Friday, February 27, 2015

February Special Ed bloghop freebie

Well, today is my turn to share a freebie. I hope you have picked up a lot of goodies along the way. Just one more day for this bloghop so hang in there.

Here it is the end of February. Where has the time gone??? It seems like just yesterday I was in a lot of start of the year turmoil, and now here we are facing the end of the school year. I for one am looking forward to some serious relaxation. But until then, there is still quite a bit of school left.

In my classroom, Valentine's Day is over. We have moved on to our next big holiday, which is St. Patrick's Day. For some reason, my students are really into this holiday, and talk about it everyday. To keep the excitement going, I have adapted books for the students to read about each of the holidays. I have 2 for St. Patrick's Day. We won't start activities until next week when it is officially March.

I get my books from all over and I make a few myself. The 2 books I am sharing are from Tarheel Reader. For the first one, I just added icons. It has more photos and sentences. The students just match the picture as they read it, or as it is read to them. You can find this book here.

The second book I had to adapt quite a bit. It has a simpler one word format and it has fewer pages. I added pictures and the words for them to match. You can find this book here.

I hope you enjoy these two books. Don't forget to click on the calendar to pick up your last freebie tomorrow.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My week in photos

Please make sure to follow the Special Education bloghop with a  new Freebie every day. Just click on the photo above  with today's date to be magically transported to the blog.

It's been a rough week. I am still reeling from my Hashimoto's diagnosis and trying to find out everything I can about this disease. My honey and I and our 2 dogs took a minute to relax today from our hectic and stressful week and went down to the beach. It felt good.

Yesterday, we had an unscheduled fire alarm due to some construction. Naturally, it was raining. I have headphones due to the alarm noise, which is literally loud enough to damage ear drums but is super intense for my students.

We have been working on Black History month activities and this is our bulletin board right outside our classroom. The students worked on their fine motor skills by cutting people of color out from magazines and pasting them on a window, that we then attached to our bus. The speech bubbles are statements reflecting responsibility (how they help at home, school, and in the community), respect (how they respect people at home, school and community), and how they were willing to change things at home, at school, and what they wanted to see in the community.

 Next up, we have fun Fridays every Friday. This is when we cook, or do seasonal art, or play games, etc. This week we did drama. One of my Paras was a drama major in school and he does a great job with this whenever we do it. We had the students acting out different emotions when saying today is Friday. The kids really got into it.
 We also threw in a couple of different languages: Spanish and Norwegian.

Finally, I started off my week by visiting the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge here in Washington. It felt good to be out in nature after getting my diagnosis.

 That was my week in a nutshell.

Monday, February 2, 2015

February Blog hop and a quick review of January happenings.

Don't forget to click on the envelope for today at the top of my blog to get your Valentine freebie!

Last month was eventful and a little stressful, as has been my entire school year so far. But fun, too. Last Friday to end the month, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is a disease that attacks my thyroid. This diagnosis was a little scary for me because my mother died from complications related to her auotimmune disorder, Scleroderma-CREST. The good news  was that this explained everything that has been going on with my body physically for the last few years, and unlike my mother's condition, there are things I can do to reverse the course of the disease. I'll need to drastically change my diet and exercise, among other things, so that will be another "fun" few months. But I am a stubborn Norwegian who is always up for a challenge, and I say BRING IT!!! Next up is allergy testing, where I will be a human pin cushion, but this will help me know where to start with my diet. Wish me luck!

In my classroom, we basically worked on recovering from our winter break, and we focused on social skills and  Social studies. For Social skills I tried to work on conversations and leisure skills and having students play games together. For social studies we worked on Japan and Martin Luther King, Jr. and started Black History month a little early. Plus we live in Seattle so the Super Bowl was a big topic for us in everything we did.

The Japan unit was  fun and we finished off the unit by making carp kites  to celebrate Children's Day in Japan. Here are two of my students working on theirs and one of the finished products.

 Here are a couple of the leisure skills we have been working on. So many of my students can't do much of anything except play video games and I want to make sure they have an arsenal of things they can do in their spare time besides that. Some of my students can put together puzzles really well and a couple of my students are still at the beginner stage. This second puzzle is great because it is inlaid and has a built in picture. The puzzle is wooden so it is sturdier, and finally, it has 12 pieces which is enough to provide a challenge but is not too hard.

Here's another game that is easy to play: Connect four. They have also been playing Uno, Memory game, and some simple board games, such as Trouble.

 Here is an activity we did for MLK, Jr. Day. I thought I took a picture of our finished product, but I will take one and post  it later as part of Black History month. I had the students cut out photos of people of all colors, which is great fine motor, and then they pasted them on a "window". We put these windows on a large cut out of a bus. We are also writing a few sentences in speech bubbles to go along with the theme. More to come on this later.

Another leisure/life skill. We made brownies. Cooking in our class is a challenge this year as I have at least one student that is gluten and casein free, with limited sugar exposure. But I found a mix that fit the criteria. I am trying to gather more recipes for that now, so if you have any suggestions, please share.

 And finally, my student drawing on the menu board in the cafeteria in preparation for today's Super Bowl. We ended up losing, but it was a wild ride to the bitter end.

That was a small taste of our month.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Valentine Special Education Bloghop

I am participating in the February Special Education Bloghop. On each day during the entire month of February, one blogger will offer up a tip or freebie of one kind or another. All you need to do is to click on the valentine calendar at the top of my blog and click on that day's date and it will take you directly to a blog that is offering a special freebie or tip for that day.