Thursday, April 17, 2014

Earth Day Giveaway

Spring break started for me this week and I can't believe how close it is to the end!! Anyway, I noticed on TPT that I now have over 200 followers!! I'm so excited and thankful for the support that has been shown. Since Earth Day is coming up, I've decided to do a quick giveaway (see below). The steps are quick and easy. I will announce and send out the item on Saturday! Thanks again for being a follower. :-) 

Is anyone else on spring break this week? If so, I hope you have had a chance to take time for you! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Thoughts on "The Earth and I" by Frank Asch

Hello teacher friends!

I ran across a book a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. It's called "The Earth and I" by Frank Asch. The pictures are beautiful with bold, eye catching colors! I also like the way it refers to the earth as a friend. I think it's a good way to show our students that the earth should be respected and cared for just like our friendships! It's a short and simple story that can be read to your students before they get restless or bored. Since I liked this book so much, I decided to create some worksheets that compliment it. I am looking forward to using them on Earth Day in my classroom! To go check it out click here!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Humbled Plus a Free Data Sheet

Hello Blogsters,

I am excited to share that my pal from Kinder Bilingue asked to translate my "Don't Eat the Teacher" unit into a Spanish version. I feel honored! Go check it out.

Also, I'd like to share a data sheet that I made a couple of weeks ago. I have a student that out of nowhere will get wobbly, stumble, fall, and freak out over a small step or the cracks in sidewalks. The doctors are trying to figure out what is causing this. In hopes of helping, I wanted a quick way to keep up with these occurrences. Just print it off, fill in the areas with your data needs, and put on a clipboard or in a binder. I keep my student's current sheet on a clipboard and put it in a convenient location. This data sheet can be adapted to many situations. I hope it helps!

Free Data Sheet

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

App Smack Down by Guest Blogger The Resource Teacher

Technology is so important in today’s educational field. There are so many benefits and endless possibilities, and let’s face it, most of the time kids respond better to a digital model.
Every month my building holds tech integration meetings.This past week we were all together and experienced our first App Smack Down! We were all instructed to bring our iPad and an app that we use in our classroom (all of the teachers in my building are issued 2 iPads).
Once we were at the meeting we were told the rules of the smackdown.
-We all had to speak
-We had to jump in one after another
-We had to give an explanation of the app and how we use it in our classroom
-Let the smack down begin!
A couple of my favorite apps that were brought to the smack down were, Geoboards and Good Reader. Geoboards was brought by my special ed. neighbor. It is so cool and perfect because we are working on perimeter and area right now. How many times have you said OUCH! after the rubber band breaks when using the traditional Geoboard that looks like this? photo 1
Well the new Geoboard App is the answer and folks it’s FREE!
I was able to use my Reflector software, which is an awesome way to mirror your Apple device onto your computer, which I then hook up to mirror on my board. I know it seems complicated but it is totally worth it. Who doesn’t want to see an iPad the size of your board? We started our activity by having the students find the perimeter of the shapes that I made. We then moved to them making shapes for each other and then finding the perimeter. Then I took it a step further and had the students copy a shape I made on the board. This was really tricky for my kiddos since they had to multitask but they loved it. Here are some images of use using the Geoboard App (you can also see how the Reflector Software is hooked up). photo 4
photo 5
photo 1
Another awesome app I use in my classroom daily is Good Reader. It is an awesome document reader that has so many cool features. This one is not free but it's only $4.99 and worth every penny.
Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 8.51.39 PM
One of my little guys has difficulty writing, as he applies limited pressure (you can barley see anything when he writes), he hates the feeling of the paper and the sound that is made when the pencil touches the paper irritates him. Could we work on these things? Absolutely, but why put him through torture when he is able to do everything the class is doing right on his iPad with the use of the Good Reader app?
I email him our daily assignments and he opens them up in the app. He then types his answers in and then emails them back so I can print them. And that's it folks. He has the same document as the rest of the kids. If he is not finished he simply saves it and has it waiting for the next day.
photo 1
The other cool thing we use this app for is reading. You can download (or upload I suppose) a book and open it in Good Reader. You then are able to highlight, look up definitions, plop sticky notes right in (yes Lucy Calkins friends Sticky Notes!!!). This is great for all of my students since there are so many things we require them to do during reading. Allowing them to have all of their materials right on the screen maximizes the time spent in the text rather than searching for sticky notes and sharpening pencils. This is a cool image I found on Google to showcase what Good Reader can do.
Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 9.31.11 PM
I can not stress enough how technology is taking over the classroom. If you are a pro with tech then download and go. If you are a bit scared of technology, I would say these are two great apps to start with. Geoboard and Good Reader takes what we already know and puts it into the digital world. Do any of you use these apps? What cool educational apps do you use in your classroom?

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Strengthen Reading Comprehension for Students with Autism

Working with students that have been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can be challenging, especially if he or she is non-verbal. However, it does not mean that they cannot learn!  So many times they can surprise you with their intelligence, and I have found myself wondering if some of my students know more than me! Here are a few strategies that I have found to be helpful.

Build background knowledge. This is so important for students with ASD because they lack the social skills required to learn through interacting. Providing background knowledge through social stories, magazines, movies, or pictures can be useful before reading a new book. I also think it's important to include them in as many social settings as possible (e.g., flex, recess, lunch, clubs, etc.). Whether we realize it or not, those things help build background knowledge!

Use the popular strategy called think-aloud! This is very common in regular classrooms, but it can also be effective for special education classrooms. The teacher thinks out loud to show students what to do in order to better understand texts. Use a graphic organizer along with your think-aloud to give them a way to process the information visually.

Act out the story! Kids of all ages love to pretend and move around! For children with ASD, this can give them a concrete understanding of what's going on in the story.

Retelling is a great comprehension strategy for a broad level of learners. Students can retell verbally, through graphic organizers, or through pointing at pictures. Adapt it to suit your students' needs.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know how you improve reading comprehension for students with ASD!!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Celebration Sale (20% Off) & New Items!

Hey friends! 

Guess what!? 

My husband's birthday is February 1st! I'm thankful for another year spent with him. To share my gratitude, I'm throwing a sale for 20% off! It starts on January 31st and goes through February 2nd. Go check out my store for these great deals! 

I've also added a couple of new items! Check them out. 

Here, I have the Morning Group Work for Emerging Writers. I needed something different for my students, and I'm definitely excited about this! Click on the picture for more details. 

I also created a fun item just in time for Valentine's Day!! These heart puzzles are perfect for literacy centers! Click on the picture for more details. 

Happy shopping!! 

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