Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Teaching Through Turbulence Celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013


I am joining with other bloggers for the Autism Positivity Flash Blog 2013.  Over the years I have worked with many individuals with Autism and have enjoyed the uniqueness of each one.  I am amazed at the way the brain works in a visual way.  My cousin, Wayne, is a high-functioning Autistic with Asperber's Syndrome and Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  He made a great video last year for Autism Awareness that explains life through his eyes so well.  I hope that you will watch and gain the admiration of their individuality as I have grown to over the years.  This video explains things in such a great way.  He has been so successful over the years.  I am so proud of him for everything that he has attempted and for his ability to share with us in such a great way. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Turbulence Tip #3 - Leisure

Turbulence Tip is going out on Monday this week due to a special post going out tomorrow for the last day of Autism Awareness Month.

What type of leisure activities do your students like?  Did you teach procedures for these?

We all have procedures for the things we do in our classroom, but don't forget that sometimes you have to teach more than that.  Some students do not know how to play with other kids.  Some students do not know how to do imaginary play.  Some students do not know how to actually sit and relax.  These are all things that may come very easy to us, but we need to make sure to explicitly teach to some students.  Don't just assume they know how to play with a certain toy or game because it is a popular thing.

I have caught myself telling students before to just go play and then realizing they have no idea how to really do that with others.  I have had to be very careful in teaching these skills.

What are some activities in your classroom that you have had to teach to your students outside of regular academics and procedures?

Don't forget to go over and enter to win the fidget kit on my Therapy Thursdays post here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Share - Hopkins Hoppin Happenings

I am honored to be chosen to be Heather's first Guest Blogger.  She asked me to write up a post about Classroom Management.  I taught Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 5th grade for a little over 8 years.  I have subbed the past 2 years.  When subbing you really have to have great classroom management or you will lose the children real quick. Here are some things that I have tried that have worked well for me:

1. As a teacher, rules and procedures must be gone over the first day of school and continued to practice the first few weeks of school until your class runs like clockwork.  I model the rules and procedures and then pick students to model them.  I even have them model them the wrong way so they know what not to do.

2. I rarely sit down as a teacher or a substitute teacher.  I am constantly walking around the room or standing next to a child unless I am working in a small group.  I praise the students who are on task and doing what they are supposed to do.  Sometimes I hand out random surprises like stickers, skittles or jelly beans.  I also give out brag tags, scented pencils, and paper bracelets with positive sayings on them.  They never know when the surprise is coming and it keeps them on their toes to do the right thing! 

Click on the picture to read more about brag tags:

3. As a teacher or a sub you have to have an attention getter.  I have always used Give Me 5.  I say it and then the students repeat it and put up one of their hands.  It means Stop And Look At Me.  So they stop whatever they are doing and look at me without saying a word.  I have recently come across WholeBrainTeaching.com, and love their idea for an attention getter.  You say Class and they say Yes.  You can say class anyway you want and they say yes the same way you said class.  If I say Class, Class, they say Yes, Yes.  If I say Classity Classity, they say Yessity Yessity.  As the year goes on they may get bored of that so you could practice math facts.  I could say What's 5 plus 1?  They answer in a complete sentence 5 plus 1 equals 6.  The same can be done with higher skills like multiplication or even states and capitals.

4. At the end of the school day I like to reward children who made great choices.  That could be a sticker, small piece of candy like jolly ranchers, and/or a positive behavior note.  I have created some fun ones for free in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Check out my fun May one that you can print out and have ready for next month for FREE by clicking on the picture.

5. Finally as a sub, even if I don't have that particular class for a day and a student comes up to me to say hello, says something nice to me, or gives me a hug, I may surprise them with one of the things I listed in step 2.  It shows them that I care and I notice them. It really has helped me build great relationships with students.

If you enjoy my guest post, I hope you will hop on over to my blog and teachers pay teachers store and follow me for more great information.

Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Therapy Thursday and Giveaway!!!

I am so so so so so excited to be hosting 2 giveaways on the blog this week... and today's is my favorite giveaway that I have had so far!

I gave hints on my Facebook page on Sunday about the blog and some of you were definitely on it.  Here were the hints and answers:

Hint 1: They are from my favorite shop for school things. Where are they from??
Michele N. and Lori S. were correct in that it is another giveaway form Therapy Shoppe!!
Hint 2: In my opinion...every general education and special education teacher should use these in their room.
 Lori S., Caitlin O, and Kim K all were correct that it is fidgets

Hint 3: I have touched on these things in 3 different blog posts.  You can see the posts here:
Linky Party (First linky party that failed but at least you get to see my favorite fidget)
Turbulence Tip

Hint 4: It is priced at $19.99.. Go to Therapy Shoppe and see if you can find it. http://ow.ly/kcSsz Any guesses??
 So there it is.. The Sensory Seekers Fidget Kit.

