I wanted to highlight some other special education blog posts and bloggers as the year comes to a close. If you don’t know or haven’t read these 7 other blogs, they are definitely worth a look. I asked each one of them to choose their favorite special education blog post for 2015 for me to share with you. I left it open how they should choose…some chose their most popular post; some chose a post they thought was really strong; and some chose their personal favorite. So, as you are recovering from ringing in the new year, I thought these posts might give you something quiet to read and say you are working. 🙂 I’ve started with my own blog and then the others are in alphabetical order–no ranking is implied.
Autism Classroom Resources
I will start with one that was the most popular on this blog. As I noted when I highlighted blog posts from this year, moving the blog mid-year makes it difficult to determine the most popular posts for the whole year. However, it was clear that my post about DOs and DON’Ts for Responding to Challenging Behavior was the most popular by far. The post highlights some reminders of what to do when challenging behavior occurs. It was part of the 5 Steps to Meaningful Behavioral Support series with the last piece of the process of how to respond when all else fails and challenging behavior occurs.
Autism Adventures in Room 83
Many of you know Melissa over at Autism Adventures of Room 83. In fact, we have discovered that many people get us confused…something that would only happen in the blogging world because our blog names both begin with autism (because in person she is blond and cute and young and, well, I’m not). 🙂
Melissa’s chosen post was her most popular and focused on how her work centers operate in her classroom. She even provided this awesome diagram of the process. She has lots of pictures of the rotation that are really helpful for understanding her system.
Many of you probably follow Brie from Breezy Special Ed because I have shared her posts on social media because there are so few special education bloggers focused on secondary students out there (and because her posts are stellar!). She chose her post on using binders for her work stations (yes, you sense a pattern if you see that popularity and work stations seem to go together on all our blogs). I know that I have pinned this picture and it gets tons of repins on Pinterest, so I was not surprised that this was a favorite and popular post. She even has a cool video to show you how her stations work. Bounce over here to check it out: Binder Work Station for Special Education.
Mrs. P’s Specialties
Pam over at Mrs. P’s Specialties chose a great post about how she manages and organizes her direct instruction stations in her classroom. Pam teaches a classroom of students with significant communication and social disabilities, many if not most of whom have autism. In this post she shared how she organizes her staff as well as her materials. She has great pictures of her work bins as well as her data collection system that you should check out. Her advice is hands-on and very practical and will hopefully spark some ideas for you as you get ready to go back to school. You can read her post at Direct Instruction in the Special Ed. Classroom.
Simply Special Ed
Alyssa over at Simply Special Ed chose a post about how she sets up her independent work system in her classroom. She has step-by-step pictures of how her system is organized as well as the types of tasks she puts in them. In this post she is using a pretty traditional TEACCH-like system but she shows in detail how it is implemented. Check it out at Simply Special Workbox Stations.
Superteach’s Special Ed Spot
Mary Ann from Superteach’s Special Ed Spot chose her post about wh questions, which I know is something we all struggle with. She talks about how she pairs pictures with words and has students read short paragraphs and then complete sentences demonstrating comprehension. She even included a freebie in the post, so be sure to check it out. And check out how beautiful her new blog design is as well!! You can read this post at Comprehension Skills: Wh Questions.
Teaching Special Thinkers
Gabrielle over at Teaching Special Thinkers has an awesome post on using color coding in the classroom for organization. She has lots of pictures showing what she color codes and talks about how she uses it. From adults schedules, student schedules, data clipboards and bins, she uses the colors to let her and the staff know about which student or activity the material goes with. She uses color-coded schedules the same why I do by having each student have a color. That way it’s easy to see where one is missing, which visuals go to whose schedule, etc. That color follows them around the room. She has lots of other great uses for using color for organizing. Check out her post at Color Coding Your Classroom for Maximum Organization.
You Aut-a Know
Finally, last only because her blog name begins with a Y, Erin from You Aut-a Know chose a post she wrote about her departure routine. She talked about using visual supports to build independence and has lots of pictures. She even included a freebie for you to try in your classroom. You can check it out at Functional Routines in the Highly Structured Classroom: Departure.
All in all I think it’s been a great year in special education blogs. We have seen many new blogs come about as well as bloggers blogging more frequently. There is so much we can learn from each other that the collaboration and sharing is so helpful.
Do you have any favorite blogs in special ed? I would love to hear about them in the comments.
In the meantime, since many of the popular blog posts focus around work systems and visual supports, I thought you might want to check out these items in my store to help get you organized for the new year.