Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday

We have a brand new linky party on the block!!! Show and Tell Tuesday, hosted by "Forever in 5th Grade." The third Tuesday of every month teachers will get to participate in the oh so fun activity that our students love so much....SHOW & TELL!!! :) And even better than our students....we get to show & tell up to FOUR things!!! Our students would go crazy!

Student Led Conferences
I am so so excited about how well my student-led conferences went!!! This was my first time doing student led conferences. Keep scrolling at the end of this post and you can read all about it.

My Velcro arrived!
I finally ordered my Velcro from Feiner Supply and I am so excited to get it! Check out these beautiful rolls of Velcro coins! No more sticky cutting...just peel and stick! The Velcro coins pictured are the 1/2 inch coins and have 1440 coins on each roll (hook and loop on separate rolls), for just $16 a roll. Grab this deal here.

This tree is AMAZING and SO much fun for the kids to observe growing throughout the day! This all happens in a six hour period!!! We started it first thing in the morning and it was fully grown by the end of our school day! Get this tree experiment for your class from Steve Spangler Science here. 
I'm participating in a TpT Sitewide Sale starting tomorrow! Get up to 28% off of all The Bender Bunches Resources all day Wednesday and Thursday! Visit my store here and use the code at the top of the TpT page at checkout!

Click on the button below to enjoy more show & tell or to link up your own!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Student-Led Conferences in the SPED Classroom

When our principal announced that everyone at our school would be doing student-led conferences this year, I first thought, my students? Student-led conferences??

While I knew she would make an exception for my students...I am always determined to provide my students access to EVERYTHING that their typical peers have access to and set very high expectations for them. So I began to think of ways to make this work for my students! If they can do it, my students can too!! :) 

Well let me just say, I won't be going back! I will be doing student-led conferences for all of my future conferences! I am so excited to share the success with you! 

After some brainstorming, I came up with the idea of a scavenger hunt. Who doesn't get excited over a scavenger hunt, right?! 
Students had to show/complete 10 different activities with their parent(s) and cross them out as they were completed. 
I placed one of these little numbered cups with a different letter in each activity center/area. Each time an activity was crossed off they received a letter for that activity. 

Once they had completed all ten activities and had earned all ten of their letters, the parent and their child had to use the letters to spell out my mystery phrase to both win a prize!

The mystery phrase was "Student Led," of course! It worked out perfect that it was 10 letters!
Students got to choose a prize from our class treasure tree.
Parents got to choose a prize from this basket! I also had candy bars and some other cool stuff in the basket, but forgot to take a picture at the beginning. The parents were just as excited as the kids to get a prize!

For my non-verbal, lower functioning student, I edited her scavenger hunt sheet to fit her curriculum and included independent task boxes that she was currently working on. So many of the boxes on her sheet read, "Task Box 1," "Task Box 2," and so on. 

One of the 10 activity squares on the scavenger hunt sheet was a "free choice" activity so that students had the opportunity to show their parent(s) one thing of their choice in the classroom.

I didn't tell my students anything about the scavenger hunt prior, but we did practice what they would be showing and doing with their parents prior to conference day so they could be prepared!

Here are a few photos of my students leading their conference!

It turned out better than I ever imagined. It brought a tear to my eye, watching how well my students did and how proud they were as well as seeing how surprised the parents even were!

I allowed 45 minutes for each conference, which ended up being the perfect amount of time. And although I didn't have to double schedule any students, you could easily have multiple families in your room doing this at once.

I love that the students were involved! In the past, students didn't even attend. It was just me and the parent(s). Now rather than just a traditional conference where I go over data, assessments, attendance, behaviors, etc. with the parent...now the parent can actually see firsthand what their child is doing and learning every day in their classroom! And when students actively participate in their learning, they are empowered!

Never second guess your students, they may just surprise you!

Thanks a Bunch, 

Monday, January 11, 2016

100th Day Freebies!

The 100th day of school is fast approaching for many of us! We will be hitting day 90 next week! Here are some 100 day freebies to help you celebrate! 

Happy 100th Day!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Let Your Aides Take the Lead!

From time to time, my aides will show me an idea they found for a craft, science experiment, or class recipe. I usually just say, "Oh I love it!" Or "What a great idea!" But I never do anything with it. Let me add that I have the BEST paras EVER!!!! 

Then, last month one of them showed me a couple pictures of some Christmas crafts she had found that she thought the kids would love. I was super busy and probably didn't show much interest. I felt bad about it later and decided to take a look and then I saw the pictures in the trash can. I went home that evening feeling really bad about it! 

I thought about how much I, myself, love doing crafts and planning fun activities for my students. How fun it is to stalk pinterest and the Internet for fun ideas....and how especially fun this is during the holidays! 

And I thought, they obviously love it too!!! Of course, it's fun! 

I came in the next morning and asked them if they would be interested in each taking a day to be responsible for a Christmas craft the following week. They would plan it, purchase the materials, and carry it out with the students. They were no doubt super excited and answered yes without hesitation! 

And I must say they both came up with some fabulous ideas and I could tell they both had so much fun!!! :) And so did the kids of course, and I really enjoyed being able to just sit back and enjoy!

Para #1 did a little science with the kids. You all know how crazy we are for science!
Their sparkling water and cotton candy science ended with a fruity raspberry drink!  

She also made friendship tea with the kids from scratch....and they got to make a batch for a family gift as well!

Para #2 did this!

They glued peppermints to their initial and then ribbon was added to make a Christmas ornament.

I have already designated them a day next week to plan a winter craft. I'm so happy I did this! They love it, it's fun for them, and now I only have to plan 3 activities instead of 5!!!

I can't wait to see what they come up with next week!! :)

Give it a try with your paras!

....And be sure to scroll down to the next post to check out my giveaway that ends tonight at midnight PST! 

Thanks a Bunch, 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

SmartKnit Kids & A Giveaway!

Do you have students or children that are hypersensitive to annoying tags and clothing seams? If so, I just recently stumbled upon a new company that you will want to check out! SmartKnit Kids! 

They sell patented seamless socks and undergarments that are completely free of seams and tags! No more itchy, annoying tags for these children that cannot tolerate it.


The socks are available in a variety of colors and come in crew, ankle, or knee-high. You'll definitely want to bookmark this site and share it with parents! 

Even better...they've also generously agreed to let me give one of you a $30 gift card to spend in their store! Awesome! :) 

Enter the simple rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Good Luck,

Saturday, January 2, 2016

January Classroom Goodies & Freebies

Hello January!!!

While teachers are busy away today and tomorrow planning for Monday, I'd thought I'd drop by and share some January themed goodies and freebies with you!

Grab my New Years resolution writing frames in two levels for free! These are from my All-time Best Seller in my store!

If you're working on more/less, place value, skip counting, number order, and counting on, my January Math includes 6 centers and 12 fun worksheet printables. Check out my January Math {here}.

My scrambled sentences are a huge hit with my kiddos and provide practice with 4, 5, and 6 words sentence building for easy differentiation! Color coded also for easy organization! Check out snowy scrambled sentences {here} or see the 9-month bundle {here}

I've got your month covered! 
Download my "January in a Click" PDF for clickables links to all of the activities shown.

Happy New Year!