Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dear Santa- Winter Handwriting Activity

I will be the first to admit that teaching handwriting is not my strong point.  I've often used the excuse that my students with Autism don't like to write, so we do what we must and get by; it's a technology world anyway.  Don't get me wrong, I do understand the importance of teaching our students with Autism to write, but was this something that you learned in school or just in passing conversation with the OT?

I have, however,  made it my professional goal to find ways to make writing meaningful for my students and to incorporate more writing activities into my students week.  It did not start out with a big project, it started very small, as a transition activity after lunch.  Each student now has a writing binder in which they answer a simple question or fill in the blank and then add a picture.  Now after a few weeks of getting my students desensitized to this, I expanded with this project.

We started with our pre-writing using the basics of Expanding Expression.  My students are familiar with Expanding Expression; we often use it during Language Arts instruction (more blog posts to follow about that).  A few of my kiddos already knew what they wanted for Christmas and were able to verbalize this to us; for those kiddos we found it online, to confirm it is what they wanted, and then printed a picture of the toy so we could help if they ran into difficulty.  For my kiddos that were not able to verbalize what they wanted we pulled out the Toys R Us catalog and went from there.

We did not do all of our pre-writing in one day, it took a few days to complete. Green=Group; Blue=What does it do?; White=What does it look like?; Brown=What is it made of?; White (with triangle)=Where do you get it?; Pink=Details-Why should Santa bring it?; Orange=Anything else/Thank you.

Here is a sample of what it looked like.

Over the next few days we worked on the final product.  The kiddos really seemed to enjoy this product and one student has even wrote another letter to Santa which we have mailed to the North Pole!  I had the Santa paper in a folder, but I'm sure I found it online somewhere.  I also hand made the Santa parts, except the mittens; click here for the sketch: SANTA

And the final product.....

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cyber Monday

It is that time...Cyber Monday deals on TpT!  Head over for 20% off all products!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas Freebie

Spreading some Holiday cheer everyone's way with this new freebie!  Teach and review Christmas nouns and verbs with this packet. Head on over to my TPT store for this freebie!  This is a great addition to your independent/TEACCH center!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's the small things that count

We all need a reminder every now and then to celebrate the small accomplishments!  As an Intervention Specialist we not only manage our students, but paraprofessionals, administrators, general education teachers, specials teachers, and parents too.  We need to not only remind ourselves, but everyone around us, to celebrate the small accomplishments that we and our students continue to make.  If we constantly look at the skills that our students lack we will drive our selves mad.  We need to celebrate the small things, like our students responding to a greeting, our most severe ED students spending time in the general education setting (even if it is only a minute longer than what they normally tolerate), a student asking a question, us taking extra data for the day, or getting to eat lunch with a friend.  When we focus on the skill deficits that our students have or the loads of paper work left for us to conquer, we lose sight on what truly matters.  So my positive message that I hope to spread to you...Celebrate the little victories!  Celebrate the little victories with those that you work with and help others feel like they are making a difference in our sometimes difficult and depressing field.  When you celebrate the little victories you begin to see the big picture!

Math Fluency Packet

Here is a new product for math fact fluency.  The packet includes addition and subtraction fact fluency assessments, file folders, data collection sheet, worksheets, and "I can" badges.  I have created the file folders for students to practice +0, +1, +2, +3, etc through +10 and doubles; this is the same for subtraction.  When students complete a fact fluency assessment with 80%+ they receive and "I can" badge which allows them to be proud and show what they know for the fact family which they have mastered!  Head over to my TpT store or Teacher's Notebook to get your copy now!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Welcome Back

Welcome back everyone!  This year brings yet another change...I've said good-bye to the building that I have taught at since my first day of teaching, I am now at a new building, teaching first grade Autism and Severe Behavior/ED!  I have actually been back to teaching, but I feel as if I haven't been able to catch my breath.  Now; however, we are making it work and it is getting easier day by day.  Working with 3 new aides and a student teacher, a first and third year general education teacher and a new principal...WOW!

Here is what has helped me survive....
Schedules for EVERYONE! XCEL spreadsheets for adults and Visual Schedules for the kiddos!

Constant Lesson Plans!  Why do I feel like have never lesson-planned to this level before, but at least it helps to keep my head above water! 

CAPS Reports - Comprehensive Autism Planning System

These are a life saver, not only for the staff working with the students, but for the parents to understand what and how their children are learning.  These are great for your parents whose needs are difficult to meet.  The CAPS reports addresses 9 areas: Activity, When it is taught, Target Skills to Teach, Structures and Modifications, Reinforcement, Sensory Activities, Communication/Social Skills, Data Collection, Skill Generalization.  In years past I have used the daily CAPS report; a CAPS report is completed for each day of the week for each student (I try to update each of these once a quarter).  This year I am using the CAPS report by activity; a CAPS report is completed for each student, activities are listed and days the activities are addressed are then highlighted.  The paraprofessionals are able to cross-reference the daily schedule with each students' CAPS report.

Click here to download the CAPS report by activity.

Click here to download the daily CAPS report.

Also, don't forget to check out my TpT store for a new math fact fluency product for addition and subtraction.  The packet includes fluency tests, data sheets, file folders, worksheets and "I can" badges!