Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Solving the World's Problems and a Writing Freebie!

Wow....Lately I just haven't had much to say on my brain has just been drawing a blank...but I think today's post is so long that you're going to fall asleep on me half-way through! So, here's me last night...I went to bed at 8:30 after an exhausting day at work, and feeling like I was coming down with yet another, sniff, sniff, sinus infection...Hate those!! My neck was aching and I was feeling feverish, so I took a hot bath and crawled into bed after downing a Musinex D.

Yah, big mistake....whatever was in that medicine kept me awake, yet groggy, all freakin' night long!! I can't tell you how many times I looked over at the clock and hardly any time had was a loooong night. But, I had a lot of thinking time on my hands and I swear, I think I solved almost all the world's problems in my head last night!

At least the problems in my world...Ha! Ok, maybe one or two problems I've been having, at work. With two of my students. And their behavior. Which has had me so perplexed. So, I came up with two new plans in the middle of the night and they WORKED today!!

Ok, they worked for one of them....The other ended up getting suspended just before lunch...Yah, sad. But lets not focus on that! The thing is, my plans did work for one of them and for a shorter time for the other!! PROGRESS!!

So, here's the situation... I have two beautiful kids that play off each other (things like, one will make a noise and the other will roll on the floor laughing hysterically unable to get calmed down again....during  whole group instruction....or being aggressive with the other children...unable to sit still...etc.) Boy have they been having a hard time the past two days. (I thought the full moon was last week!)

But here's the thing, both of them are high-functioning autistic children and it has been so interesting learning how to help them. They both get over-stimulated very easily, and distracted very easily. In my room we have tables, so to sit with a group of four or five children can be very overwhelming.

I moved some things around this morning and made little nooks with a desk for each of them and it has helped them so much. They are "contained" in their own little safe place.  They both seem to love having their own little space and have stayed much more focussed. (My horseshoe table sits between the two of them so I can keep an eye on them.)

My mom was telling me last night about weighted vests that you can get/or make that sometimes help autistic children. I spoke with our Special Programs lead coordinator today and she is going to see if the district has some. I'm really excited to see if the two children in my class respond well to them. I am so fascinated by autism and I really want to learn more about it so I can help my students be successful.

I also made a behavior chart for them. We wrote down four behavior goals and before each transition I ask them if they can do each of the four items. I wait for them to respond yes or no. Then after 30 minutes or at the end of the activity, I ask them if they did the four things. If they did, they get a sticker, if not, no sticker. It gets pretty quick after the first couple of times.  I want them to be successful, so I give them a reward from the treat box if they reach their goal in the morning, and then we start over in the afternoon and if they make their goal in the afternoon they get ten minutes of game time with another friend in the classroom (I'm trying to help them with positive social interaction.) It worked so well today, especially with one of them! I called his mom at noon to tell her about the success her child was having and about the new behavior plan and she was so excited that she said she would follow up at home with a reward. He ended up making both of his goals today and he was so proud when I walked him out to his mother's car after school to tell her the good news! He was just beaming! And here's the clencher....

He said to me "Miss Sutton, do we get to do this again tomorrow!?" Whooo hooo!! When I told him yes, we'd do it every day, he just couldn't believe it! He was so excited! I'm posting the behavior grid I made for them below....It's nothing fancy, but it will give ya an idea of how I set it up. Oh, and if they didn't get a sticker, I wrote down in the box what behavior they were doing so their parents could see it when they brought it home. (BTW, we get out of school at 3:20, so the 10 minute reward time is during that time...the last box on the chart.)

On another note, we have been writing and writing and writing in my classroom! I keep meaning to share the template I made for my students to write informational texts. You can also adapt this for a personal narrative. They have this pattern down so well now that they can write without the graphic organizer or the words written on their paper for them. I hope you enjoy!

Oh, and please stop by again tomorrow for another FREEBIE!!! I am participating in the St. Patrick's Day giveaway and will be posting a fun activity for you!

Thanks so much to everyone who gave me your blog addresses on yesterday's post! I added as many as I could and then Blogger suddenly wouldn't let me add any more...Soooooooooo, I am still in the process of either starting a second blog list or trying a different web browser to see if that makes any difference. But, if I haven't gotten your blog posted yet, I will! =) I just have to figure this whole blogging thing out!

I also lost my numbering on my comments when I changed up my blog look. I've tried and tried to add the code to HTML but so far no luck in getting it to work! Ugh! So frustrating!! Has anyone else had this same issue? I'd love some help if you know how to fix this. ;)

Sending you Love and Hugs,


  1. I have tried adding the numbering and have not had luck. One of my goals for spring break :) Please add my blog to your blog list. Check out my blog for a St. Patrick’s Day necklace.

  2. One thing about the comment numbering that I noticed, is, although I don't see the comments numbered on my blog, if I copy all the comments into Word, they are numbered. Since we really only need the numbered comments for giveaways, this is good enough for me. I cannot see the numbers on my blog no matter which tutorial I follow.

    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  3. I love your writing templates, Rebecca.
    Get better soon!!!!

    Grade ONEderful

  4. I love that template! I have some incentive charts that I think I got from Highlights, but it is no longer motivating a few of them....This could be the thing that does the trick!
    thank you

    Going Nutty!

  5. Becca you are just an amazing teacher to come up with the things you do.

  6. I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Check it out.


  7. Sometimes you just have to embrace the little victories!

    As for understanding autistic kids, of course, they are all different... But the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time gave me a much better perspective!

    I am excited to follow you!
    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  8. Thank you so much for the reading recommendation! I will definitely check it out! And welcome, Luckey Frog!! I'm so glad you are here! I will check your blog out and follow you, too!

  9. Hi friend,
    I love your Behaviir ideas and what a great freebie!! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Thank you for the template. I want to try it with some of my students who have a difficult time getting a chance at my treasure box during the week.

  11. Hey friend,
    I know what you mean about drawing a blank lately - my blog has been quiet for a while now. It must be the time of year. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the weighted vests work. We don't have any vests, but I have used a small backpack with a book or two in it for weight. I was skeptical at first, but it really does make a difference. So if you can't get the vests, try a weighted backpack.
    Teachin' First

  12. We are looking forward to establish better ideas in this regard that will reflects towards better understanding for the students. gmat waiver essay


I just LOVE your comments!

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