Thoughts of Spring!

Friday, February 27, 2015 / Leave a Comment
So… we've basically gone to school a day and a half in the past two weeks here in NC. I'm not saying I hate it, BUT I am not loving wiping out on the concrete on a daily basis while I walk my dog. The ice has gooooot to go. I am ready for Spring. I am ready for rain boots, flowers, gardening, sun, and fresh fruits and veggies at the Farmer's Market.

Since I've been having thoughts of Spring, I thought I'd get ahead with my Count and Color Adapted Books! Check em out!! :)

Also, HUGE shout out to all of you fabulous SUPERHEROES that supported my store during the TPT sale, and those who support Teaching Special Thinkers every day! I love this little side gig of creating materials for others to use with their students. It makes my heart happy knowing that your students are benefiting from my packs! Keep the pictures coming!!

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St. Patty's Day Packs & a HUGE TPT Super Sale Coming!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 / Leave a Comment
If you follow me on Instagram, you are probably aware that I am getting prepped and ready for some Shamrock fun for the next few weeks at school. I love teaching through themes and March is going to be all about St. Patty's Day, Dr. Suess, and Nutrition!

Here's a look at some of the golden goodies you can score in my shop right now with their preview videos:


Are you stoked about the TPT sale? I must say, it is WELL deserved, as all of you are heroes! I know I'll be stocking up on tons of clip art for upcoming projects and some goodies from my favorite shops!

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Slowing Down the Day: The Importance of Teaching Life Skills

Thursday, February 19, 2015 / 2 comments
As a teacher of a very busy classroom, sometimes I catch myself forgetting to slow down. I get super wrapped up in time, rushing through the schedule to make sure we cover everything that day, that I zip a student's coat before giving him a chance to do it first, or I jump at the opportunity to prompt a student to wash her hands for snack time before allowing her to use her schedule and follow the routine I know she knows. I sometimes lose sight of the greater picture of my job. A few weeks ago… this quote popped up on my Instagram feed and reminded me to sloooooow down.

There is so much truth in this quote. Our students are never going to learn a skill that we continue to do for them because we are in a hurry to get started with morning work. So lately, I've been paying extra attention to ensure I break down all these important daily skills that I take for granted. This quote sparked an idea…. I love using task analysis data sheets and picture sequences to break down and teach students important life skills such as getting dressed, washing hands, etc. AND my students respond SO WELL to adapted books - why not combine the two. Also, one of my IG teacher friends, Aly from Just a Primary Girl, suggested I make some adapted Social Stories and that idea turned into this idea. I LOVE COLLABORATION!!!!  Introducing…..

Here are a few pictures I may or may not have taken just to show off my gold stapler. Isn't it GORGEOUS?!?! :)

Color and Printer Friendly take home version

Recalling comprehension strips

Books Included in Life Skills Set One:

Life Skills Set One

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Giving the Sensory Room a Purpose {Circuit Training}

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 / 6 comments

I am not a huge gym junkie. I'll go through phases where I'll join a gym, plan to go daily after school, pack my clothes, and then I'll find an excuse not to go. When I do make it, I am overwhelmed by the amount of equipment offered to me to use, and the fact that I have no idea what I am supposed to do first, second, third, etc. I have learned that I do much better with a system of workout videos at home that specifically tell me EXACTLY what I need to do. I personally don't have the time to plan out my work outs, let alone know what muscle I'm working on (I go blank, seriously blank up in my head). I also enjoy workout classes or workout circuits where there is an instructor that already made a plan for me.

At school, we have been blessed with an amazing sensory room, and our equipment list keeps on growing. Lately, I've noticed that my kids haven't been using the equipment like they used to, or they choose "bounce" as a reward for working, but then just stand in the room and don't do anything.

Alas, we now have this……

Essentially.. this is a work system for the sensory room. The pictures are interchangeable and we have others as well (touch toes, go through tunnel, etc). I did ask out OT for some guidance on the order of activities, and she mentioned have the kiddos get all their bouncing out first, and then have them do more heavy pressure activities (such as the steam roller, erasing the board, and heavy work.

I'll be totally honest, I did not know what to expect the first time I introduced this to my students. I thought for sure I would have at least one all out refuse to do it. To my surprise, Absolutely LOVED it! We call it "circuit" on the schedule now, and I usually try to have the students start the day with it (one at a time, of course). When they are finished, all of us are quick to praise them on their hard work and comment on their growing muscles - they eat it right up!

All of our equipment have a sheet of "do's and don'ts" for the students (and the adults monitoring). Below are some examples.

I also love how I have been able to incorporate our heavy work system into the circuit. Below are pictures of the heavy work activities in our classroom. The students organize books (old dictionaries covered with paper) and boxes (filled with blocks - matching by numbers).

Happy training :)

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February SPED Blog Hop!

Saturday, February 14, 2015 / Leave a Comment

I hope ya'll enjoyed Valentine's day!

I am so excited to bring you a special FREEBIE to use next month.

St. Patty's Day is such a fun experience for our kiddos. Lots and lots of green and gold in our work tasks, and of course rainbows everywhere!

Every month, I come out with a few themed count and color books to complete during math time to give my students practice with matching, counting, numbers, and colors. My students love these books!

For your freebie, I made a "Colorful Clovers" count and color book for you!

Click below to grab your freebie!

Be sure to check the Valentine's Blog Hop everyday for the rest of February to see what else we have in store for you!

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Helping Our Students With Writing

Thursday, February 12, 2015 / Leave a Comment

Our writing station is one of my favorite places in the classroom! I love that the students work on SO many different skills with just one writing activity. I always use my Sentence Builder packs at our writing station, and vary the levels based on the students. Below are a TON of pictures to show you how we set the station up for the kiddos.
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Life Skills Lesson: Mailing a Letter

Sunday, February 8, 2015 / Leave a Comment

Ah, I honestly don't want Valentine's Day to ever come (except for the 50 shades of Grey movie, obvs). But in all serious ya'll, the activities are just too.darn.cute!!

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