Monday, February 23, 2015

Teachers are Heroes Sale!

Teachers Pay Teachers first sale of the year starts on February 25!  Teachers Are Heroes Sale!!

My special education blogging friends and I are linking up so you can easily find special education products.  Please link up your store at the bottom of this post if you are a special education teacher/TPT seller!

Check out some of my most recent additions:

And my best sellers:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New!! Special Education Featured Teacher

I have been blessed to become a part of a special education blogging community.  I never thought when I started this blog back in 2011 that so many doors would be opened before me.  This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I tend to be very shy.  I know some of you are reading this and thinking, "Yeah, right!"  It's true, but writing this blog has allowed me to open up about a field of education that I feel very strongly about and has given me the courage to my chase dreams for new jobs, presenting professional development and taking on more leadership roles in my own school.

This blog has given me so many amazing opportunities!  I have reviewed apps and products, participated in blog hops, consulted with teachers across the country, and become a member of outstanding educational communities such as Learning A-Z and Social Thinking.   It has also opened doors of communication and idea sharing with parents and colleagues in my own school district. Even with all of these awesome chances to share my love and expertise in the special education community, nothing compares to the work I do day in and day out with my students.  Which is the whole reason I began this blog in the first place.  I love sharing what I have learned over the years and pushing myself to become a better special education teacher through the contacts and encouragement I have received from parents, teachers, colleagues, family and friends.

When I began blogging, there were already TONS of teacher blogs, but very few special education teacher blogs.  I remember finding my first couple of special ed blogs and being so excited that I would have someone to follow that would be sharing ideas that I could implement in my own resource classroom or share with my co-teachers.  I really and truly hope that my blog has inspired some of you.  I hope I have shared ideas from my own experiences and classroom that you can adopt and use.  I know the special ed bloggers that I follow have done that very thing for me! I have gained friendships with bloggers from across the country that I look up to and respect. It truly is like knowing a celebrity when a blogger that you have followed and sought advice from over the years becomes someone that you can readily call on, talk to (about non-school related things), and calls you by first name!  It is silly, yes, but so exciting!!

I would love to grow this special education blogging community even more by featuring a special education blogger each month in my new adventure called Special Education Featured Teacher.  I will feature a special education teacher, interventionist, school based therapist, or educational consultant once a month starting in March!  This blogger will be able to share a guest post on my blog, be featured throughout the whole month, and we will all get to learn a little more about our favorite special ed. bloggers!

If you would like to become an upcoming Featured Teacher, please click on the page above titled Featured Teachers and show your interest by completing the form.

I cannot wait to help this community grow!!  I hope you are inspired as much as I am by the amazing special education bloggers that I promise you will meet throughout the year!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Teaching Resource Math: Capture the Creature!

Straight from the Resource Room, I'm excited to share with you a game that my kids LOVE and beg to play!  Yes, they really do beg to play!  :)  

Capture the Creature is a fun math game that helps strengthen addition and subtraction skills within 100.  Capture the Creature is a fun game for practicing adding and subtracting within 100.  Students take turns drawing a card from the deck and adding the number on the card to the "Dinner Bowl" of the creature.  Specialty cards are included to "Capture the Creature."  The student with the creature at the end of the game wins!  Students learn how to add and subtract using a bead string or bead rack.  Students will learn more advanced strategies for adding and subtracting (such as composing and decomposing numbers to add/subtract in the most efficient ways, adding and subtracting 5's and 10's, and using related addition and subtraction facts).

Here is what you will need to play this game!
Capture the Creature Cards
100 Bead Rack or 100 Bead String (instructions to make one of your own below)
A Creature (plastic lizard or use the Creature Cards)

1.  All cards are placed in one stack in the center of the table.
2. The youngest player goes first and begins by drawing the top card from the deck and reads the +/- amount on the card.
3. The player pushes the correct number of beads to one end of the 100 bead string and announces the total.  The player places this card in the discard pile.
4. The next player draws a card and will put the card on the discard pile.  The player will add or subtract the amount noted on the card using the 100 bead string and will announce the total. (The bead string is known as the Dinner Bowl--a name made up by my kiddos, because the beads remind them of food pellets for the creature/monster).
5. In order to Capture the Creature, do one of the following:
a. Pick a specialty card that allows you to Capture the Creature
b. Play a card that makes the Dinner Bowl equal a multiple of 10.
6. Play ends when:
  • Dinner Bowl equals or exceeds 100 
  • the last card is drawn or 
  • the teacher calls the end of time
Student with the creature at the end of play is the winner!!

