The Tiny Talker Communication Device

I am so excited to share with you a simple communication device. The family who created the device have a beautiful story and I know there are other children out there that could benefit from this device too!

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The Tiny Talker is a simple augmentative communication device. The best thing of all is that the device does NOT cost hundreds of dollars. It is affordable for teachers and parents. After doing a search for myself, it is literally the most cost effective solution on the market right now. The best part? It is SO cost effective, that you could have one at school, one in the car, one in the bathroom… you get what I mean.

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Bathroom requesting- velcro the lightweight device to the doorway, student desk, or table so that it is easily accessible for students. Each time the student needs the bathroom, prompt them to press the button, then fade that prompt.

Snack requesting- meal time is PRIME time for teaching communication strategies. Use this device at the snack table to prompt your students to ask for “more” say “I’m thirsty” and say “I’m hungry”. ( Because the device is so lightweight and easily accessible you could bring to the lunch room too… and I’m even convinced that it would survive getting thrown to the floor.)

Teaching yes and no– I love to do this with a preferred and non preferred item. Onions and donuts, pencils and ipads…. you get the point. Use the “yes” “no” and “all done” buttons to help with this skill!

VELCRO- You know how I love velcro, and I thought that this device would be heavy- but it is SO lightweight… I know it is a simple one but that is UNHEARD of for a speech device. Even younger students can carry this to inclusion, velcro to a binder or desk, and easily pull it off as needed.

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If you have a student who has a lot more language already, than this device probably isn’t for them. But I will say that this is PERFECT for students who are just beginning to acquire more language, who are nonverbal, or who are difficult to understand. This is the perfect place to start- at a price that is so affordable!

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Surprise! I’m giving one away TOMORROW (2/24/17) on my Facebook page. Follow my page and enter on the picture you see above for a chance to win! Good luck!


You can grab The Tiny Talker for your child or classroom on amazon for only $17.00!

I  earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase using one of my amazon links, which helps to support the blog.  All opinions on this blog are my own and I only promote brands and products that I truly love and believe in. 


Functional Name tags for Special Education

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Teachers are known to use name tags on student desks. The ones that you can buy at a local teacher usually have a whole lotta stimuli- I’m talking number lines, alphabet, colors, shapes, left and right, multiplication tables, and the list goes on…..

First off- have you ever had a child who LOVES numbers or letters… these name tags can become a severe distraction… they are overwhelming and not functional for what our kids need to get through the day with success.

I’ve thought long and hard about this. I wanted my students to still have a space to call their own, without all the “fluff”. I wanted their name tags to be FUNCTIONAL. And that’s how these came to be!


The set of functional name tags has 7 unique designs. Each one could fit a different type of student. The whole concept is the mix the MOST USEFUL visual for that student, and a place to call their own. This should reduce the clutter on the student’s desk, reduce missing or misplaced visuals, and incorporate a clean less stimulating design.


The first one incorporates a quick schedule. You can use it for however you like. Some visual schedule pieces are included, but if you use boardmaker… use your visuals and just velcro them right on. It gives the student 3 steps and a visual of their reinforcer. Right there on their desk.


Common reminders. All of our students need to remember to listen, have a quiet voice, and have a calm body. Another great way to use these, is do not write your students name, and have them label it themselves for writing practice each morning!IMG_1198.00_01_19_16.Still005.jpg

This one incorporates the same visual reminders, but a first then instead of just a reward.


This is another version where I left a spot for a student photo. You could even use a photo of their favorite character, something that makes them happy, or a place to write them little notes or reminders for their day.


This is for a student working on emotional regulation. The student can move the arrow to the velcro above the emotion they are feeling. Then the teacher can go over and know how to help them. Being able to communicate with the visual helps to reduce the need to tantrum, and use functional communication.


