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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Painting with Q-tips

Painting with Q-tips
Painting with Q-tips

The letter of the week in preschool is Qq and I wasn't sure what activities to do... Then I had an idea that would not only work on the letter of the week but would also address fine motor skills and artistic fun - painting with Q-tips. I placed a glob of paint on small plastic plates with 2 Q-tips. There were 9 colors to choose from. The kids chose a color and began painting. For the number and letter page I had them create dots using the Q-tips. We called this dot art. I was amazed to see that they were able to stay more closely on the line or in the lines using Q-tips than with crayons. Their motor control was more precise using the Q-tips. Then on the gumball machine with counting I had them paint back and forth with Q-tips. The kids enjoyed both painting techniques.
Painting with Q-tips
Painting with Q-tips

Friday, June 22, 2012

Positive Behavioral Supports

Visual Behavioral Supports
This is my behavioral system I have used in a classroom for years with students with a variety of ability levels. Below you will find a link for the visual cues. I purchased library pockets, wrote the students name on each pocket, then the kids added stickers. Each year we have a theme. This particular year was the ocean so the stickers are all from Finding Nemo. Then I laminated each pocket and made it so the pockets could open again use either an exacto knife or small sharp scissors. Each pocket has 4 pieces of laminated colored construction paper cut to a 3x5 size. The colors are green, yellow, red, and black. 

Everyday the students began their day with a green card. This meant their behavior was good. Then if they broke a rule all I had to say was "go pull a card" this meant they had to place the next color in front which is yellow. Yellow is simply a warning, to help them remember to follow the rules. Now if they changed their behavior and worked hard I would tell them to change their card back to green. However when they continued to misbehave they would pull another card. This would result in a red card and required them to fill out a "cool down card" (explained below). Even from a red card they could earn their way back to green, so there was always something to work towards. The final color in this system is black and this meant that they did not change their behavior and now the cool down card would be sent home and required a parent signature.

For those students who always stay on green I wanted to add an incentive to keep them motivated. I added stars to our behavioral system. When a student shared, played well with others, worked hard, etc. I would say go place a star by your pocket. Then at the end of the school day we would have a small reinforcement for each star the child earned. This ranged from stickers, small treats, extra play time, and more. At the beginning of each year I gave out "star prizes" every day to get the kiddos motivated. As they became motivated I moved to a random reinforcement schedule (at least 1 time per week). Now if a child had earned a star or 2 and then they had to pull a card they lost their stars. This behavior system was powerful. I have taught students with significant behaviors and for the most part, all students stay on a green card all day, and earn stars. I don't consider myself a pushover teacher either. I expect my kids to work hard, play hard, and learn lots. The fact that they can control their behaviors, earn positive rewards is incredible. 

Cool Down Card - Behavior Support
The Cool Down Card gives your students a little time to think about what they have done. I have used this cool down card for students with a variety of ability levels. My students that are lower functioning I have them tell me their answers for each question. If they have the capability to write I write their answers with a yellow highlighter and then they trace the writing. If the student cannot write I write the answers for them. My students that are higher functioning I have them fill the paper out on their own. This process allows the student time to cool down, process what they did wrong, and then rejoin the class.

On a side note my classroom walls are covered in carpet so everything is stuck up with Velcro.

 Cool Down Card
Visual Behavioral Supports

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Count & Read

Ice Cream Cone Counting
This is a simple TEACCH task I enjoy using. The kids read the sentence which will be repetitive on each card. You can work on specific sight words, found in their reading. I wanted my students to learn "I" "see" "the" and the color words. The kids figured out the word for ice cream because of the picture cues. Print on card stock - each card is only a 1/2 page, laminate, and place a dry erase marker in the TEACCH task. Have the students write their answer in the box with the marker. In the printable you will find simple counting from 0-20 and counting by colors. This is a simple task to change up depending on the seasons or holidays. With each month it is also good to change up the reading just a bit to work on new sight words.   

