Comparing ADHD Types….

This is a nice, simple infographic comparing the basic differences of 2 types of ADHD, plus a reminder that there is a third type, which includes a combination of the 2.

I like the fact that they include strengths in each area and myths about ADHD.

See for yourself and let me know if you find it useful.  I would love to have more resources on ADHD!

Miss Debi

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The Sound Song

musical notes

A special thanks to Jennifer Pedrick, SLP extraordinaire, for providing me with the words, actions and pictures for “The Sound Song”.  This is such a great way to reinforce consonant and blend sounds by using music, visuals and movement. 

The words are sung to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”.  Scroll down to get to the pictures. 

My students love “The Sound Song”!  Let me know if yours do as well 🙂

Sound Song Lyrics

Miss Debi

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Crazy Color Creatures

crazy color creatures

I love this song and use it to help children learn color names, learn the words to a repetitious song and to help with recognizing/producing rhyming words.  It’s also just plain fun!  Below is a link to the words, with ideas on actions for each creature.  You can also print and color, or let your students color with crayons, markers, stamps, finger paint…go crazy!!

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Fantastic FREE Online Animated Children’s Stories


This is a great website sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild.  Each book is read by an actor.  Part of the video is of the actor reading and part is a semi-animated version of the story.  There are several book choices and most are for young children. 

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Miss Debi

Posted in Phonological Awareness, Story Time, Visual Supports | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Free Animated Social Skills Stories, Lessons and Songs.


I found a nice website with FREE animated stories dealing with social skills like listening, recognizing and dealing with anger, allowing others to choose what to play with some of the time and other issues that children need help with.

Each story has an animated lesson.  The children get to choose the picture that accurately shows the best choice for each behavior.  Each story has a song with animation to reinforce the message of the story.

I have not viewed all of the stories, but I liked the ones I saw.  They are basically animated social stories.  Try them and let me know what you think!

Miss Debi

Posted in autism, Increasing Positive Behaviors, Self-Control, Sequencing, Social Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toybox Tools from Hasbro – Helping Children with ASD Access Toys

I just learned of this awesome project that Hasbro has created by working with parents and professionals from The Autism Project.  They are making toys more accessible to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder by pairing videos and visual cues with the toys.  These help the child learn to play with the toy, then be more creative with the toy and finally to play with another child with the toy.  They have great visual supports, such as First/Then cards, Visual Countdowns featuring Mr. Potato Head and Transformers and Play Mats.


I’m very impressed that a toy company has taken the time and put so much effort into a quality program to help children with ASD become more social through play.  A big “Hurrah!” to them!

I hope you take the time to look at the video and the Toybox Tools that Hasbro and The Autism Project have created.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Miss Debi

Posted in autism, First-Then, Increasing Positive Behaviors, Visual Countdown | 1 Comment

10 Awesome Resources for Visual Supports in the Classroom

give me 5

 Classroom Management Give Me Five Mini Posters  

(found on

Based on my stats, the majority of viewers are searching for information and resources on using visual supports.  So, today I will provide you with several helpful sites that will give you ideas and (mostly) free printables to make it easier for you to begin or continue to use visual cues with your students.

1. This site has loads of pictures to use for visual schedules, task analysis, communication boards and more.

2.  She has a great “Calm Down Kit” with pics and ideas to help students calm themselves.  This is on TPT for $7.

3.   Tons of free ideas and pictures for visual schedules, behavior management and communication.  Look around the site to find what you need.

4. This has several wonderful visual tools, free and ready to download.

5.    A great printable volume tracker.

6.    This is a freebie on TPT and a great resource for teaching students about greetings.


8. Free printables for visual support manipulatives.!make-n-takes/c4

9. Chore chart; can be used for any sequencing activity, such as daily schedule or breaking down tasks into smaller steps.

10. I saved the best for last. This is an amazing site!  Click on “add” on the template and tons of photos are at your fingertips to browse and choose.

I hope this makes it easier for you to make and use visual supports with your students.  Please let me know if you have more to add!

