IEP goal for sorting pictures.  He is awesome at sorting OBJECTS by color or size, but struggles more when it comes to sorting PICTURES of items.  He is also non-verbal and struggles to use his PECS book consistently since he isn't discriminating between pictures.  I though an IEP goal that had to do with discriminating photos while sorting could only help him with his communication as well.  We had been working on sorting full size note cards by color and he can do that now with ease.  So next, I upped the ante and had him work on sorting non-identical pictures.  For example, this would consist of sorting a variety of pictures of apples on one page, while sorting a variety of pictures of balls on another page.  This type of sorting is a step-up from sorting by color, but not quite as difficult as sorting by category or function.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I have some FABULOUS news...3 of my students are going to be in the school spelling bee.  I have included kids in the past, but had them participate with modifications.  We had an adapted list of words (shortened) that my students were asked to spell during the competition.  This year, I think that 2 of my students will be able to participate without an adapted list.  We started less than a week ago, and we have already gone through 40 words!  And my kids LOVE it.  They have been using all of their free time to "practice."  I assigned spelling bee words for homework, and they all rushed back to school the next day to show me their "special homework."  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mother's Day Craft

Mother's day is a week away!  I found this cute idea on Pinterest, but unfortunately, the cutting skills in my classroom are not quite good enough to cut out that many handprints (that is a lot of little curves...pretty sure my little friends would cut off all the fingers as they tried to cut on the lines!).  So, instead we made our flowers using stencils to create all the pieces.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Reading Data Organized!

This is my first year keeping my reading data in a binder...I should have started this years ago.  It makes it so easy to find everything you need within seconds....just grab the whole binder for your grade level meeting or to update a parent if they show up without an appointment to see how their child is doing!  I would love to hear/see how you all organize your reading data as well!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Currently May

Hooray for May!!  I love so many things about this time of year...warmer weather, beautiful green trees and blooming flowers, and MY LAST WEEK OF GRAD SCHOOL!  Obviously...I am currently the most excited about that!  Well, onto this month's Currently.  Hope over to Farley's blog to join in.  I love doing this link-up every month...I always find so many awesome new blogs to follow!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Visuals to Increase Social Skill Independence

Do you constantly have students nagging you to help them when another student is bothering them?  What about if they need the password for the computer? I know I do.  This usually seems to occur because my students are missing the necessary social skills to deal with the problem appropriately on their own.  So, I tried to take some of the hardest parts of our day and make visuals to help my students (and myself!) out.  Here are a few examples.  

This first example is hung by the computer.  Computer rules (with visuals) are listed at the top.  On the bottom, the sentence strips can be removed so that they can be handed to a teacher or another student.  These are great for verbal as well as non-verbal to work on asking for help or for a turn.