Ice Cream Cone Printable

iPod Touch Case

Griffin Military iPod Case

I work with many kiddos with disabilities. The iPod touch and iPad have been an excellent avenue for improving augmentative communication. I like using the app called Proloquo2go. I have a new girl with autism that I wanted to try using an ipod touch. She however dislikes carrying things (unless she wants to carry the item such as anything green, squishy, smelly, etc). I have been searching for a good durable case for and ipod touch. I found the Griffin Military Duty Case. This case has a hard plastic shell, with a clear overlay on the screen and then a thick durable rubber over the top along with a belt clip. This is an excellent case. The girl I was working with liked using the ipod touch however she still didn't want to carry it around with her. Luckily, she showed me what I needed to do. I had just purchased these coil keyrings for another project and she picked up the green on and wrapped it around her wrist. I quickly realized that this would help her carry her "voice" around with her. Sure enough we attached the keyring to the belt clip and off she went, wearing the ipod touch on her wrist. This seems like a great solution so far. I am not sure how long the keyring will hold out but for now it has been an excellent option.   

Griffin Military Case with Coil Writst Chain

Monday, June 11, 2012

Goldfishy Math

Goldfish Cracker Math
Math with manipulatives is always a good way to introduce a new math concept or review a previously learned idea. I had taught my preschoolers their numbers 1-6. This paper was a review. We were talking about the letter "f" so fish went along perfectly with our math activity. We actually glued the goldfish crackers onto their papers and then they received a cupful to eat. You can also do this activity with Swedish fish, or other gummy fish.  Goldfish Math Printable

Goldfish Cracker Math

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

I like many other teachers begin the year with the picture book Crhysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. In my class we make a classroom name quilt for our art project with this book. The students use their name to make a "Name Quilt Block" Each letter in their name has a specific design that they repeat for a pattern. Once each student's block is completed we glue them onto a colorful piece of paper, laminate and then connect into one large quilt with the title "A Patchwork of Friends" This has always been a fun, creative art project. Here are a few helpful hints to go with this project: 1. Give the students a piece of paper that already has their boxes you can choose how many you want depending on the size of letters you want for your quilt. 2. Demonstrate how large each letter should be. 3. Have the students, especially if they are younger write their letters in pencil before markers are given out to the class. 4. If a student has a repeating letter in their name have them make a different design for each specific letter. Meaning the name "Janeen" would have a pattern for the first 'n' and the second 'n' and the first 'e' and the second 'e' 5. Make sure they understand how to make the letters in their name wrap around from line to line.

In the end this makes a wonderful art project to have up for events like back to school night or parent teacher conferences.
Name Quilt - Chrysanthemum Art Project

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

M & M Math & Motor

M & M Graphing - Sorting
M & M's are a wonderful candy that the kids enjoy and so many activities can be done with these small candies. Here are a few ideas to do with m & m's count and graph the m&m's by color. You can download the file below. Here are a few ways to make this activity a bit more challenging: 1. Use tweezers to pick up and move each m&m 2. push the m&m's onto the grid using chop sticks. 3. Have the kids predict how many of each color they will have in their bag and then compare to the actual amount. 4. Use 2 dice one with colors and one with numbers. Have the students roll both dice and then that is the color and number of m&m's they add to their graphs.

Another fun idea with m&m's is to sort them by size. You can find mini m&m's, regular m&m's and peanut or peanut butter m&m's for 3 different sizes. Then have the kids sort them into groups by size.

M&M Graph

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Push Pin Fine Motor

Push Pin Fine Motor Letters
I have been saving my cardboard from packages that I receive. I cut the boxes apart so that each child would have a piece large enough for a piece of paper. I gave all the kiddos a large push pin. These can be purchased at places that sell office supplies. If you are working with kids that have better fine motor skills you can use regular push pins and smaller letters, shape, or numbers for this activity. The kids poke holes in their letters in the direction you would write the letter. This helps to build motor memory for writing the letter, letter recognition, and fine motor skills. 

Push Pin - Fine Motor

Fingerprint Art

Ed Emberley - Fingerprint Drawing Book
Ed Emberley - Great Thumbprint Drawing Book

Stamp Ink - Rubber Stampede
Ed Emberley Inspired Art Project

Ed Emberley has an excellent series of art books for kids of all ages. These books use fingerprints and thumbprints to create pictures. I did this art project with my preschoolers and with my teenagers. Both groups enjoyed the project and both were very creative. I found these excellent ink pads that are pictured above. They are small which is perfect for fingerprints. This way there are lots of colors to choose from. Just a word to the wise keep a package of diaper wipes or hand wipes close by, this way the kids don't have to leave the table to wash their hands after each color. This type of art allows for so much creativity and allows the artist to be as detailed or simplistic as they choose. I had some kids place finger prints all over the page and then they went back and turned them into different animals, people, objects, etc. Other kids decided what type of picture they wanted to create and then carefully placed each fingerprint.