Instructions for making a 100 bead string:
  • 1 long string (can be shoelace materials, yarn, twine) approximately  feet
  • 100 pony beads  (50 red and 50 blue)  
  • 2 jump ring or binder rings
  • Tie a jump ring or binder ring to one end of the long string.  This will hold your beads on the string.
  • String beads onto your string in groups of 10.  10 red, 10 blue, 10 red, 10 blue, and so on until you reach 100.  You will notice that my beads are 5 solid blue, 5 transparent blue, 5 solid red, 5 transparent red, etc.  This helps my students with counting by 5's and 10's.
  • When I begin this game, I start out by introducing the students to the bead string.  Students have time explore the bead string.  I make sure that they notice that there are 100 beads and that beads are in a pattern on 10's and 5's, blue and red.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Special Education February Blog Hop & Valentine Edition of Oh Appy Day!!

Hello friends and followers!  I'm so excited to bring you Day 3 of our Special Education Teacher Valentine Blog Hop.  Remember to come back everyday to find the special education blogger that will be bringing you a wonderful freebie, tip or trick all throughout the month of February!  Finding the special educator's blog of the day is easy, please just stop back by my blog and click on the corresponding day's envelope to directly link to that teacher's blog!  My friends, Traci from The Bender Bunch and Christine from Autism Clasroom News have already brought you some amazing Valentine freebies.

In honor of February being all about feelings and emotions I will be offering (for TODAY, February 3, 2015 ONLY), I my Check In/Check Out Behavior Intervention!
Click the link above or on the picture to be linked to my TPT store to download this freebie TODAY!!  Don't forget to leave some love (feedback) if you download this goodie!

Also, for faithful readers, I am continuing to do Tech on Tuesday: Oh Appy Day, but I am I have decided to only do this once a month.  I will be posting some awesome apps on the first Tuesday of every month!  Well, friends, guess what day it is!  Tuesday!!

These great apps are Valentine themed and perfect for your students.  All of the apps are great editions to your iPads and tablets and I like to add apps instead of buying treats or candy for my kids. I see so many kids in several different classrooms throughout the day that it could get expensive to buy lots of Valentine goodies, instead the kids can use the iPad or tablet to enjoy a little Valentine love from Mrs. H! ;)

iGet...Valentine's Day Social Skills Stories
iGet... Valentine's Day is an application providing a photo social skill story for individuals that need support in understanding the process of Valentine's Day. Twenty-seven icons with real picture images are used to illustrate the sequence of events.

The Kissing Hand  {One of my favorite stories!!}
Chester Raccoon and his mother share a secret, the Kissing Hand.  A sweet story about love between mommy and baby raccoon.  This book can be accessed as a read along, read by myself or autoplay book.

Valentine's Sliding Puzzle
A fun game for kids of all ages.  Players work through 9 levels of moving sliding puzzles to complete a Valentine's Day picture.  This is just a fun app to surprise your kids with for a V-day present!

First Words Valentine
First Words Valentine teaches kids about letters, how letters relate to words, and even how to spell words. This app is perfect for beginning readers and younger students.  The app provides 8 Valentine themed words to spell and read. 

Happy February!! Don't forget to stop back by everyday to click the envelope of the day and join some of my best blogging buddies for some great February freebies!!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Special Education Valentine Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Month!!  Twenty seven of my best special education blogging buddies and I are teaming up for the month of February to bring you something very special!

We will be offering freebies, ideas and tips to show our love to you this month!  My day is February 3.  Remember to stop by everyday and click on the envelopes on the calendar to receive your something special!

Special Ed Bloggers {puffy heart} our readers!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Currently January

I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the year's first Currently of 2015!

