Friday, December 4, 2015

Multi-Sensory teaching for students with VI (part2)

Last month I shared how to create an object/tactile schedule for students with visual impairments or students who have low cognition. Today I'm going to share a variety of Assistive Tech devices I use on a regular basis with my students who are low functioning, have visual impairments or limited motor abilities. Even though I'm targeting a specific level and ability in this post, I've found any student will enjoy using these devices!

Continue reading after the page break to learn more! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Multi-Sensory teaching for students with VI (part1)

Greetings fellow teachers! This series will hopefully provide you with some resources, tips and information to help you teach students with visual impairments(VI).  The past two years, I've had a heavy caseload of students with VI. My students have had low motor abilities and very limited independent skills and all non-ambulatory.  I'm excited to share the various ways you can include students with a visual impairments into your daily group settings, even with students who are more independent and ambulatory.  I hope these resources are helpful to you and your kiddos! 

Today I'm sharing my object based schedule. Object based schedules are a great way for students to involve a variety of senses.  You can create the object to make sound (auditory input), create an interesting texture (for tactile input) or use a variety of scented resources (for olfactory input).  This isn't just limited to students with a Visual Impairment, but even for a student doesn't relate to picture schedules yet. 

Supplies needed for object schedule: 

Here are a few examples of an object schedule:

You can also follow my Visual Impairment board for more great ideas!

Follow Michelle Bingham's board Visual Impairment on Pinterest.

Check back through the couple of months for more strategies, resources and information relating to: 

Monday, October 26, 2015

WeTeachSped Tricks & Treats Blog Hop

Thanks for hopping to my blog! I hope you are enjoying our Sped. Tricks & Treats! Keep reading to get a trick, a treat, and the link to the next blogger on the hop! 


Most of my students have the ability to transition within our daily schedule with a timer and verbal prompt. I have a couple who use tactile schedules and two that still need a visual and to 'check their schedule.'  There are some days where my students are finishing their choice time and I just can't get them to transition (especially to group work), so I had to include something FUN.  I needed it to be related to transitioning to their desk, disguised as a transition cue and a reinforcement for them to come to their desk.  Therefore the participation stickers were created!! 

I place a sticker on each child's desk.  While they clean up and check their schedules they get really excited to rush to their desk and place their sticker on their strip! 

Read more about Behavioral Momentum

If a student is struggling with cleaning up or even checking his schedule I will use behavioral momentum to get them going and incorporate more stickers for every part of the task they complete. 

When they fill up a strip, they get money which allows them to purchase something from our class treasure box. 
Class Dojo Sticker Freebie! 

 Grab freebie here!
Grab freebie here!

I have added Class Dojo monsters to my participation sticker set!  You can easily calculate their sticker total on their desk and transfer it into the class dojo system.  Again, I use it for students to earn money for reinforcements. 

If you want my entire sticker can purchase it below and 1/2 off! 

Sticker Participation system! 

 Hop onto Learning Ahoy!

Hop on over to Caitlin's blog at Learning Ahoy!! for more Tricks & Treats! 

Caitlin's blog at Learning Ahoy!! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

10/15 Meal Prep Monday

Hey fellow teachers!! I'm excited to start this monthly link-up. I know I get bored of the same foods week after week.  Some weekends I don't have a lot of time to prep or search Pinterest for unique lunch ideas and other times I can't make it to the store to restock...therefore I get stuck with the same ole' boring lunch or frozen meal.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Organizing Sped Visuals

Hey readers! I'm glad to be sharing how I store the visuals in my classroom.  I store schedule icons, communication icons, and any 'extra' visuals I would need during the day in 2 easy locations. I would love to have splurged on a Success box, but just couldn't bring myself to spending $35 since I knew I could figure out a way to make something similar for less! 

Purchase your own Success Box
Check out how I created my own DIY 'Success box.'

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Favorites Blog Hop & FREEBIE

 Thanks for hopping along in this Fall blog hop! I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some cooler weather, hot tea, pumpkin spice steamers, breezy weather and all of the reds/orange color changes that are coming our way! Mrs. D. hosting this fabulous hop, so be sure to stop at her blog & see what she has in store for you!
I have a classroom of students with a variety of abilities. Almost half of my class has visual impairments and is non-ambulatory.  Therefore I include a lot of tactile, auditory and olfactory activities in my lesson such as sensory bins, shaker bottles, a sensory board and I also change up the activities in our black light area.

Friday, September 18, 2015

White Folders

White Folders on Miss, Hey Miss!

I have made it through the 5th week of the school year. This week was tough! I had an ARD, kids getting sick, staff getting sick, parents in denial, and last of all PICTURE DAY! It took us an hour today to get through pictures. I am EXHAUSTED. 

On Fridays, I spend my conference prepping the paper-pencil tasks from N2Y (News-2-You) for the next week.  My district is kind enough to provide N2Y for us to use. If you don't have access to it, ask your district if they could look into purchasing it! It is a life saver. In order to modify my students work, I need a pen, black marker and highlighters. All of my students (except for students with severe visual impairments) complete this work as independently as possible. First, as a group we read N2Y and do some activities on the smart board.  Then I transition them with a visual or a verbal prompt to get their white folders. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Ditch your desk

Miss, Hey Miss! Ditch your teacher desk

Hey fellow educators! Are you thinking about ditching your teacher desk? I'm sure it's crossed your mind but you still wonder: 
  • How will I stay organized? 
  • Where will I have 'space' to work? 
I'm here to share my experience of ditching my desk and to answer how I stayed organized and became flexible in my 'work space.'  I must say, this may not be for you...but it doesn't hurt to try! If you aren't completely sold on getting rid of your desk, keep it in your room and use it for a station or check-in for students.  You will still have it available and can switch back if you change your mind. 

