Friday, November 29, 2013

Let's Make Holiday Patterns FREEBIE

We have been working on patterns with my mid-level math group.  We started by working on copying patterns, then extending patterns.  Now, we are onto identifying patterns by "ABA" or "ABB" and then creating our own patterns using these identifiers.  

For the holidays (I can't believe winter break is only 3 weeks away…I have so many thing I want to fit in and not enough time!!)  we are doing some patterning worksheets using christmas themed pictures.  I posted this FREEBIE so you can use it too!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Math with Bingo Dabbers!

Ok people…I am pretty sure I have talked about my love for Bingo Dabbers before…and this Math Unit (available on TPT) using Bingo Dabbers was just as AMAZING as I had imagined!  This packet of math activities is created by Teach With Laughter (check out her blog!).

I have been wanting to use these from the second I got them…but it took my kids a while to settle into their routines this year.  Now that our math groups are up and flowing nicely, I thought this would be the perfect time to use these activities.  

I love that each activity comes with simple directions that are easy for the kids to understand.  This activity was perfect because we were reviewing the numbers 1-100 before moving on to skip counting.

Our math period is about 25 minutes long, and it took my kids about 2-3 days to finish this! So many of my kids are such speedy workers, so I love activities that slow my kids down and really challenge them!  This was perfecT!  The kids had to search  (in order) for the numbers 1-100….

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Party

I am so grateful that today is my last day of school for the week!  I have NEVER had the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off before…and I am so excited to have it off this year!  Right after work today, I am heading to my parent's house to relax, eat, and shop for the rest of the week/weekend!

Yesterday, we had our annual Thanksgiving Party!  We usually take the kids to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients to make our Thanksgiving Feast, but this year, due to a student having some explosive behavior problems, I didn't feel comfortable taking my class into the community.  So, instead, I went shopping this weekend for everything!  Hopefully my class will make it to the grocery store later in the year (because I really do LOVE that field trip!).

Similar to most parties, we set up stations around the classroom.  At each station, we were cooking a different dish (or dishes).  Some of our stations were turkey/gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, green beans, and cranberries.  We used real potatoes this year (instead of boxed).  They were a huge hit!  Our higher guys made stuffing following the recipe on the box this year (instead of a Boardmaker, visual recipe!).

Monday, November 25, 2013

Turkey Craft

We started these turkey crafts last week, and of course we were interrupted in the middle by a FIRE DRILL!  My kids were not too happy (and neither was I!).  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Simplifying PECS in the Classroom

This is going to be a short post, but I thought this idea was worth sharing.  I have a student who is completely non -verbal that really struggles to discriminate between Boardmaker photos in his PECs book.  So, I have been putting in real picture of things, and that has helped a lot!   

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Updating All About Me Books!

My All About Me Books have been one of my top sellers on TPT.  This week, I was busy printing, laminating, velcroing, cutting, and binding these books….I'm sure you've all been there!  (Don't mind my pile of Cheetos next to my laminating!)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pattern Tray

I love this patterning tray from Lakeshore!  As of today, it is still available on their site for $9.99.  I use it with my table scatter that I got from the Target dollar spot and Dollar Tree.  That way, we can use seasonal objects (like leaves, acorns, and pumpkins for fall).  We can review vocabulary while working on patterns!

Monday, November 18, 2013

NEW Spelling Worksheets and Data!

Last year, I used my spelling worksheets for part of my students' homework packet.  This year, I was able to incorporate them into our school day, so my students complete them during the independent part of our morning group.

My school uses Words Their Way and the associated Word Sorts for spelling instruction.  I have photo copied the different word sorts onto different colors (depending on the spelling pattern…i.e. short vowels, initial sounds, etc.).  Then, I laminated them, cut them out, and stored them in baggies.  All of the baggies from the first book fit into this bin from the Target dollar spot.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spider Unit: Part 2

Today, I will be sharing some more fun, and Free spider activities that my class completed last month.

