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We Are Thankful for Special Educators: A Tip and a Freebie for You

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Welcome to my stop on the We Are Thankful for Special Educators blog hop. I am excited to share a tip and freebie with you for this Thanksgiving weekend.  Since it’s Black Friday and I know everyone has leftovers to eat, stores to visit, and games to watch, I will make this short.


Many of you know that I love interactive books that are adapted with symbols for communication as well to get students actively participating in the story.  They are great way to teach vocabulary, foster literacy, and  a variety of other skills like waiting their turn and group participation.  However, many adapted books, like mine, have soft covers that make it difficult for them to hold out to the students and for the student to manipulate the visual because the book is flimsy and doesn’t hold up.  This is fine if all the students are sitting around a table for you to rest the book on, but not so great if your students don’t use a table for story time or group time.  And then of course you have to have something to hold the visuals for the students to access them.

Solution–foam board.

You can buy white or colored foam board in most craft or office stores.  If you put one kind of Velcro (dots or strips) on the back and front cover of the book and a strip of the other side of the Velcro on the foam board, you can mount the book on the foam board.  The book below is actually a reinforced copy of one of my Linguisystems books that we took apart and laminated so that it could survive in a bit tougher environment than a typical classroom.  I added a strip of Velcro at the bottom so that I could hold the visuals.  Then I can take the foam board and hold it out to the student whose turn is next and he or she can take find the matching picture, remove it from the Velcro strip, and fasten it to the book.  While the student does that I can just continue to hold the board.  When he is done, I can just shift the board to the next student.  If I set up all my books with the Velcro, it’s easy to load it onto the story board when planning for the activity.

This book is a bit heavier than usual because of the extra heavy laminate we used, so I added some Velcro to the other pages to bind them together so that it would hold up in the middle.

You can do the same thing with file folder games to allow students to take turns sorting or matching the materials.  This one is from my Science packet and can be used for students to choose a material and indicate if it uses electricity.  It’s the same board, I just added Velcro to the front and back of the file folder to attach it to the board.


So, in order to take advantage of this tip, my freebie is an interactive book with a holiday theme: Emmet the Elf Wraps Presents.


This free book is similar to my Sweet Directions interactive books. It is designed to help teach students to respond to multiple cues in reading and educational materials and to pay attention to details.  It contains a variety of details to attend to from big / small, color, name of the item, and function of the item among others.  Students have to find the picture the book asks for and put it in the present.  You can read more about this type of skill and why it’s important for students with ASD HERE.
So hop over to my TPT store and download the free interactive book.  And don’t forget that Monday and Tuesday (12/1 and 12/2/14) everything in my store will be 28% off using TPT’s promo code, so stock up your waitlist now–this is the cheapest discount my store gets and it’s a great time to purchase my bundles that are already discounted from buying individual products.
So, thank so much for stopping by.  For more freebies and tips, continue the trip through the blog hop by checking out Superteach’s Special Ed Spot…just click the button below.
Until next time,

6 thoughts on “We Are Thankful for Special Educators: A Tip and a Freebie for You”

  1. Great post Chris! I love your use of foam board. I never thought of using it that way. Definitely something I need to keep in mind for the future:)
    Lindy McDaniel
    Considerate Classroom

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