5 Teachers Pay Teachers Resources that I Use Every Day

Special Education Essentials from Teachers Pay Teachers

Ok, I spend a lot of money on Teachers Pay Teachers. Anyone else? 🙋 And I will even admit that often times, I impulse buy and rarely (if ever) actually use the resource that I bought. But there are several resources that I use (almost) every day that have become a staple in my classroom. Here are 5 of them.

10 Ways to Use Punch Pass Cards

I’m here to share about one of my favorite, versatile classroom management tools: punch cards! I sell several different designs in my store and have a freebie you can grab here if you want to try them out. Here are ten ways you can use them in your classroom.

Least to Most Prompt Hierarchy for Listening Comprehension

I love reading novels with my students. Reading content that is interesting increases their motivation for reading, as well as their comprehension. One of my foundational beliefs is that our students with disabilities deserve access to general education curriculum. Story based literacy is one way that I've provided access. You can read more about what SBL is and how I run it here.

Discussing Strengths and Needs Through Student Led Discussions

Daily student led discussions are an essential part of the early transition planning process in my classroom. In Utah, we are required to begin transition planning at age 14 but I like to start as soon as I get new 7th graders. My students need a lot of repetition and practice with new skills and I believe middle school is an ideal time to start working on self- advocacy and self- determination. 

Fun & Easy Fine Motor Tasks

5 Tips for Setting Boundaries

This is an area I'm still working on, but I wanted to share 5 things I have done to help maintain work boundaries. Burnout is real and it's important to remember that it's okay to have a personal life and you don't have to work yourself so hard be a good teacher. Allowing myself to take breaks and be okay with letting things go is something that's really difficult for me so I've set a few guidelines. This is something I've asked my husband to help me with so I have someone to help hold me accountable. I'll admit, it's hard but I know it helps me to be a better teacher when I am taking care of myself and setting healthy boundaries.

Adapted Task Cards for Students with Multiple Disabilities

I know how challenging and time consuming it can be to find or create materials for students with significant or multiple disabilities. My students with limited mobility, speech delays and severe cognitive disabilities are quite a challenge in the classroom in that it is difficult to find meaningful, academic activities and experiences for them to engage in. I've created a few sets of adapted task cards that have the all the modifications built in. I love these because they are perfect for my students who use eye gaze or who need their answer choices presented further apart to be accurate.

I've included two sizes in each set. The larger size is perfect for students who have vision impairments. These task cards are great for emergent level learners who are working on basic skills but may not be able to read or write.

For students with limited mobility, students who need an alternative presentation or students who need an alternative way to respond to a task, print two sets of the task cards you are using. Cut up the answer choices from the second set and add hook Velcro to the backs. Present the task card and then present the answer choices on a separate board. This way, you can place the answer options further apart. Students can use eye gaze to select their answer or reach to touch the answer.
For students with more severe cognitive disabilities, I like to use task cards in this instructional sequence.

First, I use errorless instruction. After I've printed two sets of the task cards, I present the task card and the correct answer card. The student then just matches the correct answer to the card. 

Next, present the answer card and a blank card. This allows the student to discriminate between two choices. 

After this is mastered, you can present the answer card and an obvious distractor. For example, if you are doing shapes task cards, present one shape and one number. Next, I move to an array of 2 answers, one correct and another possible answer from the task card set. Finally, I would move to an array of 3 or greater, as the student is able.

I have my paras or peer tutors work with students using these task cards. First, they present the task card and ask the question. Next, they present the answer choices, depending on the student's level, as described in the instructional sequence above. I like to present the answer choices on a black felt board, like this. Students can touch their answer, look at their answer, or if able, can grab their answer and hand it to the teacher. I've also included smaller cards for direct matching.

You can grab the Adapted Task Cards Basics Bundle here or by clicking on the cover image below. Are there other skills you'd like to see? Leave me a comment or shoot me an email and let me know!

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