I know I don't have to touch on how great fidgets are for many of you, but let me just say.. I do not know what I would do without fidgets in my classroom.  I even take them on field trips to help with anxiety of new schedule, wait time, and transitions.  They help students to self-calm and to focus on something other than the anxiety and change.

When Therapy Shoppe said that I could do a giveaway with this product, I was so excited, because I know that all of my fellow teaching friends and parents on here could use these in some way.  I am receiving no money or compensation of any kind to write this review.  These are all my own opinions of these fidgets.

This kit includes the following: 
a Brain Noodle, Tickley Tactile Ball, Fidgeting Fleece Bag, Jumbo Porcupine Ball, Sensory Finger Squeezer, Squiggle Band, and a tin of Thinking Putty

In my opinion, this kit has a wide range of sensory materials for different kids.  It has the Brain Noodle (green large fuzzy pipe cleaner type thing) that can be used with both hands to bend and twist.

There are different textures of balls.  The Tickley Tactile Ball is softer while the Jumbo Porcupine Ball is harder plastic.  My students like to roll these around in their hands and even on their arms for sensory input.

See the little blue ring?  This is the first time I have seen one of those and I absolutely love it and want one.  It is the Sensory Finger Squeezer.  Perfect for kids that need finger strengthening to help them hold a pencil or apply pressure better.

New! Sensory Finger Squeezers 

The Squiggle Sensory Band would be perfect for a child to put on their arm to provide sensory input and something to fidget with, but it won't tie up their hands from completing work.

Thinking Putty and the Fleece Bag are things that most of us have probably used before, but I really do like those in this kit.  

I could go on and on about ways to use these fidgets and how great of a kit this is, but let's get to the giveaway... Enter below...  and don't forget to go back to Tuesday's post to enter to win a Conscious Box.  That giveaway ends Friday night/Saturday morning at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Educent Conscious Box Giveaway

I was contacted yesterday by Educents to do a giveaway on my blog of a Conscious Box.  (I am sorry that there is no Turbulence Tip this week, but this is very worth it).  Did you know that means 2 giveaways on my blog this week!  I am so excited!

Have you checked out Educents yet??


It is like a Groupon type site that has all educational products!  They just started at the beginning of the month and have already offered lots of great deals. 

A Conscious Box is a great eco-friendly box that you can sign-up to receive monthly to your doorstep with 10-20 handpicked products.  Here is the description from the site that describes it very well:

Conscious Box is a monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products handpicked from the best companies that care for the planet. Each month, you’ll discover 10-20 of these companies right at your doorstep! Conscious Box helps you discover the purest, healthiest natural products in the world from the most ethical companies!
From natural beauty to health food and non-toxic home goods, you’ll find better alternatives for all areas of your life. Conscious Box is perfect for the whole family! As you discover new favorites, Conscious Box makes it easy to try different products, live healthy and sustainably, and even offers discounts on your favorite brands you can earn just by rating your products!

Check it out more on Conscious Box website by clicking their logo or on the Educents site by clicking on their logo below or by clicking here to go to the Educents site.

Who wants a free box delivered to their house??   And what better time to offer this giveaway but around Earth Day!

And if that isn't good enough... for those of you that just can't wait to see if you won or if you just want to help out, look at what Educents is doing if you go and buy it from their site with up to 41% off:

Anyone who ends up purchasing a conscious box on the Educents site (starting Monday April 22), will also be helping their fellow Americans by giving to One Fund Boston, which will provide funds to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during Monday’s Boston Marathon. 100% of the profits made from every sale of the Conscious Box will be given to One Fund Boston, and matched, personally, by the Educents staff (for a total of 200%). 

Time for the giveaway...  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, April 22, 2013

The 100 Club

First of all... I am trying to set up Bloglovin' for those of you that are starting to use it to follow my blog with it since Google Reader is going away.  I will give more information once I get this all figured out.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin 
This idea came from another colleague in my district.  It was shared with me by my wonderful Behavior Consultant.  I am not sure who came up with it exactly in order to give credit to.  Let me know if you know who.

There is a little bit of a glare on the picture (sorry), but it is a 100s chart.  We used this for behavior in our sensory room and my older students were very motivated by it.  If the students have good behavior, they get to pick a poker chip out of a bag that each have a number on them 1-100.  Then, they take a small post-it note, write their name on it, and stick it on the 100s chart on the number that they drew.

