organization, Paperwork, Special Education Classroom, Tips

Your Organization Doesn’t Need to Be Pretty, It Just Needs to Work!

After drooling over Aly from Just a Primary Girl’s classroom, I impulsively bought the Trofast from Ikea. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I just needed to have one.

Cue 6 weeks later. The storage system is sitting in the front of my classroom, begging to be used. When I was trying to figure out how to store all the different pretty workbooks my kids have, it clicked! There are 9 drawers on the Trofast. I have 8 students. I assigned one student to a bin and now we store their workbooks and any other uncompleted work in their drawer.IMG_3019.JPG

I use Aly’s Spelling Activities for Any List, so we pop those workbooks in the drawers. I also put my Fall Writing Journals in the bins, and Delightfully Dedicated Special Education workbooks. Some of the bins have leftover work in them as well. I had a student out for a week, so all the work he missed is in his bin.

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Everyone in my classroom is color coded. I bought a roll of duct tape in each color (such a great investment). Instead of trying to make pretty labels and printing them in color and finding a way to attach them, I stuck a piece of colored duct tape on each bin. Not the prettiest, but everyone knows which bin is theirs and staff can easily pull work.

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Look how easy this is! When my paraprofessional has an extra 10 minutes with a student because his inclusion ended early, she can pull out his orange bin and have work appropriate for him at her fingertips. The silver drawer is filled with generic extras (basic math, cut and paste worksheets, writing journals) that work for several students. If a student bin is empty, my para will know to go to the silver bin to find work.

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Your color coding or labeling does not have to be pretty-it just has to work! How else do you use a Trofast bin in your classroom?

Adapted Books, File Folders

The Best “Bug” Themed Sped Products on TPT

The thing I love about Teachers Pay Teachers is that it is very easy to find materials that you need quickly-and with enough searching you can probably find the theme you need as well. I have an early learner who is OBSESSED with bugs. I knew that if I could integrate bugs into math, reading and writing, I could get him to do so much more work. But how would I find the time to create all of those materials in an appropriate timeline for him? TPT to the rescue!

Look at all of these materials! img_7162Most of these sellers offer products of similar concepts with different themes. If you see something you like but bugs are not your kid’s jam-check out the seller to see what else they have. For example, that Count It Out book has 12 different themes available!

The first thing I created was the I Like Bugs adapted book from Creative Curriculum Adaptations. I’ve gotten a couple of her books and I love them all. The pictures are vivid colors and the pieces are large enough that even my kiddos with fine motor issues can manipulate.

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I got 2 different products from Kayla Coffman with My Special Learners. The first item was this Count it Out book. I only made the 1-10 book but the download also included an 11-20 book.

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The second item I got was her All About Bugs file folder games. I made a bunch, including her patterns, number puzzles, ABC Match, Number to Word Match and counting file folders. There are more in the pack that I have not made-this is such a great value! I also have her holiday pack. What I love most is her file folders hit both math and literacy concepts, making it the best file folder pack I have found!

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This Spring Bugs, What Do You See is the second interactive book I’ve gotten from The Language Ladies SLP. I love the repetitive rhythm of this book and I know it will captivate the interest of my buddy as well!

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I had never heard of Irish Rose Place before I went on this search but I am so glad I found this shop! The Bugs Math Bundle was exactly what I needed! She has multiple adapted books, tracing sheets, counting cards and more! Her products are a great value!

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The last item was the Bugs in a Jar Book from Teaching Special Thinkers. I love that he can flip each jar up-that makes the whole book so much more interesting!

I cannot wait to take all of these products to school tomorrow!! If you don’t follow me on Instagram, do it now. I’ll be posting stories of these products in play this week!

Language Arts, Uncategorized, Word Work

Word Work-Free Download!

I’m starting a new word work center in my classroom this fall and I decided to give it a try with one of my summer school students. He really enjoyed it-especially the stamp pad part 🙂

I am going to implement this with sets of CVC words, but you can use any words you want. For this particular set, the six word he had were: Cat, Bed, Dad, Pig, Pot and Net.

Day 1 was drawing a picture for each of the words. I loved seeing his artwork!

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Day 2 was “bean spelling”, although as you can see I actually had counters in this center. I wrote letters on counters I got from Amazon. I had him write the word on the line, then spell it with the counters and check the box off.

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Day 3 was stamping the words-it was REALLY hard for him to resist the urge of sticking his fingers in the stamp pad-but we worked through it! My letter stamps are a little loopy and he did stamp a couple sideways. I recommend getting a more straightforward font on your stamps.

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Day 4 was rainbow writing the words. This one was less complicated and really gave him practice at the spelling patterns of his words.

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Day 5 was roll a color. He would roll a dice and write the word in the corresponding color. We had to use virtual dice because I can’t get into my classroom right now to use the real dice!

You can download this worksheet for free here! It is a PowerPoint that is completely editable-so feel free to change the different tasks. Maybe, instead of rainbow write, you can have them write in all caps or write with their non dominant hand! There are a lot of different options. I hope you enjoy!