Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Final Countdown Giveaway!

 Gabrielle from Teaching Special Thinkers is having a Final Countdown {to summer} giveaway! Winning would definitely make the last few weeks of school more fun. Enter for the chances to win special education products below (Including your choice from my TPT store!) or head to Gabrielle's blog to enter for products for elementary grades as well. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

After School Event: Open Gym

 photo a54089cd-608b-4e3e-88dc-30da804d61bd.jpg 
This month our after school event was an open gym and the students loved it! We had a lot of special education students attend, as well as students throughout the building who stopped in for a little bit.

Our more athletic students enjoyed playing games just as basketball, football, etc. They pretty much just grabbed a ball and went for it.

Activities for our more un-athletic students (and myself) included:
  • ladder golf
  • scooter boards (great for those in wheelchairs too. we snapped a bunch together and had a student lay on top of them and slid her around!)
  • parachute games (seriously, you can never be too old for some parachute fun!)
  • horseshoes (they were foam)
  • foam noodles
  • music for dancing (turned to a "today's hits" station) 
  • watching the boys warm up for their water polo game...haha! We were above the pool and could see through the glass window. Some girls seemed to really enjoy this activity...
Pretty much all students continue to participate and hang out with friends for the entire hour and half. It was a success and a fun time for all! Yay! Sorry, no pictures this time as I forgot my camera and phone!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Counting Money using Visuals

I love these visuals from Tinsnips! (Sorry, the link no longer works - let me know if you can find these links and I'll fix it!!!) So easy to prepare too, all I needed to do was print them off and stick them in page protectors. I keep telling myself I'll laminate them...but it's almost been two years and it's still working great just like this!

As you can see, the visuals include coins the actual size of the coins, so students can place the coin on the correct spot while counting.

Counting Quarters Visual special education

A great, practical way to practice skip counting by 5s, 10s, and 25s! (Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the dimes sheet)
Counting Money Visuals special education
So, tinsnips has visuals for counting nickels, dimes, and quarters. You can download copies for your classroom on their site here (and might want to check out the rest of the site while you're there!)

And no, I don't usually have this much money in my classroom (see the first picture with all of the bills? not usually how we roll), we were counting the money that our school has raised for autism awareness this month by selling ribbons. How awesome right? We counted over $670 raised so far!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monthly Calendar Math

At the beginning of each month we do our monthly calendar activity. We did this one yesterday! Many of my students (especially those with autism) love this calendar lesson so much that they actually remind me that we need to do it when we are getting close to the end of a month. And get upset when something interferes with us doing it on the first school day of each month...

Not only is it educational but also gives students a visual for that month so they know exactly what to expect.
I used a blank calendar template that I found via a google search. I copy and pasted it into word and added a "key" text box. I change the key items as necessary each month. As a class we assign colors for the big events happening that month ( found in the key). I also have students fill in the numbers on their own because it's good practice.

After we have assigned our colors to the events in the key we talk about the month and color in our calendar accordingly. I like to tell students things like, "earth day is the day after the 21" or " our late starts are the two middle Wednesdays in April."

Once we are finished with that as a class, I give students a worksheet based on the calendar. I use the basic one each month and just adjust it to fit into that month- super easy, takes me like 2 minutes if even that long.
So that's it! We revisit the calendar throughout the month as students have questions and when things change. Do you do anything similar for calendar math instruction?

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Currently

Happy April Fool's Day everyone! I am so glad we have today off of school...haha, some of my students were quite disappointed when they realized we wouldn't have school but not me!!! No April Fool's pranks going on here!

And Happy {belated} Easter! How awesome that the Savior of the world died for us and then conquered death itself!! Check out my Easter playlist if you want to listen to some awesome worship song) My husband and I went to see my family in Michigan and it was such a nice weekend. (Pictures on Instagram)

Now onto this months currently:
Did you see the most exciting thing on my currently? If not go back up and be sure to read "loving."

So did you see it?!

Loving: We won our iPad grant!!! The teachers in my program worked together to write a grant for iPads for all of our students and we got it! We will get the teacher iPads in May and then go through trainings throughout the summer and then in the fall all of our students will have iPads too! I'm so excited!!!! Feel free to share any advice/favorite apps if you also use iPads in your class.

Advice: I like to do it all...but that's not possible. I simply can't be the best at everything (shocking, I know!) But, especially, as a blogger (both this teaching blog plus my other one), I feel like it's easy to fall into the trap of needing to do it all, to be the best in every area. I hope I'm not the only one :)
I'm learning life becomes easier when you allow yourself to NOT do it all, if that makes sense.

All of the other areas are self explanatory, so that's all I'm writing for now! Be sure to link up with Farley if you haven't already!

P.S. If you haven't signed up for Educents yet, they launch tomorrow and today is the last day to get a free $10 credit when they launch!!
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