Listening:  So quiet this morning!  I'm just siting here enjoying my Starbucks from my own coffee pot and reveling in the peace.  It's not often that it is quiet around here, so a little solitude is nice.

Loving:  I love breaks!  Winter break, Fall Break, Spring Break, Summer Break...I love them all!! I never want breaks to end. :)

Thinking:  I have been so productive this break.  I have taken a huge load of toys to Goodwill, cleaned out the kids toy room, moved Barrett to a new bedroom, and purged tons of trash, yet the Christmas trees are still up and the decorations are still out.  Oh well!  I enjoy having the house decorated and it is so empty when it is gone.  It's bad luck to take down the decorations before the New Year, right?

Wanting:  A few more days off...:)  See above!

Needing:  I have plans for the room that I cleaned and emptied!  A new office/craft room!  Joe is going to build me a huge craft table.  We have the plans and measurements, now just to get the materials and get to work!

Yes:  I will stay on a budget!  I am going to miss eating out :(  I will love saving money!
Maybe:  I will meal plan.  Of course I will meal plan, I started strong with this last year, but really slacked off :(  My plan is to save money and stick to a do this, I will have to plan our meals.  Here's to starting over...
I wish:  I honestly couldn't think of something I was wishing for...
I guess I just wish that I can stay committed to what I set out to do this year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Oh "Appy" Day: Christmas Edition -- Christmas Book Apps

I'm excited to bring you some more great Christmas apps for Oh "Appy" Day: Tech on Tuesday!  This week's apps are actually all books.  They are everyone beloved favorites.  Each book ranges from $1.99-$5.99.  Click the pictures below to link directly to each app in the App Store.

The Berenstain Bears Christmas Tree is about the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree.  The bears soon realize that the trees are home for forest animals.  Will the Bears show compassion for the forest animals by saving the trees?

A Charlie Brown Christmas
This book is a Christmas classic!    Help the Peanuts gang find the true meaning of Christmas.  This book is full of interactive features, such as playing Linus' piano, finger painting, and caroling with the Peanut's gang.  If you love the Charlie Brown Christmas movie, you are sure to love this interactive book!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Another classic!  We all know the Grinch's heart changes from bitter and grouchy to a big heart full of love for the Whos.  Follow along while the narrator reads this edition or record your own narration!

Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
Help Rudolf use his big red nose to help save Christmas.  The app uses authentic video clips from the original movie, as well as, other interactive features such as recording your own narration.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Reading in the Resource Room: Version 2014

Reading resource has changed for me this year.  Change just comes with the territory!  Last year my resource reading students had different needs than the kids I have in resource this year.  If you've been reading my blog very long you know that I used a Daily 5 approach in the resource room.  I used Reading A-Z to help guide my lesson plans and most of my resources came from there.  While I still use Reading A-Z and RAZ-Kids, I have had to switch up the structure of the way I teach reading.

This year I have 2 distinct groups of readers in my resource reading group.
1.  Low basic reading skills.  A younger group of students (grades 1-3) working below grade level on identifying letters, sounds, blends, and sight words.
2.  An older group of kids (grades 3-5) that are near grade level, but have difficulty with decoding and comprehension.

I have both groups at the same time.  This is a total of 7 students.

Up until this point, I have been working with the older kid group most of the period using Corrective Reading while the younger students work to complete independent work (box) tasks.  This was working for me.  (PS-I have direct instruction time earlier in the day, so the younger kids are also getting direct instruction, just at a different time of day).

As I was saying, this was working for me, until...cue new student.  New student fits in skill wise with the younger students, but age and grade wise she is an older student.  Insert restructuring of the time...

