Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hold on to your...

I have several students in my class that do not keep items in their lap or on the table in front of them.  Two students in particular that I have in mind are capable of grasping and holding on to materials but instead they are constantly dropping things on the floor or pushing items off of the table. I am always looking for new ways to keep the materials accessbile to the student, where they cannot drop them or push them out of their reach.

For paper materials I can tape them to the table in front of the student or clip them to a large slant board that is non-slip.  For toys I have tried using dycem pads to keep them from sliding but students are able to pull the dycem up from the table or move the toy off of the dycem. 

While scanning the aisles at Target the other day, I discovered these in the office supply section: 
Retractable badge reels!!!

Of course, we have all seen these before, but that day it dawned on me... I can use these with my students to attach small toys and other items to their wheelchair or belt loop!!  They are retractable, so the student can easily move the objects, but if they push them off their lap, they won't fall to the floor!  I decided to buy them and give them a try.  I think I got a pack of 6 for around $3.99. 

Here is my first attempt at using them with my students.  During our music/sensory time each student got to choose an instrument to play.  This student picked bells.  I was able to attach the instrument to the badge holder using a rubberband.  I then attached the holder to the chest harness on her wheelchair.  It worked perfectly!  When she let go of the instrument it stayed in her lap instead of falling to the floor every time! 
Use a rubber band to attach the item to the badge reel

Clip the badge reel to an article of clothing or wheelchair strap

I'm excited to use these with other materials in the classroom.  I figure I can attach lots of different items to these badge holders using different sized rubberbands or ribbon.  I'm going to play around with it and see what I can come up with.

If you have any other great ideas for keeping items within students reach and preventing them from throwing/dropping the items to the floor, please share!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pinterest Addiction!

Yes I am!  I'm sure most of you have heard about the bookmarking site called Pinterest.  You can create virtual bulletin boards on any topic you dream up and start pinning pictures from all over the web.  I'm addicted!  I love finding ideas and inspiration from others online and Pinterest is a GREAT tool to keep it all organized.  Come check out my Pinterest boards.  I have several boards related to classroom ideas, including Special Education Classroom ideas, Arts and Crafts, and Classroom Organization.  Just click my "follow me" button on the right hand side of your screen.

If you have a Pinterest account, be sure to link up to the Pinterest Party at Michelle's Math in the Middle blogsite.

Happy Pinning!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cheap and Easy Card Holder

I'm excited I finally got around to making card holders for my classroom.  I found this idea several weeks ago on a blog titled, Adapting Creatively!  Rose-Marie has really GREAT ideas for adapting materials for use with our special needs kids.  Check out her site when you can.

Here is the card holder I made following her instructions:

You will need:
A pool noodle and a knife... that's it!!

Everyone knows what a pool noodle is, right!?  You can find them all over the place right now.  I found mine at the Dollar Tree for $1.

Using your sereated knife, cut the pool noodle into 16" sections.  Next, you will slice the pool noodle in half, through the center of the piece.  You should now have 6 pieces of pool noodle.  Set each piece, flat side down, on the table.  In the center of the arch, use your knife, to cut a slit down the length of your noodle.  Cut as straight as possible and be sure not to go too deep!  You're DONE!  Simply slide the cards into the slits to hold them up.  You can make 6 card holders for $1!

Here is my finished product!  For more detailed, photo, instructions, be sure to check out the original idea on Adapting Creatively!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Twins! Baby Shower

Sorry I've been MIA.  This week was my first week at school with the students!  It has been crazy busy, but overall a great week.  I have 5 students this year, 4 of which I had last year, so we quickly got into a routine.  I'll post more about my schedule and some changes I'm making this year in another entry but FIRST, I just had to share about my best friends recent baby shower!! 

My best friend, Jess, is having twins!  I was honored to host a baby shower for her last weekend.  I hosted with 2 other ladies and it was so much fun planning and creating things for her shower. My favorite part was creating the decor.  I created tutu outfits to hang from the mantel and her last initial "P" to hang in the center.  I also hand-painted the "Two of a Kind" frame to put on the mantel, along with the twin poem in the white frame, backed with scrapbook paper.  We used scrapbook paper on the food tables to tie our color scheme together. Take a look:

 The tutu outfits were so much fun to create!  First I found two "My 1st Tutu's" at TJ Maxx and was super stoked!  They were perfect!  Next, I purchased two white onesies from Hobby Lobby.  The pink flowers are actually hair clips I found at Hobby Lobby!  I tacked a a simple thread loop onto the onesie and clipped the flower to it.  It's SO simple!  And the best part is the flowers are removable so when she needs to wash the onesies she can remove the flowers.  Also, when they outgrow the outfits, she can keep the hair clips.  I can't wait to see the twins in these outfits!! :)

The pink frame is hand painted and includes her first sonogram picture of the twins.  The white frame, has scrapbook paper for the backing, which I found at Hobby Lobby, and I printed the poem using Word.

Yum!  Pink Lemonade cupcakes made by one of the other ladies helping to host.  We placed scrapbook paper under the cupcakes to tie in our color scheme... pink and green.

 Pink lemonade with green limes floating on top.  Also used scrapbook paper underneath... the same scrapbook paper used in the white frame on the mantel.

The diaper cake turned out SO cute... made by another friend helping to host the shower.  The food table turned out so nice. :)

Everything turned out so beautifully and the guest of honor was so happy!  We had a great turn out and she got lots of great gifts!!  Thanks for taking a look into our party.  I'll be back soon with more back-to-school posts!