Sunday, October 12, 2014

Interactive Science Pack: Solids and Liquids

Science can prove to be a tricky task in most classrooms, especially special needs classrooms, plus there are not a lot of materials out there to teach science concepts to our students. Students benefit from tons of concrete examples to help them understand these concepts that can be quite abstract to them. 

My students learn so much more when our activities are based around interactive books and hands-on sorting activities, so that is what my newest pack consists of! 

One of my favorite parts about this pack is the Real Object Sort!

Fill small containers with common solids and liquids you can find around the classroom/house and label them (pictures to label are included in the pack). 

Have the students make observations about the different objects (i.e. the orange juice flows, the coins do not change their shape) and then have the students sort the objects. Keep the materials in your science center for the students to explore daily!

I use the activities in this pack, plus tons of quick and fun hands on activities to teach my students the difference between solids and liquids. 

Be on the look out for more Interactive Science Packs coming your way! 

Here is a list of the topics I am working on right now (I have some work to do!):
Science Tools
The Five Senses
Body Parts
Push and Pull
Sink or Float
Living and Non-living
Plants and Animals
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
Life Cycle of an Apple
Life Cycle of a Plant

How do you teach science concepts in your special needs classrooms?!  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let's Learn Numbers!

Teaching the concepts of numbers and counting can be a bit tricky in my classroom. Although some students may be able to count to ten, they might not understand one to one correspondence or they may be unable to actually identify the numerals 1-10. Since the first day of school, we have been working like crazy to get that number knowledge down pat!

Over the summer, I got this number book from See Hear Do. I could not WAIT to use it with my kiddos! I am all about using a multi-sensory approach to teaching my students.

The book covers the numbers 1-19 using the Amazing Action Alphabet’s whole brain approach. Each number comes with a large photo of the number (character) and a short story about them. They also include an action to teach for each number (my favorite part).

The little stories are JUST the right length, and the one line poems are perfect to squeeze into circle time and throughout the day as a reminder. So far, we are on number 6 and they absolutely ADORE the characters in the book. We go over the numbers during circle time, and it is just too cute how they all know the poems by heart and can do the actions.

During teacher time, we use the poems as well as the interactive books from my one to one correspondence pack to practice identifying numbers, matching numbers, and counting using one to one correspondence. I love how they can remember the actions and poems and they use them during our math activities. It makes the activity so interactive and fun!


See Hear Do has been kind enough to let me give away a FREE copy of The Number Neighborhood. I'm telling you, you don't want to miss out on a chance to win this book! It has become such an important part of our daily routine!!

The See Hear Do Company!

Also - be sure to check out See Head Do's blog! They share TONS of activities and ideas that go along with the stories in their books! 

Here are a few examples for the number three - She grows a tree!

For other amazing products from the See Hear Do Company, click on the picture below! 
I have my eye on The Amazing Alphabet!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Storytime Talk: We Love Pete the Cat!

This year, my students are LOVING story time. I have tried my best to pick books that are shorter (wink wink), "action" packed (think music/melodies), and that are repetitive. In my classroom, we read a book several times to the point that the pages start to wear, but I wouldn't have it any other way. To have 8 little ones (& all boys at that!) so into a story... AH! Be still, my teacher heart....

How do I keep them so engaged, you ask? I turn every book into an "adapted" book by adding pictures, props, music, etc., and by following a very structured routine for storytime. Don't be afraid of adding a little velcro to your precious storybooks.. your students will benefit!

Here are a few pictures of our first book this year - Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes

We've also been reading The Wheels on the Bus, so I had them do a simple following directions activity as well. 

I found a TON of freebies to go along with Pete the Cat books over at 3 Dinosaurs. Unfortunately, I cannot share the clipart images I used with our book, BUT there are some images in these packets you can use to make your own.

These printables are PERFECT for independent work tasks, homework, and basic skills practice!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Back to School Activities & Plans

I absolutely adore doing "themes" in the classroom. This month, of course, has been all about "Back to School." We have been learning all about the rules, classroom objects, our school, etc. All of the activities in our centers are based around this back to school theme. I spent a majority of my summer creating materials to use this year, so that I wouldn't feel like I got slapped in the face come September. If you are interested in seeing all of our monthly themes this year, check out the lovely little chart below. Of course, we will still be doing holidays, just not obsessing over them all month. 

I am formatting this around my centers (teacher time, language, workshop, writing, etc.) so if you aren't familiar with my centers, click here to read all about how I set them up. 

Teacher Time: For most of my activities in teacher time this month, I have been reviewing basic skills with my students and collecting a lot of baseline data on their beginning of year levels. I have tubs set up with all the tasks I want them to do for the day, and I always have assessment sheets handy to take notes along with their data binders (coming soon). All of the activities I have been using come from two packs I have in my store: Back to School Basic Skills and September Work Tasks. These packs cover nearly every skill I want to assess in the beginning of the year, from matching colors to counting to telling time to addition/subtraction and so on. To work on one to one correspondence and counting, we have been using my One to One Correspondence Pack


Language: For language at the beginning of the year, we have been using our Smart talk language card reader (shown below) to learn all about colors, numbers, ABC's and school supplies. 

Writing: We will be working on sentence structure as well as "WH" questions based on back to school pictures of students working and playing from my Back to School Sentence Builder Pack (shown below). Students will also be working on fine motor tasks such as tracing and cutting using the sheets included in my Basic Skills Pack (shown below).

Workboxes: A lot of our beginning of the year tasks are put ins, matching, and sorting by colors/shapes. I'm trying to get the students back in the swing of "independent" work, and I know all of them can do these tasks by themselves. Here are a few examples:

Workshop: Lots of back to school related tasks!

Literacy time/Story time: We have been loving Pete the Cat: School Shoes, Pete the Cat: Wheels on the Bus, and There was an Old Lady who Swallowed Some Books. I'll dive deeper into the activities I am using and how I adapt these books in another post. :)