I ditched my desk because...

Monday, August 31, 2015

Successfully Prep student IEPs

Hey teacher friends!! I hope everyone is having a smooth start to the 2015-2016 school year! I am starting my second week and so far the honeymoon has been good! Let's hope it stays as smooth as it is and I can continue to blog and make TpT products!! **fingers & toes crossed**  I will be sharing the forms I use to keep track of paperwork needed for an A.R.D. (Annual, Review, Dismissal).  I'm in Texas so this is equivalent to your I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan).

Page 1
On page 1 in the first chart I document who will be attending the meeting.  In the second chart I document the number of notices sent home, method of delivery, language sent and who I sent it to. Each time I send out paperwork I document the date it was sent out and the deadline I gave the parents to return the paperwork.  If I don't receive the paperwork by the deadline date, I send out another copy.

Page 2
Page 2 is specifically for FIE (Full Individual Evaluation) / REEDs (Review of Existing Evaluation Data).  This occurs for each student every 3 years. Our district has a certain set of paperwork that is needed to complete the re-evaluation so I listed them in the chart on the 2nd page.  For your district, you can add in the pages and details as well. 

Page 3 & 4 
Pages 3 & 4 or specifically for me.  I use it the day of and during the meeting.  You may delete, modify and add any info that is relevant to you and your district.  Page 4 has __ / __ in front of each point of discussion during the ARD.  My district uses Esped so I list the screen number in the first line (e.g. 34 / __).  Then I list the page number from the draft (printed copy) if applicable. (e.g. __ / 30).  The box in the top right Screens to remember: Is my 'cheat' for the screens I need to access quickly and frequently and because I get nervous during meetings I can't remember. Therefore I write them down. 

Page 5

Page 5 is an overview timeline for each ARD.  I cut out one and attach to the prep paper work (pages 1-4). On the lines I list the dates that each listed item must be completed by.  This is also editable to match your district/state requirements and timelines.

You can download these forms in an editable word document form to fit the needs of your students and district. **Please note-the spacing might be off slightly depending on your version of Microsoft Word or operating system. You should be able to delete or enter lines to fix the spacing issues.**

Sunday, August 9, 2015

BTS Class List Tip & Blog Hop

Greetings Back to School Blog Hoppers! 

Who's back at school already? Who's still enjoying their summer? Tell me in the poll below!!!! 

I am not at work yet, although I am prepping (seems like I am always prepping) to go back on the 17th of August.  I am linking up today in a blog hop of BTS AWESOMENESS with The Owl Teacher. I hope you are finding all of the bloggers useful & informative. There is so much good info out there so we can easily collaborate! I LOVE it!! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Easy Parent Communication

Hey fellow educators!! Today I'm going to take you behind the scenes to my parent communication system. I'll be showing you 4 different ways you can easily manage parent communication.

  1. Teacher Business Card
  2. Parent - Teacher Communication Folder 
  3. Monthly Newsletters & Holiday Announcements 
  4. Communication Documentation 
I have received a wealth of information from one of my colleges who not only has been teaching for almost a decade, but also has a son who is on the spectrum. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Currently: August 2015

I'm Currently...
Listening to the sound of a sander and saw cutting up wood. 
I'm loving that I'm done moving...hopefully for a long time. 
I really need to get my to-do list smaller. 
I want summer to be longer. Seriously-two weeks left! :o
I need to go pop my feet up and watch some Netflix! 
I'm making some tumblers for my assistants as well as welcome back handmade cards with some delicious goodies. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Back to school countdown #spedchatsaturday

I'm linking up today with Lattes, Lessons & IEPs for a back to school countdown. If you want to see some amazing posts from fellow special education teachers search #spedchatsaturday on your favorite soc. media for more resources! 

I'm definitely not ready to go back to school!! My summer hasn't even felt like a summer! I've spent the last 2 months slowly moving into a house, as well as spending the end of June / beginning of July planning for my sisters wedding (which was BEAUTIFUL). Needless to say, I'm ready for summer to 'start.' LOL 

Anyways, time marches on...

My 5 to-do's over the next 2 weeks before getting back to my classroom.
 I need to complete my teacher spiral. It contains my data, lessons, attendance, student overview, parent contact and calendars. It is my LIFESAVER. I will do a video on it once it's finished. Obviously I am always needing to print, cut, laminate, cut and assemble. I need to complete my lessons, work on my schedule (pending caseload) and lastly take my paras to lunch. I started this last year and invited my Paras out to lunch.  We went and ate some delicious Texas BBQ, talked about our summers and discussed the new year! 

4 simple ways I stay organized.
  1. I document student seizures and nurse visits for my own piece of mind, and if the parents ask when / how long was my kids seizure...I have it readily available.
  2. I use an ARD/IEP massive  checklist to help track and maintain deadlines, my paperwork and related services paperwork. 
  3. At the begging of the year, I like to get the parents talking. I send out a beginning of the year survey and let them fill in some info I may not know about them or their kiddos.
  4. Once I know parent contact info, I can easily keep in touch and document our communication efforts for my records. 

 I wish summer was longer.         I wish my to-do list was shrinking quicker. Sadly, it's not.       It's to hot in Texas. Seriously. Moving in 104 degree weather STINKS!!

If you have not used a timer to manage your time (or your class time) I highly suggest it!! These dollar tree timers are PERFECT. 

My kids love them. 
I love them!
They are simple to use. 
Batteries last forever (or so it seems). 
They are durable (if they can survive sped, they can survive gened). 

So yea...go grab you some!! $1
Dollar Tree Timers

I promise to try and be more efficient. Last year I spent too much time focusing on work, I forgot to take time for myself, my puppy and fiance. Fingers crossed-my 3rd year of teaching will even itself out. Does it ever really 'even out?' 

Join our linkup!