Sped Prep, Teachers Pay Teachers, Tips

3 Tips to Prep the Big Items

How many of you have at least one BIG product sitting in your purchases on TPT because you are too overwhelmed to download it and start working? I have been there and I’m still there! I’m bad about buying too many things on sales and then getting overwhelmed by how much there is to prep.

I’ve made it my mission this year to start utilizing more of the resources I have purchased. Here are three simple tips to help you get started, too!

Just print what you need right now

Go in and download just the pieces you need right now. I use this trick for Stephanie from Mrs. D’s Corner‘s Adapted Work Binders. I have a mini obsession with her work binders and I tend to buy pretty much each one she posts. I still have a bunch sitting in my purchases unopened because I can’t find the time to prep the whole thing. Instead of picking one binder and doing all of it, I decide to look through them all and choose certain activities.

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I have her Adapted Music Binder, but I’m not going to be teaching all of the concepts in the binder right away. We are starting with our percussion unit, so I just went in and printed the materials that align to that concept. When I change topics, I’ll go in and print the next set.

 

Create a prep flow that works for you

I use this trick when prepping Michaela from Especially Education‘s task boxes. (Okay, I’ll confess, my husband came up with this work flow). For this one, I do print off everything in the file and laminate it right away. I take one “task box” material at a time and cut it on my paper-cutter, then I organize it in a tub. I keep cutting one box worth of items at a time and adding it to the tub.

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Once everything is cut, I put away the laminator and paper-cutter and move on to Velcro. Again, I just pull out one box of material at a time, Velcro it, and add it to a beautiful rainbow container. This method is not always going to work for you or for the product you are prepping. Especially if you buy any sort of growing bundle, figure out the prep routine that works best for that product and stick to it!

 

 Make a running list

It can be really hard to prep when you don’t even know what is in your purchases. I keep a running Google Doc that lists the product name, seller, and how many pages are in the document. I don’t necessarily print all the pages. For example, I am only going to print one level of the “-wh” question flip books from Simply Special Ed, so I won’t be prepping all 177 pages. I still list 177 pages because it will take me time to go through and pin down what I need.

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I do this to use my time more effectively. When I have six hours and a great Netflix lined up on Friday night? I want to use that time to tackle a big project like the Pumpkin Independent Work Binder System from Autism Adventures. If I pop a lasagna in the oven and have just an hour until it’s ready? Maybe I’ll choose a smaller project like the Sight Word Laminate Velcro and Go tasks from You Aut-A-Know to get started.

I hope these three tips help you start to conquer some of those big items sitting in your purchases! What other tips do you have?

 

 

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!

Homework, Uncategorized

Homework-Love it or Hate it?

I have a love/hate relationship with homework. In some ways, I love how my kids are able to go home and showcase their skills with mom and dad. In other ways, I feel like my kids already have so much going on and the homework is just an added level of stress. Either way, EVERY SINGLE PARENT in my self-contained class wants homework-so I do it every week.

I send home one homework packet a week on Mondays. My students can complete these anytime during the week, but are expected to turn them in no later then Fridays. for my more academically based students, I like to include a mix of reading and math skills, something related to the content lesson of the week, some work to focus on IEP goals and seasonal activities from time to time.

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I love using the News 2 You articles as the reading homework. They usually have two different articles up, each one offered in several levels. My kids use either the regular or the simplified article and I send home the game page, the review page and the think page for homework. The regular version has more questions and the simplified version is reduced for that level!

For kids who need extra comprehension practice, I will supplement with either my comprehension worksheets or my main idea worksheets, depending on their need. For my kids who need some higher level thinking, these Problem and Solution worksheets can be the answer!

My math homework tends to be directly related to the math lesson of the week. If we are working on graphing in school, I will put  graphing worksheet in the backpack. Sometimes I supplement with no-prep packs-you can find some great options on TPT. Right now I’m using packs from My Special Learners and Especially Education and they are a perfect fit! I also send home touch money for one of my kiddos-she actually gets a print off from my file folder pack!

But what about the kids who are not on that level? I have a couple of friends who are not ready for reading and math skills. These kids are at a pre-academic level and need more focus on foundation pieces and fine motor skills. I feature one letter a week from my Alphabet Weekly Work pack for their homework. I also love to supplement with the preschool printable packs from Little Monkeys Printable!

All of my featured resources will be 50% off through this Friday! Tell me how you do homework in your self-contained classroom!