Simple Math Curriculum


I have been working ALL summer to finish part one of my simple math curriculum! I am so happy to say that it has finally been released! (& at a short time discount!)

IMG_1077.jpgAfter years of working to modify curriculum to meet the needs of my kids who need to be taught with direct instruction, I have finally got it right for the first 7 topics! I hope you enjoy these units that are available separately, and as a bundle (larger discount). These skills are all needed for beginning math instruction, and are directly taught, with little on each page to distract.


How do I store ALL OF THIS? This bundle has over 600 pages, and has a TON of information! I like to keep each unit in a separate binder. You can use post its to mark where each student left off as you make copies for weekly math folders.

You can also laminate or put pages in page protectors and have kids work through like a workbook with a dry erase marker at their own pace.

There is no particular order for success, start where your students are, and move on as appropriate. Have students repeat worksheets if they are not generalizing the skill on generalization pages.


Keep in mind that each number, letter, and word is directly taught on separate pages. We aren’t teaching numbers 1-10 all at once! Perfect for your kids that strive with discrete trial teaching or direct instruction. With 6 pages for each skill, you can easily repeat these pages as the skill is becoming mastered.


The seven units included in this curriculum are targeted towards beginning math learners- but the binders are appropriate for students of all ages from pre school to high school! Work on the skills your students need, with appropriate materials!


This curriculum is going to make a huge difference with my lower level students this year, and I can’t wait to build on even more skills as the year goes on. Any requests? Leave them in the comments!

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Have you been able to check out my Simple Science curriculum? I can’t wait to show you what’s in store for Simple Life Skills this September!



Velcro Board for Special Education

You may have seen some pictures of my velcro boards over the years, and each and every time the HOW DO I MAKE THAT comments flood in! I have literally been meaning to write this blog post for a YEAR, and am just now getting around to it!


This board can be used for a variety of reasons, but it started out as something I made for my students with visual impairments & fine motor impairments. It keeps in mind the mentality of a slant board, has a black background making it easy to track, and velcro can attach, allowing students to pull from the board for task boxes or binder tasks.

Did I mention, this keeps all the pieces from going FLYING all over the table and floor (can you say less missing pieces?)

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Here is what you need!

Cardboard box– I like them to be pretty BIG but you can make small ones too, I like to be sure the whole alphabet could fit on my board so it will fit all task boxes, some kids might need a smaller field but I like to have the space available to challenge them.

Packing Tape– Scotch is my favorite, there just isn’t a generic that is comparable.

Adhesive Spray– Any kind works, don’t go crazy on the price.

Veltex fabric– It is prety much the “hook” part of velcro, but softer. I have found it at Michael’s, but it is hard to come by. I recently found a much thicker version on amazon, and I am ALL about it. It came in a big roll, and I really have my mind spinning with plans for it!


Cut the cardboard so it lays flat. Simply Special Ed (25).png


Slice any edges off with a razor. I like mine to not be so big that it doesn’t fit on a student desk. Simply Special Ed (26).png


Fold into a triangle, and cut excess, you don’t want any extra.

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Tape the bottom with the packaging tape. It doesn’t need to be pretty, you are covering it! I wrap it around a bunch of times to keep it sturdy!

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Wrap fabric around to measure that you have enough. Cut any excess, you only want a little bit of overlap so it is nice and smooth.

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Then cut and lay a piece of veltex flat. I make it just a little bit wider on the edges, so it tucks inside and you can’t see the cardboard, looks pretty that way!

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7. Spray the bottom first (spray on cardboard, NOT fabric) then press the cardboard on top to seal. Then spray the two big sides! Be quick, and smooth over as you go.

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Press all the edges so you know it is smooth. Simply Special Ed (32).png


Next part is a little tricky, you have to be quick! Spray the inside corners on each side and fold the extra fabric in. This way you don’t see any ugly card board!

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9. & You are done!

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I use these boards EVERY DAY. They are sturdy, can be tossed around, and are easily stored on shelves or under desks. I LOVE having them for my task box system.

TIP: set up TWO tasks to start increasing independence. Student finishes one side, flips to the other!

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Another great way to use the veltex fabric, is to make a flat velcro board to store visuals! I’m getting my money’s worth for this big fabric roll!

