Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

My students made character pumpkins and brought them to school! 

The students were assigned a book review to go along with their pumpkin. The Liberian displayed the pumpkins in the library.  

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bed Times

This study shows that inconsistent bed times can lead to behavior times: Click Here . 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Financial Planning for Children with Disabilities

Do you have a child with a disability or do you teach students with disabilities. It is very important that parents are thinking about their child's life after high school. 

Some Ideas:
Meet with a financial planner who specializes in adults with disabilities.
Talk with your child about their goals and dreams.
Take transition planning in the IEP seriously.
Students with intellectual disabilities can attend college.
Plan for college or other post-secondary options.
Have a plan encase you pass.

Here is an article about financial planning for children with autism. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


We wrapped up our science unit by reading the Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Corin and making worm cups! We used pre-made chocolate pudding cups to save on time. The students assisted with crushing up Oreos and putting the worms on top. We reviewed the terms decomposers, consumers, producers, and their roles in the ecosystem.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Worm Experiment

We are studying consumers, producers, and decomposers in science. During this unit we learned worms are decomposers. Through our discussion we decided to have an experiment with worms and plants. We planted two plants in class. One of the plants had worms in the soil and other did not. Now we are currently measuring the plants to see which one grows faster.

The students also enjoyed having a worm hang out on their desk while they spent some time cutting newspaper for worm food. Each student named their worm and we put them in a clear button to observe their eating habits.

We will be making worm pudding in life skills on Monday! 

Keep an eye out for the entire unit on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Do you check out Teachers Pay Teachers? Make sure you are on the email list to get free monthly freebies! 

I stumbled upon this freebie for Halloween candy. If some of the content is too high you can always adapt it to fit your students! 

I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Expect Nothing Less

I came across an inspirational video about a young man who works at a grocery store and is a professional weight lifter. He proves even through his challenges he can fulfill his dreams. His parents demonstrate that setting high expectations can make the world of a difference.

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Switch Adaptable IPad with iOS 7

I am sure you have heard about the new iOS 7, but did you know it has new switch adaptable abilities? I have found 2 you-tube videos to help you set up your IPad to be switch adaptable. 

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 16, 2013


I am very excited to use the iMovie app for back to school night. This is a really cool app that lets you make movie trailers and movies. I am making a movie trailer to pump up my parents for the school year. During the school year I plan to make movies to engage students in new lesson topics and even get my students to make their own.  The app is $5.00. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Prince William and Duchess Kate Support a Women with Down Syndrome

I came across this article and thought others would like to read.:

Prince William and Kate support an artist with Down Syndrome. I hope to see more of these stories! The more public displays of how people with disabilities can work and be independent the better!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Plot Chicken

We read the book The Plot Chicken by Mary Jane and Herm Auch this week. While reading the story we focused on what makes a good fictional story. I had all the rules written down so we could review them after the story was read. The class took each rule and worked together to create our own fictional story. 

Then we shared the pencil through input and writing some of the story together. You can see the story we created below. Lastly, the story was typed and added to our classroom library.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to School Night

Do you have back to school night at you school? I found a link to some questions to cover if you are a teacher, or what to ask if you are a parent.

During back to school night I usually go through a power-point and let my students color in the back of the room. I will post my power-point after I show my parents. Do you have any back to school ideas?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Autism: Film Shows Education Challenges For Young Adults And Families

I just listened to a very interesting podcast about a documentary on the transition from high school to work for adults with autism. If you teach students with autism I would suggest you take some time to listen :). 

Click here for the podcast:Listen to the Story

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fill a Bucket!

Do you read, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud to your class?
I read this story to my students during the first week of school. They really enjoyed the message and are still talking about filling buckets. I didn't focus on the dipping on buckets very much, so that my students would be focused on the positive message. After we read the story I had my students think of different ways they could fill someones bucket. Then we completed a writing activity that I found at Teacher Bits & Bobs. Each student was given a page to write how they would fill someones bucket and draw a picture. Next, we put all the pages together, created a title, and duck taped the edge to make a book. A picture of our book will be coming soon!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Brain Breaks

Do you use brain breaks in your classroom? My students definitely need some breaks built in during the first couple weeks of school. Even I need a break during the first week of school J! The students love to get up and dance to my brain break clips. Throughout the year I enjoy incorporating these clips into lessons. On my Pinterest page I have about 130 brain break clips. If you need some ideas or you have run out of brain break clips check them out here!

I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

DIY Desk Orginization

I made my own desk organizer! 

I put my pencils, post its, scissors, pens, and overhead projection remote in my desk organizer. If I find I need more compartments I can just add on to it!

