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What To Do When You Make a Mistake

We have all been there. You misplace a document, you miss a deadline, you completely forget about something. It just happened to me this week. A colleague gave me something to give a parent, and I totally forgot to pass it along! My instinct was to panic but I had to take a deep breath and remind myself of 5 important steps.

Own the Mistake

The worst thing you can do in this situation is pretend like the mistake didn’t happen. Even if you make the mistake go away for the time being, there is a very high chance it will rear its’ ugly head at a later date. You don’t want to be in that situation.

Tell the People Who Need to Know

Immediately disclose the mistake to your supervisor or another individual who oversees the area. In my instance, I reported the mistake to the coordinator who gave me the paper in the first place. If you tell them before it gets to them some other way, it will help you in the long run.

Offer a Remedy

If your mistake causes someone else more work, it can quickly become a source of frustration. When you suggest  a solution to a problem or offer to assist in any way needed, you can help alleviate some of the tension. Show the person impacted that you are willing to go the extra mile to help!

Learn From the Mistake 

If the mistake occurred due to your lack of organization, revisit the method you use to keep track of things! If the mistake occurred because you are unsure of how to do something, ask for clarification or additional training. For example, it would be easy to make mistake using an online system if you had no idea how to do certain operations within the system!

Move On

Am I the only one who lies in bed and thinks about that mistake I made 4 months ago? This isn’t healthy and it doesn’t help! Once you fix the mistake and learn from it, move on! Don’t beat yourself up; we are all human!


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“Oh The Places You’ll Go” Balloon Template

I am super fortunate to have an extremely creative para in my classroom-she always comes up with the cutest craft ideas for my classroom. As someone with limited creativity and no art skills, I depend on her to make my classroom look cute. Tomorrow is Dr. Suess’ Read Across America Day and we made these adorable and easy balloon crafts for our bulletin board.

Every student was given the balloon template and a baggie of squares cut from construction paper. Next time I will have the kids cut the pieces themselves, but to save time this round we did it.

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The kids used a glue stick to adhere all of the pieces to the balloon template. The kids really enjoyed mixing up the colors and we had a variety of construction paper sizes for different needs. Each kid also got a pre-sized piece of brown construction paper to fill in the basket portion of the balloon. When the balloon was finished, we went over the top with a glue stick just to help the pieces stick more.

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At the end we wrote “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” around the balloon. You could also have the kids do this piece. It is a super simple craft to pull together and super cute!

 

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Here is the balloon if you want to do this craft in your classroom. Thanks to my para for hand-drawing this for us! If you use this in your classroom, please tag your photos with #adaptationstation so we can see them!

 


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The 3 MUST HAVES for at home #SPEDPREP

We’ve all been there. You are walking through the office and someone reminds you that you have a huge meeting the next day. Or you find that sticky note that reminds you that you are suppose to print off a visual for a student. Or you just need a token board like yesterday, and you can’t imagine going into work tomorrow without it. I just found myself in that position this week. I did not remember until Monday afternoon that I needed to present a student success binder Tuesday morning. With these 3 tools I was able to save my own butt.

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The first thing you need is a color printer. I know I know, that color ink is expensive! I just started using the HP Instant Ink program and I have been loving it! Here’s a referral code if you are interested!

There are 3 different ink plans: 2.99 a month to print 50 color pages, $4.99 a month to print 100 color pages and $9.99 a month to print 300 color pages! The instant ink program sends you more ink when you need it and makes color printing super affordable. If you go over your color ink allotment, you can print 15, 20 or 25 more pages for $1, depending on which program you choose.

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If nothing else, have a small set of ink available for emergencies. I have spent many days getting to school early and trying to print and prep on the school printers. It was so nice to hit print on my computer while I was making dinner and have the 15ish pages I needed waiting for me when I came up.

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The second thing is a paper cutter. Be nice to your hands! I cut everything with scissors for years but now that I have the paper cutter I’ll never go back! (Disclaimer, if something has to go you CAN cut by hand. This one isn’t an essential, but its nice to have!)

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The last thing is a personal laminator. Ya’ll, if you are still laminating everything on the school laminator, STOP!! I did not get my own laminator until this past May but it is the best purchase I ever made. It is high quality, can withstand the fingers of little kids, and makes those last minute emergency items a breeze. This combo set comes with 100 pouches, which will get you far!

 

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In less then 30 minutes I had printed, cut out, laminated and hole punched everything I needed for the binder. I went to sleep with no stress on the brain and I was able to present the binder to the parents and the team. It was a win win and worth every penny!

The two products featured in the photos are Simply Special Ed’s Student Success Binder and Especially Education’s Whole Body Listening set. I paired these two products together to make the ultimate tool for my student to stay on track in general education!


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The Best “Bug” Themed Sped Products on TPT

The thing I love about Teachers Pay Teachers is that it is very easy to find materials that you need quickly-and with enough searching you can probably find the theme you need as well. I have an early learner who is OBSESSED with bugs. I knew that if I could integrate bugs into math, reading and writing, I could get him to do so much more work. But how would I find the time to create all of those materials in an appropriate timeline for him? TPT to the rescue!

Look at all of these materials! img_7162Most of these sellers offer products of similar concepts with different themes. If you see something you like but bugs are not your kid’s jam-check out the seller to see what else they have. For example, that Count It Out book has 12 different themes available!

The first thing I created was the I Like Bugs adapted book from Creative Curriculum Adaptations. I’ve gotten a couple of her books and I love them all. The pictures are vivid colors and the pieces are large enough that even my kiddos with fine motor issues can manipulate.

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I got 2 different products from Kayla Coffman with My Special Learners. The first item was this Count it Out book. I only made the 1-10 book but the download also included an 11-20 book.

