Monday, November 20, 2017

4th Annual Christmas Card Exchange!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Started A Facebook Page!

It's almost that time again! Today I went back to my room for the first time since June. I spend 2 1/2 hours there and seriously, it looks worse now then when I started! I had purged a lot during the last week of ESY because I knew I had a few new things coming in. Little did I know, I would soon go on to spend about $150.00 on a whole bunch of stuff from NAEIR! So today was spent finding homes for all my new office supplies, goodies for our prize box, and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff I probably didn't need to begin with! I am also getting rid of all the books and magazines in my room. Nobody looks at them and they are just taking up a ton of space! I went through and pulled about half of them out to give to my 1 year old granddaughter and the rest I will donate. 

Also today.... I decided I wanted to start a Facebook page for our group of kids. We can post pics, funnies that happen during the day, and all kinds of other things! I want it to be a place where all of us can come together and ask each other questions, talk about things that are working and things we may need help with. I love collaborating and can't wait to see what we can learn together! If you're interested in checking out the page click her -------->   FB Page

I hope to see you there,

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Figuring Out A Job Ad

Since we are a transition program, many times I have students whose goals are related to finding a job. Since I am putting together goal boxes for each of them, I needed some sort of job search activity my kids could have in their box to practice reading and understand job listings. Is it part-time or full? What would I be doing? What are the qualifications? What is the pay, and how do I apply? There are 10 job listings included it the packet. Each of these listing was pulled from my local newspaper's web site.
 I did embellish slightly to make sure that each had enough information and may have included the pay, part-time or full time, and hours part of the ad.

Also included in the packet are 3 different worksheets the students can use with the ads. One is a basic pros vs. cons. The next is almost the same but includes a couple questions and can be used independently. the last worksheets is a question and answer worksheet regarding the ad the student is working on. I will probably have my students do the question and answer worksheet first, then the first pros vs. cons. Since all my students, at some point of their 4 years with me, will likely have a job search goal, I will be doing the first job ad together as a group.  Then I will add the other 9 to certain students goal boxes. Besides the two ads shown, the other ads are for: bank teller, cashier, receptionist, warehouse, delivery driver, caregiver, fast food, and child care worker. If you're interesting in this activity, you can find it HERE in my TPT store.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

IA Handbooks and IEP at a Glance

This year I've decided to put together handbooks for the instructional assistants in my classroom. In the past I have always just done everything verbally but I felt as if I was having to go over things at least monthly regarding expectations I had for my IA's and also for my kids. I've had long term subs come in and also have had changes in staff throughout the year. Now, all the information will be in one place. All I will have to do is hand any new aide a handbook that will have all the information they will need about my classroom and my kids. The handbook will also include my IEP at a glance form for each student in our room. It includes basic information about each student, their goals and a list of activities the IA's can work on with the kids that will help us achieve the goal (games, task box numbers, etc.).
Let me tell you what's included in the handbook.

1. Descriptions/characteristics of exceptionalities of the students you will be working with
2. Your role in the classroom
3. Expectations
4. Classroom guidelines
5. Dealing with behaviors
6. Welcome to Holland poem
7. IEP at a Glance (for each student in our room)
8. Sample - Goal Date Tracking Form
9. Student cleaning schedule for the year (by table)
10. District attendance calendar
11. Early out/late start calendar 

I am hoping the handbooks will be received well and they appreciate the information inside. I do plan on us going over it together within the first week of school. I am hoping that there will no longer be excuses of not knowing things as I will be able to refer back to the handbooks when needed. I am hoping too that they will now have more information regarding other students in our room and not just the 3 at their table who they are responsible for. 

I did run it by a good friend who is an IA at a different school (and a union rep) as well as my admin just to make sure everything in the handbook was fair of me to ask of them. I'll let you know what my aides think of their new handbooks in a few weeks.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sorting Mail Activity Box

Hey guys! How's it going? I am just finishing up my first 3 weeks of vacation and still have another 3 to go! Honestly, I'm ready to go back. Maybe not with the kids yet, but I would love to be able to get into my room and get things ready for them. So what have I been doing? I honestly did nothing the first two weeks, but this week I've been on a roll. I've made some dry erase worksheets for my kids IEP boxes (I'll talk more about that in a couple weeks), buying things I need for the year and starting to put together some new task ideas for our life skills classroom. This mail sorting task is one of the first I've finished. I bought this 15 slot sorting box on Amazon for 15 dollars then spent a day making mail. The mail is all addressed to people at my work. I changed up the layout to seem realistic. Sometimes using the school name first, sometimes the district name, some with our names only, some with attn: etc. I made the return labels real address in case I want to change it up and have them work on another task with them. There are 40 laminated pieces of "mail" and I still plan to add maybe 4 laminated brown clasp envelopes. I have some at work so will wait until I can get in there to grab them. If you would like your own copy to customize and print, click HERE

I know the time will go fast and before I know it my kids will be back and another year will begin. I'm starting out this year with 12 students. I've only had 10 the past couple years. The only bad part about that is I'm going to have to separate the "round table" where I do all my group lessons. So bummed :-( I think it will be too hard to try to move them together and back apart everyday. I do have in a request for one large table I can put in the back of the room. I'm even willing to give up a lot of my office area if we can find something that will work. I'll let you know how that goes.

I'll post again next week!

