I just discovered Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten Tot School Tuesday and for my little two years olds entering this year there are LOTS of great ideas and activities for them to do!




 I also LOVE this sorting pom pom activity. I have many of these items all ready! This is from The Resourceful Mama.
Fine Motor Color Matching Apple Sensory Bin:



I also love this DIY light table. I made one awhile back, but I think the light Teach.Love.Autism uses in this one will be even better!


diy light table:

Check out more great ideas at The Inspired Owl!


Last year I started using story boards with my kiddos and I LOVE them! I use them with many of the stories we read throughout the year. About 50% of my students are nonverbal or have very little language, but their comprehension is great! So how do I know if the kiddos really do understand what I am asking about?! I use story boards. 
Pictures that show what is happening throughout the story. 
As you read the story to your students, your students can point to the pictures as that event or person or thing is introduced. Then, during or at the end of the story you can ask questions and students will point to the answer. This can also help students retell the story by pointing to the events in the order that they occur. It is a great way to assess your student's comprehension of the book in a short and quick way. I place the story boards in the pockets below to be reused yearly. There are color and black and white story boards. You can also send the black and white copy home for parents to use with their child. 

1. Keeps students attention.
2. Quick and easy way to assess students' comprehension.
3. Great for students that are nonverbal or have limited comprehension.
4. increases student's vocabulary. 

You can grab this story board freebie for Pumpkin, Pumpkin here.





In my classroom we write with some structure once to twice a week and throughout the week without direct instruction.
My students have writing folders. In their writing folders sometimes I model what I want them to draw and then they attempt something similar. Other times I provide the students with a topic and they draw something related to that topic. Sometimes the students also get the opportunity to draw whatever they like. At table time writing materials are available for the students to also write if they choose. During dramatic play I try include writing opportunities as well (during the post office center writing letters and placing them in envelopes and mailing a letter, writing out prescriptions and taking notes about the child while at the 'doctor office'). 


Teaches students how to express and communicate their thoughts and ideas on paper. Allows them to be creative and use their imagination. Allows students a way to retell a story or event through pictures and writing. Also, writing increases their language and fine motor skills. 

crayons (broken)
pip squeak markers
variety of paper
colored pencils
dry erase boards 
dry erase markers
erasers
envelopes
clipboards



The teacher's role is to get the students verbally expressing and explaining what they are drawing. It is also about at times modeling how to draw things and to form their ideas on paper, while also giving them the freedom to create what they want. 

Head on over to Preschool Wonders to find more great ideas!









So last week I attended an AAC conference on how to implement vocabulary core boards in your classroom (and we will be meeting again throughout the year!). Last year I started introducing it to my kiddos at the very end do the year and we saw a huge improvement in the kiddos and that was in just a short amount of time. So this year I am super excited to start the year with these vocab core boards. So every Tuesday I am going to start talking about what I have learned about using the boards, activities that we have done, and challenges we have faced. 




So how do you start with vocab core boards?

1. Find the board that you wan to use. At the conference we were given 4 different boards. 32 words, 57 words, 85 word and 194 words.
For whole group activities we are using the 57 word board. 
We will differentiate the boards based on the students ability to use the board. 



2. Decide how you are going to make it accessible in the classroom. 
I have decided to get one large board. Then, we are going to make a class set of the 57 word board and differentiate the boards based on need (I will talk more about how we do this as I go).



I will be updating the board to the one we got at the conference. (see above)


3. Decide when during the day you are going to have your vocab board time. This time should be 5-no longer than 20 minutes.
We have decided to do it during circle time #2. 

So we are starting with circle time to introduce the words and then we are going to gradually use the boards throughout the day. (we are going to do circle time, then snack, then centers, then sensory, then play). How fast will we increase?! We are not sure yet. We will see how comfortable we are with using the boards and how the kids seem to be responding to using the board. 

4. Initially for the first week we are going to MODEL! This is the key. Model, model, model. When teaching the students to use the board you do not want to prompt the kiddos because then they will become dependent on you doing it for them. Model it throughout as much of the day as possible for them. 
5. Last, but not least to get started...what words are you going to introduce? On the 32 word board the first 4 words most commonly used are: I, like, not, want. These words we are going to do specific activities with that will be geared towards these words. (The activities we will use are going to be introduced next week). To see the order of the words and how they should be introduced you can find that here. We were told one set may take one to four weeks so initially we are planning on introducing four words over a two week period. Again, this may be faster or slower depending on how the kiddos learn them.
If you are using core vocabulary words and have any tips or tricks to get started please let me know! I am learning as I go.
Also, follow me on instagram for some pictures in action! 
@funinecse


Social stories are something I use in my classroom on a daily basis in my classroom and since starting to use them they have really helped reduce certain behaviors in my classroom. 


Social stories are short stories that explain a situation or behavior and why it is a good or sad choice. It also explains what a the better choice is and why it is more appropriate.

Many of my kiddos don't always know that what they are doing isn't a happy choice, but they also don't know what that happy choice is. So this is a great tool to show them why and what they should do in the classroom to stay safe and keep everyone else safe and also the better way to handle the situation.


We start reading social stories at the start of the school year before the behaviors occur. If we can prevent the behavior even before it starts then that is a plus (we usually read about how to use the playground, sit at circle time, not to run away). There are always behaviors that individual students do and if you see those you can read the social story after the behavior has occurred the first time and explain why it was a sad choice.Then, the next day if it is a behavior that is going to occur again then try to read the social story before it even occurs to prevent it. We sometimes do this at table time individually or with the small group. The biggest thing is to make sure the child is a calm enough that they are willing to look at the social story and are willing to listen because if they are all upset this may make them more upset. 

For some of my kiddos I have created simple happy or sad choice charts. The story is too long for their attention span and they do not quite understand what it is asking. By having to look at pictures with the choices it is much more concrete for them because most times they want to make the happy choice. 

Social stories are great for all students because it provides a visual way to show them what is the happy choice and why and how to handle a situation better.



Now for your freebie. 


I Do Not Touch Shirts Social Story Freebie


You can check out more social stories for your classroom here
Check out more fun freebies at The Bender Bunch!


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