Okay, I like to make task boxes. A lot. Every time I am in the Dollar Tree, I think I make another one. I like doing it (and I love any excuse to shop at the dollar store). You can find my directions for making your own Dollar Tree task boxes here. No Prep Task…
You’ve worked on good routines and procedures for weeks now… and in the blink of Holiday Vacation, all your hard work will be undone. Here are some ideas for helping students overcome holiday in Autism Units. Front-loading Holiday Vacation It is hard to have your routine interrupted. Some students can’t wait to go on vacation…
You need vocational activities in your classroom. You also want them to be meaningful and actually teach new skills. But do your students somehow end up sorting the same 2 or 3 items over and over? Yikes. Here are a few quick ideas for more and easy ways to make what you have more meaningful.…
Morning Routines We all have routines. I definitely have one. Before I even get into the classroom, I have a routine of things I do to get my day running right (read: grab a Coke, skip breakfast, and pretend to get through my lingering to-do list)… but I walk into classrooms all the time where…
Parent Engagement in Autism Units
As teachers in self contained classes or Autism Units, we are tasked with being care takes, educators, advocates, surrogates, and darn near family for each student we work with. Sometimes we can start to forget that fostering a friendly relationship with parents is also part of the job. Parent engagement in Autism units is important. So how can you do those little things that help parents feel involved, help you grow a stronger relationship, and provide moms and dads with a full experience as the parent of a school-aged kid.
Dear Readers and Friends, I need help. Like so many others in the Greater Houston area, I nearly fell to my knees this morning when the sun peeked through the clouds and the rain stopped. It finally stopped. If you can, please give to our recovery fund… even a single dollar helps. If you…
Survive and Thrive in a Self Contained Classroom
When I walked into my first LIFE Skills classroom I was teaching so many different leveled students so many subjects (seemingly at the same time) I really didn’t know where to start. Like a lot of new teachers, I thought I could teach in self contained like I taught before- whole groups where I “performed” and called students to perform back on cue. Problem is self contained does NOT work that way. When you ask for a performance, you’ll likely get something you did not anticipate. I was in the classroom with non-responsive students, high functioning Autistic students, emotionally disabled students with a bevy of behavior problems, and students with Down Syndrome and varying levels of functioning depending on the task. I had a hard time planning lessons. After much trial and error, I found that the following things were absolutely necessary to survive and thrive in a self contained classroom.
Wanting to add more and meaningful activities to your classroom?
Have you tried adapted books?
Learn more about using adapted books in Autism Units!
Using Adapted Books in Autism Units
I love adapted books. LOVE! They are one of my favorite tools in Autism classrooms. When it comes to working on basic skills, advanced concepts, content area ideas, or even personal information, adapted books are a great way to effectively target specific skills in a way that is engaging for students.
Are you looking for a cheap and easy alternative to laminating pouches? We’ve got 5 laminating hacks for teachers plus a bonus you can find in your kitchen!
Laminating Hacks for Teachers
It was horrifying. I looked everywhere. I looked in all my drawers, my supply closet, and my secret stash hiding spot- there were no laminating sheets anywhere. I am a member of Amazon Prime, so I sat down to log on and order more. I figured I could wait the two days. But, man, it’s hard to be without.
I decided to brainstorm and try some standard laminator and laminating sheet alternatives and I must say, I liked a couple of these more than the old sheet way! Either way, I know you are a laminating-addict… we need to be with our students. Our materials are strategically modified and mean to be reusable, but are not always treated with the best of care (read: put in mouths, thrown, ripped, and more).
Try these alternatives and see what you think… I can tell you they really work!
6 Mistakes Autism Unit Teachers and Paras Make…
Do you do any of these? STOP!
Working with students in self-contained settings or those with severe or multiple disabilities is hard, but I see many people in the classroom make these same mistakes over and over without really thinking there are any consequences. If you stop these 6 mistakes, your students will be the better for it- I promise!