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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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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 🙂

 


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Easy Weighted Lap Animal for Sensory Needs

When I found this video from Early Venton LLC on Mrs. D’s Corner’s Facebook page I knew I had to try it myself. As a teacher of students with Autism-I have a TON of sensory needs that I need to meet. As someone who doesn’t know how to sew-I needed an easy way to make weighted materials. This weighted lap animal was the answer!

You need 4 materials-Skinneez Jumbo Bite Dog Tot, a filling of your choice, duct tape and zip block bags. It is important to get the Jumbo Bite dog toy-the others won’t work. You can find the dog toy for about $8 on Amazon.

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Some people use River Rocks to fill because its more weight per volume-I choose to try rice because it is softer and molds more to the student’s lap. The process is pretty simple-fill zip block bags with your chosen stuffing, fill the dog toy with the bags and Velcro closed!

** Update-wrap the ziplock bags in duct tape before you fill the dog toy. Otherwsie, the bags will bust and spill rice!

If you want, you can wrap the bags of stuffing in a dish cloth and drop essential oils on it. This will add a nice scent component too.

All in all very easy to make!

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End of August/Back to School!

My third week is almost done and I’m happy to say things have been pretty smooth! We are quickly sliding into a routine and working out the kinks! I was going to check in on my progress but to quickly summarize, I didn’t get to everything but that is OKAY!

Much of my classroom is up and running. I’m going to do several posts over the next couple of weeks: follow along to see what I am going to post. Topics include

  • My data collection process
  • Color coding the students
  • A classroom tour
  • A student documentation binder

Some freebies will be rolling out as well so be sure to follow!

 


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Word Work-Free Download!

I’m starting a new word work center in my classroom this fall and I decided to give it a try with one of my summer school students. He really enjoyed it-especially the stamp pad part 🙂

I am going to implement this with sets of CVC words, but you can use any words you want. For this particular set, the six word he had were: Cat, Bed, Dad, Pig, Pot and Net.

Day 1 was drawing a picture for each of the words. I loved seeing his artwork!

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Day 2 was “bean spelling”, although as you can see I actually had counters in this center. I wrote letters on counters I got from Amazon. I had him write the word on the line, then spell it with the counters and check the box off.

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Day 3 was stamping the words-it was REALLY hard for him to resist the urge of sticking his fingers in the stamp pad-but we worked through it! My letter stamps are a little loopy and he did stamp a couple sideways. I recommend getting a more straightforward font on your stamps.

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Day 4 was rainbow writing the words. This one was less complicated and really gave him practice at the spelling patterns of his words.

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Day 5 was roll a color. He would roll a dice and write the word in the corresponding color. We had to use virtual dice because I can’t get into my classroom right now to use the real dice!

You can download this worksheet for free here! It is a PowerPoint that is completely editable-so feel free to change the different tasks. Maybe, instead of rainbow write, you can have them write in all caps or write with their non dominant hand! There are a lot of different options. I hope you enjoy!