Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas freebie + a sale!!

I hope everyone in the US had wonderful Thanksgivings! I had a good one with extended family, and it's my mom's birthday today, so it's always a busy weekend! I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to return to school tomorrow after having Wednesday through Friday off. :)

But I'm switching gears and finally thinking about Christmas....with a fun new freebie! This is an interactive book that focuses on positional words and phrases (which many of my students continue to need practice with). It's the same as my pirate-themed book, except with a Christmas theme! Click the image below to grab the freebie on TPT:

Freebie Fridays



And speaking of TPT...is there a sale coming up or what?! I am joining in on the Cyber Monday + Bonus Tuesday sale, of course, and my whole store is going to be 20% off for those two days - so use TPT's code CMT12 at checkout for a total of 28% off!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Teaching Tip Linky

I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten's Teaching Tip Linky Party!

This is something I started this year with my class, and it's been great.
Yes, these are photo albums from the Dollar Tree. My students all have one in their desk! Inside I've put pages that are very simple ways to work on their various IEP goals and objectives. The sky's the limit with these!
One of my students has a goal of matching and sorting coins. So his album has pages like this. All staff have to do is say, point to the coin that is the same and he's practicing an IEP objective!

This is such an easy way to get objective practice in. I don't use the albums for official IEP goal progress reporting (but I could) - I use these purely for "practice." During our busy morning work time (while kids are arriving from buses and before breakfast) staff can take a few moments to flip through an album with a student and quickly do some goal work.


 This non-verbal student has goals for identifying shapes and colors. Staff can show her the album pages on the left and ask "which one is the circle (or square)?" and she touches the correct shape...On the right, the question is "which star is red (or blue)?"

One of the best parts of the albums is that they require no laminating, no setup in the classroom, and are so easy to switch out if an objective is achieved or a new IEP with new goals is written.

This student has a goal of identifying letters from sets of 4. "Point to the B." "Which one is G?" etc.

A more simple numeral identification goal - staff shows this verbal student only one album page at a time. "What number is this?" Flash card style.

On the first page of each album, I write simple notes (also easily changed out with new objectives) on how to use that particular student's album. Most of it is self-explanatory! So nice if we have a sub in the room, by the way. One of my staff members has been out for a couple weeks because of a surgery...we do not always have the same sub for her. And still, if one student is having a seizure and another is having a behavior meltdown (at the same time - not an uncommon occurrence in my room!), I can say to someone brand new in my room "take so-and-so and work in their album with them," and they're able to step in while my other staff and myself are unavailable/busy in crisis mode! My students know what their "albums" are and then the rest runs itself.

One more example...this student gets asked "which van is the smallest?" or "point to the medium-sized helicopter," etc.

Like I said, the sky's the limit with these albums!

Link up to share your own teaching tips here:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winner, winner turkey dinner!


I enjoyed reading what everyone is thankful for! Congratulations to V from Special Teacher for Special Kids! Your packet will be in your email in just a few minutes :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thanksgiving Math Centers...flash giveaway!

Giveaway at the end of this post :)

I can't believe we're this far into November already...it has snuck up on me! I have been preparing for parent-teacher conferences next week...writing report cards and IEP objective updates...working on our travel/transportation unit...getting ready for my observation/evaluation towards the end of the month...

I just finished putting together some Thanksgiving math centers we will be using for the rest of the month, which include a dice addition game, strip puzzles, flash cards/number word-numeral-dice-ten frame sorts, patterns and a spinner/graphing activity. I put the bundle on my TPT store for $2:
...But wait! As my thanks to all you wonderful people, I figured I'd give the packet away to one lucky follower. This is a flash giveaway, so it's only lasting 24 hours.

If you want to win this packet, leave me a comment telling me two things you're thankful for this year. I will choose a random winner tomorrow afternoon. Be sure to leave your email address so I can get the packet to you!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Currently

I know I say this every month, but I can't believe it's time for another Currently! Even despite the l-o-n-g October in our classroom, this school year is going so fast!

Listening - I discovered Delta Rae a few weeks back on some late-night show (maybe Letterman?). They played this song which immediately hooked me. It is unique, kind of creepy, and oh so amazing:
I love the rest of their music, too. I think this one is my favorite (and is very different than "Bottom of the River," if you didn't care for that one):

Loving - Yes, we finally received our classroom iPad on Tuesday! We are all so excited about it - we've been practicing holding it carefully, touching and finger swiping gently...and of course exploring all the free apps I've downloaded already. I'm so excited about the possibilities for curriculum support, IEP work, and just plain fun this is going to provide us!

Thinking - We have records day without kids on Monday, but I want to get all my reports done this weekend so I can have time to work on other things in my classroom then!

Wanting - One of my favorite things about fall and winter is soup! I love making and eating it. I am constantly looking for new soup recipes! I have a cheese/bean/veggie soup going in the crock pot right now and the smell is making me hungry!

Needing - My darn back is acting up again...2 weeks of chiropractor visits and it was doing great, but I woke up this morning with it feeling all stiff and achy again. I have another appointment on Monday...my plans for this weekend did not include taking it easy, though. I hope it holds out!

Music - I play classical or piano music as my kids are coming into the classroom in the morning, and again after lunch when we have classroom jobs and choice time. I need something lyricless, because I have a couple kids who will not get anything done if they are busy singing along! Plus, it's very calming :)

Go ahead and link up with Farley - and remember her rule of 3!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Teachers Helping Teachers

As we are all aware, Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc on the east coast of the US this week. I have cousins in Maryland and New Jersey, and while they all have made it through with just a few days of no power, others have not been so fortunate. On top of damaged/lost homes, many teachers in Sandy's path are also dealing with damage to classrooms and loss of valuable teaching supplies! I can't imagine...

A wonderful teacher over at The ESOL Odyssey - who has Sandy-related damage in her own classroom, even - has come up with a great way for fellow teachers to show our support for our colleagues affected by Sandy. If you have a TPT or TN store, click on the button below for how you can help. I am donating a few of my best-sellers from my TPT store to go to Sandy-affected teachers. Laurah is making it so simple to help by taking care of the logistics end of things. What a great opportunity for all of us to show our love and support to our colleagues in need!
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