Adventures in Tutoring

Contact: Erin Jackson 801-376-9765
Located in Spanish Fork, UT

Individual and group tutoring services for students with mild (resource)-severe disabilities.

Speech Therapy for students of all ages.

Preschool services available for children with or without disabilities. Sign up now for fall preschool sessions. Monday, Wednesday, & Friday $75 a month (2 days) $100 a month (3 days). Ages 3-5
In preschool we will work on Zoo-Phonics, beginning numbers, shapes, colors, social skills, behavioral skills, language, communication, fine and gross motor, coloring, writing, cutting, crafts, and music.

Are you worried about your child's progress or regression over the summer months sign up for tutoring to give your kiddos that extra help to put them on the right track for the next school year

Group tutoring with 2-6 students is $15 per hour
Individual tutoring is $25 per hour
Individual tutoring at the child's home starts at $45 per hour
Half Hour Individual tutoring - $15 per half hour

Services Available: Academic Tutoring, Social Skills, Motor Skills both fine and gross motor, Language Skills (speech background), Behavioral Skills (including behavior plans for home/school), Augmentative Communication (PECS-High end Technology) IEP help and support

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Button Art

Today was the first day of preschool. I was feeling nostalgic, so I had the kids make the same art project, that I made on my first day of preschool. I wrote the first letter of their name on card stock and then each child picked out an assortment of buttons. I place craft glue on the letter and they covered the letter with all different kinds of buttons. After we were finished the kids placed all the extra buttons back into the container through a slit in the lid to help work on fine motor skills.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Board Books & More

Board Book with Icons
Board books are a great tool with young children and also with children with disabilities. The pages are durable, pictures and words are simple and easy to understand. I like to take a board book and add icons to make the book more hands on. The picture is an example of an ABC book where the child places the picture that begins with the same letter next to the letter in the book. Boards books can be used to help teach sight words, colors, shapes, counting, letters, and much more.

Christmas Time Math

Math with Library Pockets
I try to make work a little more fun by adding themes to many of the activities. This just changes things up a bit. For this task I laminated library pockets and 3x5 flashcards with math problems. Again you can always make this task easier or more challenging. An easier version would be object counting on the flashcards versus a math problem with numbers. You could add touch dots to the numbers. On the pockets you could simply print the number word which would require reading. I made several sets of these pockets for simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Library pockets are my fine motor friend.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Teaching in Small Towns

You know you are teaching a rural community when things like this happen... One afternoon, school had been out for about 30 minutes and a little first grader walked into my classroom. He said, "can you help me?" I was surprised to see him because school had been out for so long. I asked him what he was still doing at school. He said, "I went home but forgot my homework, so came back to pick it up" I then inquired what he needed help with. He said, "I can't get back on my horse." I had to stop myself from laughing. Sure enough, when he realized he had forgotten his homework, he hopped on his horse, bareback and rode to school. Then when he went to get back on his horse he couldn't manage. He had been trying for quite some time. I gave him a boost. That was a first for me as a teacher. On another occasion we took first grade classes to see a movie. As we arrived we sent the kids to the restroom. They were taking so much time in there. The movie was getting ready to begin so the teachers went to see what was going on in the bathrooms. The first graders were so amazed by the automatic flushing toilets, water faucets, and paper towel dispensers that they were setting everything off repeatedly. You know something is new and novel when a first grader would rather stay in the bathroom and play than watch a movie.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Alphabet Books

I created a set of alphabet books using "Fonts 4 Teachers" The font shown here is an ABC print with dashed lines, so it is perfect for tracing. Then the student write the same sentence below on the lines. Each book is 6 half pages long with simple repetitive sentences. I love Fonts 4 Teachers because it has so many fabulous font. I can create my own worksheets. I have made numerous tracing pages in print and cursive, math pages using the clock fonts, and so much more. My students always need additional practice so this gives me the freedom to create more worksheets when necessary.  
Aa Book
Examples of a few fonts
Fonts 4 Teachers - Excellent Fonts

Friday, January 20, 2012

Paper Plate Ice Skating

Paper plate ice skating is a fun way to work on gross motor skills. Get the cheap paper plates and give 2 to every student. This works best on carpet, but can also be done in the gym. Then skate around. You have to keep your feet on the ground in order to keep the paper plates with you. Here are a few idea to keep the students engaged. I usually start by letting them get used to the paper plates under their feet. Then you can have relay races where you skate in different ways like forward, backward, sideways, twirling, slow, fast, etc. Freeze tag is another game they enjoy. Make sure you participate too.

Pattern Blocks

Pattern blocks are useful for teaching patterns, shapes, and colors. I purchased my blocks from Learning Resources because their blocks come in bulk and you can purchase wood or plastic. Then I created my own patterns for the students to follow. Below are pictures that I took using the blocks. These can either be printed out at actual size so that the student can place the blocks directly on the picture for one to one correspondence or printed smaller so that the student looks at the picture and creates a copy. My pictures are laminated to ensure longer use. This is also something that can be done with a group or independently like in a TEACCH system.    

