Thursday, March 21, 2013

Age Appropriateness Activity for Teenagers with Special Needs

A lot of my students enjoy things that many elementary students like, and well developmentally that's where most of them are. But they are in high school. It really makes me cringe when one of my 16 year old students tells me that his favorite movie is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I sigh, but at the same time, if that's what entertains him in his free time, at least he has something he enjoys doing for a leisure activity. But you better believe I will continue to press more age appropriate ways of entertainment!

One thing I definitely want my students to know is the difference between items for little kids and items for teens/adults. Lets be honest, many students with special needs are attracted to the Disney character lunch boxes or the bright colorful backpacks that are geared toward preschool and younger aged children. It just doesn't look as cute on a 250 pound high schooler. It doesn't help them fit in either.

Today in my Work Skills class we read about choosing an appropriate lunch box for work in our weekly story. (We use the PCI "How to Get Along with People at Work" book) .

After reading and discussing that, we sorted items for little kids and items for teens. We also talked about being cool and mature. They did really well with this sort! I hope it helps them (and maybe even some of their parents) to realize what is appropriate for them at their age.
age appropriate sort
You can download this Kids/Teens sorting activity here.

Freebie Fridays 
Hope you find this helpful in your classroom! I would love to know if you use it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Party - After School Event

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We had a St. Patrick's Day party tonight at school as an opportunity for our special education to get together and hangout with their friends. It was pretty awesome!

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I had St. Patrick's Day hats, necklaces, and headbands so students were able to dress up like leprechauns. They had fun with that. We started off getting accessorized and playing some board games. 

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 Then, students decorated a gold coin, which they would then pin under the rainbow in the "Pot O' Gold". They had a lot of fun with this!

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We put green food coloring in our 7-Up to make our drink a little more fun! I was actually surprised, only a few students didn't want the food coloring - they all enjoyed watching it turn colors...maybe too much, I'm a little concerned on student might have had as much food coloring as he had pop! 

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We also did marble shamrock painting. I had never done this before and it's a great activity that everyone can do (at least somewhat) and everyone enjoys. (I do have to admit, technically it was gumball painting because I didn't have marbles....so I used gumballs!)

We played a group game that I called Sneaky Leprechauns Hide the Gold! (Or something like that). One student left the group, and we gave one student a gold necklace. The student would come back and have to guess who had the gold. Everyone pretends like they have it so it isn't super easy. The students liked this game more than I thought they would - so we played this game for a lot longer than I thought we would, but it went well!

Have you done anything for St. Patty's Day yet? Will you be doing anything?

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Autism Helper: Sexual Behaviors

Have you met Sasha over The Autism Helper? Her blog has been so helpful to me and my classroom so I highly recommend checking it out if you are a special education teacher. Also, today she is focusing on teens and sexual behaviors and how to deal with those awkward situations as teachers.

While you're reading over there, you'll find a little blurb from ME about some of the things I have done in my own classroom.

So, go check it out and also be sure to congratulate Sasha on her engagement!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Educents - Free $15 Credit for Teachers & Multi-tasking

Have you heard of Educents yet? If not, that's okay because it hasn't launched yet! So, obviously, I don't know much about it either but I do know that 1) it is a daily deals site (like Groupon) with educational products and 2) if you sign up now they are giving you a free $15 credit to use on one of their deals when they go live on April 2nd. I'm hoping we can score some sweet deals! So tell of your teacher friends!!

So I was working at my desk just a couple of days ago and didn't even realize how messy it looked until I stopped to put some chap stick on. And this wasn't just a messy desk - I was actually using a majority of these papers at that time. (So of course I had to pause and take a picture!) Holy Cow. Multi-tasking to the extreme. This is what happens when you have three IEPs scheduled in SIX days! Yup, I have two next week (Tuesday and Thursday) and then one the following Monday. I'm about to go crazy. At least when they're done they will be done! Anyone else with me on this one? How do you do it?!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snow Day and March Currently!!

Here's to the first snow day of the teaching career! *Cheers with a Diet Coke can in my hand* It was crazy because when I woke up this morning, it wasn't even snowing, and yet school was canceled. But now it's snowing pretty hard and it's supposed to get worse so I guess that makes sense. And only my driver's side windshield wiper is working, so it's good I don't have to drive - although I wish I could run some errands! :)

Thanks to this snow day, I finally have time to do March's currently! Go and link up with Farley if you haven't already!
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Listening: My Pandora station, "Reign in Us" by Starfield. It's a great one :)

Loving/Thinking: This week is already a short week, only Monday - Wednesday with students and then parent-teacher conferences on Thursday and no school on Friday. Now, with the snow day today, I will only have students twice this week! I'm not complaining about the snow day...but it would have been more convienent on a full week when I needed a break. Plus, I wanted to get pictures of students completing their jobs for conferences...but at least I still have tomorrow.

If you want to see something else I love, check out the 3 month baby pictures I took of my niece this weekend. Such a little cutie!! 

Wanting: To be done with all of the educational stuff I have to do that doesn't involve teaching! I have two students that need to have the IAA done this year. I'm done with one and halfway done with the other. But it's hard because I only see that other student the first two periods of the day, so I have to leave my class with my aides to work on it with him. Which is fine, but I just feel like I haven't "taught" much in Math and Language Arts lately.
I have three IEPs coming up in the next two weeks. And now we are doing a yearly assessment with all of our students called the SANDI, which is great because before we didn't have an annual assessment...but it also takes forever. So when I'm not doing IAA, I'm doing SANDI with those three students since it's ideal to get this done before their IEPs. And then I actually have to start working on those IEPs... What is up with all these special ed acronyms! My life would be so much easier without them :)

Needing: I'm home today so I should be cleaning, right? Boo, I don't want to though! 

Like/Love/Hate: So since my name is Brie, I had the letter "B" to work with here. First things that popped into my mind were that I really like blueberries (like my blueberry buckle recipe)! I'm loving my current Beth Moore Bible Study on the "Law of Love" focused on the book of Deuteronomy. Also, I hate burglars - no reason, my house has never been burglarized but it was the first thing I thought of. Now I'm thinking "bugs" would have been more appropriate.
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