Get Organized for the New Year: How to be Efficient and Stay on Top of Classroom Materials

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 / 2 comments

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Christmas Ornament Sorting Freebie!

Thursday, November 26, 2015 / Leave a Comment

I know I've already said this a million times... but Christmas in the classroom is seriously my favorite thing ever! So many fun work tasks and activities!

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December Work Tasks {TONS of pictures!}

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 / Leave a Comment
The holidays can be such a fun time in the classroom, but if you aren't prepared with tons of activities - those little cuties are gonna make you crazy with all of their holiday cheer! Here are some pictures of the tasks we will be using in the month of December. I bought EVERYTHING for our tasks from Dollar Tree and the materials went such a long way!

Click here to see how I set up our Table Time Station
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It's Turkey Time!! {A Peek at November in Our Classroom}

Monday, November 23, 2015 / 1 comment

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Apple About Apples: Book List

Saturday, September 12, 2015 / 1 comment

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Here's to Another Year: Autism Classroom Tour!

Thursday, September 10, 2015 / 9 comments
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Literacy Routines in a Special Education Classroom

Saturday, August 15, 2015 / 2 comments

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3 Ways to Build Relationships with Parents at the Beginning of the Year

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 / 1 comment

As teachers, our students should be our number one priority. We share that priority with others, though, because those students have parents who also care deeply for them. Every new school year, I am always very persistent to establish a positive relationship with parents. This means I am trying to contact them BEFORE school even starts.

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How to Create Your Autism Classroom Schedule

Monday, August 10, 2015 / Leave a Comment
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Using the Buddy System to Create Peer Relationships Between Special Education Students and General Education Students

Friday, July 24, 2015 / 4 comments

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Color Coding Your Classroom For MAXIMUM ORGANIZATION

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 / 9 comments

Today I want to share with you about my “color-coding” classroom organizational system. Although it sounds silly, assigning my students a color at the beginning of the school year is my go-to for organization. It has saved my sanity. With 3 instructional assistants, a lead teacher, and a student teacher, keeping data and student materials organized and easy to access can be quite a challenge in a busy classroom! 
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SPED Back to School Tips & Freebies (E-book & Giveaway!)

Monday, July 20, 2015 / 2 comments
Back to School is thisclose to happening. We have a month. A MONTH!!!! Too soon.. I know. Personally, I start preparing for a new school year during the last month of the current school year. Those first few months back to school can be hectic, especially if you have new staff (if you have teaching assistants), any new students, or if you are starting a new job yourself. By prepping in May for August I have found that I almost feel like I have my head on straight on the first day back (but not really).

To help with the craziness of this time of the year, we put together this amazing resource for Back to School. It's an e-book PACKED with quick tips and TONS AND TONS of delicious FREEBIES that will give you a little jump start to the new year.

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VEGAS SALE -- Plus, #speddollardeals TODAY ONLY!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 / Leave a Comment
While I'm enjoying Vegas with some of my favorite blogger ladies, treat yourself to a sale Wednesday through Friday! 

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Back to School Books for Week 3: ABCs, 123s, and Colors!

Monday, July 6, 2015 / 4 comments

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Back to School Books for Week 2: Animals at School

Sunday, July 5, 2015 / Leave a Comment

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Back to School Books for Week 1: All About School

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 / 4 comments

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Back to School Books Series

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Saturday, June 27, 2015 / 4 comments
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Long Live the Library

Thursday, June 25, 2015 / 4 comments

Contrary to popular belief, teachers do not have summers off. As soon as that final bell rings on the last day, our wheels are already turning about back to school. In my classroom, I have students in K-2, so I don’t like reusing the same lessons year after year, because I don’t want to bore my little buddies!

I love picture books; however, finding appropriate books for my students can be tough. For this next year, I plan on having a plan waaay ahead of time. This way, I can be sure that I have appropriate books and lessons ready for story time instead of scurrying through hundreds of pictures on Pinterest looking for something that might work, and then being 2 pages in a story and having my students be totally unattached to what I’m reading them.

One of my favorite summer activities to do is to hit up the public library. I know, what a dork! BUT - it’s seriously a gold mine, and the perfect way to plan for the new school year without breaking the bank. If you are a new teacher, the library is your new best friend. With the technology libraries use today, checking out books is amazingly easy. In my town, I can go online and put all the books I want to look at on hold. I get an e-mail when they are ready and pick them up in a neat little bundle. I take the books home, read through them, and then decide which ones I want to actually buy for the classroom. I love that I am essentially “trying out” the product before I go through the hassle of purchasing the book. Really, you might want to just try them out with your students first to make sure they are a hit. In this teaching business, every penny counts. This system works great for me, because I have so many books I’ve purchased that never get read because they just aren’t appropriate for my students.

I just got all my back to school books checked out, so I will be posting a list soon! My goal is to do a monthly book list that I’ve researched myself, so I can hopefully help others that teach similar populations find books that will work for their students as well. I am hoping to help bring more literacy into your autism classroom! 
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Organizing Monthly Materials {Monthly Bin Labels FREEBIE!}

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 / 16 comments
Hi all! Sorry I've been M.I.A., but WOW can the end of the year get the best of you! 
I have been getting several e-mails about how I organize all of our classroom materials. I took pictures in March when we packed up our March materials and then didn't have a chance to post until now. 