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*This post contains some affiliate links! You don’t pay any more, but I get a little bit of commission, this helps me host more giveaways for you!


PREP your Students for the YEAR in the First Month of School

I have been getting lots of questions surrounding the first week and month of school! Many teachers think they have to have EVERYTHING prepped, ready, and planned all by the first day. I AM NEVER THAT TEACHER. I never have everything prepped, and I am ALWAYS learning as I go.

Prep your Students for the YEAR.pngHow can I be successful without being fully prepped? I am prepping my students for the YEAR, instead of prepping them for the academics of this minute.

Here is my pain free system for the first month of school! I STICK to the focus of each week during the first month, to set my students up for success!


The first week of school is crucial. You may have new staff and new students. I take the ENTIRE FIRST WEEK to teach routines & rewards. (you are teaching STAFF too) This is SO IMPORTANT. How can your students be successful if they don’t know the routine? Why would they work if they don’t know the rewards?


We run through each center and through their schedule, as a normal day would. But during each block, I DO NOT CHALLENGE them. I give them work I KNOW they can be successful with…. which limits behaviors, and teaches them how it feels to earn rewards right from the start.

Of course, you may not know the kids yet, but the IEPs should give you the basic idea of what they CAN do. Whether it be a puzzle, a put in task, or an addition worksheet, give your students something they CAN do that relates to the block on the schedule. SHOW them how to earn tokens or rewards in your classroom, reiterate all rules, and give POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT ALL DAY. They just may be learning you too! Stay firm, but begin building those relationships.


The second week of school is all about assessment for us. No matter if I know the kids or not, I reassess them on EVERYTHING.


I check their sight word knowledge, I give them more challenging worksheets to see what they can do, and I give the ABLLS-R to all my students, so I know where they are now (and can track how they are doing by IEP time!) I also begin taking more intensive behavior data, social skills data, and leisure skills data this week so that staff can begin to build programs that are appropriate. I also do preference assessments for rewards this week.


On the third week, we really get heavy into academics. I begin tracking IEP goals, pushing kids into inclusion more (as appropriate) and really challenging the kids.


This is where I start intensive data taking on all skills. Because I start challenging them, this is where I see the most behaviors. If you have taught your rewards systems well, your kids will know what is needed to earn the reward, and you can keep reinforcing that. Slide4

The fourth week of school, I really have staff back down on over prompting. We have to prompt our kids through the routines, schedules, and activities ALOT during the first couple of weeks, but as time goes on, you will be surprised how quickly your kids will know their routines.


Let them try them on their own, and convince staff to BACK OFF to allow them to build their independence. It makes it so much easier on you once they are independent in routines!


YOU DID IT! After the first four weeks at school, you will start to feel settled. If you implement this system of four week setup, you will feel like your kids KNOW their routines, and you have time to PREP the materials they need for academics! Just remember to STICK to the focus of the week, and not to stress out about what is to come.

Next week I will start showing you the areas of my NEW classroom, how I implement all my different centers, and how I hold my kids accountable every day, no matter what their level!






Simple Science Curriculum for Special Education

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If your class is anything like mine, you are constantly modifying and searching high and low for age appropriate on level curriculum. You probably spend most of your time searching for math and ELA, and science is often forgotten. I know in my class it was.

NOT ANYMORE. I started created the simple science curriculum in the beginning of last year and it is not done yet! The first bundle of units has been released and are ready to use to implement some GRADE LEVEL science topics at your students levels!


The simple science curriculum includes Simple Science Comprehension, Simple Science Adapted Book Bundle, Simple Science File Folders, and supplemental Simple Science Experiments. All of the units focus on the same 6 topics. Matter, Simple Machines, Living/Nonliving, Hot or Cold, Planets, and Five Senses.

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Each adapted books works on the sight word vocabulary for each topic, picture matching or matching picture to word. This built in differentiation works for every level in your classroom. For higher students, you can use the book as a reference guide for writing about the topic, while lower students can work on mastering matching and identifying words. The velcro pieces make it easy for students who are non-writers and have difficulty managing small pieces.

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These file folders focus on the same 6 topics as the adapted books, but include 2 levels of folders for each. One level focuses on matching picture to picture, which gets your lower level students interacting with the material and becoming familiar with the language and images, the 2nd level focuses on matching picture to word, mastering vocabulary and building independence.

