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Winter resources that you can switch out to shake things up a bit can be essential in a special education classroom to get students engaged. Read this post for some language and independent resources that will help you stay out of the winter doldrums.

Special Education Winter Resources Roundup

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It’s that time of year when the days are short, but the months feel long.  Especially after we pass the January holidays! So, winter resources that you can switch out to shake things up a bit can be essential.  Read on for some language and independent resources that will help you stay out of the winter doldrums.

Functional Adapted Interactive Books(EARLY CHILDHOOD – LIFE SKILLS HIGH SCHOOL) 

We all know how much I love interactive books.  I love them for lots of reason including keeping students engaged, giving students success in reading, and helping build seasonal vocabulary.  And we can get some literacy and communication goals in there too!

There are 5 interactive books, just like with all my seasonal interactive books.  And each book has a word and a picture on every page (except when answering questions).  Two of the books have questions at the end for students to answer yes/no.

Interactive Books

1. Winter Clothes for Different Climates 

This illustrated book focuses on cold and warm climates during winter by talking about clothing of 2 children and comparing and contrasting the clothes they wear (e.g., Dustin wears a coat. Sarah wears a t-shirt.). At the end of the book, there is a choice board with visuals that the students can use to answer if they live in a warm or cold climate.

2. Winter Sports

This illustrated book focuses on the sports that take place primarily in winter indoors and outdoors.

3. Dressing for cold weather

This illustrated book concentrates on the clothes we wear when the weather is cold by helping Sam get dressed.

4. Let’s Make Hot Chocolate

This illustrated book focuses on the process of making instant hot chocolate. It includes a mix of nouns and verbs and includes visuals to support a yes/no question at the end for whether the students like hot chocolate.

5. Things We Do in Winter

This illustrated book targets verbs and depicts common activities that people do in the winter (mostly in snow).

3 Ways I Use Them

1. Morning Meeting

I love to use interactive books for morning meeting.  With the winter books you can also tie them in to your weather activities in the group.  You can practice the vocabulary and test out what it means. 

Try giving each student a picture or word depending on their reading level (they could choose from a choice board). Then, when that item appears on the page, work on raising their hand and practice the vocabulary at the level that makes sense for them.  The students put the picture and/or word on the page. And then they could read the sentence, or say the name of the picture, or read just the word. Or they could point while you read it to the class.

2. Reading  and Language Skills

Obviously the books are great for building vocabulary, but you can also use Let’s Make Hot Chocolate and Dressing for Winter to work on sequencing skills.  The students can read the book and then put the pictures in order of the story.  You could then have them tell you the story from the pictures.

You can also work on comparing and contrasting using the Winter Clothes for Different Climates.  Students could sort the clothes by different temperatures or climates. They could also answer questions like, “Would you wear a sweater when it’s warm or hot?” and use the visuals from the end of the book to help them answer (either as nonverbal prompts or by choosing the right picture).

3. Independent Work

Once students are familiar with the books and can match the pictures and / or words, I like to put them in the independent work system.  This way the students continue to practice reading. And I always like to give them reading things they can be successful with so that they keep up their confidence.  Remember that you can choose to use just the words (leave the pictures in the book) or just the pictures (leave the words in the book) depending on the skills your students have.

Check out the preview video to see all the vocabulary and pictures included in the books.

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