Thursday, June 2, 2016

Using Literacy to Work Through Science Goals

With the end of year state tests quickly approaching, our mentor sessions have focused around the actual implementation of the tests as well as how we actually prepare students.  In each class I work with, there are at least 2 kids who are working on following single step directions, recognizing basic sight/functional words; as well as potty training and following instruction.

While I see the value in assessing students, I question whether the people developing these tests have actually every worked with students on this level.  But that is a topic for another day...

What we came up with were tasks that at least exposed the students to the topics.  We developed tasks for these students to work on during teacher time or independent time, if for nothing other than exposure.  Here is what we came up with dealing with animals (habitats and food chains) that also correspond to their IEPs.  Hopefully you can find something in this post to help you as well.

We began with Reading (yes, again) for text that supported the theme.  The book that was chosen was a multi-level book.

The wordless book was used to label the animals.  
The midlevel book was used to focus on goals on a few of the student's IEPs that focus on verbs.
The highest level book will be used either for a teacher-read text or for a student reading task.

This task used photographs to identify habitats.

This is a comprehension task based on the animals from the Readinga-z book.  (It will use Wiki-Sticks to "draw" a line to the photo that shows the answer.)

Using a book format, this task focuses on what each animal eats.

Based on the ReadingA-Z book, this task focuses on placing animals in the appropriate habitat.
This task asks the students to match the photograph to the outline of the animal.
Same task with the labels covered up
Sorting task for herbivores, carnivores or omnivores with labels
This is a reading comprehension task.  The animals in this task are from the ReadingA-Z book.
An AB Pattern task using pictures from Board Maker.

These activities were printed from the Reading A-Z website for some of the higher level students to use during 1:1 time.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!  -Kara

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Last weeks mentor session with one group revolved around literacy. The teachers are using ULS, but are finding that it either isn't enough or it isn't a good fit for the kids this year. We discussed a variety of ways to include literacy in tasks. One of the teachers is a former upper elementary General Ed teacher. Once we began discussing how to integrate, her brain clicked and she came up with a ton of ways she could incorporate some Gen Ed literacy for her non verbal kiddos. We had lengthy discussions about how difficult it is to move a kid from an adapted curriculum to the Common Core and how those gaps can be filled.

For tasks this week, we used some of the books from that aligned with the skills either in ULS or the science theme.  We then made a few activities that corresponded to both the books and IEP goals.  Now there are both teacher guided activities as well as activities to include in work baskets.

These tasks were for work boxes, to accompany the book Animal Tongues.
The animals from the book were used to make a labeling task
These vocabulary words were used to create a tracing task for a work box

These vocabulary words were added to these shapes and used to create an animal from the book
The book was created for multiple uses.  If the teacher uses the red outlined words, the student will be identifying the animal. If the teacher uses the blue outlined words, the student will be identifying other vocabulary words.  The cards on the right were printed from the activities that accompanied the book from the website.
 These tasks were created to accompany the book Muscles.

This copy of the book was adapted as a comprehension task where
the final word of the sentence was filled in from a field of 2.

This book was adapted as a sentence construction task.

This task came from one of the activities on the
website for the book.  It is simply flap book with
the definition under each vocab word.
This is another task from the website
as a cloze sentence task.  We made
2 copies of this.  One as a writing task
and another as a fill in the blank for those
students who are unable to write.

 This book was created to address a speech goal for a student.  The student will identify the job, based on the description in the book.

These tasks were based around the book Rocks.

This is just an identification task based on the science skills for the unit.

This task is from one of the activities
on the website.  The rocks are highlighted
to help with identifying the size.

This is another task from the website.  Again, this was created for a student who
is able to comprehend but does not have the ability to complete paper/pencil tasks.

I hope you find these helpful!


Monday, March 14, 2016

I can't believe how long it is since my last post, things have been very busy around here.   The last few weeks have included both math and reading tasks.  Today I am sharing some of the math tasks I have made over the last few weeks.

Our system adopted a new math program a few years ago, but most schools kept the old manipulative kits just in case they were needed for something later.  I rescued some of those manipulatives...

A puzzle with a few pieces missing

A puzzle with most of the pieces missing.  The pieces were shaded in order to help the students figure out which pieces went where.

Colored squares with letters on them for name building.  Each classmate's name is in a bag with the corresponding cubes.

A multi-functional task.  A ziplock bag holds the additional cards to differentiate for specific skills. {I used overhead coins & blank printer labels so they would be easier to read}

Geoboards & loom bands to match upper & lower case letters.  {We used loom bands for students who have more limited dexterity.  Rubber bands could be used to provide more resistance}

I hope this helps you come up with some of your own ways to repurpose old math manipulatives.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Task Tuesday

"Can you make something from this?"   {handover pile of random buttons, stickers, clothespins, and other small items}

That was the response I got when I asked how I could help in one classroom.  There was no other instruction given.  When I asked what the teacher wanted, the response was "it doesn't matter".  When I specifically asked if I should focus on reading, math, writing, fine motor, put in...I just got a blank stare.  I have asked a few times what needs the students/classroom have and the response is always "we will take anything".  I think that the teacher is good with the kids, but as far as what they are learning...well I'm not to sure.  I can't decide if the teacher is just so far in the weeds that she doesn't know what she needs or if she doesn't really care.  Either way, it's not good.  Initially, I was just offering my services to create I'm worried.  But for right now, I'm just going to create away.  In the meantime I hope that I can help in other ways in the not too distant future.

This week's tasks are focusing on combined fine motor & educational tasks.  I figured that some of the tasks might need to double team on some skills.  Here is what I created...

1:1 Correspondence; Color Matching

Number/Number Sets; Fine Motor

Matching Number Sets; Fine Motor

Puzzle: Number Sets

1:1 Correspondence; Color Matching

Number to Number Sets

Skip Counting by 5s

Puzzle Jig
(pieces are color coded and separate)

Counting by 2s

1:1 Correspondence; Visual Discrimination

Visual Discrimination

Visual Discrimination; 1:1 Correspondence

Number/Number Sets; Pincer Grasp

Number to Number Sets

Shape discrimination

Size Discrimination

Puzzle Jig
Pattern Recognition; Pattern Continuation
(This task has 2 sets of cards--one for each skill)

I had a lot of fun creating tasks this week, even though I was limited by the pieces that I was given.  I hope the teachers are able to readily incorporate these tasks into their classroom instruction.  More tasks to come soon!