Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to School Blogger Exchange 2014

Sign up here or scroll down and sign up below!

Last year I participated in a back to school blogger exchange with Covered in Glitter & Glue  and Adventures of Ms. Smith . I had so much fun and was curious if they were hosting it again and unfortunately they weren't.  So I decided to host it this year so others can experience some love and support from other teachers! 

"It's going to be a secret pal kind of thing! Bloggers will be paired up to spread the love and welcome a fellow teacher back into the classroom with a little package of happy. Sticky notes, pens, some candy for their teacher stash, etc. If you're interested in participating, here are the details!"

  • Sign up deadline is next Friday August 15, 2014.  You can sign up here or scroll down to the form below. 
  • You will get an email with your secret pal's info on Sunday August 17, 2014.  
  • Use the info emailed to you and the next 3 weeks to follow your secret pal and research their likes, dislikes, wants/needs, classroom theme, etc. 
  • Your package can include anything you want as long as it stays under $15.00. 
  • Ship your package by Monday September 8th, 2014
  • Wait for your package to arrive. 
  • Once your package arrives, take photos upload them to instagram, twitter & FB using the hashtag #BTSBE14. 
  • Create a blog post explaining what you received & thanking your exchange partner, then share your link on the #BTSBE14 linky (coming in September)! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

M is for Money & Token System w/ FREEBIE

Most of my kiddos need continuous practice with money.  I think the best way for them to get continuous practice is to make it part of their daily routine.  Last spring I began rewarding my students with coins as they completed work and if they had good behavior.  The only problem... I didn't have any criteria or a rubric to grade them on. I was basically giving out (per kiddo) 10 cents a day for a good day and if they finished all their work, 5 cents if it was alright and tried to work, and 1 to zero cents if it was really bad and they refused to work. The students would use their money to purchase something out of the treasure box (which I would love to show a photo of...but I can't find one & the box is at school!).  The students need help counting money and figuring out which items to purchase which could end up taking 20 minutes for all students to choose an item from the treasure box.  Some figured out how to 'save'  and get what they wanted and others would just get angry if they didn't have enough money but they didn't want to save.

Now that I've had the summer to review this system, I've come up with a better token system for my students and hopefully teach them how to use money and increase good behaviors at the same time! With these new additions, my behavior system will work more efficiently than last semester. (fingers crossed)
First, I will be implementing a self-check participation system.  Students will have a goal (# of times to participate) for each station. They can answer a question, point to a picture, use a communication device, etc.  The staff will give a check for each time they participate.  If their goal is to get 5 checks, we document once they have achieved this goal. Over the year we can increase participation checks to have students more involved. 

Photo from bethechange on

I'm also adding a class wide 'bank' similar to the autism helpers' system.  Students can donate to the class wide bank in order to obtain a class party/game/activity and the class as a whole can earn coins from the staff for additional good behavior. 

At the end of the day my students will be required to have their take home folder stamped by a staff member.  This reflects their overall day.  After their folder is stamped, they get paid! A stamp on Excellent=5cents, a stamp on Good= 3cents, a stamp on bad=1cent.

The students save their money until Friday when they can go shopping. Students can use their money 3 different ways: 1) They can choose to purchase something from the treasure chest, 2) donate to the class or save until next Friday. 

In the treasure box, items will be broken up into prices (hopefully I can adjust prices to give students a chance to differentiate counting coins).  Items will be priced as 5 cents, 15 cents, 25 cents and 1dollar. I've created the following coin visuals for my students to lay out their money and figure out which colored container they can pick an item from. 

July 2014 #SLANTbox

I get to share my first SLANTbox!! I've been wanting to participate since last summer, but kept forgetting to sign up, so I set a reminder on my calendar so remember to sign up! You can see all SLANTboxes for the June/July on Lessons with Coffe!

This month I was paired up with 2 amazing women in education! I received this awesome package from Stephanie at Technology Timeout and I sent a super cute package to Marla at I Live. I Love. I Teach!  If you have some time go check out their blogs! :) Anyways, let's get to the reveal: 
Super cute box

Box when opened! 
Thanks Stephanie for an AMAZING sunshine-y gift :) My kiddos are going to love some of these fidgets & pointers!

Find out more about #SLANTbox

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I bought for the #BTS14 sale!

The Back to School Sale on TpT was amazing! I bought so many wonderful items that I cannot wait to use in my classroom! :)  Check out each picture for the item I purchased & the html to the sellers store.  Under each image is the direct link to the product I purchased! Hopefully you can find some useful stuff to download too! 

