Top 10 Must Haves for an Inclusive SPED Teacher (5)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
I'm sorry I took a day off yesterday! I received my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book in the mail yesterday. I couldn't put it down for anyone, not even for dinner. 
If you haven't checked out my previous picks, definitely peruse the list below! They might be useful!
  1. Highlighting Tape/ Highlighters
  2. Sticky Graphs/ Graph Patches
  3. iPads & Apps
  4. Graphic Novels (Comics?)
Composition Notebooks

Here's the wide variety of notebooks I used last year --
including my favorite graphing composition!
So when I was in middle school, I hated these things! No one had one, we all had the five star, 5 subject notebooks. Yet, I think these have resurfaced and become super popular?? Or is that me? They have such cute designs now, that it takes SO MUCH self-control for me not to pick up a "few" here and there for "rainy days." I might just be a school supply hoarder.

Anyways, these have proven to be one of the most versatile items in my "teacher toolbox." Almost everyone on my floor requests one for their classroom. Most of these teachers spend part of the first two weeks teaching routines, and one of them being "how to set up your notebook." Thus, they've taken the executive functioning skills I was going to teach to a few students, and gave it to ALL students. 

I have used these as an easy way to quickly adhere modified work into students notebooks, and no one knows the difference. If someone were to walk into the classroom, it would look as if ALL students were working out of their notebooks. #inclusiongoals So here's some of the ways I have used these in classrooms:
  • Reading:
    • Dialectical Journaling - I usually have a graph organizer always on hand. I glue in a sentence starter sheet at the beginning of their notebook, and they can grab the pre-made graphic organizer for homework. They adhere it at home, and boom. Modified, yo!
    • Portfolio - We used foldables/interactive notes a lot our first year together. Usually, students would use this as a "reference notebook" for their assessments.
  • Math:
    **Graphing Notebooks - I HIGHLY recommend getting a graphing composition notebook since it is a pre-made accommodation! Super awesome for teaching basic math using the small boxes and graphing!**
    • Portfolio - We use A LOT of foldables in math. Students also use this as a reference notebook in class and during assessments. I have a lot of pre-made graphic organizers for students to use for the executive functioning needs (i.e. table of contents, left side thinking page, etc). This is a great alternative to the "Math Help Binder" as you don't have to print multiple images of anchor charts. Every student has a portfolio that they can use and that they made in class with their peers.
    • "Messy" Math Notebook - My co-teacher calls their other notebook this because this is where they "get their hands dirty" with solving problems. I usually tape in their modified do-now in their notebooks. Easy way of collecting data on goals.

Here's an example of a math portfolio from 2 years ago.
Check out my post on this HERE
  • Science:
    • Science Manual/Notebook - I previously had a co-teacher that was awesome at having a notebook that had taped in data tables and charts. So nice to have since I could easily tape in modified readings for students to read, instead of the grade level readings from textbooks. It's a great way of modifying and accommodating for students needs. 
  • Social Studies
    • Reference - my co-teacher and I realized that instead of printing out a bunch of pre-made graphic organizers, and essentially wasting time with gluing and cutting, we could easily fold the papers in the composition notebooks. She loves to have students "hot dog" fold for note taking when watching videos to create a "KL" chart - what you knew and what you learned. 
    • I love to casually slap a foldable in there. At times, there's a lot of information that is covered verbally. Students who aren't the greatest notetakers need some format for organizing that information. I usually would have a precut and ready to adhere prepared for the student to help them organize their notebook. An example would be when we learning about the amendments. I had a foldable that helped organize it and adhered it to the page in the notebook. 
Here's an example from a sixth grade notebook, 2 years ago.
Check out my post on this HERE
You're probably wondering, well ... "don't the kids take their notebooks home?" Yup, some might. Here are some of my solutions to that: 
  • Tape the modification onto their desk in the morning/ previous afternoon. Students will walk in the AM and see it, adhere it to the next page in their notebook. You check in once to ensure accuracy.
  • File Folders are a great way of having students be independent with their modifications. Set up a bin that can hold file folders with students names labelled on them. Personally, I just labelled them via color coding (6th red, 7th green, 8th yellow) and had their names on worksheets inside these folders. They come up to grab it when you give students the signal. Easy peasy.
  • Post It Reminders are nice too. One of my previous co-teachers used to write words of encouragement, positive reinforcement notes, and reminders to students, leaving them on their desk. I usually just write "come by and say hi." I would have the mods ready to go for them and just handed it to them. 


  1. These posts are amazing! I'm planning on buying the HP book tomorrow. No spoilers but... how is it?

    1. I'm on the fence about it, but maybe it's because I binge read it? Plot is okay, but I felt unsatisfied when I finished it. It could be that I needed to see the play instead of reading the play? *justification for buying tickets to UK*


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