This one uses the same idea, but incorporates some levels of emotions that are tough to handle. Most students working on emotions have a toolbox of what to do when they are feeling certain ways. Again, the student can move the arrow to communicate where they are at. IMG_1198.00_01_09_18.Still019.jpg

There is also a visual that goes along with this. The student is able to decide how they are feeling and use the visual to find a strategy to help them cope at this time. Having emotional regulation visuals right there on their desk can help reduce time off task and problem behaviors, and give students a quick reminder of how they can fix how they are feeling appropriately. IMG_1198.00_02_24_05.Still008.jpg

This is another great one for communicating emotional regulation needs. The student can select what they need to do to keep working effectively. An adult can see what they need and prompt them through it, or they can functionally ask for what they need using these visuals. It can also serve as just visual reminders for strategies to cope.


I’ve definitely entered a new world this year working with some students with more social emotional needs. These name tags will definitely help them learn to cope, while reducing the unnecessary stimuli on their desk.


You can grab this set of student name tags here: 

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Favorite SIMPLE Apps for Special Education

I am so excited to share some of my favorite apps with you today! There are tons of app lists out there, but these are apps I have been using WITH SUCCESS, all year this year. Tested, tried, and true!

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ALL OF THESE APPS ARE SIMPLE TO USE. There is no fluff, no crazy backgrounds, no out of control images that are just too much for our kiddos. They may not all be free, but they are extremely valuable and have made life in the classroom a lot easier this year!

  1. Time Timer, $2.99: I LOVE TIMERS, seriously it’s a thing. I have all types of sand timers and water timers in my classroom, and while they are great for some kids, for others they can be distracting, anxiety inducing, or stim worthy. This timer is great for kids motivated by technology, is not overly stimulating, and shows progression of time. You can also have multiple timers going at once. I call that a win!

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2.iReward, $2.99: This app is so visual! I love that you can take pictures of REAL items the student is working for, and it is so clear what the student has to do to earn.

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3. Stories About Me, $3.99: This app is so great for creating social narratives/ social stories for kids. I’ve used it before for a student who was moving to a new house. You can import your own pictures and even do a voiceover!

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4. See Touch Learn, FREE: This is an AMAZING free app! You could replace all of your flashcards for discrete trial teaching with this app… and even create your own lessons with a library of over 4,000 real images!

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5. Sight Words by Teach Speech Apps, FREE: This app is great! The words are colorful, big, and will read it aloud to you if you click on it. It keeps track of the number of incorrect and correct words for you to view after, if your student is able to be independent!

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6. 1 on 1: Communicate Easy, FREE: This app has built in schedules for your students to follow! I love the check marks throughout! The black background is great for sensory sensitive kiddos! There is a limited amount of images in the free version, but enough for me to use for basic task analysis in the classroom.

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7. Choice Board Creator, $1.99: This app lets you add your own images. You can use it for identifying people, things in the classroom, or just about anything. I love being able to build quick discrete trial sessions and store them. You can also use it as a reward choice board and save pictures of toys/ reinforcers that are available in your very own classroom.

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8. Choice Works Calendar, $4.99: This app is great to use for morning meeting. If you have an iPad hookup to go to your smart board, you could have students mark days off from school, holidays, reward days and fun stuff. I have used it for a child who was looking forward to a trip, but had trouble understanding how far away it was.

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9. Endless Alphabet, FREE: This is a student FAVORITE in my room. We mostly use it for a reward because it is so fun. How great is it when you find academic based rewards for kiddos?! The words are a little high for my kids, but the letter matching is amazing! Some words are in the free version, but if you really love it and want a FULL LIBRARY of fun words, it is $8.99.

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10. iModeling, $14.99: Okay, I know this one is a steep price. But if you have kids who benefit from starring in their own video model, this is a must have. ESPECIALLY if you aren’t so text savvy. It’s quick and easy to build a video with titles and words that kids can benefit from for years to come.

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I hope you enjoyed this list. Remember to keep it simple when it comes to apps. There are SO MANY to choose from, but a lot are just too overwhelming!

Note** not all of these apps are free, but they are worth the money if you are able to get administration to purchase them for your classroom.




Simple Math 2

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I am so excited that Simple Math 2 is here. I wanted to bring you EVEN more higher level topics, at YOUR kids levels. With so many levels these differentiated materials can be used for all students as introductions, curriculum,  independent work, and generalization materials.