What did you buy from the #BTS14 TpT sale!? Blog about it & share on the Blog Hoppin' Linky! 

Finish This

Today I'm linking up with a non-teacher related linky, but this weekly linkup is way too cool not to participate in.  Click on over to Nicole's blog, Three 31 and link up with this weeks 'Finish This.'

If I went back to school, I would study...
If I went back to school, I would study behavior and possibly get my BCBA.  I am mesmerized by behaviors and I am easily excited about dealing with difficult behaviors. Isn't it just like a big puzzle anyways? 

My favorite subject in school
My favorite subject in school was Math & Science.  I had the coolest math & science teachers in middle school & high school.  They instilled a passion for learning that I hope to pass on to my students. 

I wish I had paid more attention
I wish I had paid more attention to my parents.  I have found the are ALWAYS right.  Even as I have gotten older they are right...How do they do that?!

The dumbest thing I did in high school was
The dumbest think I did in high school was wait until I was 18 to get my drivers license.  Seriously, what was I thinking!? 

In high school, I thought I knew 
In High school, I thought I knew everything including how my life would turn out.  Everyone pushes for a 5 year and a 10 year plan and I thought I had it planned to a T. NOPE.  Some parts of my plans played out, and other parts didn't.  I think in reality the 5 years past high school have gone better than I could ever have imagined. 

Now it's your turn to 'Finish This.' Write your blog post & link up with Three 31.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made it-Teacher toolbox Updo

Link up with 4th Grade Frolics & share your #mondaymadeit

Last year I signed up for a back to school blogger exchange with Covered in Glitter and Glue.  I received an awesome teacher toolbox from and it has been a LIFESAVER during my first year of teaching.  I decided to do a little make over and create my own tabs in order to see what's actually in my drawers. 

 I used my silhouette cameo.  I measured the tabs and created the file. I used the print & cut feature and Recollections Lattice card stock from Michaels.  I then laminated each tab & hot glued them onto my toolbox. Viola! It's cute, green and organized! :) 

What have you made for your classroom? Share with us on 4th Grade Frolics Linky! 

K is for Kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry & Shower

It's been a while since I've posted anything related to my summer series.  I have been busy with a week of VBS, visiting my sister and a week of training. My brain is now in full #BTS14 mode and I'm really excited to be planning for my new year!

If you're in a special education setting, particularly self-contained do you have any of the following?

    • Kitchen (sink/stove/dishwasher)
    • Bathroom
    • Laundry (washer/dryer)
    • Shower
If you do have any of the above, when do you find the time to adequately teach your students the life skills to use the appliances in the kitchen and laundry room and teach them hygiene? This was a lesson that took me all year to figure out.  

The easiest way to teach a population of students with multiple and severe disabilities is to use visuals and if they are visuals that have been created using a task analysis approach, they are more likely to help. 

First thing you need to do is identify what you want to teach your students and plan the step by step direct instruction. E.G. I want to teach my students dental hygiene (how to brush their teeth). 

Task Analysis of how to brush teeth. 
You will repeat this process until all of your life skill processes are complete.  Some other skills you might want to teach your students are: 
  • Laundry
  • Restroom etiquette 
  • Personal Hygiene (grooming)
  • Cooking
  • Washing Dishes
  • Sweeping/Mopping
  • etc.

Steps to Independence

Miss, Hey Miss ABC summer series
Read other posts from this series! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

NOOOO It's August!

Who loves link ups!? 

I definitely do! Join up with your August Currently on Oh boy Fourth Grade! 
Link up with Farley on Oh Boy Fourth Grade! 

Listening: I have created a terrible addiction to sitting on the couch and finishing several entire SERIES' over the summer. I have watched Rookie Blue, Big bang theory, Mixology, Orange is the New black, Scrubs, Glades, and now House. (Please don't judge me!)

Loving: As you can tell, I'm enjoying my summer vacation! Then I see a little countdown on my phone with the reminder *11 days left.* Shmh. That's a buzz kill!

Thinking: I'm thinking I need to finish laminating, cutting and Velcro-ing activities & visuals for my class.

Wanting: I miss cool weather.  Lately its been 95+ and who wants to workout in this heat!?

Needing: I created a checklist @ the beginning of the summer and I need to look back over it and see what I have avoided and hopefully what I have accomplished. Then decide what to prioritize and do next.

1st day you & kids: The teachers go back August 18th, the assistants come back August 21st and kids arrive in all their shining glory on August 25th. :)