Using the Dollar Up Method in Special Education

Happy Sunday, friends!

Do you use the dollar up method in your classroom? I just recently created some dollar up resources that are a great way to work on paying for items by rounding up to the next dollar!



I know that in a special education setting, differentiated and interactive activities are a MUST! Because of this, I included adapted books, file folders, differentiated worksheets, and interactive task cards. The task cards are a great way to use real dollar bills and practice paying for items with the dollar up method!


I've included 2 adapted books to make doing math work a little more fun for our kiddos. Each book has 10 different totals to use the dollar up method to find the cost!


There are 4 file folders included to use in independent work settings, 1:1 work, morning work, etc.! I love using file folders when a student has mastered a skill to keep them working on the specific skill.


Included are also 30 worksheets with 2 differentiated levels. There are lower level options with multiple choice answers where your students can just circle the correct answer. This is perfect for non-writers!


I LOVE these task cards. There are 40 task cards included. Your student could just tell you how much money they would pay with, however I would use these with real dollar bills and have them pay for the item.

I created a FREE dollar up poster that you can download and use when teaching this skill to your students. Click HERE to grab it!

Hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday and a great week ahead!

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Cheap & Easy Fall Sensory Bin

Fall is in FULL swing over here in the midwest and I really wanted to create a simple sensory bin to take along with me to my in home therapy sessions in the next few weeks.  I headed over to my local Dollar Tree and grabbed a few cheap sensory bin "ingredients".



I grabbed 3 bags of these dry northern beans, cinnamon scented pinecones, and fake leaves. I already had a small plastic container at home!

Because I am no longer in the classroom and am instead a SERIOUS bag lady (I always have at least 4 bags in my back seat) who is doing in-home ABA, I kept my sensory bin small. I used a 6 qt. Sterilite container to make it easy to transport!


I put together some alphabet, number, and shapes "fall themed" cards and printed/laminated them to use in the sensory bin! Now I have a sensory bin that my kids will love AND we can incorporate some academics into it. During therapies, I put in some of the cards of my choice and have the child "search" for the shape, letter, or number! Is there anything better than disguising learning as fun?!




When it's time for a new sensory bin, bag up your bin in a large Ziploc bag so you can easily use it again next year! I will take the fall themed items out and bag them & reuse the beans for other bins!

I'd LOVE to see your sensory bin cards in use - tag me on Instagram @myspeciallearners so I can see them! Happy Fall!


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You're Teaching Self-Contained! Now What?! (Part One)

I get this message all the time: "It's going to be my first year in a self contained classroom. What do I need to start off the year?!"

Let me just start by saying, this is a BIG question with really no right answer. However, after teaching in self contained for the last 8 years, I will try to answer it to the best of my ability! Some of this will be geared more towards elementary, but some of it can be used across the board! This will be part one of two blog posts, the second being more about how to start off your year with kids, paraprofessionals, and your classroom as a whole!


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Teaching Kindness in the Classroom



Did you know that each February there is a week dedicated to kindness? Well, now you do! This year Random Acts of Kindness week is February 11-17, but it is NEVER too late to teach your students about being kind!

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Preparing for a New Student Mid-Year

It's the inevitable e-mail. You're halfway through the school year and you get an e-mail from you're admin titled "new student". I know what you're thinking, another student?! By this time of the year most of us are exhausted and starting to get a little burned out (if you aren't, tell me all your secrets). BUT, because we are amazing teachers (pats self on back), we start to prepare to welcome them with open arms.


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