Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shaving Cream Fun/ Sensory

Hello, Everyone! Hope your all enjoying your summer, I have 3 more days of summer school left I am so excited to have some free time! A lot of my students have sensory problems and really hate different things on them or just different feelings that are not normal. I let my kids play in shaving cream quite a bit! They love it and the more advanced kids can write their name, numbers, letters, and words etc. in the shaving cream and its fun interactive learning! If you haven't tried this in your class or with special needs students you should try it hopefully it works as well as it did with my kiddos! I also like using color or just plain san and salt! Here are some pictures hope your enjoy! Thanks for stopping by! Please follow me!


Have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at Hollyphinney@gmail.com or at Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com! Thanks!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Community Helpers

One of my favorite units I taught this past school years was about all the different community helps and different professions people have as well as what the kids could grow up to be! Here are some pictures of the construction worker tool belts and hats we made as well as the chef hats we made and wore while cooking! Thanks for stopping by! Please follow me!

Hope you enjoy! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment or email me at Hollyphinney@gmail.com or Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Field Day

Hello Everyone! Something really neat at my school this past year was that my kids got to participate in the end of year field day! Every grade or class had their own color t-shirt (we were orange as you will see) and we would go station to station for 20 minutes the whole day on bounce house's, water balloon throw, eat popcorn and snow cones, and have relay races! Even though some of my students are severally delayed everyone of them was going down the slides and getting wet one way or another! (which meant I was soaked by the end of the day) :) Everyone had a ball! Here are some pictures I took throughout the day! Hope you enjoy, thanks for stopping by!

Please feel free to comment or email me at Hollyphinney@gmail.com or Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com

Have a great day!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney

Monday, June 18, 2012

Field Trips

This past school year I had the privilege of taking my students on some really exciting and get learning experiences for field trips! This was my first year and teaching and was nervous about a field trip at first... we had one planned in October to go to the Fair and Rodeo in Waco... but it got cancelled last minute :( I was really upset because my students just don't understand and they were looking forward to it for SO long. Here are some pictures of the field trips we did take though! please feel free to comment or Email me for questions or comments! Thanks for stopping by!

For Halloween we went Trick-or-Treating around the town! The kids got SO much candy and it was great for their people skills and being in public as well as learning there town!

This is a group picture of when we all went to the green house that's part of the COOP across the street and that my school is involved with. All the kids got free plants to take home and we got one for the kids to take care of in our classroom that is HUGE now! This was a perfect activity/ trip for spring and talking about parts of a plant or flower and how to take care of them! 

Here's another picture.. They got to smell and feel all the different textures of plants and flowers they grow! 

There is a great children's museum in Waco and we took the kids there and out to eat for our last field trip this year! 

Lastly during Dr. Seuss week we went and saw the Lorax in 3-D and went out to eat but I didn't get any pictures :(  The kids LOVED it and did so well sitting with their glasses on the whole time I was SO surprised! 

Please follow me!! Hope you have a great day!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Equipment In My Classroom

Teaching in a special needs life skills class my students have a lot of severe disabilities. Therefore they need lots of different types of equipment to help them be successful in their everyday lives. Here are just some of the things my students use. If you have any questions please feel free to comment or email me at Hollyphinney@gmail.com or Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com. Hope you enjoy!

This is a Rifkon Chair my student uses this when she is working a tray slides right on over the arm rests. It also holds her feet in place and the green button on top is used for her to push with her head when she needs something.

The same student also uses this to help her stand up. She stands in the middle or inside and it helps to get her stomach and other upper body muscles strong to help her to be able to walk.

This is her stander. I have several students that use these they stretch the kids out and allow them to be in a lay down position as well as standing up. 

This is her walker. She is in the middle all strapped in and it guides her as she makes each step.

She used this to help her sit up and get her muscels stronger and it worked she now sits up by her self all the time for a long periods of time now!

This rocker is used for one of my severally autistic children. He sits in it and rocks to keep himself calm  and happy. 

This is another one of my students walkers... He has Muscular Dystrophy and is digressing... When I first got him he could walk perfectly fine... He now can't walk at all by himself and is in a wheelchair... we want him to still walk and use his muscles when he can so we try to get him in here as much as possible. 

All my students use this for mostly OT/PT time but its also great for ADHD kids to sit on while they work! 

These are some tray tables we add on to kids wheelchairs so they can do work like everyone else and then take it off when its not needed.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Love Always,

Holly Phinney 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Communication Device

Working with severe special needs students most of them have a speech disability or are totally non verbal. One of my students is a 2nd grader who has Cerebral Palsy who has an aide that has been with her many many years and knows her signs and what she wants and needs from the way she's acting. I hooked her up with a device that will any one and every one know what she needs and wants. I think this communication device is amazing, I also got one for an older boy of mine this year as well. I know there's so many different communication devices out there and its hard to choose but I really recommend  this one if your in need!

This is what it looks like on the outside, it zips up and boys are blue. 

This is the inside, the top is the first page thats felt that holds different cards with Velcro. The bottom part is the actual talking device the student put the card on the little pink square and pushes down and it says whats on the card "Programed before" 

This is the 2nd page on top lots more choices for you to see examples of! Its so easy to use!

