Monday, March 30, 2015

Environmental Print Card Freebie - Set 2

In celebration of a sudden wave of new Facebook likes, I've added my second set of Environmental Print Cards to my TpT store as a FREE download! I'm not sure where exactly these likes are being trafficked from (it's embarrassing that I have not been able to post since 6/2014) but I do know that my original set of Environmental Print Cards (grab them HERE) was much appreciated.

So many kiddos have been FLYING through the environmental print labels; it's great to see the skill generalizing when out in the community for instruction. That's right; bus trips are no longer silent but instead filled with students commenting on the environmental print they see. For some students, the simple label may be too easy so I started incorporating questions regarding function, feature, and class as well as random wh- questions into the mix. One of the favorites is a form of guessing game.

Student X: "Look, Burger King!"
Ms. C: "Wow! Tell me three foods you could eat at Burger King."
Student X: "I eat burger, fries, and chicken."
Ms. C: "That's great. I'm thinking of something red that you could put on a burger. It's a sauce made from tomatoes. What is it?"
Student X: "Ketchup on burger?"
Ms. C: "That's it! Do you like ketchup?"

...And so on. It's unbelievable how quickly commenting and conversational skills start to develop once those solid receptive vocabularies and requesting skills are built. These cards can promote other life skills, as well. The second set includes twenty four new logos and I'm sure set three will come when this busy teacher finds a bit of time.



How do you use these cards with your students? What environmental print labels are most important to learn?


Happy Teaching,
Kortnie C.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back 2 School Sale & NEW Chevron Basic Skills Poster Mega Pack!

Hey, followers!

I hope you're loving your summer as much as I am!

Today's post will be short and sweet, as I am still juggling the many things a full-time graduate student, full-time special education teacher needs to accomplish.

First on the agenda, mark your calendars! The first (of I hope many) back to school sales is soon on Teachers Pay Teachers!


Stop by my TpT Store to grab all of your Adventures with ABA in AS favorites at a discounted price! Don't forget to "like" Adventures with ABA in AS on Facebook for exclusive updates, discounts, and freebies! My cart is prepped and ready for the big sale; hopefully, I don't fall in love with too much more between now and August 4th!

I've been working hard on a few different projects right now. I've decided to use a black and white chevron/chalkboard theme this year for the classroom. Why? 1) Classic b&w jives with just about anything and 2) I'm in love with both chevron/chalkboard. Double win.

Hopefully, you've had a chance to check out my NEW Customizable Chevron Communication Mega Pack for this year:


Did I mention that I'm super proud of the fact that I've included a QR code for quick-and-easy access to Adventures with ABA in AS for parents? ;)

To add to this, I've created a Chevron Basic Skills Poster Packs available in TWO font options: pencil and chalk! The poster packs include a TON of full-color basic skills including alphabet (with uppercase/lowercase and graphic), 2D and 3D shapes (with name and graphic), basic colors, numbers (TWO SETS: stars and dice), money, and more!


OR


Did I mention each Chevron Basic Skills Poster Pack includes my Dear Students/Dear Teachers, You are... Motivational Poster Set, too?




I can't wait to get this school year rolling!

Happy Teaching,
Kortnie C.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Free Through Friday "Dear Students/Dear Teachers, You are..." Motivational Poster Set in Black Chevron with Color POP!

Does anyone else feel like a motivational freebie? I've been on a roll lately making supplies for my new Chevon theme. Last week, I finished up my customizable chevon communication pack and yesterday I put the final touches on my academic poster pack! (Look for that available soon in my TpT Store!)

Luckily, you can get this one FREE through FRIDAY:




Cute, right?!

I can't wait to hang a copy of each of these on the front board of the classroom or maybe in the hallway. Everyone needs a reminder of how important they are! The pack includes posters for both teachers (this includes parents, a child's first teacher!) and students. Although I found the original inspiration on Pinterest, I am unable to find the exact pin. Hmmm, if you find it (or if it's yours) let me know so I can credit the source appropriately! I changed it up a bit to make it more personal and customizable, as well!

