Learning Prepositions in My Kindergarten-1st Grade Autistic Class

Using props, books, technology, music or manipulatives are a way to maintain the attention of my students during most or all of my lessons. During this ELA lesson, I teach my students the prepositions first introducing a music video about prepositions on You Tube which is the URL above.

An example of a line in the music video is,” Where’s the monkey? The monkey’s in the box, the monkey’s in the box, where’s the monkey, there’s the monkey, the monkey’s in the box.”  Prepositions are highlighted in the You Tube video using a monkey that keeps popping up in different places. The music video highlights some of the prepositions I use in my lesson.

After the music video is seen by my students, I take out my stuffed monkey which I named, “Mandy the Monkey and her baby.” I tell the students that Mandy likes to play games with her baby monkey. She likes to hide in all different places. I made a set of index cards from the Boardmaker program that include some prepositions like: in, out, in front, beside, below, behind, etc. Each student takes a turn to pick a card, reads the preposition on the card and places the monkey where the card says to place the monkey. Like the music video on You Tube, we also sing the same tune on the video during our lesson. For example, if the student chooses the word, “beside,” we sing the tune. The Tune is: “Where’s the monkey? Where’s the monkey? The monkey’s beside the box, the monkey’s beside the box, where’s the monkey, there’s the monkey, the monkey’s beside the box.” As we sing this tune, the student places the monkey besides the box.  I have done this lesson for a month now and the students enjoy the video and have learned the words of the song.

Below are my students seeing the preposition music video. After seeing the video they then pick a card with a preposition on it and place the monkey where the card says to place it.

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My Unit on Seasons for Educators and Families

My Unit on Seasons

Unit: Seasons  Subject: Science

Materials used during the unit:   iPad: 4 seasons app.,  book titled “The Four Seasons” by Rozanne Lanczak Williams, construction paper, shells (for the summer), cotton (winter), fake leaves (fall), soft foam sheet with sticky back  (flowers: spring) Boardmaker symbols of the  four seasons, summer, winter, fall and spring

We recently completed this unit on seasons in my classroom. As I teach lessons, I like to incorporate books and technology. The book I included in this unit was a book titled “The Four Seasons” by Rozanne Lanczak Williams. I read the book each day for a week and talked about various seasons we have in New England. Each day of the week, I talked about one of the four seasons in the unit (summer, winter, fall and spring). I used the iPad and on the iPad, I used the application called “The Four Seasons” (see picture below).  On the last day of the unit, a book of seasons was made. I also used concrete materials for the students in my class who don’t see well. I also used pictures from the Boardmaker program (the pictures you see below on the pages to the left of the book) giving each student a field of two choices during the lesson. For example, I asked each student to choose which picture is the season of summer and which picture is the season of winter.  Using Boardmaker pictures and having the concrete materials in the booklet is great for students with low vision and students with special needs. Below are the pictures of the students taken during the lesson.

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The “Four Seasons” booklet cover page

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Spring

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fall

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summer

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winter

 

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My Unit on Feelings For Educators and Families

My Unit on Feelings 

Unit: Feelings Subject: ELA (vocabulary)

Materials used during the unit: mirror, iPad, Scholastic book titled “Feelings” by Susan Canizares, construction paper, pipe cleaners (for the mouths on the faces), Boardmaker symbols of the feelings of happy, sad,  mad, scared, and excited

We recently completed this unit on Feelings in my classroom. As I teach lessons, I like to incorporate books and technology. The book I included in this unit was a book titled “Feelings” by Susan Canizares. I read the book each day for a week and talked about various feelings we have. Each day of the week, I talked about one of the five feelings in the unit (sad, mad, happy, exited and scared). I used a mirror so the students can see what they look like when they make happy or sad faces. On the last day of the unit, a book of feelings was made. I also used pipe cleaners for the students in my class who don’t see well. The pipe cleaners were perfect because they could be easily shaped for the different mouths in each page that described each feeling. The pipe cleaners are also great for tactile markers for my students.  I also used pictures from the Boardmaker program (the pictures you see below on the pages to the left of the book) giving each student a field of two choices during the lesson. For example, I asked each student to choose which picture is the happy face and which picture is the sad face. Using Boardmaker pictures and having the tactile markers in the booklet is great for students with low vision and students with special needs.   Below are the pictures of the students taken during the lesson.