Our biggest project in this unit was researching different types of spiders.  The kids had to come up with a description of each type of spider, find out where it lives, and whether or not it was poisonous.  This took us 2 days to complete (our group lasts 30 minutes).  The first day, we used the iPads to find the information.  We used the kid zone website about spider facts (  The second day, to practice research in another way, we used a spider book we had checked out from the library to do research the remaining spiders.  This activity is available for Free on TPT here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spider Unit: Part 1

October may be over….but we just finished wrapping up our Spider Literacy Unit from last month!  In science, we studied insects as a whole class, so to go along with that, my higher guided reading group did some reading work centered around spiders this month!  This also worked well with the Halloween theme!  Many of these activities were FREE…so I have included the links below incase you want to do them in your classroom!

We started out this month filling out a KWL chart on the board.  This was our first time doing a KWL chart, and I think they did very well!  Once we filled out the "K" and "W,"  we looked up our answers in a Spider book we had in the classroom so we could fill in the "L" section.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Sale

Happy Veteran's Day!  I have the day off today and am so grateful!  I have so much catching up to do for work and my own errands!  So, while I am busy blogging, lesson planning, doing laundry, writing IEPs, and working out today, my entire store will be 20% off!  Hope you find something useful!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five For Friday

TGIF!!  I am so looking forward to this weekend after this busy week.  I had an assistant out, so I constantly felt like I was trying to be 2 people all day long..Not to mention having an IEP meeting over 3 hours long….Phew!!  

Today I am joining in 5 for Friday with Doodle Bugs, where you post 5 random things from your week!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Additional Dinosaur Activities!

Yesterday, I shared my Dinosaur unit with you (check it out here!).  Today, I will show you some of the other cute dino activities we do during this unit!  I store all of these activities in a plastic tub for my kids to utilize when they finish their daily work (worksheets, experiment, etc.).  This comes in handy when you have kids in a group who work at different speeds....or if you have kids that need to be worked with one-on-one.  One kid can engage in these "extra" activities while another student gets 1:1 attention, and then you can switch.

I have this adorable dino puzzle from Melissa and Doug!  Today, I found it available on Amazon for $9.99.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November Science: Dinosaurs

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you are probably familiar with my monthly science units.  My kids, even those who I have had for multiple years, look forward to the new topic each month.  The other day, one of my kids made me list out the topics for the entire year just so he could hear them all!  Anyways, the thrill they get out of science inspires me each year to add some new activities to keep their interest!  This year, I am recreating all of the units for Teachers Pay Teachers as well so other people can utilize these units in their classroom!  
This month, we are working on DINOSAURS (recently posted to TPT).  This month's unit revolves around 9 vocabulary words related to dinosaurs (T. Rex, pterodactyl, triceratops, stegosaurus, plants, meat, egg, extinct, and fossil).

The packet includes:

-3 Levels of assessments
-Materials to create a vocabulary velcro-matching activitiy
-18 Different worksheets
-1 Game (Dinosaur Bingo). 2 versions based on level of difficulty. 
-1 Adapted book (with matching pieces and comprehension sheet).
-1 experiment comprehension sheet for making fossils with play-doh.
-1 Note home about the unit.
-1 Cover sheet for kids to color and use as a cover for all their completed work (wither to send home or for in the classroom).

This unit has materials for learners at different levels.   Also, it includes a variety of worksheets which allow my students to work on their science IEP goals as well as a variety of other goals (language arts, math, speech, and OT).  I use this unit over the course of an entire month.  The kids repeat some of the work, but the repetition seems to help them learn the concepts as well as work on becoming more independent.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Do 2 Learn Fine Motor Activities

I love finding out about great resources out there (especially when they are FREE).  Don't get me wrong, I buy lots of great stuff for my classroom as well, but since we are always creating new curriculum and activities, Free ones can really help out!  I also love sharing these ideas with you guys!  The activities I am sharing with you today are some simple fine motor activities from Do 2 Learn.

I use these activities in a variety of ways.  They can be great to use at an assistant run station, or used for a kid to work on independently while you are working with another student.  Of course, none of my kids could do these independently at first.  It took some direct instruction to teach them how to do these initially.  They are a fun and engaging way for kids to work on fine motor skills.

This first activity gives step-by-step VISUAL directions on how to draw simple pictures.    Here is one of my kids who drew a boy and a dragon.  The website includes a variety of different pictures to draw.  You can find them here.