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Transition Items 101

Schedules are super functional for our students. Even though we often start out with a visual schedule in our primary classrooms (I have a whole wall of them!), the goal is to move to something portable and more functional. How many of us carry around a calendar or planner? Who keeps a calendar on their phone? These are schedules for us and we want to move our students to that point as well.

We all know using a visual schedule is an evidence based practice for our students with Autism. It really structures their day and shows them what to expect throughout the day. I usually teach my students to utilize their schedule and check their schedule using a prompting and fading plan from most to least intrusive prompts.

The Hello Game

Social skills and greetings are super important in my Autism classroom. I'm constantly teaching my students how to interact with their peers, staff, and other people around campus. We practice greetings in our classroom from day 1. During our morning meetings, we have a "Good Morning" time where students choose what type of greeting they would like to give their teacher. I quickly build upon that skills so my students are generalizing greetings at school and interacting with more people than just me.

5 Mistakes you are Making in your Independent Work Stations

I'm back to talk more about independent work stations. I don't know if you've realized, but I'm basically obsessed with them. I think I've written about independent work stations at least a half dozen times on this blog if not more! I love them because not only do they provide an opportunity to teach students 1:1 while other students are engaged in meaningful activities, it also promotes independence in students and isn't that really one of the big goals we want to accomplish? I know any growth in independence is HUGE for my students!

If you're starting out a work station, it's easy to make mistakes and I want to help make sure you set up the BEST work station in your classroom that promotes independence for students throughout their school day. So check out these mistakes you may be making with your work stations and I'm going to help you fix them!

Prioritizing your Back To School To Do List

Let's be real. Getting back into your classroom in the fall and getting set up to go can be fun and it can also be OVERWHELMING! Especially if you're moving classrooms or you're starting you first year in the classroom. The long list of to dos can be beyond stressful. I have 4 tips to get you prioritizing your Back to School to do list in a flash.

Dear First Year Special Education Teachers

Dear first year special education teachers,

First and foremost, welcome to the field. This field is going to test you, but it is going to be amazingly rewarding. I am writing this so you have a realistic picture of teaching special education during your first year and you continue to serve our students for years to come.

It's no secret that teaching is HARD. Teaching our students with diverse needs is especially difficult. For every breakthrough and triumph you celebrate with a student, you're going to experience meltdowns and adversity along the way, but let me tell you, it is SO worth it!

Here are some tips and insight I wish I had during my first few years of teaching:

DIY Room Divider

Can't afford a room divider from an school supply store for your special education classroom? Me either! I found a way to make a great DIY room divider for my classroom and it cost me just under $30. Check out how I provide defined spaces with this DIY divider.
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If you're a special educator, you probably know how important it is to define spaces in your classroom and build spaces where students are able to work. You also know there are times when you have students who need some "alone time" and others want to see what's going on. I love using my rolling pocket chart to provide some privacy in the classroom, but I was seriously needing another room divider.

5 Summer Reads for Special Educators

Summer break for Special Educators is a time to rest, relax, and RECHARGE. I love reading professional development books to help me get ready for the coming school year. Check out these 5 summer reads for Special Educators.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that I collect a commission, at no additional cost to you, should you choose to make a purchase.

I consider reading a very important part of my professional development as a Special Educator. I mean, let's face it. How often are district professional developments geared towards us? How many times have I been in trainings where I question what I'm doing there because the skills being discussed are way above the skill level of the students in my classroom. I consider my summer reads my professional development.

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