 

 

 

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Below is the book used during the unit, the iPad applications used during the unit, and the book one of the students created.

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This is the book used for unit on “Feelings”

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February break adventures in the snow with my children……

FEBRUARY BREAK ADVENTURE IN THE SNOW WITH SCHOOL RELATED IDEAS…

Subjects: Reading,  Math, Technology, Science and Art

1) Reading: Books to read.. (see below)
2) Math and Science: See teachinglittlepeople.blogspot.com (see picture below of pocket chart with the snowman poem)
3) Science: hot and cold (for students who learn using concrete symbols: use hot and cold water or a blowdryer) You can also teach a lesson on what to wear in the winter cold weather and summer hot weather.
4) Art: You can make snowmen out of cotton or marshmallows or use chalk or white paint for a winter scene.
5) Technology:  pbskids.org videos on winter
6) ** Outside exposure is important for children with special needs: If there is snow outside, it would be great to have them touch the snow and feel the cool air on their face.

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Since February Just Passed, Here’s Some Facts On Chinese New Year…

CHINESE NEW YEAR

FROM WIKIPEDIA, THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA

Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as theSpring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year“.
The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors.[2] Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland ChinaHong Kong,[3] MacauTaiwan,Singapore,[4] ThailandIndonesiaMalaysiaMauritius,[5] Philippines,[6][7]and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity.” Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
Lunar New Year refers to the first day of a secular, sacred or other year whose months are coordinated the cycles of the moon. The whole year may account to a purely lunar calendar, which is not coordinated to a solar calendar (and, thus, may progress or retrogress through the solar year by comparison to it, depending on whether the lunar calendar has more or fewer than 13 months); or the year may account to a lunisolar calendar, whose months coordinate to the cycles of the moon but whose length is periodically adjusted to keep it relatively in sync with the solar year – typically by adding an intercalary month, when needed.
The following East and Central Asian Lunar New Year celebrations are, or were historically, based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar: (occurring in late January or February)
•                Chinese New Year
•                Japanese New Year (prior to 1873)
•                Korean New Year (Seollal)
•                Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar)
•                Tibetan New Year (Losar)
        Vietnamese New Year (Tết)
Red envelopes
Red packets almost always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. Per custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals. Sometimes chocolate coins are found in the red packets.
Odd and even numbers are determined by the first digit, rather than the last. Thirty and fifty, for example, are odd numbers, and are thus appropriate as funeral cash gifts. However, it is common and quite acceptable to have cash gifts in a red packet using a single bank note – with ten or fifty bills used frequently. It is customary for the bills to be brand new printed money. Everything regarding the New Year has to be new in order to have good luck and fortune.
Red packets are generally given by established married couples to the younger non-married children of the family. It is custom and polite for children to wish elders a happy new year and a year of happiness, health and good fortune before accepting the red envelope. Red envelopes are then kept under the pillow and slept on for seven days after Chinese New Year before opening because it symbolizes good luck and fortune when you sleep on the red envelopes for seven nights.

Clothing

Clothing mainly featuring the color red or bright colors is commonly worn throughout the Chinese New Year because it was once believed that red could scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. In addition, people typically wear new clothes from head to toe to symbolize a new beginning in the new year. Wearing new clothes also symbolizes having more than enough things to use and wear in the new year. Red is a color of good luck.

Gift exchange

In addition to red envelopes, which are usually given from elder to younger, small gifts (usually of food or sweets) are also exchanged between friends.

TIPS FOR THE CLASSROOM TEACHER AND FAMILIES AT HOME..

Subjects : Reading, Art and Technology1) Reading:  I usually read a book before presenting a lesson that pertains to the lesson. You can read a book first to introduce and share information about Chinese New Year. (some sample of books are pictured below) After reading the book, you can make Chinese lanterns or dragons  (seewww.origami-resource-center.com).2) Technology: I try to add a technology piece to my lessons. Here’s a great 5 minute blurb on Chinese New Year:  www.history.com and type Chinese new year under “search”
2) Art:  Make red envelopes by coloring white envelopes red or purchasing them at an Asian grocery store. Use your preference of how much money you want to put in the envelope
(for ex. 1$, 2$, etc.)
Below are the pictures of the books recommended for Reading. Also, I’m sharing pictures we took during the new year family gatherings. Enjoy!
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