Talk to you soon,

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Transition Program Social Story

Hey there! I couldn't wait one more minute to share with you my NEW social story book I've put together! First let me give you a little info on our program. We are a life skills/transition program for students 18-22 years old. The students come to us from one of the 18 high schools in our city and also from a couple outer lying schools. So, imagine you're a kid (fun huh), you've just spent probably 4 years in the same classroom with the same 3 or 4 staff, and all of  a sudden your 4 years are up and it's time to move on. Sad, nervous and super SCARY! Here's where I come in. I "offered", during a district training, to put together a social story to make the transition to my program just perhaps a little bit easier for our incoming kids. Luckily I had a lot of pictures already, so basically it was just putting everything together onto paper, printing, laminating, and binding. 

Here is what the book includes:
1. A cover page
2. Campus picture
3. More campus pictures (classroom, bathroom, cafeteria, snack bar, computer lab etc)
4. Office staff
5. Teachers (not all 23, but about 12)
6. CBI
7. Work training
8. Off campus PE
9. Dances
10. Learning
12. Making Friends
13. Final page "everyone love coming to _____"

I think it turned out soooooo cool and I can't wait for feedback from the high schools! I know it's late in the year, but I've sent it off in digital form so they can at least show the kids who are attending ESY and will be heading our way in August. I did have to blur the kids faces :-( but I think it's still going to be helpful. Might even be something you could do for kids coming from elementary or junior high school???  Here are some examples of the pages I included.
I think the goal this summer is to put 17 more of these bad boys together so each school will have one in their possession starting next year.

 So, let me know what you think and i'll be back soon!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Where Does the Time Go?

Well the 2016/17 school year is finished! Last Friday was the last day of school. Can't get too incredibly excited since ESY started the following Monday! No rest for the weary... YET! This year I decided it would be fun to have a country theme for each week. I let the kids choose what countries they wanted to vist. This week we went to Mexico! We learned about Mexico. We learned a few Spanish words. We made homemade nacho cheese sauce and pretty tissue paper flowers to decorate our room! And today we played Bingo and the kids helped me translate the words into Spanish. So much fun! I just know the next 3 weeks are going to fly by! There's a few things I have been working on and I can't wait to show you. Hopefully by early next week I will have my project ready and will post some pictures! I also went to a Google Classroom training last week and can't wait to start implementing new things in my room next year! I took notes and promise to share! Hope your summer is going great and if you haven't started yet, I hope it comes soon! 

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Is everyone out there doing Kahoots with their kids? My kids absolutely love them! We have been doing one each week when we have access to the school Chrome Books. I've even tried NOT doing one a couple weeks ago and the kids were a little upset with me!

I've made a few of my own and have been trying to base them on subjects we have been working on as a sort of post test to the unit. The best part is, if you didn't want to make your own, there are literally thousands to choose from that other teachers have made! The site is free to use. You just need to sign up for an account at Then find a Kahoot you think your kids might enjoy (we did a Spongebob one last week just for fun) and click "play". After clicking your play option, "player or team" the site will give you a code for the kids to type into their Chrome Books at
They pick a nickname for themselves (my kids think this is one of the best parts) and your ready to go! I use the overhead to show the question and answers on the board and read them allowed to the kids. The kids then click the corresponding box on their Chrome Book to the answer they think is right. After each question, it will show who the top 5 players are. I love this because it doesn't show who's in last. At the end it will list your top three players.

I have posted a picture of the games I have created so far if you would like to try any of them out. You can try clicking HERE to find them and if that doesn't work my username is "koriekiss" and you can just type that in the search bar. 

Feel free to link your username below if you have created some and would like to share :-) 

Until next time, 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Paint Nite (day)!

 Have any of you had a opportunity to do a "Paint Nite" in your town? I've been to a few and they are so much fun. A group of about 25 to 50 people all meet (usually at a restaurant or bar). All the supplies you need from paint to aprons are set up for you and ready to go. You basically all paint the same scene, as your artist host shows you step by step instructions while she/he paints as well. There's music, cocktails and you may even make some friends! 
A few months ago we were gifted paint, easels, brushes, and enough canvas's for each student to do about 5 paintings from Donorschoose! We did a "free paint" back in October and it wasn't pretty. They just wanted to add paint to paint. Color over color. We had a few black blobs, lol. They had fun and that's really what was important but I knew this time I wanted it to be a bit more organized. 

Sure enough, there are a TON of "Paint Nite" artist on Youtube who do step by step directions for beginners!! I had the kids watch each step first with their paint brushes down, then re-watch it while following along with her as she painted again. When each step was finished I would pause the video while the kids finished the step and caught up to her. As you can see my kids did an amazing job! They were so proud of their work! I can't wait until we do it again!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hello - What Would You Do?

Well hello there! It's been a while since I've posted I know. January was a very hectic month for me. A CASA case I accepted five and a half years ago was coming to an end and there was so many things to do to prepare her for emancipation. I had made a decision to take a break from CASA before taking on another case but literally 2 days later their was a sibling group that really needed an advocate and I felt it was where I needed to be. I also offered to take on a family findings case to try to find family for a child who knows none. So for the last 3 weeks I've been mining files every day after work, meeting my new kids, and acquainting myself with their social worker, attorney etc. It really is hard for me to say no when a child is involved.

I have so many pictures on my phone of thing I want to share with you and am going to try to make an effort to do that regularly now that things have died down.
So, first thing I'm sharing is some "what would you do" cards on independent living. We started these last week in my classroom and so far have done 10 of the cards. We spend about 5 minutes discussing each card. The kids seems to really enjoy brainstorming and coming up with solutions. There are 30 cards in total. I laminated mine so they would hopefully last a few years. I also put together a Kahoot quiz if your interesting that corresponds to the the cards. 

The quiz can be found HERE.

The cards are available in my store on TPT for free if you're interesting in doing them with your class. Just click HERE

You can read more about how we are using them there. 

Until next time,