So this year the speech path in our building went to a conference about the core vocabulary board. Before being introduced to this we were solely trying to use the PECs (Picture Exchange Communication System) and with only myself and an aid in the room regularly it was challenging to initially teach the students how to use it. So after she attended this conference she said this may be a great supplement to PECs and may be easier to use with just two adults regularly in the room. 

After only trying this system for a couple of days I not only found it WAY easier! I also noticed more of my students looking at the pictures and trying to point to the pictures and trying to use it. Since I am not totally familiar with the location of all the pictures and I was not sure about how to go about teaching it to my kiddos this last month of school was kind of spent experimenting with it and I have been learning with them. 

So how did I go about getting this in place?

First, I blew up the board she provided into a poster size and put it on my rolling chart holder so that it can easily be moved around the classroom. Whenever possible throughout the day I try to refer to the board when I am talking.  I love using the big poster board because I can use the cards from the PECs book to fit into the spaces. I am planning to make flip charts for the top with our most used words.

I also started to do some activities with it to get the students familiar with it. 
 Here are a couple of the activities I did:

1. I gave each child a beanbag and had them identify the color and/or shape. The child would point to the word I see ____. When doing this some I just had to model it, others I had to take their hand to point to each word. 

2. We also did building a potato head. Students would say I want (the piece) and I would give it to them or depending on the group they would be able to go find that piece in the box. 

3. We have been requesting snack with the board. I want...

4. We went fishing for numbers and then said I see (number). 

5. Identifying new vocabulary words. I gave each student a card and they said the sentence I see (picture). 

6. I have made individual boards for students and am in the process of making pictures for the top row that we frequently use. I also made one with snack pictures that will be used for their placemat next year so they can point on that. 

For this year we just used the basic board to become familiar with one or two words.

Next year we are going to...

Bind the top and students can flip to one of the strips seen below. Again, we are gradually going to introduce this. We are going to start with snack and then depending on each individual child increase the strips. 

 How to use the core vocabulary board is going to be shared with the parents to implement at home at our fall open house. I cannot wait to dive into this next year.  I saw an improvement in my students' communication and overall behavior in a very short time and I think next year will be fun to see the growth that they make when we start using it from the start! If you have any experience with it I would love to hear about it!

Chh--chhh--changes! (I always think of the David Bowie song when I hear that word). 
For next year I have A LOT of changes that I want to make! Many are ones that are not that hard, but just take some prep time and some time for me to get built into my routine. 
As the summer progresses I will be blogging about the changes I plan to make and how I have prepared them. So stayed tuned (there will definitely be some freebies and giveaways in there too)! :)
Here is a look at the changes I want to make for next year. 

1. and 7. Sorting my work boxes by skill task. I have had a difficult time finding a really good system to organize them and so before the year starts I want to tackle that so I can meet my kiddos needs better! I am also going to start keeping data sheets on how they are doing on these skills since they correlate to their IEP Goals and to our report card. 

2. I want to change up my newsletter to include pictures or what we are doing in the classroom. This will be a great opportunity for parents to get ideas of activities to do with their kiddos too. 

3. I am going to start sending home a reading log. I plan on including this into my behavior calendar binder. The reading log I got was from Pocket of Preschool. Check it out here.

4. I created a question of the week in addition to our Is the letter ___ in your name question. Many of my students have answering questions in some form as an IEP goal so this will be a great way to work on the goal, as well as, monitor it. You can find that here. 

5. and 10 go together...I love the new core vocabulary board that our speech path introduced us too last month. I have already seen a HUGE improvement in speech and decrease in challenging behaviors because the kids have found the board as a way for them to communicate. I will blogging about that on June 27th...

6. Rearranging my room to have more defined space.
Here's a peek of my plans. I moved some of it around to make sure it would work and I think it will be awesome!

8. I am loving our new circle time mats! You can find out more about those here! You can find the folder here. 

9. I am changing my center schedule to make it a little more individualized for every student (I will be color coding it and making it movable).
So those are the things I will be working on this summer and as I check them off the list I will make sure to share them with you! Do you make a list of changes for the following year? I started the list in January as I got a lot of new students and their needs were very different from the other students I had. So I started keeping a list and here it is. 
Have a great Sunday!
I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!
1. Yesterday was the last day of school and I am now officially on vacation! Yay! 
I will be honest this year has been very bittersweet for me because many of my kiddos I have had for three years and now they are going on to Kindergarten. I am going to miss them, but so proud of all the growth they made while with me!!!!!
2. This past week we had our end of the year party...popsicles, bubbles, water table, and sidewalk chalk. It was a fun day!

3. I am loving my towel holder I made last weekend! 
4. Next Friday we are leaving for Orlando, FL to go to the Kennedy Space Center, Universal Studios, and Disney! We cannot wait!
5. This week in between packing and cleaning the house we plan on relaxing and enjoying the pool and riding bikes.
Have a great Saturday!

I am linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!

I love when summer rolls around and I have time to create for my home and classroom. I usually have a long list of things to check off that I just never get to during the school year. So here are two things I made this weekend.

I was given this box and I was not sure at first what to do with it, but then I thought it would be perfect for sorting by color and by length. So the top row is for tall and and the bottom row is for short. I cut out yarn, pipe cleaners, and straws would be perfect to sort. 

I made this towel holder. I loved Shanty 2 Chic's blanket ladder and I wanted to make one for all of our beach towels that were being thrown on the floor in the kitchen once the kids came in from the pool. I adjusted the directions a little by using PVC pipe instead of metal rods which was about $30 cheaper. I love how it turned out and how functional it is in that area. 

Link up with Fourth Grade Frolics to share your creations!

I am linking up with Just Read, Pawsitively teaching, and Inspired Owl's Corner for their monthly Pinterest

Free Number Formation Rhymes. These are so fun! Print and Drive little cars, trucks and planes and learn proper letter formation.:

I love these cute number rhymes posters and sayings from Preschooll Mom!

Fantastic and Easy Wooden and Rustic Home Diy Decor Ideas 9 | Diy Crafts Projects & Home Design:

Here is a project I plan on tackling this summer. We just got a pool and now we have a beach towel problem in the kitchen...they all are on the floor so I thought this would be an easy and cheap fix. This is a project I plan to tackle next weekend!. You can check it out here from Shanty 2 Chic. 

Captain America MandM’s Cookies on #HeroesEatMMS #CollectiveBias #shop:

I also found these cute Captain America cookies (great for 4th of July too!) from Kleinworth and Co

You can check out my pinterest page here.

You can check out more fun ideas by checking out the Pick 3 Pinterest link up! 

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