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These comprehension sheets have really made this curriculum complete. It’s perfect to get higher level kids really interacting with text, making inferences, an using what they learned in the lessons to answer. It comes with 3 levels of passages and 3 levels of worksheets for each passage. The levels accommodate full sentence writers, beginning writers, and non writers with the picture comprehension option!

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The fun stuff. We do a science experiment a week to reinforce topics, or just have some fun! We love talking about WHY the experiment worked or didn’t worked, listing our ingredients, and deciding what we need! This is even a reward for some kids!

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This curriculum is seriously life changing, requires VERY little prep if you get the file folders and books ready to go before the school year, and will keep your kids ENGAGED learning grade level topics at their level.

Grab the Simple Science Curriculum Here.

Any requests for the next bundle?


Autism Classroom Design

Today, I am talking about how I DESIGN my classroom, before I even get to step into it for the new year!


I know what you are thinking, “ALREADY?”…

I am the first one to tell you to take the time to RELAX, have FUN with family and friends, and take time to yourself and leave that book bag aside.

But with August around the corner, it’s back to the drawing board. I am ready to get to thinking about my classroom. This year, I am finally getting the chance to move into a NORMAL sized classroom, yay for no more closets! But with this comes some downfall, in the past I had a separate smaller room for my desk. This was SO GREAT because I was able to keep all of the adult things separate from the kids and keep the clutter and distractions low in my tiny room.

This year, I knew I would have to find a way to make the larger space work for ALL needs. I really think this might be even more challenging than making a smaller space work! TOO MUCH SPACE is not good for wandering students. So I know, I have to make sure I keep each space separate and distinct, like a bunch of little rooms in one!

“But I’m not allowed in my classroom yet!”, TECHNICALLY neither am I…. but I may have snuck in a few times to peek….🙂 (make friends with the janitors, bring them coffee, and they will love you forever!)

But if you really can’t peek, make sure you have an idea of what the classroom may look like. I use PowerPoint to design my classroom layout, from the comfort of my bed on my laptop on a Saturday morning🙂 It’s the easiest way to start thinking about school when you just aren’t ready to go back yet!


To start, open up PowerPoint on your computer, change the page layout to landscape, and get ready to use that shape tool! Here’s what it looks like!

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Next, I’m going to give you a step by step:


You need think about what furniture you have, and where doors and NON- NEGOTIABLE items are (this means you CAN’T move them). I like to color code a  bit, black for doors, white for boards, blue for appliances and brown for shelves.


To insert the shapes, go to the shapes tool on PowerPoint (see above!) and add in some rectangles and circles, depending what you need! To change colors, right click, format shape, and fill with whatever color you want!

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Next, add in your big furniture pieces that are most important to your space! For me it’s my HUGE workbox shelf… I need to have the PERFECT space for that. This year, I have decided to use it to split the room into two sides: life skills/leisure, and WORK!




After that I add in more smaller furniture pieces, rugs, student chairs, and my prep center. The room is starting to look functional and I am slowly creating a space with each student, center, and skill in mind!



After all of my furniture is in place, I add in some spaces that need higher partitions to reduce distractions. This is a SIMPLE but important step!



After all furniture is in place, I like to make sure I keep in mind how I will be designating each space. During this step, it is so important to keep student needs in mind. What is right for my students, may not be what your students need! But if you keep your students first, you will always be doing the right thing! Classroom setup should be student centered, not what is best for pinterest or instagram🙂


I like to create transparencies to show defined spaces. It makes it CLEAR what area is for what perfect! I end up putting a copy of this in my para binder for paras and subs to refer to.



Insert a solid shape, right click, Format shape, and drag the transparency bar until it looks how you like it!

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Again, keep your students in mind the WHOLE time you are designing! What space works best for them? What areas do they need to be successful? What life skills do they need to work on? What furniture is more important!

Did you know that I snapchatted the WHOLE WAY THROUGH designing my classroom on powerpoint? Join in the fun, ask questions directly to me about certain pictures and more! Snapchat Username: SimplySpecialEd

Check back later this week for scheduling ideas and tips!

Want to check out my classroom reveal from last year? See it HERE!