Penguin Eggs!

Saturday, December 14, 2013
I've been waiting until the weather was cold to post these adorable penguin eggs! I have made these a few times in my special education class and they always come out so cute! It's SUPER easy.

All that you need to make these penguins is:

  • hard boiled eggs
  • carrots
  • black olives
  • a knife
  • toothpicks to hold it all together!

You can see from the photos there are many ways to make these. We just get creative each year. Last year we cut the entire egg in half so they were flat but this year we kept the egg whole so that the penguins were standing. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's Black and White!

Sunday, July 21, 2013
New Classroom Theme....

Since I will be moving to middle school this year I had to sadly (sniffle) say goodbye to my oh so cute jungle themed classroom decorations. BUT....I am super excited to design my new room with black and white. Earlier I posted BEFORE pics of the room and next month I will post AFTER pics, but in the meantime here are some of the ideas I plan on implementing. It's going to be all black and white. There is one wall that is painted this horrid teal color so I was pretty limited with my color choices but I LOVE all of the new black and white options! I found these file cabinets on Pinterest that had quite the makeover. SOOO much better than that horrible gray 1970's look!

These name plates are FREE on TPT under Ella Jane!
Free Name Tags

I also found this awesome calendar set on TPT and Ella Jane was kind enough to make it a bit more mature by removing some of the cute clipart. This can be found at Ella Jane I plan on using these for signs and any other types of displays. I am super excited and can't wait to start fixing up my new room!


Thursday, June 27, 2013


It's often difficult to find daily morning work for our students in special education. I've created a FREE set of morning pages that can be used by a variety of levels. Some are for those who are able to complete some writing tasks such as this form.

There are also pages for those who are not yet writing. Just print the letters, laminate, and cut for multiple use! 

There are pages to practice the months of the year! Just color (optional), cut, and paste! 

You can print whatever pages your students needs practice with. Typically, my students needed to do the same practice page multiple times. :)  You can also use a page protector sheet to use the same page daily! I got his yellow clear on at our local dollar store! 

You can find all of these FREE pages 

If you are looking for additional morning work sets you can also find this set in my TPT store! Special Education Morning Work

I hope that you enjoy these pages!!



Field Day 2013!

Saturday, May 18, 2013
These are a few pictures from Field Day yesterday! It was so much fun and I had some wonderful volunteers that were amazing! We have such a great team that really goes above and beyond to make sure that my class is included. 

This day was a success but lately I have been having some issues with my school including my students in activities they should absolutely be included in. This makes me wonder if other schools experience the same thing and how they handle it. Here is my example.......

So, all of the 5th graders were invited to a training to prepare them for the transition to middle school yet the person in charge failed to invite my 3 5th graders. This really upset me. They are more than capable of attending and comprehending and need this just as much if not more than all of the other kids. Grrr....made me so mad. Crazy thing is before I taught special ed, I wonder if I had the same thought process? Special ed has taught me and continues to teach me every day. I feel like I really need to advocate for these kids. I would love to hear how others handle this type of situation. 


Writing For Everyone!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

So, first of all I have been away from my blog for a few weeks thanks to one car accident and a crazy class at UNLV that just about sent me over the edge! It's been a hectic few weeks but I'm out of school for about a month so things should be back to normal....I HOPE!

Anyway, here are just a few ways I include everyone in my class during writing. Most of my kids are able to write but I have one with CP and another with very low muscle tone who can not grasp a pencil very well. I love the Intellikeys which is in the photo above. I have my student write whatever the rest of the class is but he used the keyboard as it is easier for him to push the buttons than use a pencil. My other little guy is using stamps. I have to make the paper ahead of time but it's not that much work. Finally, the rest of my class is LOVING my new "sentence helpers". They have really helped my student become more independent in their writing. I sell them in my store for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. You can find them here.....Sentence Helpers.

Happy Sunday and I will be back to post my Sunday Fun-Day Freebie soon!!!

Easy Sentence Strip Center Idea!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

These index strip cards are an excellent center idea! Before cutting the strips I write up to 5 different complete sentences. Then I cut them and put them in a plastic bag. The students sort the cards by color which helps them form a correct sentence. Once the sentences are formed they re write the sentences on a piece of paper.

Guest Blogger

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I am excited to say that I will be a guest blogger for Autism Classroom News   this Sunday. The topic will be ULS (Unique Learning Systems).

In other news I start my next class tomorrow at UNLV so life will be pretty hectic for the next three weeks!

Oh, and out of the blue I have an interview tomorrow for a new position. Same area of teaching but it would be in middle school. I'm excited but nervous. Yikes!