This is the 3rd page... lots of different choices as you can see... the possibilities are endless with this device! 

This is the last page you can see all the color cards and bigger cards because this student also has vision problems so the bigger cards help a lot! 

Another thing I love about this is it is a backpack! Easy to transport to and from home!

Hope you enjoy! What devices do you use as a teacher or your students use that really work good?

If you have any questions please comment or email me at Hollyphinney@gmail.com or Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com!

Thanks for stopping by, please follow me!!

Love always,

Holly Phinney 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Behavior Management Clip Chart

This was my first year teaching... I thought for some reason I would not need that many behavioral things in my classroom at the beginning of the year... Boy was I wrong! After Christmas break I found a pin on Pinterest of a clip chart that I thought would work perfect for my special needs students because its like a stop light! They know what that is and the meaning viruses the other cute ones that have 5 or 6 different colors... they can't put meaning to them or really understand. What do you use? What works best in your class? Is there special needs students?

Sorry its so small but it gets blurry the bigger I make it! :( Green is Great Day! Yellow is Warning! Orange is Time Out! and Red is Parent Contact!

Thanks for stopping by please feel free to comment or Email me if needed! Hollyphinney@gmail.com or Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com

Please follow me as well! THANKS! Have a great day!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ipad in the Classroom

I have been so blessed this year to have not one but TWO iPads in my classroom! At my new job I will not have one given to me so I am going to use my own personal one! Some of you maybe thinking what?! She's crazy! But this year one of my iPads had the Otter Box case and it really is awesome and so easy for the special needs kids to use! Well worth the price! I even had it dropped a couple of times and it was just fine!  Here are some pictures so you can see it! What other kind of cases do you guys suggest? What do you use? good/ bad?

This is what it looks like all closed up in its case.

This is the iPad with the top piece off.

The cool part about the top piece/ cover is it then used as a stand for the iPad and this is so great for my severe disabled students that have a hard time when its just flat on the table but do a great job when its up right! 

Thanks for stopping by and please follow me and leave comments if you have questions or contact me at Hollyphinney@gmail.com or Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com

Thanks again!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Environmental Print Wall

I made this environmental print wall in my classroom this year so the students could see things they always eat and drink as well as places they go and when you would eat them i.e. Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. The kids seemed to really enjoy it all the aides and my self helped fill it up way more than what is in this picture, I wish I had gotten my kids to bring stuff from home as well to help fill it up (idea for next school year) I even had one of my severe autistic kids pay so much attention and act more interested in it then I ever imaged he would have been! (I think because he new he had seen all the different things up on the wall many many times) I have seen this done many ways on Pinterest and in other classrooms but this worked best for the space I had and my special needs students!

Hope you enjoy and maybe this helps you to do something similar in your classroom! Have any questions please Email me at Hollyphinney@gmail.com or Specialsmartspecialhearts@gmail.com! Also please comment and follow me I would love it! THANKS!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney

Monday, June 11, 2012

Door Decorations from the year and first post!!

Hello everyone! I am so excited to start blogging and sharing some of my ideas and talking with other teachers and professionals about more good teaching ideas I haven't thought of yet! I love sharing and collaborating with any one and everyone and as I just completed my first year of teaching I sure learned a great deal! I wanted to do my first post on my door decorations I did this 2011-2012 school year! The students I had were in a completely different atmosphere then what I exposed them to this year and they seemed to love it and really expressed that to me, they loved seeing there work all in and around their room and loved to show it off to everyone that they could! Here are some pictures!

This was November for Thanksgiving! 

Also did the Mayflower on the outside wall! 

This was for Fall...

This was the other side...

Along with this! Lost in September/October! 

This was during December for Christmas! One of my favorites! 

This was on the outside wall! 

These were some of our Christmas tree's and the Grinch Who stole Christmas Any time the kids did a good dead or were nice and kind they got to put a heart on him to make him good and like Christmas! The kids did such a great job and filled him all up with love (hearts)! 

We also did a lot about Christmas around the world and learned about all the different cultures in the world and how everyone else celebrates the Holidays! 

Some of our snowflakes! (which we never see) :( 

This was our tree for winter with some of our wonderful snowmen! 

These were our class doors in January! 

These were some of our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. things! 

Heres some of our hybernation crafts and pictures! 

This was for the 100 days of school celebration! 

This was a unit we did in class for Black History Month and how we are all different colors but when we work together we can all achieve great things in our community and in the world! 

This was our door for Valentines day!! 

These were some of my kids hard work for Presidents day!!

These were my class doors for March! 

This was our clover field and tree for St. Patricks Day!

We did this to celebrate Dr. Seuss week and then we went and saw the Lorax in 3D! 

Easter Crafts!

Spring has Sprung! The flowers have the kids pictures in the middle! 

Our class Earth day promises! 

Life Skills is out of this world!!

Were blasting off in life skills! 

Wild about life skills!!

The kids Jungle animals! They did such a great job!!

Our Ocean wall was so amazing!! 

There's more than these... As you can see we did a lot of work this year! Our classroom was so warm, fun, and inviting!! :) 

Hope y'all enjoy! Please comment or if you have any questions please email me at Specialsmartspecialhearts.com 

Thanks for stopping by and please follow me!!

Love Always,

Holly Phinney