Miss Debi

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And Now a Word From our Behavior Analysts…


Please print out these “12 Easy Behavior Tips” from our wonderful team of Behavior Analysts (Trish Rich in particular) and read them, post them where you can see them, use them, and pass them on to other teachers and to parents. 

Keep these tips handy to read again when what you’re doing isn’t working.  Beating your head against the wall hurts after awhile, so go easy on yourself and apply these tips in your classroom as needed…most likely on a daily basis.  I promise they will make your life so much easier, especially the tip on ATTENTION!!!  Basically, the behaviors you give the most attention to, will be the behaviors that you will see most often.  Hmmm…..  Oh, wait, I think my favorite tip is “Downtime is Your Enemy”!  And then…well, you get the picture.  This list is one of my favorite resources!  Let me know if you agree.

Thanks Trish and the rest of your team!!

Remember to look at some of my previous posts for resources to use with these wonderful tips : D

Miss Debi

12 Easy Behavior Tips

  1. Behavior – Functions and Payoffs – All behavior has a payoff.  We all behave the way we do because in the past we have gotten something back.  Your child’s behavior has EVERYTHING to do with you and how you respond. Pay attention to what you want more of and less attention to what you don’t want to see so much.  Notice good stuff and redirect or change the negative stuff.  It’s all about you baby!
  2. Clarify Expectations – Young kids often don’t realize where the line is drawn, and older kids will push were they can to exert their independence. Have a family/class meeting and agree on 5 appropriate and realistic rules according to how old your kids are. In a classroom never have more than 5 rules for kids under age 5.  Make the rules clear, to the point, never vague or subjective and one sentence.  Example1) Hands to self  2) Walking Feet  3) Listening Ears   4) Kind Words   5) Following Direction
  3. Follow Through – If they don’t stop acting up after you have asked them 2 times, make sure you follow through on the consequence calmly, quickly and without emotion. Then forget about it. Make sure your child has the chance to start all over and show you how he really can follow directions.Tell – them what you want them to do (don’t ask)Show – if within 5 seconds they haven’t followed through, “Let me show you”Do – hand over hand help them do the task
  4. Choice and Control – From a limited list of options you’re comfortable with, let the kids choose what they eat, what they do, what they wear, what they play with and for how long. Use a choice board from approved activities to choose things that you already approve!  Don’t negotiate.
  5. Downtime is Your Enemy – Downtime is where the child thinks that they have nothing to do and therefore amuse themselves in ways that we would not choose as appropriate. Always overdo planning so that you never have a time of real downtime.  Allow the student to pick items that go into a busy box or a downtime box for them to choose fun activities from.
  6. Teach The Rules then Teach The Rules then Teach The Rules – Learning the rules at the beginning of a school year is always one of the most forgotten rules. Students and teachers should spend the first couple weeks of the year learning the rules, role playing them in class and having MANY opportunities to learn them.  Spend an entire hour just learning how to walk in the hall.  Line them up and walk them around the school until they get it right.  Don’t forget to make it fun though – praise profusely when they do it right – you are working over time on rules so work overtime on praise too.
  7.  Deal with Disruptions with as Little Interruption as Possible – When you have classroom disruptions, it is imperative that you deal with them immediately and with as little interruption of your class momentum as possible. If students are talking amongst themselves and you are having a classroom discussion, ask one of them a question to try to get them back on track. If you have to stop the flow of your lesson to deal with disruptions, then you are robbing students who want to learn of their precious in-class time.

  8. Avoid Confrontations in Front of Students – Praise in public and redirect and punish in private. Whenever there is a confrontation in class there is a winner and a loser. Obviously as the teacher, you need to keep order and discipline in your class. However, it is much better to deal with discipline issues privately than cause a student to ‘lose face’ in front of their friends. It is not a good idea to make an example out of a disciplinary issue. Even though other students might get the point, you might have lost any chance of actually teaching that student anything in your class.

  9. Pivot PraiseWhen one student is acting out in class and other students are following the rules close by, it is easier to redirect that child by offering your attention to the students that are doing what you want.  You would pivot your body away from the acting out student to the acting correct student.  You praise them loudly and with silliness so that your attention becomes the most craved item at the time.  You will see the other student trying to get your attention quickly.