This year I really set out to keep all of my monthly materials organized together in bins so I could prep the next month ahead of time and keep items organized, as well as file away old materials for the following year. 

I chose to use these bins from Target, as they are waterproof and they can hold hanging file folders. Instead of spending a ton at one time, I started the year off by buying a few bins to start me off with, and then I would just buy a couple more as needed. Now that it is the end of the year, I have a complete yearly set of monthly bins beautifully organized and ready for next year! 

For the bin labels, I finally created my own "monthly" bin labels that follow my classroom style and each monthly theme we cover. Grab them for free by clicking on the pictures below!

I organize all of my bins by monthly activities in hanging file folders.

They include:

Clothespin Tasks
Flipbook Tasks
Cookie Tray Tasks
Basic Skill Pack
Easy Art Activities
Sentence Builders
Adapted Books
Read Clouds
Independent Work Tasks (Materials)
Workshop Materials

I put all the materials for one center (i.e. clothespin tasks or sentence builders in a large ziplock baggie with the product cover in the front, so it can be easy to access the following year.

We always start prepping items a month ahead so when the end of the current month comes we aren't rushing to finish prepping activities. This really helps us have a smooth transition into new themes. As I print off new activities or resources, my team immediately laminates cuts, and files the activities in the bins. I can quickly look through the bins and see which hanging folders are still empty (meaning we still need to prep those activities. 

Even though we just started using monthly bins for organization this year, I can already tell next year will be successful. We have preserved and organized all of the materials for this year, which means we won't be prepping the same activities again next year. Of course, I'm sure I'll come up with new activities to prep, but already having materials to pull each month will be a HUGE relief.

Want to know more about my classroom organization? Please e-mail me or comment below with what you would like to see or what you have a question about! An organized classroom is a more successful and peaceful classroom!

Don't forget to download the FREEBIE labels!! :)

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Earth Day Activities

Monday, April 20, 2015 / 1 comment
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QR Code Choice Ring {Tutorial}

Saturday, April 18, 2015 / 4 comments

This week, I decided to finally give QR codes a try. Turns out, they are amazing and incredibly easy to create! During our leisure time, our students can choose to play on the iPad as their reward for the day. Most students choose the iPad, so that leaves the teachers typing in website after website because most of our kiddos still have trouble with the keyboard on the iPad or they aren't even recognizing letters yet.

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April Clothespin Tasks {Tip: Clothespins NOT Required}

Friday, March 27, 2015 / 1 comment
In spite of 3 days of our Spring Break turning into make-up days, I'd say we had a pretty successful week. I usually set up everything for the month the week before it begins, but this month was a little different because SPRING IS (finally) HERE! 

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April Work Tasks (Caution: Egg Overload)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 / Leave a Comment
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Spring Colors Adapted Book FREEBIE!

Sunday, March 22, 2015 / Leave a Comment
It's been SUCH a successful Sunday here at the TST office. I have TONS of new goodies for you to celebrate Spring and plenty more in the works!

To celebrate SPRING I have this adorable little adapted color book. Use this book to work on matching goals, color words, identifying colors, or just plain FUN! Be sure to check out the new products I posted over the weekend! HAPPY SPRING!!!

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Last Minute St. Patty's FREEBIE: Let's Count Adapted Books

Sunday, March 15, 2015 / Leave a Comment
Happy St. Patty's Day!

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March Work Tasks for St. Patty's Day

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 / 2 comments
I think it's quite obvious that I'm a sucker for themes… St. Patty's Day has been no exception! Our Spring Break is the last week of March, so all of these tasks will be used for the next 3 weeks. When we come back at the end of the month, we'll be celebrating all things Spring! I cannot WAIT to show you some of the goodies I have planned for Spring. Target has done me well with their Easter Basket stuffers in the Dollar Spot. Tasks galore! Woop Woop! Enjoy the photos…. if you have any questions about a task.. lemme know!!  :)

Fine motor/stringing task
(Plastic sorting tray - Ikea; Gold pipes - Michael's; Beads - Michael's)

Color Sorting/Irish Flag Colors
(Hanging baskets/bar - Ikea; Tin basket - Target; Poms - Dollar General)

Rainbow Order/Color Matching with Pom Poms
(Pom Poms- Dollar General; Tray- Dollar Tree)

Different Shamrock Sizes Matching!

Froggy Shamrock Put-in
(Shamrocks-Michaels; Frog Basket-Target)

Color Sorting/Irish Flag

Sorting Shamrocks by Size
(Sorting Tray - Dollar General)

Gold Coins Pull off and Put-in
(Coins - Dollar Tree)

Sorting Pipe Cleaners by short/tall
(Pipe Cleaners - Michaels)

Marbles put-in
(Marbles - classroom kit)

I wrote letters on the back of these Shamrocks to practice letter recognition and sounds.

"Shamrock, Shamrock on the ground. Pick a shamrock, make it's sound!"

When it's a game…. they eat it up. Plus, those kiddos loooove them some glitter. So sparkly!!

We have a ton of activities in Table Time from my Clothespin Tasks pack for St. Patty's Day!

… plus MORE!

Our Easy Art Tasks for St. Patty's Day are to die for….

I'm linking up with Christine over at Autism Classroom News for Workbasket Wednesday.
Click below to head over to her blog to check out all the other tasks linked up!

Workbasket Wednesday at Autism Classroom News

Happy St. Patty's Day!!

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