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The second item I got was her All About Bugs file folder games. I made a bunch, including her patterns, number puzzles, ABC Match, Number to Word Match and counting file folders. There are more in the pack that I have not made-this is such a great value! I also have her holiday pack. What I love most is her file folders hit both math and literacy concepts, making it the best file folder pack I have found!

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This Spring Bugs, What Do You See is the second interactive book I’ve gotten from The Language Ladies SLP. I love the repetitive rhythm of this book and I know it will captivate the interest of my buddy as well!

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I had never heard of Irish Rose Place before I went on this search but I am so glad I found this shop! The Bugs Math Bundle was exactly what I needed! She has multiple adapted books, tracing sheets, counting cards and more! Her products are a great value!

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The last item was the Bugs in a Jar Book from Teaching Special Thinkers. I love that he can flip each jar up-that makes the whole book so much more interesting!

I cannot wait to take all of these products to school tomorrow!! If you don’t follow me on Instagram, do it now. I’ll be posting stories of these products in play this week!


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Reindeer Treat Bags

My kids run a treat cart every Monday. Next Monday is the last Monday before winter break and we wanted to do something fun and festive. After a lot of searching, I came up with these reindeer treat bags.

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The supplies are super simple. You need

  • Baggies
  • Red Candy
  • Popcorn and other treats
  • Brown pipe cleaners
  • Google Eyes

Pastry or piping bags were recommended, but I bought twist tie bags from Walmart that worked just as well. I ended up using Brach’s cinnamon hard candies for the reindeer nose, although any red candy would work. We also mixed preztels into our popcorn mixture. You can tweak the popcorn mixture or just leave it as popcorn if you want!

The kids need to put a red candy in the corner of the bag, then fill it with the popcorn mixture. The red candy will be the nose and the popcorn will make up the body.img_6409

Once the body is made, the kids need to tie off the “reindeerr”. This was tough for my kiddos, but a couple of them were able to figure it out. It was great fine motor practice! If your kids cannot get it, they can also tie it off with a twist tie. img_6417

The last steps are to wrap a brown pipe cleaner around the top and add googly eyes. We did use a hot glue gun for the googly eye. We learned that the hot glue itself will not melt the plastic baggie, but the tip of the glue gun will. It worked best when we put the glue on the back of the eye, then stuck the eye to the baggie.

 

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Want to try this recipe in your classroom? Grab the visual here for free! Let me know how it works for you!!


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Homework-Love it or Hate it?

I have a love/hate relationship with homework. In some ways, I love how my kids are able to go home and showcase their skills with mom and dad. In other ways, I feel like my kids already have so much going on and the homework is just an added level of stress. Either way, EVERY SINGLE PARENT in my self-contained class wants homework-so I do it every week.

I send home one homework packet a week on Mondays. My students can complete these anytime during the week, but are expected to turn them in no later then Fridays. for my more academically based students, I like to include a mix of reading and math skills, something related to the content lesson of the week, some work to focus on IEP goals and seasonal activities from time to time.

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I love using the News 2 You articles as the reading homework. They usually have two different articles up, each one offered in several levels. My kids use either the regular or the simplified article and I send home the game page, the review page and the think page for homework. The regular version has more questions and the simplified version is reduced for that level!

For kids who need extra comprehension practice, I will supplement with either my comprehension worksheets or my main idea worksheets, depending on their need. For my kids who need some higher level thinking, these Problem and Solution worksheets can be the answer!

My math homework tends to be directly related to the math lesson of the week. If we are working on graphing in school, I will put  graphing worksheet in the backpack. Sometimes I supplement with no-prep packs-you can find some great options on TPT. Right now I’m using packs from My Special Learners and Especially Education and they are a perfect fit! I also send home touch money for one of my kiddos-she actually gets a print off from my file folder pack!

But what about the kids who are not on that level? I have a couple of friends who are not ready for reading and math skills. These kids are at a pre-academic level and need more focus on foundation pieces and fine motor skills. I feature one letter a week from my Alphabet Weekly Work pack for their homework. I also love to supplement with the preschool printable packs from Little Monkeys Printable!

All of my featured resources will be 50% off through this Friday! Tell me how you do homework in your self-contained classroom!


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Great Resources from TPT!

I shared this photo on social media last night and I got a lot of questions about where I got the materials. I thought this format would be easiest, look below to see links to all the resources featured in this photo:

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The colorful book in the bottom left corner is the Three Little Pigs Adapted Book from Creative Curriculum Adaptations-Ginger Joyce. She also created the blue cover book in the top right corner, that’s her School Rules Adapted Book.

The file folder games with the yellow and green tabs are the Basic Concepts File Folders (Christmas) from Adapting for Autism.

The file folder games with the white tabs are the Happy Holidays File Folders from My Special Learners-Kayla Coffman.

The green and orange half sheets are the Telling Time to the Hour Flipbooks from You Aut-a Know-Erin Hagey.

The colorful shapes sitting next to it are the Beginning Sound Clothespins Tasks from Teaching Special Thinkers.

The half sheet with the Orange and Blue monsters in front of the shapes is the Monster Themed Basic Math Adapted Book from Delightfully Dedicated Special Education.

The gray colorful mat is part of the Color Sorting Mats from Mrs. D’s Corner.

The sheet with the boy’s face on it is from the Getting to Know You Interactive Book from Cat Says Meow.

The book below it with the boy in the blue shirt is from the Whole Body Listening set from Especially Education. The product printed on the hot pink card stock is also from her-that’s her Hands on Phonics: CVC Bundle.

That white sheet with the small red oval at the top is the Colors from School Bells and Whistles.

These are AMAZING TPT authors-I’ve put a lot of money in but every single penny has been worth it. Check out their stores, they each have fabulous offerings perfect for the special education world. Happy shopping 🙂