Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Replacement Behavior

You know all those behaviors that drive you crazy? Running away, shouting out, whining, hitting, etc.? Replacement behaviors are what we wish our students would do instead...and they should serve the same function as the original behavior.  So instead of running away to get your attention, we would want our students to ask us to play a game with them.  Or instead of whining every time they want the iPad, we may teach the replacement behavior of having a student request in a non whiny tone "Can I have the iPad please?"

The key factor with this is being able to identify the challenging behavior as well as the function it serves (attention, escape, sensory, or access tangibles) and then the appropriate replacement behavior.

The tricky part is figuring out what the function of the behavior is...so many behaviors can look the same, but serve a different function for each person doing them.  For instance, let's look at an example of a student who runs away.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How to Teach Students to Solve Conflicts with Peers

So many of our students with ASD have some sort of goal around learning social skills.  One social skill many of my students struggled to deal with was conflicts with their peers.  And trying to put on my teacher mediator hat and teach them how to deal with it in the moment wasn't enough.  They needed pre-teaching of the skills prior to being able to utilize them in real life scenarios.  Which brings me to today's post on a couple, simple teaching tools that are differentiated to individual student levels to help them learn how to identify what bothers them and how to problem solve with a peer.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Product Preview: Science Unit on Habitats

This month long unit was just posted on Teachers Pay Teachers and is on sale for the next 24 hours! It focuses on the following 12 vocabulary words centering around Animals and Their Habitats (ocean, farm, rainforest, dolphin, lobster, octopus, cow, pig, chicken, sloth, snake toucan).

This packet includes:
-Materials to create a vocabulary velcro-matching activity
-3 Levels of Assessments
-17 different worksheets
-2 Games (Bingo and Memory).  Multiple versions based on level of difficulty.
-1 Adapted book (with matching pieces and comprehension worksheet)
-11 Journal pages (includes 2 levels of difficulty)
-Parent note home about the unit
-1 Cover sheet for kids to color and use as a cover for all their completed work.

This unit has materials for learners at different levels.   Also, it includes a variety of worksheets which allow my students to work on their science IEP goals as well as a variety of other goals (language arts, math, speech, and OT).  I use this unit over the course of an entire month.  The kids repeat some of the work, but the repetition seems to help them learn the concepts as well as work on becoming more independent.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

10 Tips for Incorporating Sensory Strategies into Your Day

"He's overstimulated" "He needs a sensory space" "Maybe a fidget would help him focus" Do these phrases sound familiar? I feel like there is so much talk about sensory needs and fidgets these days and this topic can quickly become overwhelming.  I have no formal training in "sensory needs" (make sure you are consulting with your OTs since they are the experts), but we (teachers, parents, etc.) have invaluable knowledge about our students as well.  We know that some of our students need more movement in their day and that certain activities amp them up, while others seem to calm them down. Use that information (and take data) when deciding what sensory strategies you want to try to help keep your students calm, focused, and ready to learn.
Here are just some examples of sensory strategies you can try with your students...please leave me comments with any other ideas you have found to be successful...I love to hear things that are working for your students!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Product Preview: Color Books-3 Interactive Books for Kids with Autism

Are you looking for a great, hands-on activity for your beginning readers who are working on sight words or color words? Wanting to refresh your students' independent work tasks for the upcoming year?   Then this is the product for you!

This product comes with instructions as well as 3 short interactive books that work on identifying colors and forming simple sentences ("The car is___," "The pizza is___," and "The bird is___")

Each page follows a repetitive and predictable pattern (i.e. "The bird/car/pizza is ___").  Students match the words "The" "bird" and "is" to the sentence.  Then, students identify the color of the object on the page by finding the corresponding written color word. 

I have used these books in my class during one-on-one reading instruction and during independent work time.  Since this follows a predictable pattern, students seem to catch on quickly and then it can be used to work on generalization and maintenance during independent work time.  It could also be sent home as homework!  Check it out in my TPT store here!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Create Your Own Simple File Folder

Do you have random flashcards or pictures laying around your classroom that you aren't sure how to use?  Use them to create a fun new file folder for your kiddos!  I had these community helper flashcards laying around my classroom and wasn't quite sure how to use them.  I just simply glued them into the folder, laminated it and then created some matching pieces.

When make this file folder, I wanted something a little more challenging and something I could differentiate for my different level students.  My most advanced learners were expected to match the name of the community helper as well as the description of what they do.  My mid level students matched only the name of the community helper to the picture.  Since I had a ton of matching activities for my non-reading students already, I did not use this file folder for them, but you totally could!  You could either use a second set of flash cards or use real life images of community helpers from a google image search and have them match the pictures!

Simple enough idea, and it doesn't break the bank!

Friday, July 14, 2017


I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to share this AMAZING new product with you.  It took me FOREVER to buckle down and turn this into a product (some of you have been requesting these materials since I posted about Drama Time on my blog back in 2012...so this is especially for you!)  And the best part is, hop on over to my TPT store today and tomorrow to get 50% off this product!

Let's start with the basics...
What EVEN is Drama Time anyways?
*Drama Time is a weekly activity that usually lasts 30-45 minutes.
*It consists of engaging GAMES and PREDICTABLE ROUTINES
*It can meet the needs of all your students by addressing a huge RANGE of SKILLS
*You can do it in INCLUSIVE (or reverse inclusion) settings
*These activities and this product can last you ALL YEAR LONG.