Classroom Reward Behavior System!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Classroom Store

This is my little classroom "store". I use it for a variety of purposes but mainly it is one of the positive reinforcers for my students. Just to the left you see a blue chart with green tickets. It hard to see but the student names are on their so I didn't want it to be totally visible. Students are able to earn tickets at any time. I chose this method because in years past I found that letting them keep the tickets in their desk was too much of a distraction .This was with myself or the student can place the ticket next to their name and then it's no longer in their desk to fidget with! :) It's hard to see but just to the left of the shoe holder ( store) are numbers. If they have 3 tickets they choose from the top row, 5 tickets the next row, and so on. Of course the high price items are on the bottom. So far in using this system I have taught my students name recognition, counting, making purchases all while at the same time reinforcing positive behavior! What I never expected to happen was for my students to discover the concept of saving. I have a few students who have chosen NOT to spend their tickets on Friday and have decided to save their tickets one more week in order to be able to "buy" and item that costs more tickets. What a break through! Typically my kids are all about immediate gratification but some are actually opting to wait until they have enough! Love it! I found this shoe holder at Bed Bath and Beyond. They do have them at Walmart but when I went the holder was not totally transparent and it was important to me that the plastic was clear so that they could see the items inside.

Class Data Bulletin Board

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hello! Well,  I know it's the end of the year but I finally took my data forms and made a "data wall". This is only my first version and I am already planning what next year's wall will look like. Each of my student's has an IEP and per my principal they all have behavior plans ( even though I don't really think they all need one). So.....having 8 clip boards with data sheets is just NOT practical. I use my IEP Complete Binder Kit for Goals & Benchmark data but I decided to make this wall so that even my SPTA's ( paraprofessionals) will be able to jot down behavioral data. I put each of their pictures on their as well as their names and then a few different types of functional data sheets in each file for easy access. Some require data to be taken daily while others only once a week. Either way it's hard to miss and keeps me on track with data. I think next year I will also add copies of goals and benchmarks in here so that if anyone else is in my room they can quickly see what my students levels are and possibly work on their goals with them. Anyway, this is my first attempt at a behavioral data wall and I'de love to see what others have put together. Have a great week! 

The names and faces were blurred or blacked out for confidentiality.


Sentence Helpers Trial Run!

Thursday, March 14, 2013
This student used color coding to help form her sentences. 

This student chose to use the word "see" in each sentence 

So, I have been struggling with providing my students independent writing experiences since...well forever! I have such a variety of levels in my class but there are two students who are reading and are ready to start writing sentences. I have been working on these printable writing templates for a while and yesterday was the first day I tried them out with my students and I was sooo excited! I had not planned on color coding but when one of my students was picking her words we decided to circle the words for each sentence in the same color. It really helped her remember which words she would be using to complete her sentence. Once my students are trained in the use of these forms it is really going to help them in spelling, sentence structure, and vocabulary. I made sure the first box has all capital letters as those are the sentence starters and each word in the last box has a period. My plan to create a graduated system to that eventually as they become more proficient I will take those tools (reminders) away. I'll be working more on my sheets and if anyone is interested in trying some out just leave me your email and I will send a few samples! I love sharing ideas!

UPDATE: I have since made three sets of these and I absolutely love them! You can find them in my TPT store here.... Sentence Helpers


Unique Learning Systems....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So this year my class was selected to participate in an ipad pilot program. We received 5 new ipads for our classroom .....yay!

As part of the pilot program we are using a standards based curriculum ( yes, I said the word curriculum) designed specifically for children with special needs. This weekend I attended my first official training and HOLY COW! I am so excited! When I made the transition from teaching first grade general education to teaching in a self contained classroom the first thing I asked my principal was what curriculum I follow.....he basically said, "whatever you want". Uh.....excuse me? This did not sit well and since then I have been searching and making things and combing bits of pieces of this and that and adding in some functional curriculum and hoping that I was doing the right thing. Well, so far I am super impressed with Unique Learning Systems. It has meaning and it's functional and academic and incredibly differentiated and it does so much to include EVERYONE regardless of the disability. I am still in the preliminary stages of  implementation but so far it's amazing and I will have more more to post in the coming months......stay tuned! For those of you that are already using ULS please feel free to comment and provide suggestions. It's a lot to take in at first!

Oh....and here are some photos of my kids using the lessons. You can see in the photos the consistent use of photos and differentiation in material. Thank you Unique!

Data tracking by use of pre and post assessments.

Lessons differentiated by use of pictures! Love it!


My Donors Choose Items!

Sunday, March 3, 2013
New Writing Center!
New Book Case for my Library!

Over the summer I applied for some items from and it took a few months but here are two of the items donated to my classroom! I can't believe that people are so generous and donated the money so that my class could purchase these wonderful items. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend visiting to either request some items or even make a donation! It was totally worth it and my kids were so excited to receive the new items. In addition to the above items we also received writing journals and adaptive writing paper.


Our Class Valentine Hand Heart!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

This is the card our class made for Valentines Day this year! I saw the idea on Pinterest but it was in different colors and it was for a Martin Luther King Jr. activity. I decided to use red and I made a card for our families. The card was made on my MacBook  using iphoto and it was super easy! Taking the picture on the other hand was NOT easy! Trying to get this many kiddos with special needs to stand still was quite a task! Just when you think you had one back.....another one would slip away! It took a while but I am sooooo happy with the results! Love Love Love it!