Looking for some back-to-school activities for your special education classroom? Here is a collection of my favorite blog posts for heading back to school.
Back to school activities for teachers
As teachers head back into the classroom this year, I wanted to pull together some of my blog posts that provide resources for the adults in the room. Make sure to check these out for some great free downloads to get your classroom started on the right foot.
I have 2 blog posts on lesson planning with templates you can download and use today. Part 1 is for those who like to plan using pen and paper. Plus, there is a great tip on how post-it notes can become one of your best planning tools. Part 2 is for teachers who prefer to plan online. I have a free airtable template to download, and a video to walk you through making the most of the free version of airtable.
I also have a blog post on how to get off on the right foot with your paraprofessionals in your classroom. We all know these individuals are crucial to the success of our classroom and making them feel valued allows them to make meaningful contributions. This is a quick, but vital read if you have additional adult support in your classroom on a daily basis.
Finally, classroom management is a hurdle we face every year with a new set of students. Those first few weeks are crucial for establishing routines and expectations. Part of that is consistency. It seems so obvious and sounds so simple, but being consistent can be incredibly challenging. This post also addresses the need for consistency at home as well.
Finally, make sure to read the most important thing I added to my daily routine. This is a super simple thing to add to your lessons, and will greatly increase your students’ engagement and retention. Plus, it works as a natural and quick informal assessment.
Back to school activities for students
I have several blog posts with back-to-school activities you can use in the classroom with your students. These are all intended to be used in some form of a special education setting. I was in a self-contained classroom, but these will also work in an inclusion setting.
Teaching those routines the first few days can be a challenge if you teach students with significant challenges. It took a few years, but I was able to perfect the idea of taking structured walks around the school as a way to practice appropriate behavior in various settings. The fact that the walk had a visual component with a clear beginning and end helped minimize the anxiety many of my students felt that first week of school. You can grab everything you need to set up your own structured walk in this blog post.
Who doesn’t like reading The Kissing Hand those first few days of school? If you are still in an elementary setting, then be sure to check out this blog post. Not only does it have a great free download, but you will get some new ways to look at and teach this back-to-school favorite.
If you teach students who are older, consider taking a look at my blog post on positive affirmations. This is a wonderful practice to add to your mornings. I have some suggestions on how to make that happen, AND you can download 52 positive affirmations to last you all year long.
Back to school activities for parents
Back to school can be a stressful time at home as well. There are a lot of changes taking place, and students will often act out at home after holding it together all day at school. It is more important than ever to keep a schedule at home during these first few weeks back to school. I have a blog post where you can download a bunch of schedule cards to use at home. There are also tips and suggestions for how to best use them.
Back to school activities for ALL
Finally, regardless of the age group or ability level, you should definitely consider signing up for Free Worksheet Wednesday. Every Wednesday morning I send out a worksheet just for students in a special education setting. They cover a variety of age groups, subjects, and ability levels. I try to keep them as general as possible so everyone can use the same worksheet. These come in color, black and white, AND in a digital format. If you want a free worksheet emailed to you every Wednesday morning at 6:00 am EST then sign up!! Parents and teachers are welcome!!!