We continued to fill up the chart until 1 line (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) was completely filled.  Everyone in that line got a treat.  They were highly motivated with it because they wanted to get their name up there as many times as possible since the number pulling is random.

This could be used in a variety of ways.

What things can you think of that it would work for in your classroom?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Share - The Lower Elementary Cottage

Today I wanted to share a blog with you of another Special Education teacher that I recently came across.  Lisa works with many Autistic students and has a lot of great knowledge to share.  She is also starting to make custom clipart.  She has agreed to make some custom clipart that I need to make some upcoming products for you all! 

I want to send you straight to one of her recent posts for Autism Awareness Day.  She shared some of her experiences and has some great freebies that I am excited to use in my classroom.  Click on the very cute Autism Awareness bear that Kinder Alphabet made and shared this month to hop over to Lisa's blog.

I hope that you will check her out and follow her for some great tips!  It will definitely be worth your time. 

Don't forget everyone that I am looking for guest bloggers for Saturdays, so let me know if you are interested!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Therapy Thursday - Making Stress Balls

Stress balls are great!  They are even better when personalized.  Have you ever made your own?  I actually haven't either, but one of the awesome counselors at our school, Ashley, makes stress balls with our students out of a balloon.  They get to put a face and even hair (yarn) on it.  They are super cute!  You could put stickers or decorate it any way you or the student want.

Ashley said she makes them 2 different ways.  The 1st way is to put a mixture of salt and flour inside a balloon.  This is the quicker way.  The 2nd way is to break up little pieces of playdough and put them in the balloon.  She said that this one takes more focus and a lesson can be completed about it during this time.

I found a post on another blog that had a great picture of what they look like.  This blog posts talks about using them to teach emotions also, which is super cute.  Here is the picture.  You can click on it to go check out Repeat Crafter Me's post:

Anyone have their own tips for these?  Who is going to try these?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Turbulence Tip #2

Here is Turbulence Tip #2:

This one is pretty self explanatory!  Fidgets are amazing and guess what???   I will be having a giveaway next week of some.  Make sure you watch for it.

What are your students' favorite fidget toys?  What fidget toy do you like to have most in your classroom?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Am Working For... Tickles!

Just a note.. a freebie is included...

My students need to constantly be working toward something to keep them on task, so I use "I am working for charts".  This is great for students with Autism also because it provides visual choices and visuals to show how much more they need.  I have made 2 sided sheets and I have made 2 different kinds.  1 is for when we are working with just 1 student.  The other is for when we are working with a group of student that needs rewards.

I start by showing them the choice side and having them pick something to work toward during that 15-20 minute lesson.

We take which ever one they choose and move it to the front of the page.  See the pennies on the back?  They are all housed there.  This is the one for 3 students, so there are 9 pennies (3 for each student).  On the Working For chart for 1 student, there are 5 pennies.  As students are doing what they need to, I move a penny from the back to their spot.  I do not always give pennies for everything they do right.  My students know that they have to keep working hard to get the penny.

Here is the front of the 3 person one.  I used velcro dots.  This helps for the students to see how many more they need. 

Here they are in use:

What can you use for students to work for?  Anything you want!!  I try to keep it to things that last 1 minute or less.  I also look for things that will help sensory needs after sitting for awhile.  My choices are:
high five
Play with dinosaurs for 1 minute
bounce on the ball 5 times
jump on the trampoline 10 times
squeezes in the beanbag (If you haven't seen these, they are simple.  Have the student lay in the bean bag.  You sit down beside the student, reach across the child, grab the bean bag and squeeze it across the child.  It gives the student pressure that helps with sensory needs)

You do not have to use pennies.  You could use pictures or anything the student would be motivated by.

You can get a template for this and a few black and white pictures here as freebie by clicking on the picture:

If you would like to purchase the packet with more templates and more pictures in both color and black and white.  Check out the packet here at my TPT store for a low price!

The adorable clip art is custom made by Lisa.  I couldn't find clipart for these activities and so she made them!

Does anyone use something like this?  Do you have any questions?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Share

 Today's Saturday Share is a post from Tattling To The Teacher:

I posted last year about something I had found on Pinterest and she commented and shared her similar idea that is super cute.  Go over and check out the post by clicking on the picture below:

Isn't this cute???   Thank you Laura for sharing this with me.

I also wanted to thank Alphabet Soup for nominating me for the Liebster Award again.  Since I have completed it before, I am not going to do it again, but I do appreciate it and wanted to give them a shout-out!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Giveaway Winners Announced

We all hope you enjoyed the freebies that you found and hopefully you found some good blogs to follow also.

The winner of the Chewy Jewelry Sampler is:

Congratulations Doreen!  You are going to love the pack.  I need your mailing address to send the pack to you.  I will be e-mailing you, but if you don't get it, e-mail it to me at teachingthroughturbulence@gmail.com.

If you didn't win, and still want one, click on the picture to take you to the store link:
The winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card from Kim at Joy in 6th is:

Congrats Kelly!!  Watch for an e-mail from Kim.

Don't forget to check out Kim! Thank you Kim for this giveaway!

Thank you for joining the hop! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Therapy Thursday

Welcome back to Therapy Thursdays! 

This week I am featuring another product from Therapy Shoppe. Can you tell I love Therapy Shoppe's products?  They have been my go to place.  (Not all Therapy Thursdays will be about them though.)  I have had these in my classroom for the last year and love them for some kids.  You can get to them by clicking on the picture.

New! Fidgeting Foot Bands™

These slide over the front 2 legs of a chair and they allow the student to kick them.  It provides resistance for the student.  These have really worked for some of my ADHD kids who have a lot of trouble sitting still.  They start sitting in their chair more, but boy do their feet continue to move.  I am okay with their feet moving as long as they are sitting and more focused.

Has anyone else tried these in their room?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Last New Announcement (for now)

My final announcement is my new ideas for Tuesdays.  Tuesdays will be Turbulence Tip Tuesdays.  I will post a tip for dealing with behaviors.  Some may be ones that you all know but are just reminders, while others I hope will be new things to help you out.

So today will be number 1:

I have posted about biters before and with the current giveaway going on (which I am super excited about and wish I could enter to win), I thought this was a fitting tip for this week.

If, in the unfortunate event, you ever get bit..  Feed The Bite.  What this means is... you gently push the body part that is being bit toward the biter.  The pushing toward will make the person loosen up the bite.   Our reaction is to pull away from the bite but this is the worst possible thing to do.  Make sure to push in toward the bite and you will get out of it a lot easier.

Make sure you head over to yesterday's blog post to get your freebie and enter the giveaway.  Click here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Autism Awareness Blog Hop

Have you been enjoying your hop along the Autism Awareness Blog Hop that was coordinated by Caitlin at Learning Ahoy.  Click the button to go to the start of the blog hop or use the links at the bottom to visit individual blogs:

I have worked with Special Education students, including many Autistic students, over the past 7 years.  One of my favorite things about working with these students is how unique each individual is.  Those people that think all Autistic people are the same, couldn't be more wrong.  I love getting to know each and every one of them.  I love finding ways to make them smile and find what they will work hard for.  Each and every one of my students are dear to me, but my Autistic students always hold a special place in my heart.

I could go on and on but I believe my fellow blog hoppers have shared a lot of great information with you that you need to make sure to hop along and read.  I also share things that apply to these students frequently in my blog posts based on my training last summer through HANDs in Autism, so I will move along in hopes of not making this too long of a post!

 I hope you have enjoyed hopping along, learning more, and picking up a lot of freebies along the way.  I have loved all the personal stories and information shared.  My freebie for you is Facial Feelings Findings.  This is a game for students to match facial expressions with the feeling that it represents.  Recognizing facial expressions and emotions is a social skill that many Autistic students and other Special Education students struggle with.  This activity can be used to practice.

Click on the picture to go get it in a Google Doc.

Now for the giveaways that you have been waiting for. 

There are 2 separate Rafflecopter giveaways. 

The first one is a Chewy Jewelry Sampler Kit priced at $36.99 from Therapy Shoppe.  These are great for students who have oral fixations and even for students who bite.  Check out my blog post about it here. I wish you could have seen my excitement when the box from Therapy Shoppe showed up on my door step last week.  I cannot wait to give one of these sets away.

Here are pictures of exactly what one of you will win in this giveaway:

Here are all the things!  So cute!!
It has a cute tiger on it

The orange is a sitting cat to go on the necklace

The 2nd giveaway is from Kim at Joy in 6th Grade.  She is giving a $25 Giftcard to Amazon to 1 lucky winner!  Make sure to enter below for that one.  Thank you Kim for giving this to a wonderful winner!

joyin6th Homepage 
We hope you enjoyed the blog hop and found a lot of good resources/information.  The giveaway winners will be announced in the evening of Friday, April 12th, so you have through Thursday night to enter.  I cannot wait to see who the lucky winners are!

Here are all the participants to help you hop along:

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