Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Social Skills / Life Lessons Animated Online Books - We Do Listen

I have an awesome website to share with you today that has a variety of animated books all with a social skills focus. The main character in all of these books is a rabbit, Howard B. Wigglebottom.
I like the fact that the main character is an animal for two main reasons. First, my students respond better to books with an animal as the character. I think it might not be as intimidating and the topics don't seem as directly related to them. I know that might not make sense, but here's an example. One of my students last year was having a LOT of issues with control and anger. Every story we read set him off, because he knew we were targeting him. However, when we read the story Howard Learns it is OK to Back Away (which is all about not getting his way and responding appropriately instead) he listened through the entire thing, answered questions, and even participating in a role play activity afterwards. You might also know I'm a huge advocate of age appropriateness in the classroom, but I'm still okay with sharing these stories with my high school students because they are still developmentally and instructionally appropriate. Which brings me to the second reason I like the animal as a character, it actually makes it more age appropriate for my students. If it was a kid in the story, no doubt the kid would be in kindergarten or around that age, but since it is a rabbit, it's much harder to tell the age, and therefore makes it more appropriate for my students! 

Here's an example of a page from the story "Manners Matter." Howard is talking about his friends and how they need to work on their manners. This friend here doesn't wash his hands after using the bathroom or cover his cough when he sneezes. EW! :)
There are a great variety of topics, including "Learns to Listen", "Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad", "We Can All Get Along", and more. I haven't found one that I don't like yet!

They even have interactive lessons you can use that go along with each of the books too, check out the lessons tab at the bottom. Here's an example of the questions from the interactive lesson for "Learns to Listen"

And there's even lesson plans to explain how to use the books and discussion questions, etc. Check out these topics!

Check out everything over at the We Do Listen Foundation and let me know if this is something you would use with your students!

Have you entered the giveaway to win all of my community units? It ends soon so enter now!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Teachers are Heroes SALE and Special Ed Sale Linky

Have you heard the exciting news? TeachersPayTeachers is having a site-wide sale this Wednesday. February 25th because teachers are heroes!! Many sellers will discount their products 20% off plus you can get an extra 10% off with the promo code "HEROES." These sales only come once every quarter, so now is the time to start emptying your wish list and filling up your shopping cart! My entire store (including money saving bundles will be 20% off, so get them while they are hot!)


Here's three of my favorite "must-have" products that have been recently posted (and will be 20% off + additional 10% off!). Click on the pictures to go to the product.
Daily Questions for the Year for Special Education
I can't even explain how awesome this product is in my classroom. My students are already answering their daily question in complete sentences and we've only just started this this semester! Read more about Daily Questions for the Year in this blog post. 

Budget Worksheets - Do you have Enough Money? for Special
This next product has been a lifesaver in teaching students how to find a product under their budget. The number-line shading is so helpful to see exactly what you can or can't buy. Honestly I love this product so much I wish I could be this smart all of the time, still not sure how I did it but I love it!

Adapted Hygiene Books - 2 versions - Special Education
It's no secret that I love adapted books, but this hygiene book is the best! And I love using both versions with my class. One version is like a test to see if the student knows the correct answers by completing the sentence and the other version is more like a "typical" adapted book, where the student has to find the item that matches the need in the sentence.

Psst...don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win 8 FREE community units!!


Looking for more special education teachers? Check out the list below for special education teachers who will have their stores on sale this Wednesday. If you sell special education resources and will be participating in the sale, feel free to link up below! (Thanks to Chris from Autism Classroom News for setting up the linky!)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Freebies and Giveaways ~ Valentine's Blog Hop

It's finally my turn for the Valentine's Day Bloghop! I'm so excited to offer you multiple freebies and a giveaway today!

You might know that I take my students for a monthly community trip and before we go, we spend all month preparing for the trip. It's fun to anticipate our trip our trip all month long. It helps us understand the concept of time and using our calendars a little better; plus, it's great that we can practice our skills needed for our trip all month long.  For almost every community trip that we take, I have a community trip preparation unit to go along with it. For today ONLY, I am making my Restaurant Community Trip Unit (regularly $5) FREE for you! Check it out and let me know what you think. Hopefully this will give you some motivation to take your students out to a restaurant! I enjoy taking my students to go somewhere for breakfast like Denny's or IHOP.
Restaurant Community Trip Unit for Special Education

Are you interested in more community units? Well, I do have 8 of them! Enter this giveaway below for a chance to win all 8 community units which includes: Fast Food Restaurant, Grocery Store, Movie Theater, Zoo, Bowling, Ice Cream, Library, and Restaurants. If you have another idea for a community unit, be sure to share and I just might end up making that one for you too!)

And for another FREEBIE!!! I've been working on a unique math product that I just introduced to my paraprofessionals and students yesterday. Basically, it's a set of data sheets with protocols for staff outlined to work on a variety of money skills, such as identification, counting, paying, dollar over, and more. Each day the student also has an opportunity to graph their progress. So, why am I telling you this? I would like to offer this product to you as an exclusive freebie when you sign up for my newsletter. Sign up now and enjoy your freebie when the end of February comes around! (Sorry, but I'm going to make you wait that long so I can iron out any kinks and explain how it has been working!)




I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's treats!!! Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Where is it? Things in my House ~ Adapted Books

I love functional adapted books, so I created this adapted book about where certain items are found in our house.

As much joy as I get some laminating and velcro-ing (no scarcism here, really, I do get excited about it), all that laminating and velcro takes time. So, one of the versions requires no laminating or velcro, but it still interactive. As you can see below, this is the version without velcro, and the student is expected to finish the sentence with the correct answer.

The laminated version is great for while students are still learning the concept. After the student reads the page, they can move the item to the correct room (which in this example is on three separate sheets, there is also an option for the rooms to all be on one sheet, which ever works best for you and your students!)

Each version of these adapted books has 18 pages and goes over 18 different household items. You can check it out over in my TpT store by clicking on the picture below.

If you like this adapted book you might also be interested in this similar Where Do We Store Food? book or Hygiene Items book.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Visual Recipes and Video Modeling for Cooking Activities

Does anyone else use Cooking to Learn in their classroom? I love their recipes! Most of the time they are great, with simple details and descriptive pictures so that even my non-readers can follow the directions without verbal prompts from staff.


Most recently, we made quesadillas. It was super simple, putting cheese on a tortilla, folding, and microwaving. But simple is my favorite because it means more independence!!! Plus, Cooking to Learn has comprehension questions in various forms to use after making the meal so you can work on some reading, writing and comprehension skills as well.


Before I have students make something, I usually like to show them a video on how it's made or at least the step by step pictures from wiki-how or something like that. I couldn't find anything for this one, so I decided to make my own and was surprised about just how easy it was to do!

You can check out our video below or here on YouTube. I used the Kizoa website to make the video with my class after we made our quesadillas and it was very easy to use. As a class, we put the photos in order and then added a short description for each one.
(Later YouTube asked me if I wanted to add music, and I figured why not, people can always mute it if they don't want music!) 

Now, if I am going to make cheese quesadillas again for my class, we can watch the video and pause to discuss each step if needed. I hope you will find this video or even just the video tool maker helpful in your classes as well! 

Let me know if there's another simple video maker that you know of as well, this was just the first free one that showed up on google that seemed easy enough to try :)
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