Summer Blog Link-Up Week 4: Cool Communication

I apologize for how late this post is. I wanted to wait until the Special Education Back to School Blog Hop/Giveaway was over before beginning week 4 of my blog link-up!

I absolutely LOVED reading about your scheduling systems. There were so many wonderful ideas for organization. I plan on posting all about my scheduling system in a few weeks. I still am figuring out a few details.

Here are the links to my previous link-ups just in case you want to read about the topics that we have explored!

And now for WEEK 4! Week 4 is all about communication! When I think about communication, I think about 1) parent communication 2) student communication & AAC/AT and 3) paraprofessional communication. Feel free to write about all, just two, or just one of the topics above. I am going to be focusing on parent communication.

I have been blessed to have very positive interactions with parents over the past year. I communicate with parents in a variety of ways, depending on the parent and the student.

1. COMPOSITION BOOKS: All of my students have a composition book that goes home each night and comes back to school each morning. My parents and I can write notes to each other as needed and everything stays neat and in one spot. No floating/loose letters. This year I will be using binders instead of composition books, but the theory is still the same. I will number lined paper and place it in the binder.

2. EMAIL: Some parents would prefer to email me than take the time to handwrite a note in their child's composition book. I always make sure to take the time to check my email when I arrive at school in the morning and after school right before I leave for the day.

3. PHONE: I call parents if I feel like a situation calls for it....good or bad! I try not to only call home for bad things. I try to call parents at least every quarter simply to touch base and let them know how their child ia doing. This is in addition to progress reports, IEPs, and parent-teacher conferences.

4. REMIND: I absolutely LOVE using the remind application to communicate with parents. Now remind has the ability to chat with parents one-to-one. You can even send pictures. I love that I can send text messages to parents from my phone or my computer. Learn more about remind here. 

5. WEEKLY COMMUNICATION LOGS: I send home communication logs that track each child's prompting levels for various aspects of their day during the entire week every Friday. I ask that parents sign and return the logs by the Wednesday of the following week. If they do not return the logs after a month of me sending them home, then I stop sending them home. I also send home logs that track behavior and correlate to my in-class clip-chart. This Visual Clip-chart product (with behavior log) is only $1 in my store!

6. YEARLY IEP COMMUNICATION: I send home IEP invites at least 2 weeks in advance. Once the date is set and the parent has committed to the date, I send home my IEP PARENT INPUT FORM and ask that parents fill it out and return at their earliest convenicence. I use their input to create goals. I then send home the draft goals (via hard copy or email) that I wrote based on their input and ask for feedback. I make whatever changes are necessary and present the revised draft goals at the IEP. I have found that this is an effective method of pre-IEP communication for most parents. This form is FREE in my store!

How do you communicate with parents? How do you communicate with your students? How do you communication with your paraprofessionals? Link-up with your blog posts! I cannot wait to read!


My Blog Vision (and an IMPORTANT Update about my Functional Academic Unit Overview)

I am so thankful for this summer and the time that I have had to make some cool products, connect with AMAZING special educators, and reflect on what I want this blog to be.

What is my vision for this blog? I want to provide all of you, wonderful, special educators, with resources and strategies for teaching extra special kiddos. 

The truth is, yes, I make products, but there are SO many other amazing products out there. I want this to be place where you can find a plethora of information and resources from me and also from other individuals. This upcoming school year, I hope to take the time to blog about my lesson planning process and about the resources and products that I am using in my classroom (whether I made them or not). The goal of my blog is not to promote myself and my products (although, I will promote them a bit ;)). The goal of my blog is to help make your life easier so that you can DELIGHT in your job and in your students. We have a stressful job, which is why we all have to stick together.

With that said, I have updated my unit plans to include YEAR 2! (Click on the cover to head over to my store and download.)

Year 2 has a variety of new themes. The lifeskills pretty much have stayed the same. I have also adjusted my words and letters. I include a list of resources that I used to create the word and letter order. I encourage you to check them out!
Also, because I have used a few outside sources to create this new, updated plan, my unit plans are now and forever FREE! I will be following Year 2 for the 2015-2016 school year so most of my blog postings will correlate with Year 2. With that said, Year 2 is still GROWING (and Year 1 is COMPLETE). I will be adding onto Year 2 as I plan and adapt for my own classroom. The two main components of the plans that are not complete are the books that I will be using and the "What are we learning?" sheets.

What about the standards information? The standards sheets can be used to plan which standards will be taught each unit. I have included blank editable sheets and completed sheets. The completed sheets reference the CORE CONTENT CONNECTORS, which are the standards that have been created for students with significant disabilities in correlation with the Common Core State Standards and the Learning Progressions Framework. They have NOT been adopted by all states. Read more about them on the NCSC website: You can find the actual CCCs at:

I am so excited about this new season of collaboration! Please feel free to comment below with any questions or comments or email me at 

Also, do not forget to check out the awesome Special Education E-Book and enter my giveaway! Read my previous blog post for more information!

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Back to School Special Education Blog Hop!

