Spotlight on Special Thinkers Series & Autism Awareness Giveaway {TONS of goodies!}

Saturday, March 29, 2014 / 2 comments
Happy Saturday Friends!

Today is the first "official" day of my Spring Break and I can't wait to get back into the swing of things with this little ol' blog! I want to catch you up with a few different things we have brewing here at TST and give you a chance to win more Autism Awareness goodies!!


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I want to do something special for the month of April to celebrate Autism Awareness Month. As an autism teacher, I know how AMAZING my special thinkers are! They brighten my every single day! Yes, my job is challenging, but I wake up SO excited to see my kiddos that my days never feel like actual "work." How many people can say that about their job? Before I actually worked with and taught students with autism, I really didn't have a clue about it, or how truly unbelievable these kiddos are! Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. In order to spread awareness, I of course wanted to do a giveaway because I love spoiling my followers, BUT I also wanted to share some stories and faces of "autism." These individuals are sometimes so misunderstood, that I just want to CELEBRATE them and give you readers a chance to meet some true superheroes! 

If you would like to share a story, please fill out the attached google doc form, and I will be in contact with you ASAP!


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I wasn't able to join in on the race for autism in the fall in Raleigh because of a wedding, so I went ahead and joined in on the coastal run for autism today in Wilmington. 



Jamberry has Autism Awareness nail wraps right now! When you buy a wrap, they donate $2 to the Autism Society of America. Click here to see them!

I am also giving away a sheet of these to one of YOU! Enter the rafflecopter below :)


I also wanted to share a few websites with you so you can join in on a race this year, too!




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These amazing Etsy sellers have donated their products just for you! Enter below!

Autism Awareness Adjustable Dog Collar {4BlkPaws}



Upcycled Autism Awareness Cape {Into Creations}





Autism Awareness Necklace from Una Bella Charm!




a Rafflecopter giveaway Have a wonderful weekend!
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Day Three of our Autism Awareness Giveaway {Ryan's Wreath}

Thursday, March 27, 2014 / 2 comments
Quick post just for the giveaway!! The week before spring break is always soooo busy!! I'll be back to finish the series once things calm down! My classroom always comes first!

How cute would this wreath be on your classroom door? 

This is from onceuponaflowerMW on ETSY

ENTER BELOW! Winner will be chosen tomorrow!




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Day TWO of our Autism Awareness Giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014 / Leave a Comment
This post is strickly for the giveaway purposes, but don't worry! More of "A DAY IN AU" series will resume this weekend!

Since most schools are becoming more strict about ID badges (for VERY good reasons!), here is a cute little badge reel to keep yours close without that annoying lanyard. I personally can't wear the neck ones, because my little friends pull it sometimes. This badge reel is PERFECT for all of you that teach or have little guys/girls with autism so you can share awareness daily! :)

Enter the rafflecopter below, then go check out Sloan Hall's Etsy Shop!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tomorrow, check back to enter to win this AMAZING wreath for your classroom door!




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A DAY IN AU: Kitchen Work {PLUS day ONE of the 7-day Autism Awareness Giveaway!!!!}

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 / 2 comments


After posting the photo below on Instagram (@teachingspecialthinkers), I had a TON of questions about how I set up our kitchen work system.




We are SO lucky to have an instructional kitchen attached to our classroom! Not only can we do fun cooking lessons, we can also teach our kiddos some essential functional life skills!

Another GREAT thing about our kitchen, is that we can do "heavy work."

What is heavy work?


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A DAY IN AU {Circle Time}

Saturday, March 8, 2014 / 6 comments


Circle time is one of my favorite times of the day! There is of course lots of singing and dancing involved and my students have a blast! Thankfully, circle time in our classroom is very animated because we have the luxury of having a promethean board. My students love singing the days and months along with different videos, as well as doing the interactive calendar on Starfall. We pack A LOT of different skills into this time because it is one of our few whole group times of the day.

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A DAY IN AU {Morning Work}

Sunday, March 2, 2014 / 4 comments


I didn't start off the year doing morning work, we just went straight into circle time. With time I noticed that if I wanted to get some solid one-to-one work time with some of them, they worked best first thing in the morning! Once they got the hand of the routine, we barely had to assist our older friends, so now we are able to give some extra attention to our young guys! This time is also great for going over social stories and behavior contingency maps to get a good start to the day.

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A DAY IN AU {Morning Routines: Unpacking}

Saturday, March 1, 2014 / 5 comments


For students with autism, the ultimate goal is complete independence. As teachers, we really need to push our students to do functional activities (like unpacking their things) on their on through routine, structure, visuals and work systems. Because we split our kids up at pick-up time, we are able to spend the time needed in the morning to work on unpacking and bathroom goals, as well as reinforcing student schedules.

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