The whole packet of Dear Students/Dear Teacher you are... Motivational Posters is available for download for in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store! Enjoy!

Happy Teaching!
Kortnie C.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Moving Forward & My Latest Creation [Customizable Chevon Communication Mega Pack]

Two weeks after the official end of the 2013-2014 academic year and I haven't even begun to decelerate!

The last day of the year (AKA not even a week ago) went a little something like this:
6:30 AM - My arrival at school
6:31 AM - Ponder how many students would be in attendance
6:32 AM - Fret about all of the pressing items on my "to do" list
6:33 AM - Fret about losing my coworker (and best friend) next year :(
6:34 AM - 8:00 AM - Enter the teacher time warp
(For those of you that do not know about the teacher time warp, consider yourselves lucky, as it is the equivalent of unknowingly traveling through time at light speed.)
8:05 AM - Exit time warp just in time for the first of my students to arrive and think to myself, "What did I even accomplish these past two hours?"
8:10 AM - All other students and coworkers arrive
8:10 AM - Realize I'm dangerously close to be late to an IEP meeting, shame the copy machine for collating my prints by page number (i.e. Page: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1... 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2...) for said IEP meeting, and rush off to the teacher's lounge (a location I've never been... even after a year of employment)

Wait, what? I'm only at 8:10 AM?!
Skip a few hours ahead to...

2:30 PM - Driving to the airport to check in for my 3:30 flight to... [my vacation destination ;)]
And I've been here ever since.

Don't worry; I haven't eloped. I'm just on vacation!
Aside from the sun (and birds) rising at 3 AM, I love it!

Yes, it is 3:00 AM in this picture!

 I love exploring the city!

Last clue: Coffee is a popular drink here!


Any guesses as to where I am? (If you're the first person to comment with the correct answer, I'll send you any one of my TPT products for FREE! (Oooooooh! Get my new Customizable Chevon Communication Mega Pack at a 100% discount!) Only one guess per person!

The good news is, almost 24 straight hours of air travel allowed me to begin prepping for what the next two months will bring:
1. Summer Class
2. CBA Learning Modules
3. Research Thesis
4. Upcoming IEP Meetings
5. Summer Employment
6. Staff Training for 2014-2015

On second thought, 24 hours wasn't long enough!
I digress (but only because I'm excited for what's in store for the future!).

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Okay. I was hard at work today building a communication packet to use for next year. "What's wrong with your existing WEEKLY NEWSLETTER AND MONTHLY CALENDAR MEGA PACK?" you say? Absolutely nothing. Except I love all most things novel so I made a new one. Due to my inability to commit to an actual "theme" (i.e. puppy dogs, owls, jungle, or the like), I've been making all of my supplies next year in a black-and-white chevron style. I love it. (I hope you love it, too.)



So, my new calendar pack is a bit revamped. It includes THREE ways to communicate with families (daily, weekly, and monthly). In our classroom, we believe communication is important, so, we use all three.  [If any of our classroom's families are tuned in - here's a heads up for August as I know it (so far!)] Here's a little breakdown of how it works in our classroom:


The Map of Our Month is an overview of the upcoming month's activities/events, day schedule, and any other holidays or changes to the school routine (i.e. early dismissal, no school). It is (ideally) sent home a few days prior to the start of the month to give families an overview of what to expect. I like to think our families hang this up on the fridge at home ;). We also post a large version of this in the classroom for students and staff to reference. It works wonders!



The Peek of Our Week is sent home the Thursday or Friday beforehand. New this year, I've included a QR code to the blog for easy access ;). Additionally, the Peek of Our Week reminds families of the upcoming week's activities, contact information, our current theme/focus, and any other news. It also includes birthday announcements and snack week reminders!



