Category Archives: Education

Works For Me Wednesday- Special Needs Resources


Many of you know I teach special education, which covers a very broad umbrella of kiddos. There are a TON of great resources out there, but since many students have multiple needs I often found myself searching and switching screens. Not a good use of time…. enter SEN teacher! This site has it all and in one place! print-ables, free software downloads, customized search engines. It has really saved me a ton of time and headache.

 And it is FREE!!

This is what Works for Me? What works for you? Check out Shannon’s Blog for many many many more great tips!


Works for Me Wednesday- Visual Schedule


 Being a teacher, I am all about routine. Of course, my 2 ½ year old usually has other ideas. Bedtime seems to be especially hard for us. Since we work all day we tend to be more relaxed in the evenings and can lose our consistency. To help us stay on track I made this visual work board for Mark.


First I printed off icons for the activities that make up our routine. (You can use any clip art or photos, I used the simple ones from a program I have on my computer)


Next, I had Mark color them. I then glued them to a long piece of construction paper, laminated it and then hung it on the wall. Mark takes great pride in telling me what we need to do next. This has helped us stay organized and maintain the consistency a 2 ½ year old thrives on.  Visual bedtime schedules work for me! For more great works for me Wednesday times, visit Shannon’s Blog at Rocks in My Dryer

Fostering a positive reading relationship- Part 5- Creating a Literacy Rich Home

Research tells us one of the most effective ways to teach a child to read is to surround them with language. These are very simple, easy to implement ideas that parents shared at our monthly “reading nights”

photo by: evelynishere

  • Play the ABC game- this is just like the old car trip game. Ask your child to find something that starts with A, B, C… etc. As you child becomes a stronger reader you can move to letter sounds. You can also do this with magazines and other publications.

  • Read the room- Have your child read words they know. For example while eating breakfast ask your little reader to find 5 words they know on the cereal box.

  • Stash books in the car- That way you have something enriching available for unexpected down time and longer trips.

  • Have your child read to their siblings, dog, or stuffed animals. Just promoting reading as a family activity can boost your child’s confidence.

  • Use your words- Label things in your child’s playroom with both words and pictures. Encouraging the correspondence between pictures and words not only teaches how to read words, but also promotes good problem solving strategies.

While not every idea will work with your family, the important this is to make language a part of your everyday life.

How do you create literacy rich home? I would love to hear your ideas!

Fostering a Love of Reading: Part 4– But…..

My child is a good reader, but hates reading! What do I do?

398048597_3f3409a07bphoto by: Mitzabot

In my years as a classroom teacher, I heard this question many many times. Today I defer to experts over at Reading is Fundamental. This article offers reasons why your child may dislike reading, as well as 20 tips to encourage your child.

Fostering a Love of Reading- Part 3- Go Techno


photo by: whiteafrican

We live in a very digital society. We communicate, shop, and even learn via the virtual world. While virtual games and practice could never replace the teaching of parents and teachers, they are a great way for kids to practice their developing skills in an engaging and non- threatening environment. Here are some of my favorite online reading sites:

  • A site designed by a gentleman who has a reading disability. Great interactive activities.
  • A ton of great kid’s activities in all subject areas!
  • extensive book lists, with suggested reading levels and comprehension quizzes
  • interactive games featuring some of our favorite characters such as Clifford and those cool kids from the Magic School Bus
  • super funny poems written by kids for kids.
  • Click on “what can you do in the lab” for tons of games and online activities. This site is AMAZING!

As with all internet sites, be sure to visit them first to make sure the content is appropriate for your child’s level and your family’s guidelines.

Have a great reading website to share? Let us know in the comment section.

Fostering a Love of Reading Part 2: Finding the Right Books

2720975232_a69a82b2691photo by: San Jose Library

With all of the millions of books in the world, how does a parent select ones appropriate for their child’s level? In addition to your local librarian and you child’s teacher, the internet has a plethora of lists and recommendations. Here are few of my favorite sites:

  • Lexlie Reading Site– Lexlie is a way of rating a child’s reading level. Many school districts use this scale when testing students. For example the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test gives children a range of books that would be appropriate for them. This site has wonderful lists and tips.

Always skim books before giving them to children. It is important to remember just because your child CAN read a book, doesn’t mean the content is appropriate.

How do you select books for your children? Share you tips in the comment section below.

Is your snowman…..

As some of you know, I teach in a Catholic School. My little ones were creating snowman with backgrounds in computer class. They were encouraged to make their snowman reflect their personality. One of my boys was in love with this Harley Davidson type background, so he created his snowman around that them. As we are wrapping up, one of my sweet little girls, leans over and YELLS,  “Ummmmm Jimmy made his snowman in Hell”!  I can’t make this stuff up!    Here is the snowman in question….