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I love playing games with my students. Games help build social skills, good sportsmanship, reasoning, and much more. I was playing Uno with several students. One of the girls in the group was a native Spanish speaker. She would frequently flip between English and Spanish. She got down to one card in her hand and she yelled at the top of her lungs "ONE!" When the other students said that's not the right word, she sat there for a minute thinking and said, "One?" We all thought it was funny because she had taught the class how to count in Spanish. At last the word came to her and she said, "Uno"

Unifix Cube Patterns

Unifix Cubes
Here is another idea with Unifix cubes. I have my students recreate the patterns above and then I give them a place to create their own patterns. The graphics are the actual size of the Unifix Cubes, so that children can match the cubes directly for one to one correspondence. This paper was then printed and laminated and placed in my TEACCH system. Unifix cubes have so many uses and really help to improve those fine motor skills.

Patterns for Unifix Cubes

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Unifix Cubes

Unifix Cubes - Lakeshore Learning
Count and Graph Ladybugs with Unifix Cubes
I have used Unifix cubes for place value, object counting, patterning, and phonics skills, but I wanted to find a way to also incorporate them into my TEACCH system. I created the cards like the one pictured above with the ladybugs. These are printed on card stock and laminated using the heavy lamination. In the TEACCH box I place anywhere from 5-10 cards at one time. The student will count the ladybugs and place the same number of Unifix cubes together to represent the ladybug count. This task works on one to one correspondence, object counting, visual graphing, and fine motor skills. I also made variations of pictures such as snowflakes, turkeys, pumpkins, hearts, etc.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vehicle Matching

When I teach a math concept I always begin with manipulatives so that the students understand the hands on applications of math. I have come up with other ways to use the manipulatives for independent work in my TEACCH system. Using an Excel spreadsheet I created the graph below. The task shown here requires the student to read the word "fire truck" and "purple" then place the purple fire truck in the correating square. By the end all the boxes are filled with vehicles.

Ways that I have increased the difficulty: 1. I have a version that does not have any pictures. 2. The color words are all in black and white. 3. Create a larger grid so there are more words and options. 4. Use a variety of manipulatives such as different animals, vehicles, food, etc. 5. You can also include a size category. Some of the maniuplatives such as the teddy bear counters come in various sizes and colors. Then you would work with an additional variable which would be size.

Lakeshore Learning has wonderful manipulatives for math.

For a printable version of this activity: Click Here
Vehicle Manipulative TEACCH Activity

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Paperclips & Patterns

Paperclip Fine Motor and Patterns

You can find fun colorful paperclips at any store that sells office supplies. Then create a pattern and take a picture of the pattern. Place the picture of the pattern in your TEACCH system for independent work. These patterns can range from a simple A B A B pattern to more complex such as AA B CC AA B CC. The white paperclips at the end of this pattern are where I want my students to continue the pattern on their own. This activity is also fabulous for working on those fine motor skills! Here is the link for a few patterns - Link
Paperclip Fine Motor & Patterns

Linking Letters

I bought these letters in a small bucket they are called "Linking Letters". The red letters are the uppercase and the yellow letters are the lowercase. I took a picture of the letter pattern and then placed the picture and the necessary letter tiles in my TEACCH system. For this task the student places the corresponding lowercase letter next to the uppercase letter. Other variations have just yellow or red tiles and have the students fill in the blank so it would be _ b _, _, _, f, _. To make this skill more challenging have the students spell simple words. My favorite way to do this is to make word families. Create  "_ at" then the student would make cat, hat, bat, sat, rat using the word letters.

Tissue Paper Pots

When you are trying to come up with an idea for Mother's Day gifts here is one that was always fun to make. Buy the small terracotta pots from Walmart. Have the students paint the entire pot white so that the reddish-brown does not show through the tissue paper. Then cut tissue paper into small squares. Provide the students a variety of tissue paper to choose from. Then using Mod Podge (I used the gloss kind) cover the pot with tissue paper. You can use lots of different colors of tissue paper or only one. The Mod Podge will go on white but it will dry clear so you really can't have too much. You want everything to stick well. Once the pots are dry you can either fill with flower pens or a real flower. Just a note that if you put real plants in the pot you will want to seal your Mod Podge with a spray. Several variations we have done in my class: 1. Buy the small saucers that go with the pots and cover those with tissue paper also. 2. Let the student select a color to paint their pot versus just white. If you do this have them select their tissue paper before painting to make sure that everything will go together. 3. Hot glue ribbon around the rim of the pots. 


Yes I love my dogs. These are pictures from last year when we had so much snow. I am truly missing the snow this year.