TIME is finally here! The time books practice a variety of skills, all separated out to teach directly. You could always mix and match the books to create a book with mixed pages for higher level students too!


Addition with Touchmath is a great way to introduce addition to students who have mastered one to one correspondence. The subtraction books look the same as the addition, which is a great way to move from skill to skill with familiarity!


I LOVE MEASUREMENT. These books are too cute and functional! In order to fit lots of measurements into the books, the books are to scale.

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Every book has a matching file folder tasks! LOTS of file folders included for tons of practice!

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& I can’t get over the cutest little ruler to use with the file folders 🙂


To grab all this and more head to the simple math tab in my TPT store! Stay tuned, Simple Math 2 workbooks are coming soon!

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If you loved Simple Math 2, you need to check out my best selling Simple Math 1 curriculum, the skills are more basic and the perfect place to start!

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How to Find Special Education Resources

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So you want to find Special Education resources online. You’ve heard everyone talking about it and you’ve seen ALL the beautiful classrooms and resources on pinterest… but where do you get started?

Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) is the BEST online marketplace for educational resources, and I am proud to say that they are over 100,000 resources created by special educators and tested in REAL classrooms.

The ability to download a resource at a moments notice, and having a library of instant downloads at our fingertips has changed the way every teacher teaches. This is especially true for special education teachers, where before you may have had NO CURRICULUM and were tasked with making everything yourself. Sometimes, life gets in the way of that.

Teachers Pay Teachers has made it possible to simply search for what you need, and download it instantly. There are SO MANY differentiated materials for every topic possible, you just need to know the right way to search for it!

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You want to make sure you have an active TPT account before you start searching. That way you can wish list things, make purchases with a few clicks, and follow your favorite sellers, without loosing what you were looking at.

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Once you have an account you can start searching! Above are some search tips that may help you! In special education, our students could be at a variety of levels and even if they are in a certain grade, the search may not give you what you are looking for. Try searching by category and using the search bar as often as possible. If you are looking for something specific to special ed or autism, add that to your search term to yield better results and avoid sifting through many pages.

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Before you buy a resource, it’s good to check out the sellers page. You can always find a FREE resource in the top right corner. This is a great way to check the quality of their work and see if their style fits your student needs. If you really like what the seller has to offer, you can follow their store. This means that you will receive updates when they have a sale or post a new product, which is important because a lot of sellers give limited time discounts when they first post!

You can also search from this page, look at their featured items, sort by best sellers or price, and search through custom categories. If you have a seller that you have bought from before, and want to see what else they have, the custom categories can give you a good idea of that.

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Wish listing an item is a great way to save it for later. When you are ready to purchase you can narrow it down by going to “My Wish List” Located in the drop down menu under your name on the top right. I personally love to wish list the night before a site wide sale to get everything I need in one place before I analyze the list! It’s a great way to save for later!step 5.png

The My Purchases page is a LIFESAVER. You always have access to your purchases from whatever computer you are on. I love this because I can go down to the computer lab, log into TPT and print what I need right from there. No emails or USBs needed. You can also provide feedback by clicking the thumbs up symbol on this page. It lets you know if you have already provided feedback or not. step 6.png

Did you know that providing feedback on your TPT purchases gets you FREE MONEY to spend on more resources? ( I swear this is one of TPT’s most hidden gems!) Each time you leave feedback you earn credits… and they add up quick. I love to leave feedback and watch it pile up, and use my credits during a site wide sale. Make sure you take advantage of earning your credits!

You can also buy additional licenses on this page. It is against TPT and most sellers terms of use to use a product in multiple classrooms or share with your teacher friends without buying additional licenses. They are almost always available at 50% off the original price, and sellers greatly appreciate your honesty!




Looking for some special education sellers to follow! Here is a list of some awesome sellers, look through their stores and use all the tips in this post to make this year the best ever!

You can find my TPT store here:

Special Education Teachers Pay Teachers Stores: