Thursday, July 31, 2014

August 4th-5th TPT Sale!

It's time for the TPT site wide sale.  Check out my store and enjoy a 28% savings on all of my products!!

Back to School Home Cooking

Well it's almost time to set those alarm clocks for the back to school routine.  If you are at all like me, I've had many times where it seems so much easier to grab something quick for a meal and spend less time cooking home meals.  I don't want to feel this way, so  I'm always looking for easier meals to avoid this costly habit.

The thought of grabbing food to take home mainly stems from not wanting to spend the time preparing and making a meal when I get home.  One easy solution to this is crock pot meals.  Many recipes can be put together with some pre-preparation on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon so that they can be easily put together during the week and cooking while you are at work. Who doesn't love a meal ready when you get home!

Here is a nice collection of recipes that I found, 35 Back to School Crockpot Recipes.


baked potato soup

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Simple Craft for Upcoming Holidays and Special Occasions

Don't you just love easy inexpensive ideas for gift giving, or crafting ideas for your students!

This is a simple way to give a gift for different occasions by simply using a paper plate.  The creativity is endless, and for students they can decorate the plates before folding and adding things like ribbon, buttons, etc...

If you are anything like me I like to think ahead on fun things to do with the students to help them create gifts for special occasions to give to friends, family members, etc.

I read about this idea on the following blog, so click on the link to find out more.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Let Students Know What You and Your Classroom Are About

"Take time to plan carefully what you will do on the first day in order to give students a clear impression of the course content and your expectations. If you plan to lecture on most days, lecture on the first day; if you plan to engage students in discussions, do so on the first day. No matter what methods you use, your overall aim should be to engage your students in learning."

I really do agree with what is said in this statement from the Teaching Center.  I feel that first impressions and how you handle your classroom learning is important to detail from day one.

Many teachers go over the rules of class and do routine introductory activities on the first day of school. Along with this, I think that making sure the students know how you will approach your lessons will give them a general sense of what to expect for the school year.

In our life skill/functional curriculum classroom we are blessed to have technology at each student's fingertips.  Whether it be a laptop or an iPad, each students has one in our 1:1 school program.  We introduce the use of this technology on the first day as well as letting students know that we will have one on one time with each of them so they know what kind of support they will have. Each student is at a different level so we can adjust the levels by use of grade level content via the Web. We also let the students know that we take other approaches along with technology use such as student interactive lessons, games, and reinforcing hands on tasks to aid in their learning.

Here is one of the products we use to reinforce a unit on shopping...using currency and coupons.  By practicing the task, it reinforces what they learn during classroom instruction.

Grocery Shopping Ultimate Life Skill Task

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Task Organization

As the new year approaches I am always looking for better ways to store and present the multiple tasks we use in our classroom. I came across this image ( and I love the skinny sided trays and the labels. We already have the benefit of having two of these shelving units so I am off to find some trays!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Technology in Today's Classroom

More and more schools K-12 are using technology in the classroom to reinforce or introduce lessons as well as communicate lesson plans and updates with their students.  Some high schools have implemented a 1:1 program where every student gets a laptop/tablet to access digital curriculum materials and share documents via Google Docs with their teachers.

Knowing how to use different types of technology helps students when applying for jobs in today's workforce. "In most places of business, a computer is standard. In the bank they use computers to look up your account information. They use computers in the auto repair shop to assess your car. You can't find books in the library by looking in a card catalog --you must use a computerized database. Doctor's offices utilize computers to store patient information. The point is this -- no matter where you find employment, there is a good chance a computer will be a basic tool you will have to use." (

It is important for students to learn the basic computer skills early on in their education to improve their knowledge of computer use.

Here is my latest FREE product that is useful to help reinforce an introductory lesson on computer skills.  This product helps students learn key placement and what all the keys represent on most PC keyboards.

I encourage you to click on the following link for your FREE download as well as check out my other life skill and vocational tasks.  I also have basic functional curriculum materials.

FREE Keyboard Basics

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Importance of Vocational Skills

It is never to early for students to start learning skills to help them obtain jobs during and beyond their school years.

Learning the basics like how to count money and follow directions are very important skills to begin with. So many times I see students that learn basic money skills during their elementary years and then begin to lose the skill by high school because they simply do not practice the skill.

How many times have you seen a worker at a store register or fast food register that struggle to figure out what change you need back even when the register tells them the amount to give? Many times, if you are not practicing these skills you tend to forget what you have learned.

As a mom, I turned opportunities like going through the drive-thru as a lesson time for my kids. We would place an order and the employee would tell what the amount owed would be. As soon as I was told the amount I would tell my kids that I was giving the cashier a certain bill and asked them "what will my change be?"  Sometimes they would get it and sometimes not because it does not take long to get from one window to the next to figure it out. These are the simple types of opportunities you can use to help teach your children the basics.

As a para in the classroom I try to provide opportunities to help with hands on basic skills such as these so students can practice them and gain confidence in their abilities.

This is a sample page of my latest vocational task that helps students learn a customer service task. They fill orders that are given, add order totals, and count out the correct amount to pay for each order.

Check out my store for other great vocational and life skill tasks for your special needs!