Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall Math Crafts for First Grade!

This fall, make it easy on yourself by incorporating easy-to-prep, FUN math craftivities to reinforce first grade math skills in the classroom. Students enjoy cutting, pasting and matching to create unique projects that can be easily differentiated to meet the needs of all learners in your classroom. Math craftivities are visually appealing, and make instant eye-catching bulletin board displays. Check out some more below, and score a freebie while you’re here!

Counting by Fall Leaves

Enhance skip counting skills by creating unique fall trees! Students can demonstrate their knowledge of skip counting by 2’s and 3's for your students that need a challenge, and 5’s and 10’s who are on target to make differentiation a breeze.

Leafin’ by Tens
Students will cut and paste to reinforce their ability to count by tens with this colorful fall activity. Try hanging them on student lockers or around the classroom for a visual reference. Want to save time cutting out leaves? Send them home to be cut out over the weekend to enhance cutting skills and fine motor control.

Pumpkin Number Words 

Create this fun pumpkin with your class to help your students identify number words 1-20, as well as reinforcing number order at the same time.
Pumpkin Place Value

Students will demonstrate their understanding of place value by matching numbers to the correct unifix cube model. This can even be prepped and laminated ahead of time to be used as a math center year after year!

Candy Corn Making Numbers
Teach number sense in a FUN way by challenging your students with this candy corn activity. There are 2 versions to meet the needs of your students, so pick and choose what is appropriate. Activities on each candy corn include identifying the number, writing the number word, tens and ones, number bonds, place value and more!

Batty for Time
Students will cut and paste to match correct times to the hour and half hour on this adorable bat craft. Multiple versions are included for repetition and reinforcement.

Frankenstein Missing Addends

Create this silly Frankenstein while giving students practice with missing addends. It can be easily differentiated for your students, as one version provides a ten-frame visual, and another level that challenges through independent practice.

Ghostly Comparison
Students will cut and paste the appropriate symbols to demonstrate an understanding of greater than, less than or equal using numbers up to 100. There are even SIX versions, all with different numbers and silly faces to make learning fun. Grab 2 of these ghosts as a freebie on us right here to use with your own students this fall.

If you want to see more, check out the seasonal craftivities on Teachers Pay Teachers! We also bundled all 4 seasons together as well as 6 holidays at a discounted price.

Have fun!!! We would love to see images of these cute craftivities in your classroom!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

5 things Special Education Teachers can do now to save sanity later

The first couple weeks of school for a special education teacher can be overwhelming!! Once you know your students, there are things that you need to put into place to make sure that they are successful in your classroom. It can be a lot! Plus, special education teachers have to think about IEP mandates, progress monitoring, inclusion, related servicesOT, PT, Speech, Vision services, adapted PE, paraprofessionals, sensory input and more! Not to mention tracking behavior and learning how each of the students will be able to succeed. Oh, and don’t forget differentiating almost every single lesson. Take a deep breath…there are things you can do to make the back to school season easier! Here is what we have for you...
Laminate! Before school starts or in that first week of school, one thing you can make sure you have all set are your visuals of your routines. Visual schedules can be printed and laminate! This saves tons of time during that back to school rush when you really need to be thinking about your content and building positive relationships within your classroom. Even if you prefer to laminate at school, (trust me, I get it...that's how I was for years)...the amount of time and sanity you will save by purchasing a cost-effective laminator and laminating pouches is priceless. 

Bind everything! Well, not really everything, but our special education kiddos always need help learning to stay organized. We like to bind monthly spelling work, pocketbook units (the meat and potatoes of our classroom) and morning work before school even starts. Basically, our entire September is prepped before school even starts. This gives us so much extra time in the classroom because the students are not losing papers in their book bags, and shuffling papers into their mailbox after every lesson. Binding work also means that students take ownership of their work because they are proud to own an entire workbook that they can show off to parents, administration or friends!


Birthday Gifts. Birthdays happen all year long and if you’re like me and put your teacher energy into what you’re teaching and how you’re teaching, then birthday gifts are unfortunately an afterthought. I always have good intentions and want to give my students cute gifts to let them know they are appreciated and I care for them, but in the midst of Annual Review meetings and field trips and all the other school related hectic-ness, sometimes it doesn’t happen. Well, this year I decided to make Birthday pail gifts and I AM SO RELIEVED! I’m all about convenience these days with two little ones at home so I found some adorable birthday themed items from Oriental Trading and made all of my student birthday gifts in one sitting. They are sitting in my closet at work, ready for birthdays! And who could argue the cuteness scale on these? Candy, bookmarks, sunglasses, pencils, stickers and more at a great price!

Progress Monitoring. Before school starts, or within the first couple of days, see if you can access your student Individual Education Plans. Find an editable Progress Monitoring resource from TPT, I use this one right here. Type up all of your student goals and objectives ONCE! Then print multiple copies and you are set until their goals change at their next AR meeting. I know what you're thinking...pure bliss. Editable Progress Monitoring sheets are a game changer. I can’t believe at one point (years ago), I would handwrite goals every so often.

Meet with your Paraprofessionals or Aides If you won’t have a day already embedded in your conference days to meet with your staff, this might be a good idea. Take them for coffee or see if your administration would pay for them to work those conference days or even part of the day when you have time in your classroom. Not only can they help you with things you need to set up, but it’s a good plan to develop a positive rapport with them before school starts. Let them know your expectations in the classroom, your teaching style, routines and what you will need of them throughout the day. It can be a challenge to get to know new paraprofessionals and new students all at the same time! And, as we know in special education, it is a personal journey. The stronger that our relationships are with our team and students, the better off everyone will be.

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