Here is how I made it:

You will need:
 - Cardboard boxes 
- Toilet rolls and/or cut paper towel rolls
- Hot glue gun
- Scrapbook paper
- Scissors

What to do:
1. Cut your cardboard boxes into a size that will fit large post-its. 
2. Cut paper to fit around the box.
3. Hot glue the paper to the cardboard box.
4. Cut paper to fit inside the box and hot glue paper.
5. Repeat processes with other boxes and toilet paper/ paper towel rolls as you would like. 
6. If you would like you can even put some cardboard on the bottom of the toilet paper/ paper towel rolls, so your pencils and pens won't come out of the bottom. 
7. Hot glue all compartments together. 

 I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Classroom

Here are my after pictures:

Our kitchen for cooking!

Sensory Station

Behavior Clip Chart: It is Harry Potter Theme and you can find it here!

Token Economy Store: It is Harry Potter theme and you can find it here!

I changed my homework sign to fun at home! :) 

Our classroom library with our new author's chair. Can you find Hegwid? 

New morning board colors and calendar. 

The homemade snitch: You can find directions on this blog. 

The owlery is our classroom mail boxes! 

Desks are in a U shape.

I hope you can use some of these ideas!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quick Helpful Hint 5: Teacher Work Week

Today's quick helpful hint: Take a break! 

I don't know about you, but it has been a crazy week! Tonight I finally decided to take a break and enjoy my evening. Teaching takes up a lot of my awaking hours, but it is healthy to take a break. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quick Helpful Hint 4: Teacher Work Week

My quick helpful hint for teacher work week is: Set expectations with supportive staff.

Do you have supportive staff or work in a collaborative setting? It is very important that everyone understands the goals and expectations of working together in order to have a class that runs as smooth as possible.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Quick Helpful Hint 3: Teacher Work Week

My quick helpful hint for teacher work week is: Make a good first impression with parents and students!

Teacher work is a great time to touch base with parents and students. At my school we have an open house. During the open house parents and students can stop by the classroom throughout the afternoon. It is a great time to make a good first impression!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Don't Limit Me

This is a video clip of a teen with Down syndrome advocating for other students. It is a great clip to show students and staff. Also, a wonderful idea to make your own advocacy videos with your students!

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quick Helpful Hint 2: Teacher Work Week

My second tip for the week: Throw out what you haven’t used in the past 2 years.

It was a lot of work, but we cleaned out everything I have accumulated over the past 2 years. I made a lovely free pile at school. It was nice to see other teachers enjoy picking out things to use.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quick Helpful Hint 1: Teacher Work Week

This is a really cool article of DIY ideas to save money as a teacher.
I decided during teacher work week I would reflect and give a little bit of advice I learned during the day!

Helpful hint: LISTS! Make lots of lists, so you are not wasting time trying to pick out what to do next in your classroom.

 I have 4 T.A.s in my room, so a list with lots of options was also needed. After school I had to make my list a little longer, so we would be ready for another work day in the classroom. I can't wait to post pictures of the finished room!

35 DIY For Teachers

This is a really cool article of DIY ideas to save money as a teacher

Here are some ideas from the article that I am thinking about doing:
Use old Crystal Light containers to keep markers and chalk pens on the board.Crystal Light containers
Pom poms glued to the end of dry-erase markers make cheap and effective erasers.Pom pom erasers

Mix 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water and food coloring in a condiment bottle to create cheap and easy paint.Make your own paint

Visit the link to get more ideas and directions on making these DIY tricks.

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Start to a New School Year!

I am getting very excited for the beginning of school year! We have lots to do before the first day of school. Here is a quick peek of the before picture. I can't wait to finish putting everything together!

Have you started school? If so, how was the first couple days?

If you are getting your room together like me, how is it going? Do you have any new procedure ideas?

I hope everyone has a wonderful first week of school! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I am incorporating a STAR (Students That Are Responsible) notebook into my classroom this year. This is a binder that my students take home and return to school Monday through Friday. My students are responsible for keeping the notebook clean and neat. I will be incorporating my communication log andself-reflection forms into this notebook, along with homework, a daily schedule, and folder for take home papers. In order to get started on this new process I bought a STAR notebook pack from Jodi Southard on teacher pay teacher.   

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 16, 2013

TpT Sale!!

I am participating in the Teachers pay Teachers sale! You can receive 20% off any of my items that are more than $1.00. All you need to do is enter the promo code BTS13. The sale runs from August 18-19. A lot of teachers will be participating in this sale, so make sure you stop by and check out all of the savings!