Finally, Daily News are sent home with each student every day. As part of our regular schedule, a staff member is assigned two students to work with 1:1 (in an alternating fashion) or in a dyad. Originally, the lead classroom teacher filled all of these out at the end of the day but now, each staff member completes the Daily News for his/her previously designated student(s). In short, it's a life saver, saving the lead teacher a bit of time/anxiety while allowing the Daily News to be more detailed and accurate.

Our Daily News includes a brief description of the programming the student was exposed to that day ("Today, I worked hard on... expressive number labels, turn taking, ABBC patterning"), any related arts or services the student attended, and a lunch report. Additionally, there is a space at the end of the news for any teacher comments/special messages.

New this year (to see last year's version of daily news, head over to my coworkers TPT store), is a "behavior rating." I wanted a quick and easy way to give parents a feel for how their child's behavior was at school that day. (Trust me, this is yet to be launched in a classroom but it may be something I beta-test during my time teaching at a summer program for Kinders!)

With this communication pack, you'll be set for daily, weekly, and monthly communication for years to come! (Dates aren't included so you can use it as many years into the future as you wish.) The files are available in both PDF and Word/JPG form to make customization easy peasy! Use my provided templates as a springboard for ideas or edit it any way you like!

Grab your own copy of my Customizable Chevon Communication Mega Pack now! Or comment a guess as to where I am on vacation for a chance to win your choice of one of my TPT products for FREE! Ready? Set? Go! Go! Go!


Happy Teaching!
:) Kortnie C.

P.S. For our classroom families that read, I hope you like what you see! Check back soon for more updates and announcements regarding our Adventures with ABA in AS!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Quick Update - DonorsChoose

Happy Autism Awareness Month!


The nails of my co-worker ;)



After the past four months I've experience, I am not quite sure where to start. Truth is, I can't even really do that. We are merely two weeks away from the end of my first of two years of graduate school.

I never thought reality could be this cruel.

Keep.
Moving.
Forward.


Anyways, on a brighter note, we were able to celebrate birthday party social skills today at a local indoor "bounce house." The kiddos LOVED it. Each of them wore a smile the entire play session (of course we saw a few frowns when it was time to eat).

My last and final update for now is the creation of my DonorsChoose page.
You can visit it here.
Or at www.donorschoose.org/adventureswithabainas.

My first project is pending approval but feel free to stop by my page before the big reveal. On that date, I will hopefully give a more detailed blog post about our past and present fundraising efforts. We are so grateful for all of the family and community support we have received. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

Happy Teaching!
Kortnie C.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Say What Now? Discrete Trial Instruction

Ever notice how bogged down with technological terms the field of education can be? I have (just about every day). Check out my FAQ here for some clarification of terminology. To help wade through these terms, Adventures with ABA in AS is excited to announce the Say What Now series. The Say What Now series will be posts explaining some of the reality behind the words... or... at least my educated interpretation!


If you're new to the world of ABA-based special education programming, DTI, or Discrete Trial Instruction, may seem a little overwhelming. DTI is an evidence-based practice rooted in years of peer-reviewed research. What does that mean? Well, it means research repeatedly indicates it is a method effective for teaching skills. Specifically, DTI is known for its work with individuals with ASD. Before I get too deep into an often-debated subject, I'll steer, instead, toward a few facts followed by my my strict opinion on the use of DTI.




So, in the above examples, assume
A = "What is your name?"
B = "Touch your [body part]."

One of the unfailing reasons why great special education programs use DTI is that they know it provides increased opportunities for responding which often leads to an increase in learning.

We use DTI nearly everyday with all of our learners. I've used it in my regular education placements. I've used it with my nieces, with my puppy, and, yes, with my boyfriend. A common misconception holds that DTI must be this formal, out-of-context, almost scripted dialogue between an instructor and a learner. It can be, but it should be much more than that.