*Sidebar*  I have not started this new plan yet.  New student came this week and MAP testing began this week, schedules for me and the students has been turned upside down.  So, this blog has been two things for way to plan all of the thoughts racing through my mind and two...cathartic, because I needed some time to write this down, develop new resources and get ready for my new plan!  Okay, back to the task at hand. :)

I will now have three groups:
1.  2 students -- working on basic reading skills
2.  2 students -- Basic Reading Skills and Comprehension
3.  3 students -- "Advanced" Basic Reading Skills (is that a thing?) :) and Comprehension

Students rotate in 15 minute intervals through out the 45 minute period.  I will use 3 different evidence based practices or strategies during this time to teach reading.
1.  Direct Instruction: Corrective Reading, Time Delay
2.  Technology Based Instruction
3.  Structured Work Task System

Here is an example of my lesson plan for a week.  It is basically the same every week, but I have left space to fill in extra information, such as the lesson we are on in our program or to write down a special activity or game.  This is my visual and it keeps me organized!  The initials under each group label are the initials of the students in that group.  I changed all of the initials, these are not my real students :)

Now to keep the kids on track; they will have the schedules below to follow as well as a visual timer on the interactive white board.  I use for my timer.

Schedule for Group 3:  This schedule will be programmed with the Lesson the student will expect to be on at direct instruction time, a goal for how many activities to complete on Lexia or number of quizzes to take on RAZ-Kids, and the work box task schedule programmed on their card.  (More to come on work box/structured independent work stations in a later post)

Schedule for Group 2:  This schedule is set up the same way as the one above, but these student will need more support visually and less words.  I programmed this schedule with the pictures of the apps so the students can know what to look for on the iPads.

Schedule for Group 1:  This group needs the most support and they are not working out of the SRA kit yet. I am using time delay with this group to teach letter sounds, blending and beginning sight words.  This schedule uses the most visual support paired with words.

So, now to give it all a try in the classroom.  I can't wait to get started and update all of you on how this works out and bring back pictures of this in action!
Let me know what you think in the comments.  I would love to have your input on this plan and tell me if you can see any problems that may need to be worked out before I begin!

PS...If you would like these visual schedules, I have updated my Guided Reading in the Resource Classroom on TPT to include my schedule and the student schedules as well.  The student schedules are made just like I have above and another set that just has an iPad or computer icon and not specific programs to help fit the needs in your classroom.

Click the image to purchase and download!  If you've already purchased this product, please return to TPT to download the revisions!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Oh "Appy" Day: Tech on Tuesday -- Christmas Edition

This month's Oh "Appy" Day is being brought to you by the jolly, ol' elf himself!  Each Tuesday this month I will be sharing the Christmas Edition of some my favorite holiday apps for kids.  This week's apps are fun for kids (and adults)!  Take a look at some of my favorite Christmas games!

Starting us off this month, we all know that is time for everyone's favorite elf to begin making his appearance in homes around the globe.  Our elf, Rocky, returned on Monday morning. :)
Here is an official Elf on the Shelf app:

This  is a FREE app!  Have a great time with a snowball fight with other elves!  This is sure to excite your little ones!
For more information click the link:  Elf on the Shelf App

My kids love any of the Toca apps and this one is one of their favorites!  Another free app!  You can style Santa or a Christmas tree for their big holiday debut.  Everybody needs a little cut, color and shave...even Santa Claus!
Toca Hair Salon-Christmas Gift

Christmas Fun - All in One Holiday Spirit
This app contains fun holiday songs, games, and interactive activities!  This is a one stop Christmas game shop and the best part is that it is also FREE!

I hope you find that these apps bring a little Christmas cheer to you and your students!

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Currently

December's Currently with Farley is here!  The best part is that I am actually do it on December 1!  What?! It's a Christmas miracle!

Listening:  The kids are in the living room with me watching the Disney Channel.  It's not my pick of shows to watch, but I guess it is better than Spongebob!

Loving:  We have had our Christmas trees up for about 2 weeks now.  I absolutely love this time of year and sitting in the dark and just admiring the Christmas tree.  So beautiful!

Thinking:  I have a lot on my mind.  School, Christmas shopping, a packed holiday schedule,  a sick kiddo, several meetings before Christmas's hard to shut my mind down right now.

Wanting:  You know that peaceful feeling of sitting and looking at the Christmas tree I mentioned earlier?  Now would be a good time for that!

Needing:  I need to get the move on with some Christmas shopping!  Nothing like waiting around!

Giving:  Just because we all need a laugh this time of year ;)