Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Classroom Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Between me and my aides we put together an amazing feast on Wednesday for the kids.  We had been working on table manners so this was a great way to end the lesson. The kids also learned how to make homemade cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies.  
Next week is going to be very busy at school.  We are having a window decorating contest that I am so excited about! My class is making a hand print Christmas tree and also going to be elfing ourselves and turning it all into a North Pole theme! We have to have the window done by Friday for the judging.  I can't wait to see what it will look like all put together.  I will post pics when we have it completed!  

Don't forget Teachers pay Teachers is having their cyber Monday and Tuesday sale this week.  I will have all my products at 20% off and TPT will add to that for a total of 28% off.  Be sure to use the code "cyber" when checking out. Hope you find everything you are looking for!  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Using Visual Recipes

As you can probably tell from some of my previous posts, I absolutely love cooking with my kids!  We don't get to do in near as often as I would like since we have to finance it with our own money and it can get quite pricey. We still are trying to do it at least once or twice a month, and my aide are great about helping out with ingredients!

Every time we get ready to try a new recipe I like to have a visual to go with it. This way we can go over the recipe step by step before we head into the kitchen to do the actual cooking. We always send a copy home (in hopes that their folks let them try to make it there) and we put one in their binders that they take home when they graduate. As you can see they go from pretty basic recipes to a little more challenging as to try to find things that all my kids will be able to make independently.

You can find the recipe book here:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Community Logo's

I'm having a blast putting together these fun Velcro book for the kids.  Here are two using logos found in the community.  I picked stores in my community that my kids would be familiar with.  I can easily change one or more of them if they don't match stores near you.  I was fortunate to find this clear Velcro at Walmart so the kids can still see the picture through the Velcro.  It was in the sewing sections and came in about half inch circles.  My kids are mostly non-readers so this way they can see where to return the picture when they are done  
with the book.  Kind of like getting two lessons in one!  I added an extra sheet that has no picture, just the word, in case you have readers and thing that will be more beneficial to them. There has been quite a bit on interest in them in my classroom and with a bit of prompting and help all my kids have been able to do them.

Have a great rest of your week!  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Postcard Exchange UPDATE

Happy Monday!  I had work training all day Saturday and a baby shower AND a BBQ!!  So, I only had one day to relax (-housecleaning and laundry) and boy was I feeling it today.  Here is a little update on the postcard exchange I am participating in.  I sent out 29 postcards and was hoping to get that many back but it's not looking good right now.  The kids have been LOVING it though and get so excited each time one comes!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grocery Store Ads

I grabbed a dozen grocery store ads yesterday while I was shopping and put together this fun little cut & paste worksheet for my kids.  If you go to the ad on-line and click on any picture you can copy and paste it onto your document. There are so many activities that can come out of using the ads.  Ads from store like Target and Walmart are great as well. I have had my kids come up with a menu for a day using the ads, we have done scavenger hunts inside the ad, and also have had them shop for a week allowing them a certain amount of money to use.  You can also use the ads to find words that start with each letter of the alphabet or even money lessons! Endless possibilities. 

            Even better, they are FREE!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Life Skills - School Safety/Being Sick

I was a busy bee this weekend putting together some worksheets I have had on my mind lately. With cold and flu season fast approaching I thought it was important to go over this with the kids.  As you can see I added the symptom "diarrhea" as to get the giggling over with as soon as possible so we can move on.  Funny, when I taught higher kids it was the word "ball".  Didn't matter what kind of balls I was referring to or the context it was in, it was the funniest word EVER!
Here is another worksheet on what we can and can't bring to school.  My kids were able to tell about each one and there was a lot of good conversation that came out of this. We have had some interesting items brought to school in the last couple years (some illegal) so this lesson is very important with my group of students.  My sister in law told me a kid brought a kitten to school last year in his backpack!  What are some of the strangest things your kids have brought to school?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Money Cards

 I was working on an IEP for a new student a few weeks and was struggling to come up with a functional academic math goal.  Most of the goals I regularly work on with my kids were all to difficult for this particular young man.  I wanted to pick something that I could actually teach him, since looking at his IEP from high school it seems he rarely ever met any of his goals.

Luckily our program has some wonderful level one teachers I could go to for advice.  One teacher had these neat money cards in a basket she uses for her kids.  Each card is neatly laminated, very colorful and age appropriate for our kids.   

 What she does is hand the student some one dollar bills then lets them pick a card of something they would like to buy.  The student then has to hand her the right amount of dollars bills to make the purchase.  I am sure there is a lot of prompting and praise involved as well.  She says by the end of the school year all her kids have mastered the task!

She was going to try to find the cards to email me but hasn't been able to locate them so I made some of my own. I made 12 task cards only using one dollar bills.  There are copies of those task cards using dollars and quarters (12 cards) and some using the dollars and a variety of coins (12).  I also made 12 cards that use larger bills and another 12 cards with larger bills and coins.  I can't wait to start using them in my classroom!  I think all my kids will benefit from them!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Student Led Projects

There are twenty three classrooms in our program grouped into four different levels.  Most of our classrooms/levels have student led projects they have started to help earn money to pay for activities for the kids. Other classrooms have projects that don't generate income but help with things we need done for the program like filling our classroom water jugs, maintaining the vans, and keeping our campus clean. Here are some of the income generating projects we have:

A gardening service
A house cleaning service
Jewelry making
Car washing
Hair Clips

My classroom, for the last 3 years, has provided a food delivery service for students and staff in our program.  Currently we are doing this every other Friday.  The fee we charge is usually around one dollar per order (not item).  We deliver pizza, burgers, Mexican food, sandwiches etc.  Monday mornings we start by putting up flyers around campus announcing what restaurant we will be serving that week (I also send out an email to each teacher with the restaurant flyer attached).  I don't offer every item on a restaurants menu so we can keep it simple for the kids. Thursdays we pass flyers out to students as they are leaving school.  

Friday mornings from 8:00 to 9:30 my kids, with help from staff, collect all of the orders and money. We then fax or email the order in to the restaurant.  Before lunch some of the students go with my aides to pick up the food while the rest of us prepare for it's arrival.  Once the food comes we separate the food by classroom, put each classrooms orders into crates, and add any chips or sodas that have been ordered (we purchase these separately). The kids then deliver the food to each classroom.  We have gotten so good at this we can do it in about 15 minutes. The kids love doing this, it gets crazy and everyone is yelling out orders, but they really get a sense of accomplishment when they are done.  Costco pizza is one of the favorites. We have sold over 75 orders, up to 200 slices, in one day!  

Do any of your programs run student led projects?  I would love to hear of other money making ventures students are participating in!