In fact, my favorite way to run DTI programming with my kiddos is by using randomly distributed trials, AKA trial interspersal. This formatting most closely mimics real-world situations because it is less predictable. It keeps my students on their toes and prevents a great deal of scrolling (i.e. When I say "Touch..." you immediately start to touch your eyes, nose, head, and mouth before allowing me to finish my instruction) through responses.

Of course, DTI is only one of the many evidence-based practices we use on a daily basis.


If you're new here, be sure to check out some of my most popular posts:
4 DIY Fine Motor Tasks
Token Board Starter Pack (Includes 4 Boards, Tokens, and Reinforcer Cards)
It Has to Be Said: (6 Tips and Tricks for Easy) Data Collection
More DIY Fine Motor Tasks: Concept Circles


So, what do you think? Should I make a p

Happy Teaching!
Kortnie C.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Holidays from Room 4: Crafting, Gifting, and More!

December was an ultra busy month for us. Looking back, I wish I could extend it (without losing any vacation days, of course).

Check out some of the crafting from our month of holiday cheer:


My coworker at Confessions of a Multi-Tasker made our cutesy holiday bulletin board. The icicles are tissue paper and the snowflakes were foam shapes from the Dollar Tree!

Each student also made a stocking using construction paper, scissors, and glue.


Marble Painted Christmas Trees

Students folded green paper in half and made zig-zag cuts. Once unfolded, students rolled marbles covered with (thinned down) black paint across to make "string" for the tree's lights. Finally, we added a star and a trunk, as well as thumbprint "lights."



This bulletin board is mounted in our "break area." We use it to display some student work relative to our current theme.

What crafts did your kiddos (at home or at school) do for December?



We started planning holiday gifts for parents during Thanksgiving break. In hindsight, this was just enough time to get the job done. We decided on a few different gifts including personalized Handprint Calendars and a hand-selected gift on our CBI shopping trip.


Of course I'll give credit where credit is due. After stumbling on a handprint calendar by G Whiz Teacher, it was deemed a must-make gift timed perfectly for 2014! I did make a few changes, though. Each child created all 12-months for the 2014 calendar, as well as a cover that consisted of their handprints. (*Note: The calendar pictured was one of a few extras I made as a "compilation" of student work that was later gifted to staff members.) I think the best part was making the calendar with each student and hearing some of the dialogue:

"Wow! Uh huh.. a spider!"
"We use 'lots of colors to make a turkey."
"Three white for the snowman."


Cover of Calendar
(Student Handprints or Holiday Message)

January Artwork
(Snowman)

February Artwork
(Heart)

March Artwork
(Shamrock)

April Artwork
(Bunny)

May Artwork
(Caterpillar)

June Artwork
(Butterfly)

July Artwork
(Flag)

August Artwork
(Fish)

September Artwork
(Tree)

October Artwork
(Spider)


November Artwork
(Turkey)

December Artwork
(Christmas Tree)


I'll admit it was a bit of work but, in general, the kiddos loved it! They were excited to see what they would paint on each page. Each month also has a corresponding poem printed at the top. December's poem was as follows:
"Here's a little holiday tree,
With lights so shiny and bright.
A star goes on top just in time
For a special winter night."

There are also plenty of ways to incorporate academics into the calendar. Some examples include asking students to:
  • Label the holidays and important days on the calendar months
  • Select stickers or embellishments appropriate to each month
  • Decorate pages according to theme
  • Fill in calendar dates

I hope the calendars are a gift parents will use all year. One parent already wrote back a note saying it was a gift they will cherish forever... It feels great to know our hard work was appreciated!

For full directions, download a copy of my 2014 Handprint Calendar in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. It includes a few extras that will (hopefully) make the handprint calendar process a bit easier!

BONUS: My 2014 Handprint Calendar is FREE THROUGH FRIDAY 1/3/14! That's right. Consider it a late holiday present! ;)

Happy Teaching!
Kortnie C.