Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Star Spangled Banner Boardmaker Book & Boardmaker Share

I can't believe it's Sunday night already...and that it's Monday tomorrow...and that it's supposed to snow tonight, but hey, I guess that means we're just getting closer to Christmas which is so exciting!

If you are a special education teacher, I sure hope you know about this fabulous site called Boardmaker Share. Oh my. When I discovered this site it was like Christmas came early. Search anything you want, and someone has probably uploaded something about it that you can download and use for FREE!!!

I like sharing, but I don't understand Boardmaker very well to do half of the amazing things you can do on there...but I've uploaded a couple of things I've made, including my Star Spangled Banner book. My plan was to make activities to go along with this book, but it hasn't happened yet, so if you want to make an activity to go along with it feel free to do so and share with me :)

As I'm pretty sure I've said before I love teaching my US History class - but since it's my first year teaching this class I've had to find/make a lot of materials. We've been leaning a lot about United States symbols. If I ever get organized, I will have a lot of materials to share with you!
Boardmaker Book - The Star Spangled Banner {Breezy Special Ed}
I made a pretty awesome board-maker book on The Star Spangled Banner that you can download for FREE over at Boardmaker Share! It's crazy, I made this book a while ago, but actually haven't used it in my class yet! Someday soon though!

Do you use Boardmaker Share too? If so, leave a link or two of your favorite document you uploaded (or just found) on there!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Currently - my very first!

Yay! I'm excited to be doing my first currently and linking up at Farley's Oh' Boy Fourth Grade blog!!!

I keep telling everyone I can't believe it's November already. And it's true, I feel like time has been flying by, but I am so glad it's November! I love fall. I love Black Friday (oh, and Thanksgiving too) and November also means that Christmas is on the way!!!
Photobucket
I have been having a blast with my US History class. We have been wrapping up learning about the United States symbols, and it flowed perfectly into learning about the white house and the president, which of course flowed perfectly into discussions on voting and the election.

We've been voting in class on many various things. For example: whether to listen to Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber (sadly, Bieber won), whether to have celery or carrots for a snack, or whether to have a green or purple bookmark. I have been loving that.

And that student that I told you I wrote the Dr. Seuss social story for...well, he's the one I have the behavior meeting for on Monday. I'm so grateful for the staff I work with who are all trying hard to come up with a plan for this student with me. Don't know what I'd do without them.

And on non-school related notes, we are still looking for furniture for our living room. I'm just too cheap - thinking of all those student loans we're still paying off... And we have furniture in our family room anyway...but still it looks a little empty up there! And Hunter Hayes - in love with his voice! I could listen to "Wanted" forever. My little sister even called me when she heard it on Dancing with the Stars, to let me know "your song is on."

Hope you all enjoyed your extra hour of sleep last night!! :) Love Daylight Saving Time for that very reason!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Kind of Social Story - The Cat in the Hat gets Angry

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." - One of my favorite quotes but I'm not sure who said it. And I would like to add "and try it a different way."

So, I have a student who has always had some behavior issues, but all of a sudden in the last month it has escalated to the point of him being physically aggressive (which he had not done before) and throwing tantrums like a toddler, including throwing himself on the floor (also extremely unusual for this student).

This is one of my highest academic students. He has a ton of language and loves to read! He especially enjoys reading Dr. Seuss books and I am always amazed at the different voices he has for each character. As for his behavior, he definitely knows what he is doing is wrong.

Enter: Social Story. But, he freaks out whenever he reads social stories. By freak out, I mean screaming every word of the story, grabbing it out of my hands if he is not holding it, tearing it up, throwing the pieces everywhere, and then throwing it away. I believe it's because he doesn't like to be told what to do, and that the social stories imply that he was doing something wrong before. So, the social stories I had been writing seemed to be doing the opposite of helping.

But, last week, I wrote a social story and he loved it. All I did was put it on his desk and when he came in this morning I told him I put a new story on his desk to read. He read it independently. I didn't even talk to him about it. He kept it with him the entire day. He had none of his new extreme negative behaviors that first day and not even his whining / screaming behaviors.Not every day since has been perfect, in fact - he doesn't want to read his story right now - BUT he is still keeping it in his folder. Not being torn up and thrown away is a step in the right direction, right?!
Cat in the Hat - Social Story - Autism
What was different about this story? Well, for starters, the social story wasn't about this student (at least he didn't think so). It was about the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch. I honestly took a Dr. Seuss book while I was writing his social story and tried to use some of the Dr. Seuss language as well as incorporating some of the language we use at school. You can view/download "Sometimes the Cat in the Hat gets Angry" on Google Docs.

If you are looking for a way for stories to be more successful with your students, try framing your stories around their interests. I'm so excited about the possibilities! :)

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