Friday, April 5, 2013

Come and Join in on the Autism Awareness Blog Hop

I am so excited to be a part of the Autism Awareness Blog Hop going on this week.

If you haven't joined in the blog hoppin' adventure, you can start your journey at Learning Ahoy by clicking the link below. There are lots of resources and sweet stories and just a wonderful, supportive attitude about supporting students with autism. I know you will be inspired as you hop from blog to blog.
At the end of the post, I will also give you the links for your next hoppin' location!

A million years ago, I started my teaching career in a class for kids with special needs. I worked with kids with significant disabilities--several of whom had autism. It was a rough road initially. Even though we were in a separate classroom, we had trouble being accepted as part of the school. For a vignette of those difficulties, click here and read the first story. That post on teaching with courage always reminds me of how far we've come!

Ten years later, I moved into a general eduction classroom, and since then I have always had friends with IEPs in my classroom. Different kids, different talents and needs, but always a part of us...

I believe that having lots of kids with differing abilities makes everyone stronger and more compassionate. It's one of my favorite parts of my job!

Many different people come into my classroom each day, and I don't always have time to sit and converse with them about the way in which our classroom runs. We have had at lest five different  people in the position of Education Specialist--the person who supports the kids with IEPs--in the past two years, not to mention the number of axillary personnel (from district teaching assistants to university affiliated tutors) who might pop in to help those kids who need a little extra support.

With this in mind,  I created two documents: one is a sheet of simple reminders for anyone who might come into the classroom. By sharing this information, I can feel confident that I have shared my guidelines with anyone anyone who works in my classroom. I keep it on a "personalized" clipboard--check out 4th Grade Frolics' next Monday Made It to see this in action.

If you would like to use this form, I've made it available on (and my blog address isn't on the real form--that just for someone to findthis post if they pin it). Since I know you will have different guidelines, I made it editable, but maybe this will help get you started. If you would like to add the "Itty Bitty Scalloped Border from Graphics from the Pond, you can click HERE to see this frame set and lots of other great clip art!

The "dance" between special education and general education is a difficult one. There simply isn't enough time for all of the conversations we would like to have or all of the collaboration we wish could occur. Since I don't always have time to collaborate on specific activities, sometimes I have to write notes to whomever might be helping my room. I realized I needed a form for adults who support kids in my room who have IEPs.The form I use looks like this...

Border from Graphics from the Pond and Hello Ali font from Jen Jones-Hello Literacy
I designed this Student Support Guide to help the various adults who might sit down to help a child without having a chance to talk to me.

You can click on the graphic above to get a "write on" form or get a "type on" copy here. Often, I just jot a few notes and date it as "ongoing," but when there is something new to consider (or a support provider new to our classroom) this form has allowed for quick communication that allows everyone to get right to work.

Here's an example of what the form might look like filled in (I usually just scribble a few notes in pencil on mine).

Since IEPs and IEP goals are confidential, I just list the "goals" as general lesson objectives such as "Write complete sentences," "Convert fractions to percents" etc. I also keep the clipboard covered with colored paper to keep the information secure from other students' interest or attention...

Your next stop on the hop is with Mandy at A Special Kind of Class.

And tomorrow there are two stops so you still have more treasures to collect and stories to read.

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The hop ends on Monday, April 8th at Teaching Through Turbulence where Heather will feature a giveaway.  You will have a chance to win a great prize from Therapy Shoppe or an Amazon gift card, so don't forget to follow along to the very end.

Thanks for being a part of the Autism Awareness blog hop and supporting kids with autism with your teaching talents and with your whole heart...


  1. What an amazing post ... thanks for all of the resources! Thanks for a fun stop on the hop.


  2. Thank you for all the resources.

  3. Thank you Kim! I got my gift code to!

    Kelly Brown


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