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    Sunday, January 15, 2023

    About Me


    Hi! I'm Allison. I am a SpEd Teacher who is passionate about creating resources to help every special education teacher succeed!

    Sunday, January 8, 2023

    Cooking in the Special Education Classroom

    Each week in my special education classroom we do cooking and craft extension activities related to our thematic unit. We have had a lot of fun over the years with all of our different projects!

    Each week, we use a visual recipe for students to follow along. On the front, are icons for all of the ingredients and supplies. On the back, are picture-supported directions for each step of the recipe. 

    Are you interested in implementing some thematic cooking activities in your classroom? My Visual Recipes for the Entire Year resource has 50 different visual recipes that can be printed and ready to go each week! 

    My paraprofessionals are in charge of planning our thematic cooking and craft activities each week. This gives me an awesome opportunity to be on "the other side of the table" assisting students and seeing how they all do with group activities without the stress of managing the group as a whole. I love switching it up like this and giving my paras something special that they enjoy coordinating each week. 

    Each week I choose students to be the Head Chef and Head Artist who will assist my paras during the group. These two jobs are hands-down the class favorites. I think it is basically because they get to do so many of the "teacher" jobs (passing out supplies, modeling the activity, calling on students) and sit in the coveted "teacher" chair at the kidney table.

    Each Monday, we go over who gets to do the head jobs. I like talking about it on Monday because it give the kids something to look forward to and for those kids that need the extra behavior motivation it helps also. I place the students' names under these cute signs (click the link below the picture to print!)

    Head Jobs Signs

    To make the job even more special I made these adorable aprons for the kids to wear. They love them! I even had a little guy that didn't really understand that the jobs were assigned each week and for a couple weeks after his turn he went over to the apron at cooking time and tried to put it on! Thankfully, he was a great sport. 

    These aprons were super easy to make and very affordable. I bought two children's aprons at Michael's and some puffy paint at Walmart. First, I drew the pictures using pencil. I was able to do it free hand but you could look at clip art images if you needed some inspiration! Then, I filled in the pencil drawings with puffy paint (I used small paint brushes to spread). After the paint dried, I used a black Sharpie to draw the outlines. Finally, I added a few details with the puffy paint. 

    I made these last year and they had to be washed a lot this year. I was impressed with how well they held up! At the end of the year, I just retouched a few of the areas with puffy paint. The lettering seemed to be peeling the most. I think this is partially from little fingers picking at it :). 

    Monday, December 5, 2022

    December Activities in the Special Education Classroom

    The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year outside and inside of the classroom! My students and I always have so much fun celebrating the holidays. Check out some of my favorite December activities:

    ELA Ideas

    • Read The Gingerbread Man. I love this version retold by Mary Sandel from the Fountas and Pinnell intervention collection because it is predictable for making picture-supported sentences and easy enough for my emerging readers to read the text. 

    • My favorite Christmas books are:
      • Clifford’s Christmas by Norman Bridwell
      • The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro
        • In addition to using picture-supported sentence boards, I also have an old lady doll that I have students take turns feeding throughout the story. I just print an extra copy of the sentence board at a larger scale, laminate and cut out the pieces, and then pass them out to each of the students as the story starts. It is a great interactive activity and really builds joint attention and engagement during the read aloud! 

    Math Ideas

    • One of my favorite math activity for the holidays is a tree decorating craft incorporating money. I print out tree outlines on green cardstock. Next, I gather decorations for the students to glue onth their trees. Then, I give each student a buying menu so that they can purchase the decorations they want. I differentiated this activity three ways by having one buying menu with coin icons for matching the coin to the picture to make the purchase, another option with prices to work on single coin values, and finally an option with prices in multiples of 5 so students can count out nickels or easily use TouchMoney

    Cooking & Craft Ideas

    • I love making special gifts with my students for their families. We always have so much fun creating, wrapping, and sending special cards home. This Santa handprint mason jar is one of my favorites!

    • When celebrating Christmas, we love making Christmas Cookies. Some years I make them from scratch with the kids and other years when we are feeling rushed for time I will get the pre-cut cookies so we can focus on the best part... DECORATING!

    • When celebrating Holiday Traditions like Kwanzaa and Hannukkah, we make sweet potato pie and marshmallow dreidels. 

    • For all of my favorite classroom visual recipes check out my Visual Recipes for the Whole Year on TPT. 

    Social Group Ideas

    • Each year we have a small celebration in my classroom where my paraprofessionals and I give gifts to the students and the kids have fun opening and playing with their new toys. Then we have treats, play games, and dance to some holiday music. Then, my students join their homeroom general education classrooms for their parties as well. 

    Interested in these activities and more? Why not bundle and save! 

    Wednesday, November 30, 2022

    Gingerbread Activities in The Special Education Classroom

    December is my favorite month in the classroom. Yes, I admit it can be a bit chaotic with the holiday parties and overall excitement but it is a lot of fun and there are so many fun themes that we do each year. Each year, I start with our gingerbread theme. Below are my favorite gingerbread activity ideas from my special education classroom. 

    ELA Ideas

    • Read The Gingerbread Man. I always use the version retold by Mary Sandel from the Fountas and Pinnell intervention collection. 

    • Practice positional words using a gingerbread doll, cookie, or cutout and a cookie jar. 

    • Use the stem "(Name) ran away from the ______." during predictable chart writing and then use my class book template to create a book students can read again and again! 

    Math Ideas

    • Practice subtraction activities using gingerbread manipulatives, or for some added fun use cookies and let students eat them as they subtract! 

    Cooking & Craft Ideas

    • Make gingerbread playdoh. It smells delicious and can be made in the microwave! Find the recipe in my Gingerbread Thematic Unit or if your class loves to cook try my Visual Recipes for the Whole Year. 

    • Make gingerbread ornaments. These are a great gift idea for families and they also smell great! 

    Social Group Ideas

    • Play who stole the cooking from the cookie jar. My Gingerbread Thematic Unit has script cards that make this game accessible to many students! 

    • One year my class made a gingerbread ornament from the recipe above for all of the staff members in the school and delivered them. This was a great authentic opportunity for practicing greetings and manners! 

    Interested in these activities and more? Why not bundle and save!