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?

 

 

Home Office, Sped Prep, Uncategorized

The 3 MUST HAVES for at home #SPEDPREP

We’ve all been there. You are walking through the office and someone reminds you that you have a huge meeting the next day. Or you find that sticky note that reminds you that you are suppose to print off a visual for a student. Or you just need a token board like yesterday, and you can’t imagine going into work tomorrow without it. I just found myself in that position this week. I did not remember until Monday afternoon that I needed to present a student success binder Tuesday morning. With these 3 tools I was able to save my own butt.

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The first thing you need is a color printer. I know I know, that color ink is expensive! I just started using the HP Instant Ink program and I have been loving it! Here’s a referral code if you are interested!

There are 3 different ink plans: 2.99 a month to print 50 color pages, $4.99 a month to print 100 color pages and $9.99 a month to print 300 color pages! The instant ink program sends you more ink when you need it and makes color printing super affordable. If you go over your color ink allotment, you can print 15, 20 or 25 more pages for $1, depending on which program you choose.

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If nothing else, have a small set of ink available for emergencies. I have spent many days getting to school early and trying to print and prep on the school printers. It was so nice to hit print on my computer while I was making dinner and have the 15ish pages I needed waiting for me when I came up.

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The second thing is a paper cutter. Be nice to your hands! I cut everything with scissors for years but now that I have the paper cutter I’ll never go back! (Disclaimer, if something has to go you CAN cut by hand. This one isn’t an essential, but its nice to have!)

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The last thing is a personal laminator. Ya’ll, if you are still laminating everything on the school laminator, STOP!! I did not get my own laminator until this past May but it is the best purchase I ever made. It is high quality, can withstand the fingers of little kids, and makes those last minute emergency items a breeze. This combo set comes with 100 pouches, which will get you far!

 

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In less then 30 minutes I had printed, cut out, laminated and hole punched everything I needed for the binder. I went to sleep with no stress on the brain and I was able to present the binder to the parents and the team. It was a win win and worth every penny!

The two products featured in the photos are Simply Special Ed’s Student Success Binder and Especially Education’s Whole Body Listening set. I paired these two products together to make the ultimate tool for my student to stay on track in general education!