Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Adapting Step-into-Reading Books with Symbols

So many of you loved the Frozen books symbols that I shared a while back, so I went through and saved a few more that I had created so I could share those with you as well!!!  I love adapting the step into reading books because they already have simple language, and so many of them are high interest to my students so they actually enjoy reading them. And, in my classroom, I consider Disney to be age appropriate (especially when compared to Teletubbies and Dora!)

I have linked the book to Amazon if you want to buy the book there and then you can download the symbols for free.


Book: A Dream for a Princess  - a Cinderella book
Symbols: Adapted Symbols for A Dream for a Princess

Book: Old, New, Red, Blue! - a Cars movie book
Symbols: Adapted Symbols for Old, New, Red, Blue!
*Since I only used the symbols for this book, the words typed out along with the symbols don't have proper punctuation and wording all of the time, so just use the symbols and you'll be good! See this book in this blog post on how to adapt books*

Book: Run, Remy, Run! - a Ratatouille book
Symbols: Adapted Symbols for Run, Remy, Run!

Book: Me Too, Woody!  - a Toy Story book
Symbols: Adapted Symbols for Me Too, Woody!

Get the Frozen book A Tale of Two Sisters and the adapted symbols here.

Adapting the books is really easy to do. All you need to do is cut out the symbols and then tape or glue them to the page. Sometimes I cover the words in the book (especially when they are a lot of words such as in A Dream for a Princess and A Tale of Two Sisters) and other times I cut out the symbols and paste them above or below the actual words in the books (in books like Me Too, Woody!Old, New, Red, Blue!, and Run, Remy, Run!). This is a great task to do while you are watching TV or something like that. You can still relax and tell yourself you're preparing for school :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

TpT Summer Sale Today and Tomorrow!!

Hello there friends! Just wanted to let you know real quick, my TpT store is on sale today and tomorrow for 20% off. I know a lot of you are preparing for the start of the school year already, so I hope this is helpful!

ESY just wrapped up yesterday, so I now have three week of freedom planning before the school year begins. But I won't be working too hard right away, I am going to Mexico for a week, leaving tomorrow, so I am looking forward to relaxing for a little while! :)
Head over to my store here and check it out. I've posted a few new community units such as a unit to the Grocery Store and a shopping list work task recently that you might enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Go Noodle Brain Breaks in the Classroom

I started using Go Noodle with one of my classes last semester and it was a blast! Go Noodle is a site made for classroom to incorporate brain breaks into your day. I found that it was great to help students focus after they came into class.

I specifically liked airtime for the beginning of class. It focuses on taking deep breaths, breathing in and out, and then we got a fun postcard at the end.

At the end of class, I would usually let them choose one of the YouTube videos for a free dance. I'll admit, "Let It Go" got chosen a lot...and I was kinda okay with that! :)

There were also some fun ones that we did randomly, such as the Olympic training videos or yoga! Some students got REALLY into the running ones and we had to work on running in place!

It's super easy to set up and use and my students absolutely LOVED it! They have categories of grades K-2, and 3-5, but I used it with my special education high school students at the K-2 level and it went well. If anything, the directions were still too complicated and fast, especially for some of the yoga...but such is life in special ed. Your class will get to choose a monster as their mascot, and it is always saying funny things, like this....
Honestly, not sure if my students ever thought the comments were funny, but I definitely had some laughs. I think with this particular comment, I'd have students thinking, well, duh, of course hammers would hurt heads! 
You can set up a demo class to play around with, but honestly, you can practically just sign in and go for it while you are teaching! It is very user friendly (and it's completely free). 
GoNoodle Inspiration Blog

Let me know if you use Go Noodle in your class! What are your favorite activities?

Friday, July 11, 2014

"Vending Machine" Sorting Work Task

Don't you just love when you can get your students excited to work? :) My students were begging if they could do this task!
I made this task at the end of the year and my students loved it! Seriously, my students who never want to work, would work on this task. I got this small container from Wal-mart in the fishing department and taped in the pictures that you see above. I then laminated a couple of sheets of the pictures which then I cut out to go into each section.Students then sort the pop and the chips. It's really just a simple sorting activity, but is more fun because, let's be honest, everything is more fun with food! Plus, it actually takes a decent amount of time to complete, but it holds their focus.

Download the images that I used here so that you can make your own! And hope your wal-mart also has this same box in their fishing section :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Advice from Special Education Teachers and Blog Hop

Anyone looking for more special education blogs to follow this year? I know I always am, so I was excited to see this blog hop from Tales of a Carolina Girl. Honestly, I learn so much from all of you special education bloggers, I think it should count as professional development :)

Welcome to all who may be new here and here's a little bit about me!
I have taught special education for 3 years in a functional, life skills program with students with multiple special needs. Most of my students this past year fit into the severe and profound category.

My top 3 advice for all teachers, especially special education teachers.
1. Don't be afraid to ask questions: Ask other teachers in your school, ask other bloggers, don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to! And it's okay if you aren't sure what you are doing, we all feel like that at times and need some extra help :)

2. Get your classroom organized and labeled: My first couple of years I had some things organized and figured I'd get the rest done as school started. It just doesn't happen people. Find a place for everything in the beginning and students will catch on fast and suddenly everything runs so much smoother!

3. Communicate with your staff and be consistent: I'm specifically thinking about behavior plans here. Especially as special education teachers, we can tend to have a lot of staff members in our classroom. Make sure they know what is going on so that students plans can be implemented consistently. That being said, follow the behavior plan...but when something isn't working don't be afraid to switch it up and try something crazy either!

Be sure to check out the advice from other special education teachers as well!

Want to stay in touch? Feel free to follow me on Facebook, TeachersPayTeachers, Pinterest, and BlogLovin!
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