Tools for SPED! Prepping all the adapted materials that you need for your self-contained classroom can be very daunting and is a lot of hard work! I have come up with a list of my favorite tools to make SPED prepping easier and faster!
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1. Scotch 13" laminator
We use a scotch laminator for everything. I have tried using different brands, but Scotch is tried and true. We have the normal-sized and this 13 inch. My classroom also uses the 13″ before the other size because it is really fast to heat up, and it takes both 11 X 8.5 laminating sheets and also menu-sized laminating sheets, so if I am bouncing between the two sizes I can just use the one laminator. We love laminating all of my file folder games using this laminator. The one I bought was cheaper at Target around Christmas time.
2. Hook & Loop Self Adhesive Dots
These hook & Loop self Adhesive dots have been such a game-changer. They are cheaper than regular Velcro, they last longer and they are wayyyyyy easier on the hands. Do yourself a favor and spend the money on these. They aren't that expensive and your hands and scissors will thank you!
3. SwingLine Binding Machine
Swingline's binding system is on the cheaper side of binding machines and works just as well. This is basically an expensive hole puncher for your binding coils. It's fast, easy, and simple.
4. Fiskar Spring-loaded scissors
I have no idea why I waited so long to buy these scissors. These Fiskar spring-loaded scissors are sooo much easier on my hands. My teaching assistants have all thanked me for buying these for the classroom! If you haven't used these yet, you have to try them. they are another game changer.
5. Fiskars paper trimmer
This fiskars paper trimmer is a lot smaller than your typical paper cutter. I use this to cut both regular paper and laminated things. If you have a lot of things that need a straight but, this little bad boy will do the job!
6. Laminating Sheets
I never buy Scotch laminating sheets anymore. They are very expensive. I have turned to amazon basics for laminating sheets. Whether you need menu-sized laminating pouches or just regular size laminating pouches, Amazon has the best price and they do the EXACT SAME JOB!
7. Colored File Folders
Using colored file folders is engaging and fun! Students love the bright colors. I assemble all of my file folder games on colored file folders to make them bright and appealing for students.
8. White Card Stock
I should really take out stock in white card stock, I purchase so much of it. I typically buy the Neenah brand. Most of my task boxes and adapted books are all printed on White card stock! I try not to buy the heavy weight anymore, the lighter cardstock does the same job. However, if you want something to last a while or something that you know will take a beating, make sure you get the heavier one.
9. Binding Coils
Using coil binding over comb binding has been such a game-changer. My adapted books were getting destroyed and beat up on the daily. I would have students completely tear them apart. Since I have replaced all of my comb binding to spiral, none of my books have fallen apart. I love that I can prep an adapted book and know that it will probably last FOREVER! These coils are cheap and come in a huge box that have lasted me forever!
You can read this blog post about how I assemble my adapted books!
10. Astrobrights Paper
And finally, Astrobrights paper. Sometimes to make a worksheet more visually appealing for a student, I will print it on a piece of Astrobrite paper, and BOOM, they want to do the work! I love using this to prep lots of worksheets that don't need to be printed in color, like my WH QUESTION reading comprehension worksheets!
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