I am DELIGHTED to be teaming up with 24 other wonderful special education teachers for a blog hop! We have so many freebies and giveaways planned for you and your students.

First, we have our e-book that we have all contributed to. Click on the cover below to be directed to the e-book. The book contains some of our favorite tips and tricks that you can use for your classroom during this upcoming school year and lots and lots of freebies. The book is clickable. See a freebie you like? Click on it and it will take you directly to the item in that seller's Teachers Pay Teachers store. So fun, right?!

Second, we are all hosting GIVEAWAYS! Everyone has a different giveaway. Be sure to hop through and enter each one for a chance to win lots and lots of goodies (see the links at the bottom of the page)!

I have partnered with the Littlest Warrior Apparel for my giveaway! The winner of my giveaway will receive $25 to spend in my store and the "Inclusion is the New Cool" t-shirt. I bought my inclusion tee a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. It is SO soft and comfy. They come in child's sizes and adult S-XL. Enter the giveaway below!

P.S. If you really want an inclusion tee (or another awesome disability awareness tee) and you did not win the giveaway, simply click on the giveaway logo above and you can buy one! 10% of all of their sales go to a foundation or family in need!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Series Blog Link-Up Week 3: Scheduling

I cannot believe how quickly summer is flying by! Only a few more weeks and I am officially back in my classroom!

We are entering Week 3 of our Blog Link-Up! This week we will be focusing on scheduling....Daily Schedules, Student Schedules, and Staff Schedules (for those of us that are special educators). There are also several other areas of scheduling that you can discuss as well, such as IEP scheduling, parent-teacher conference scheduling, and etc. This is an area that I am really hoping to revamp and change in my class next year. With that said, I am not going to write up my ideas and tips and tricks until later, BUT I want to read all about your systems! I need as much help as I can get.

I am SO excited to read your posts...I have already learned so much over the past 2 weeks!

Thanks for linking up!


Make Your Masterpiece: TPT Seller Challenge Week 3

I just finished editing and posting 2 new products! For week 3 of the TPT Seller Challenge, we were challenged to create a new product [masterpiece] and swap with a partner for editing and constructive criticism. My safety and hygiene products have been a hit so I decided to continue the lifeskills theme and create a new series for special education (and early elementary) classrooms. My new product series is called Delightful Lifeskills. I now have a Body Parts Vocabulary Unit and Clothing Vocabulary Unit in addition to my older Safety and Hygiene Units.

Included in each product are: 

1. Vocabulary Cards

2. Adapted Vocabulary Book 

3. "I See" Student Book

4. No-Prep Worksheets (Differentiated for either 3 or 4 levels of learners)

Both products are 50% off through July 11, 2015 at midnight PST.

Special thanks to Erin of You Aut-a Know and Nicole of Adventures in the ATC for being my wonderful editors. 

AND thank you Smarty Symbols for making wonderful graphics! 


Summer Series Blog Link-Up Week 2: Beautiful Behavior

I had SO much fun looking through all of your classrooms. There were so many unique decoration, organization, and BIRTHDAY ideas. If you have not looked through the linked-up blog pages, I challenge you to do so! Teachers are so creative!

Here's a sneak pic of my NEW classroom! I spent a few days organizing. I am SO lucky that the last teacher left it in wonderful condition! :) Oh...and I might have accidentally broke a table. Glad it happened to me and not to the kids!

Its time to start Week 2's link-up! This week is all about beautiful behavior. Alright...let's admit it behavior is usually not beautiful. I enjoy the adventure and challenge of behavior MOST days. Some days, not so much. Because I teach kiddos with significant disabilities, I have several behavior systems in place in my classroom. I have a whole-class systems, individual systems, and transition systems.

Whole-Class Systems

I use a COLOR CLIP CHART in my classroom. Each student has a clothespin and I move their clothespin up or down based on their choices. This works for a few students. I have also sent individual clip-charts home so that parents can use it at home and I have been told that it works! I have modified my clip-chart with Boardmaker icons because most of my students do not read.

My students earn DOLLARS for good behavior (even the smallest little things). We then have our student store about twice a month. This also builds functional academic and math skills! Many of my students did not understand that money was valuable at the beginning of the school year, but slowly they are realizing that money can get you fun stuff!

We work for....PANCAKES. Every Friday my students and I enjoy pancakes (if they have made good choices all week). This isn't effective for all of my students because many of them need to be reinforced constantly. Some of my students will continuously talk about pancakes throughout the week and modify their behavior throughout the week in hopes of getting FUN FRIDAY and PANCAKES (who doesn't like pancakes?)

Individual Systems

I use several different behavior visuals for individual students. Visuals work wonders!


Working for (token economy)

I cannot find any pictures, but if you have any questions about them, email me or comment below.

Transition Systems

I use the Autism Adventures of Room 83's system for transition cards. You can read all about them on her blog. My centers function so smoothly and it is because of the "working for" transition cards that she created!

I cannot wait to read all about YOUR behavior systems! Thanks for stopping by and linking up!

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