Powered by Blogger.

Engage Students In Spelling Practice With This Fun Tip

Want your students to be excited to practice spelling and vocabulary?? Who wouldn't! You can easily get students to feel this way by using the game Hangman to practice! In order to correctly solve the word(s), students need to use their knowledge of words and letter patterns.

Want your students to be excited to practice spelling and vocabulary?? Who wouldn't! You can easily get students to feel this way by using the game Hangman to practice! In order to correctly solve the word(s), students need to use their knowledge of words and letter patterns.


Hangman is seriously the easiest and most engaging way to practice theme vocabulary, sight words, etc. I begin by writing the alphabet in the upper corner of the board to create a visual and help students keep track of which letters have already been guessed.


Tip: Have the students watch you write the alphabet. Leave a few letters out and see if the students can fill in the missing letters.

Having the alphabet bank is also helpful for students who have devices for communication. They can match the letters to when it is there turn.



In the beginning of the school year, we were doing one word at a time. By mid year, we usually do it with a sentence.

When we get to the point where one or 2 letters are missing from a word we talk about which letter would make sense there. For example, in the above photo, we figured out the word bus first. Then, we talked about the different types of buses to help them make good guesses with the word 'city'.

After we solved the puzzle (city bus), we use the community unit theme words to talk about where you could go on the city bus, where you wait for the city bus, etc.



Another fun option is to have the puzzle be a question that the students have to answer once they have solved the puzzle. For example, one of the questions we used during our food pyramid unit was "What food group is milk in?" After solving the puzzle, students then had to be able to answer the question.

Tip... add in sound effects! We say, "Ding, ding, ding!" when the correct letter is guessed. We make a buzzer sound for incorrect guesses. My kiddos LOVE the sound effects. It is helpful for getting them engaged when you first introduce the game.

The best part of this game is that you can very easily do it in mixed level groupings. No matter where students are in learning their reading skills, there is an aspect that they can engage with.

Read more about mixed groups:



Read more about sight words and spelling:




Want your students to be excited to practice spelling and vocabulary?? Who wouldn't! You can easily get students to feel this way by using the game Hangman to practice! In order to correctly solve the word(s), students need to use their knowledge of words and letter patterns.



8 Inexpensive Valentine's Day Tasks

Adding theme tasks into our students' schedule can keep learning exciting, but it can make you go broke if you aren't careful! Here are 8 different Valentine's Day tasks that I made from $8 worth of materials from the dollar store. Best part... I still have materials left over to use in crafts or to personalize the tasks.

Adding theme tasks into our students' schedule can keep learning exciting, but it can make you go broke if you aren't careful! Here are 8 different Valentine's Day tasks that I made from $8 worth of materials from the dollar store. Best part... I still have materials left over to use in crafts or to personalize the tasks.



Below is what I bought at my local dollar store. I plan to use the red container in December for another sensory activity.




I mixed the pink and red packages of petals into the red bin. Then, I added in about 1/3 of the red foil shreds into the petals. With many of the tasks I created, I used the sensory bin to hide the materials in. My kiddos LOVE finding their materials in the sensory bin!

I took the different colored hearts and wrote our sight words on them with a black sharpie. Then, I wrote the sight words on index cards. Students have to find the hearts, read the sight word and then match it to the correct card.


Once the hearts have all been found, you could have the student alphabetize the words to add in an extra challenge.

I also used the hearts to write letters on them. I had more than enough for a set of upper case and lowercase letters. I wrote the letters on the hearts in a ABCABC pattern, so we can also sneak in some extra patterning practice.





For my students who need more varied practice with sorting, I made this sort. Students have to find the hearts in the sensory bucket and sort them by shiny or not shiny.



For math practice, I also used the different sized hearts to make a sizing sort. To help students generalize, you could also make a set with different words such as biggest, smallest, big, bigger, biggest, etc. I also mounted the hearts on different sized construction paper to help students cue in to the different sizes.




Strong understanding of number concepts is important for future life skills, so I also made 2 different counting and sets tasks. In the first one, students need to count the set of hearts and match them to the number. I used the heart necklaces to make this task. As a bonus, you could also use these heart strings to work on more or less. You could also take the numbers away and have students order the strings from least to greatest.





I also wanted a number sequencing task, so I used the hearts again and made a counting by fives task. You could easily make this tailored to your students and do counting by ones, twos, tens, etc.






Adding theme tasks into our students' schedule can keep learning exciting, but it can make you go broke if you aren't careful! Here are 8 different Valentine's Day tasks that I made from $8 worth of materials from the dollar store. Best part... I still have materials left over to use in crafts or to personalize the tasks.