  10. ATTENTION – If you want to INCREASE any behavior pay attention to it.  If you give your attention to behaviors you do not want – they will most likely increase.  Be careful how you use your most valuable tool.  Only give attention when you see behaviors you want, and ignore every possible behavior that is not wanted – (remember safety first though)
  11. Escape – If a child is behaving the way you DO NOT want, trying to escape a direction or task, try to never let them escape.  This may be difficult in a classroom with only one teacher, but try to at least have them do part of the task.  Also review the skills of the child and determine is it age appropriate, is it too difficult for the learning level and also is there a way to make it more hands on so that it is more fun.  IF you answered yes to any of the above, try changing the assignment, teaching the child to do half the problems and work up to a whole worksheet, teach them to ask for a break.  If you can honestly say that the work is appropriate, then ensure the task is completed in some form before moving on.
  12. Transitions – If you are in the middle of something fun, and someone interrupts you, don’t you get a little annoyed?  This is the way children see it too.  Always remember to give transition countdowns (5 min, 2 min).  It is good to also have a transition song or a transition sound (bells, chimes).  If you have a particular student that always has trouble with transition – physically move to them and give the transition warnings and the final direction.  You may have to perform the Tell, Show, Do exercise for a couple times, but once they realize that you say what you mean and mean what you say, there will be an expectation of follow through.
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Video Self-Modeling


I came across the strength based strategy of video self-modeling while looking at ways to improve my instruction in classroom social skills needed to increase time on task.  I use videos of my students to give feedback about classroom behaviors, but this intervention goes a step further. 

In video self-modeling, you make a video of the student while you model and prompt to elicit the desired classroom behavior.  Then you edit the video to show only the portions with the student performing the behavior, making it appear as though the student is already demonstrating the behavior independently.

The research indicates that this strategy, showing the child the video of themselves demonstrating competence in the behavior, has allowed students to quickly master, maintain and  transfer the skill being taught across settings.

I am using this strategy to teach positive classroom behaviors to increase time on task, but it can be used for teaching any skill across all domains.  Speech language pathologist and reading teachers have used this strategy successfully.  It seems to work especially well for students with autism spectrum disorder.

I’ll post a follow up later in the year to give you my feedback.  Please let the rest of us know if you have used video self-modeling and how well it worked for you.

Remember to click on “follow this blog” to receive new posts as soon as they are published.  Also, please spread the word about my blog aimed at helping students to increase time on task.  The more teachers I can help, the better!

Miss Debi

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Increasing Positive Behaviors with Success Stories

My Hands                                                    My Space, Your Space

During pre-planning, some of the teachers were discussing how useful social stories have been in teaching social skills to our preschool students.  Social stories take a situation that a student is having difficulty with, such as keeping his hands to himself, and uses a simple story to help the child understand what actions are (and are not) acceptable.  Using pictures and familiar settings personalize the story to make it more meaningful to the child.  After hearing the story a few times, the child is able to picture what it is he should be doing and quite often we see an increase in acceptable behaviors.

I have made up my own stories and used free printable social stories found online, but my favorite source for stories that I can personalize with names, places and even hair, skin and eye color, is .  They call them Success Stories and provide a wide range of topics.  You can try one story; “Waiting” for free.  Each story costs $8.99, but it is available for you to use and make as many profiles for as many students as you want for a year.  They also send monthly articles with helpful tips to print and share with teachers and parents.  The articles focus on situations that young children find difficult to deal with, such as changes in schedules, playing with other children and preparing for holidays.

I have used several of the stories.  My favorites are, “Waiting”, “My Hands” and “My Space, Your Space”.   The last story pairs perfectly with the book, “Personal Space Camp” by Julia Cook.                                                                    Personal Space Camp

Please leave any suggestions you have for using social stories in the comments section!  Also, if you click on the “follow” widget, you will receive new posts as soon as they are published!  Feel free to share the blog site with other teachers and parents.  ; – ) 

Miss Debi

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