TEACCH Math & Motor

TEACCH Math Lacing
I wanted to find a way to make a math TEACCH activity that was not paper pencil based or manipulative based. I created quite a few math pages like the one pictured here. I used touchmath on the numbers on the left hand side. This was printed on card stock and laminated. Then using scrapbooking tools I punched holes and placed metal brads in the holes so that the students could lace using yarn or plastic lacing (which I always called Boondoggle).

Ways to make this more challenging or simple: 1. Mixed pages with addition and subtraction will make the task more difficult.
2. Only place touch dots on the second number in the math problem, then remove them all together.
3. Object counting with pictures and then match to the corresponding number.  
4. This type of activity can be used for all sorts of things like multiplication, division, counting, etc. 
5. I used this basic technique to also create phonics pages with the letters of the alphabet on the left hand side and pictures (with the same beginning sounds) on the right hand side. 

Once you start thinking about ways to use this lacing strategy there are numerous activities to be made.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Winter Olympics

Classroom Olympic Games
Winter time can drag on a bit when you are in Utah. We hold the Olympic Winter Games. Each student chooses a country to represent. I then print out a copy of that countries flag and they color the flag. We talk a little bit about where each country is located. Then onto the games! Indoor hockey with hockey sticks and dodge balls. Paper plate speed skating. This you do on carpet with a paper plate under each foot and you slide. We set up a few cones that the students had to skate around and we timed them. Skeleton on scooter boards. The grand event was the bobsled. We used the carts that teachers use to move heavy things in the schools. One student was on the cart and another one pushed them in the gym. When they reached the wall they switched places. Oh my stars we had so much fun! I laughed so hard while I was watching them. I was surprised by how much they represented good sportsmanship. They fiercely cheered for each other in all the events. By the end of the day there was a new sense of comradely. Finally we held the medal ceremony. Each student received a certificate that had the Olympic rings and the icons from the most recent Olympic games. We also gave them medals that we bought from a party store. The students and teachers had an amazing Olympic Game Day!!


As you are trying to develop fine motor strength think about ways to make this more exciting. Theraputty comes in a variety of strength levels from soft-firm. This is an excellent way to gradually increase a students fine motor skills. My students didn't really want to play in the Theraputty. So I began to hide their favorite small toys in the putty. The student would then have to pull the putty and use those essential fine motor skills to get to the toy. What is funny is that many times after they finally released the toy from the putty they played with it for a minute and put it right back in again. Things you can wrap in the Theraputty are cars, bouncy balls, toy figures, legos, etc. 


A TEACCH idea that will make your students think they are playing. The Lego website has printable patterns. 
Each month they come up with new patterns that range in difficulty. In the TEACCH box I place the pattern and the necessary Lego pieces. This works on visual discrimination and fine motor.

Lego Directions - Step by Step

Peg Board

Take a peg board and make different designs using the colorful rubber bands. Take pictures of these designs because they will be come the pattern that the student will make. Place a peg board and colorful rubber bands along with a picture of the pattern in your TEACCH system. The student will then recreate the design. This works on patterning, discrimination, and fine motor skills. You can decide how specific to be on the pattern. With most of my students I require that they use the same color rubber bands that I used, it simply adds more complexity.   

Comprehension Checks

TEACCH Comprehension Check

TEACCH - Comprehension Check
When working with children with disabilities we want to challenge them as much as possible and not become stagnant. I found that even if my students were reading their comprehension was typically an area where they struggled. I have been trying to create ways to work on "WH" questions independently (TEACCH) I used simple pictures (the ones shown here are from Boardmaker). Then I asked between 5-8 questions. These cards are printed on a half sheet of card stock paper and laminated. I place a different card in my TEACCH system each day. The student gets the card and either a visa-vi marker or a separate sheet of paper to answer the questions.

These cards are working very well and I want to expand on this skills. So here are a few more ideas. One you could use photos of the students in your class, you could cut pictures out of magazines, or download photos from the Internet to ask questions about. To make this skill more complex I would use a photo and then write a short 5 sentence paragraph to ask the questions about. For example you could use a picture of a boy, cat, and bird and say, "My name is Eric, yesterday a bird flew into my house. My cat chased the bird. I ran to the door. I opened the door. The bird flew out the door and into the tree." Then you could ask questions such as, "who opened the door?" "Where did the bird fly?" This would work on more in depth comprehension. Make sure the text is on a level that the student can read independently.
TEACCH - Comprehension Check

Step by Step Drawing

TEACCH step by step drawing
Many kids have a love of drawing and yet are not given many opportunities to showcase this skill. I have started placing step by step drawing in my TEACCH tasks. There are several ways to do this effectively. One you can make a strip like the one shown above and laminate the drawing directions. For kids that have greater difficulty going from one step to the next this format helps them along. This also follows the same direction as the TEACCH system from left to right. The other way to work on drawing skills is to copy the drawing pages place several in the TEACCH box and then the student takes one to draw. Providing this as an activity will work on the child's ability to copy and discriminate. This will also improve fine motor skills and allows the child to develop creativity.    
TEACCH Step by Step drawing - Teacher's Friend Publications