6 IEP Goals To Target With Adapted Books

Adapted books are engaging and fun. Students WANT to interact with them, so we need to make sure we are integrating them into IEP goals. Here are 6 goals that you can address through adapted books.

Adapted books are engaging and fun. Students WANT to interact with them, so we need to make sure we are integrating them into IEP goals. Here are 6 goals that you can address through adapted books.

Attending & Interacting With Text

First and foremost, for students to make good progress in reading they need to be able to sustain attention with the text. Using interactive or adapted books help develop positive experiences with literacy. Many times, students that come to me have had numerous negative experiences with reading. It is important to help students see books and reading as a positive thing. 


Increase Labeling & Commenting

Students work on building language skills through adapted books. Students work on labeling pictures when they move the picture square on each page. 



These adapted books help students develop commenting skills. Commenting skills are an important language skill that is often incorporated into conversations. The text pattern repeats on each page which is essential for beginning readers to develop fluency and confidence 


Teach Sequencing & Number Concepts

With math interactive books I can teach and reinforce number sequencing, before and after, addition, subtraction and counting. 


Read more... The blog post,  How To Use Interactive Books To Teach Math, discusses how to teach money skills, time awareness, etc. 

Safety Awareness

Teaching students safety skills is a crucial component of special education programs. Safety interactive books help break down the concepts while adding visual supports. These books are a great start to safety discussions. 
Read more... The blog post, Teaching Students With Disabilities About Safety, gives you more tips on how to teach safety skills. 

Vital Life Skills

Most students in special education programs have a difficult time easily learning and generalizing functional life skills. These interactive books help students learn and sequence life skills.


These life skills books will help students learn how to take care of their bodies, develop time awareness, money skills and community skills. 

In general, interactive or adapted books are ideal for teaching students who need visual supports to learn. The books in my Teachers Pay Teachers store also have predictable text, so you can also target reading skills with students.
Adapted books are engaging and fun. Students WANT to interact with them, so we need to make sure we are integrating them into IEP goals. Here are 6 goals that you can address through adapted books.


Polar Bear Science Lesson

Do your students have a hard time relating to science concepts? My kiddos have a hard time with concepts that don't directly relate to them. To help them better understand, we do experiments to help them apply it to their lives. Here is a fun way to help students understand how animals like polar bears keep themselves warm enough for the harsh environments.

Do your students have a hard time relating to science concepts? My kiddos have a hard time with concepts that don't directly relate to them. To help them better understand, we do experiments to help them apply it to their lives. Here is a fun way to help students understand how animals like polar bears keep themselves warm enough for the harsh environments.
May contain affiliate links


We began our study of polar bears by reading the book, Powerful Polar Bears by Elisabeth Bennett. We talked about the body parts of the polar bear and wondered how they could stay warm when the weather is so cold in the Arctic. It has been very cold here in NY and they could relate with having to put on snow gear just to walk to the bus.

For the experiment, we used Crisco to represent blubber. Before putting the Crisco in the bag, we took time to explore how it felt, looked and smelled. Then we put Crisco in one bag and stuck another bag on one of our hands before putting it into the bag filled with Crisco. Both hands went in the ice water... one with a Crisco glove and the other bare.

All of the students were able to identify how the "blubber" kept our hand warm while our other hand couldn't stay in the ice water for more than a few seconds.

Afterwards, we wrote a group summary of what we did. This shared writing activity is great for allowing all of the students to participate. Students can pick a picture for the next word, use word wall cards to spell a word for another student, help identify sounds of words we are stretching, etc.

Here is what they came up with. The word wall cards are from our Polar Animals theme unit.

Do your students have a hard time relating to science concepts? My kiddos have a hard time with concepts that don't directly relate to them. To help them better understand, we do experiments to help them apply it to their lives. Here is a fun way to help students understand how animals like polar bears keep themselves warm enough for the harsh environments.

I write in black and students used the orange dry erase marker. You can see how, as we went along, the students were doing more and more of the writing. I do frequently draw a line for them to write on. This helps give them a visual of where to write and how much space they get.

They did such a great job! This activity is great for practicing writing, reading, recalling information, sequencing, letter identification, writing on vertical surfaces, etc.

This is just one of the many hands on science activities we do. To meet the needs of my students' learning style, we need to keep things engaging and hands on. Click the picture below for more ideas on teaching science concepts to students with disabilities:


Don't forget to pin this post to share with other teachers and to refer back to. Just click the picture below to pin!

Do your students have a hard time relating to science concepts? My kiddos have a hard time with concepts that don't directly relate to them. To help them better understand, we do experiments to help them apply it to their lives. Here is a fun way to help students understand how animals like polar bears keep themselves warm enough for the harsh environments.



Back to Top