DIY Alphabet Stones

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 / Leave a Comment

Having lots of different examples of the alphabet is key to early literacy skills and generalization of letters. For my sensory driven kiddos, I know these alphabet stones will be just the ticket to getting them hooked during literacy groups at the beginning of the year. 

You can use alphabet stones in a variety of ways and activities to teach letters and sounds, and they are perfect for hiding in your classroom sand table for students to discover. 

Mix them up and have your students put them in order alphabetically, or give them a string of numbers with one missing. This fall, I plan on incorporating them during our ABC sorts using the picture cards from this pack. You could even use them to have students practice spelling out sight words, color words, number words, etc. There are so many different ways to use these. 

To make these stones, you just need some paint pens and rocks. I used the sharpie paint pens which usually don't wear from typical classroom use, but it's always a good idea to use a sealer (mod podge) to protect your masterpieces. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to go rock hunting with a 6 month old, but that would have definitely been the cheaper (FREE) route! The alternative to finding rocks outside is to buy them. I got these ones from Michaels in a bag for 2.99. I'll take it! I also got the paint pens from Michaels, but they had a variety of options. 

I bought a few bags of rocks and can't wait to make more - I'm thinking capital letters will be nice for some matching. My goal is to make stones to go with all of my interactive books (shown below) just to appeal to another sense for my students. 

I would love to hear how else you would use these in your classroom!

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End of the Year Teacher Gift - Freebie Tag

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 / Leave a Comment

After showing off the gift I got my amazing Teacher Assistants this year on Instagram, I had a few e-mails about the tags I made, so I thought I would share! Although most of us are out for the summer, it's always good to get ahead of the game for next year.

I got the blankets from Target, and they had a bunch of different designs and colors. I just printed the tag on cardstock, cut out, and taped them onto the price tag. Click below to grab the freebie. All you need to do is create a text box and write your own name. Enjoy!

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What Goes Together? Association Flipbooks

Thursday, June 16, 2016 / 1 comment

Flipbook tasks are my favorite go to task throughout the day. They are perfect for teaching new skills, practicing learned skills, and then throw in a students work system once they have mastered the concept.

Use these books in circle time, reading groups, or one on one with students to help them learn common items that go together. Understanding things that go together is an essential foundation skill for categorizing, discrimination, and early literacy development.

These flipbooks provide students with ample examples of different associations, so students will get LOTS of practice!

What I like most about using flipbooks is that they are one per page; therefore, students are also working on matching 1:1. The less clutter, the better for most of my kiddos.

How do you teach associations in your classroom? I'd love more ideas!

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Organizing Tasks by Skill Area

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 / 1 comment

This year, I decided I wanted to take my love of plastic bins to a whole new level. I love keeping my materials organized in bins, especially when I have to leave everything to collect dust over the summer. 

In my classroom, I have students at all different levels working on different skills throughout the day. It can be VERY hard to keep all the different materials organized, while still keeping them accessible for myself and other staff members that work in my classroom. 

Next year, I plan to have a work area for each student that holds their schedule, behavior systems, work systems, tasks, mastered tasks, etc. I wanted to create an easy way for me to make and store already assembled tasks so that I can quickly switch them out as needed, instead of spending a few days every month created new tasks. Time that could be spent working on paperwork (boo).

Of course, when I got everything organized I had to create labels! If you have an elementary special education classroom, chances are that you work on a lot of the same skills as we do in our classroom. I'm hoping the labels will help you stay organized as well! If you already use my monthly bin labels in your classroom, these look great with them! 
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