Click here to stop by my TpT store!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Daily Self-Reflection

I have created a quick daily self-reflection for my students. It is important for students to reflect about the school day at the end of each day. This form can also assist in sparking conversation about school between students and parents. I use a behavior clip chart in my classroom. If a student lands on parent contact they must write a note to their parents explaining why on the bottom of this self-reflection sheet. 

You can find it FREE at my TpT store!

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Last year I had a bucket full of art supplies. After having lots of kids going through my bucket, it was in need of organizing. I bought these containers at the dollar store and the labels are free at Karen Cox's TpT!


Here is how I attached the labels so they would be neat and durable:

- Mod podge
- Thick paint brush
- Labels

1. Paint the mod podge on the back of the label.
2. Set the label where you would like.
3.Then paint over the label with mod podge.
4. Let the glue dry.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Raz-Kids Free App

I received a subscription to Reading A-Z and Raz-Kids. Do you use any of these products? I just found out Raz-Kids has an app! Kids with subscribed teachers can log in on the computer or on the app to listen, read, and/or answer questions about the book on their reading level. It is very exciting that students can use the Ipad with a multitude of library of appropriate books. Students can also use this library on their home computer or Ipad to complete their reading logs. 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Covering a Desk Chair

                                                        My new desk chair!

My desk chair was a lovely blue with a small stain.

So I covered my blue chair using fabric with the help from my friend from Teaching is a Piece of Cake . It was really easy, and I love how it turned out! If you are tired of your desk chair, here is how you can change it up. I got this idea from In My Own Style blog.

You will need:
 -  desk chair
 -  fabric
 -  staple gun
 -  screw driver
-   scissors 

Step 1: Unscrew back of the chair, so you can freely work with the back piece.
Step 2: Cut fabric large enough to fit around the back piece.
Step 3: Pry open back with kitchen scissors. Then stuff fabric in between the plastic and wooden piece of chair. (Hint: Stuff one side then the opposite side to pull the fabric evenly.)

Step 4: Unscrew the bottom of the chair, so you can freely work with this piece. 
Step 5: Unscrew the plastic backing.

Step 6: Measure and cut fabric to fit around the bottom piece of your chair.

Step 7: Use a staple gun to attach fabric. (Hint: Staple one side then the opposite side to pull the fabric evenly.)
Step 8: Screw on plastic backing and screw back both pieces to the chair! 

Then you have a wonderful new chair! 

I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Word Study Rubric

Do you teach word study with your students? I use the Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction by Donald R. Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Shane Templeton, and Francine Johnston. Through my summer reading of this book I decided to grade on the entire word study processes. I made a grading rubric to fit my classroom word study activities. You can find it FREE at my TpT store! Please, feel free to edit the rubric to fit your classroom needs.

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Teacher Assistant

I had two assistants in my classroom last year, and this year I will have four! Teaching assistants are a very big help in the classroom. It is very important for teachers to have an open communication system with their assistants. Therefore, I made an expectation notice and communication cards to start off the year. To keep communication open in a very busy classroom can be difficult. So, I made a quick document were I can write down something I am thankful for my assistant doing and something I need them to do or change. I plan to hand these out once every other week. My teaching assistants have a card that they can hand out when ever they have a concern and/or accomplishment. This document is FREE at my TpT store!

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Golden Snitch

I made this golden snitch to hang in my classroom over my reading corner! I have included the instruction on how I made my golden snitch.

What you need:
- Paper
- Scissors
- Glitter
- Glue stick
- Container
- 2 toothpicks
-  Styrofoam ball

Step 1: Pour glitter into container and rub glue all over the ball.

Step 2: Place ball in the container and roll the ball around. Add glue and glitter if needed. Once the ball is mostly covered pour glitter over spots that are not fully covered.

Step 3: Add toothpicks at a diagonal. 

Step 4: Cut out 2 sets of identical wings and cut little slits on the bottom of your wings. I used 1 set of identical wings for one side. I placed glue on both of these wings and glued them together around the toothpick. 

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Harry Potter Token Economy

I have recently made a token economy with a Harry Potter theme! You will be seeing more Harry Potter classroom ideas, as I have planned to read the first book in my classroom this year. You can find this token economy and others at my TpT store

Friday, July 26, 2013


PBS is doing a documentary on three people with autism and their view on people who are "neurotypical." The documentary features a four year old girl, teenage boy, and an adult woman. It premieres July 29th online and stays online from July 30- August 28! I can't wait to watch this documentary. Check out the trailer and extended information at:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Place Value Activity

Do you teach place value to your students? 

I just made a place value activity that you can use over and over again! It can even be a quick and easy assessment. Hop on over to my TpT page to check it out!