A Few of My Favorite Things

Fall is FINALLY here (if only the weather would follow! It’s still HOT in the Midwest!) Each school year gives us an opportunity to branch out and try new things. I’m always hesitant to move too far from routine those first few weeks. Now that the start of school year madness has settled down, I’m starting to try a few new things. I thought I’d share some of what’s inspiring me and a few of my favorite new things in the classroom this fall!

Dice

Give me alllll the dice! There are so many things you can do with dice! My new favorite dice are eight-sided dice that I picked up at Target this summer. My students are loving them! I love that I can use these for number recognition, counting on strategy practice, practicing more/less, and simple addition or subtraction. For a peek at how I use these in my classroom, check out my Instastory take over on Instagram!! 

Game Time

Every day my students have a set 20 minutes to play games together. We partner up and take turns playing an appropriately leveled game. The social skills we are gaining are amazing! Don’t worry, we are taking data on allll the social skills we are working on! We are using the social skill rubrics from The Autism Helper to track progress! 

Traveling Reinforcement & Choice

I’m all about choices. One of my students needed some variety in reinforcement and thrives on being able to make choices and feel control. We made a traveling reinforcer box for him and he’s loving it! I love that we can carry it anywhere (it locks!) and that we can put all different kinds of reinforcers in it. I’m working on making a smaller bin with thera-putty, slime, play-doh, squishy balls, and other sensory items. 

Alll the Fall Art!

My students are loving art this year. It’s so important to create classroom experiences for our students. Sometimes our students miss out on those precious crafts and art projects general education students do. Make time to create something fun with your students! It’s important to let them be a kid! Here’s some of our favorite project so far this year.

For this fall leaf we cut out leaf shapes out of white construction paper. Then we mixed a 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol with a few drops of liquid water color. We made a cup of green, red, orange, and yellow. Then we used pipettes to drop the color solution onto the construction paper. The results are pretty fun!

For this project, we wrote student names with a marker, then had students use bingo daubers to dot along their name. Then they decorated with fall stickers from the dollar spot at Target!

I took construction paper and drew two lines for a tree trunk. We used a dish scrubber and dipped it in red and yellow paint and used that to paint the leaves. 

Dry Erase Crayons

Raise your hand if all of your school shirts have dry erase marker stains on them (both my hands are raised). There is nothing worse than dry erase marker stains! They never come out of clothing! I found my students were ruining their clothing (and mine!) when they were using dry erase markers. I set out to find a solution and excited to report that I’m absolutely in love with dry erase crayons! They need more muscle to erase than dry erase markers, but if you use a Mr. Clean Eraser, you’ll get things nice and clean! No residue is left on the pages like markers can leave, and they don’t stain clothing! HOORAY!

And can I just add these ABLLS task cards get all the heart-eyes! I love them! They are great for every-day practice and IEP goal progress tracking, too! 

What are you favorite things you are trying in your classroom this fall? Be sure to share with us in the comments. I love learning from you all! Let me know if you try one of the ideas above and how they work for you. Happy Fall!

Jen Koenig

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