Back to School SPED Bloghop and Giveaway

It's here whether you like it or not.  Back to School.  Some of you have probably started back to already, while some of us are less than a week away.  Frankly, nobody has mercy on your soul when you have the whole summer off, but your favorite bloggers and willing to help the whole process a little easier.

But first, we want to share some of our favorite advice for Back to School.  Aren't we generous?

I want to share all about PAIRING during the first few weeks of school.
Pairing yourself with reinforcement is crucial for building strong, trusting relationships with your students.  Read about how pairing may look in a variety of different classrooms.  Plus enter a Back to School giveaway!

No, it has nothing to do with the fruit.  It’s just kind of mandatory for a picture of pears to be present when discussing pairing  (kind of like the need for a brontosaurus to be present whenever we talk about extinction, but I digress).

What is pairing?

What I'm talking about is pairing yourself with reinforcement.  Look at all of your close relationships.  Do you think your relationship with your spouse formed if you had to go through the stress of budgeting for the mortgage on your first date?  Relationships take time, and the teacher-student relationship is no different.  It’s very challenging to go from just meeting to full on demand mode in one day.  If you try, you may end up with students that will make it very challenging to work with.
Pairing gives your students a chance to understand that fun things happen in your classroom and when you’re around.  Pairing increases the motivation to want to work with you.

How do I pair with students?

Pairing isn’t going to always looks the same and can vary across students.  What’s reinforcing to you isn’t reinforcing to someone else.  However, taking the time to pair also gives you the opportunity to figure out what is reinforcing to the student.  It’s totally okay if pairing with your student looks like playing with toys and joking around.  It’s okay if pairing is playing on the iPad or handing them a couple of M&M just because.  For lower-support students, playing a game is a-okay in my book!  It’s very easy to get in to the idea that you need to be working intensely on IEP goals with your students from day one, when reality, that’s probably not the best way to start off the year.  However, pairing effectively will lead to a positive relationship for the rest of the year.

This is also a great time to get preference/reinforcement assessments out of the way.  You’ll have a chance to observe what the students gravitates towards and what isn’t all that motivating for them.  Make sure this is something you absolutely do in the beginning of the year.  I personally have seen instance where individual staff and students have had to put the breaks on academic work in the middle of the year, just to pair.  It ended up be completely worth it, but it's something that much easier to get done in the beginning of the year.  

I hope I gave you something to think about in the first few weeks.  Now on to the good stuff!

Enter the Back to School SPED Giveaway!

I have teamed up with some of my favorite special education bloggers for a giveaway to get you in the groove for Back to School.  We have a lot of goodies you can win, including a Life-Skills Reader and Go Worksheet App from Attainment Curriculum, a year-long subscription to Smarty Symbols, a $10 TPT gift card, and a Back to School resource pack with some life-changing BTS resources.  Woah!

Entry is super easy.  Just like Smarty Symbol's Instagram page.  Then, make sure to visit my Facebook page a comment on one of my recent Facebook posts.

Enter below!  Then make sure to check our Breezy Special Ed's post on Errorless Daily Questions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Back to School!


  1. getting back in the routine if no esy services

  2. This is great! I'm at an autism training that my district does and the speaker talked about pairing today!
    The most challenging thing about BTS for me is the unknown...students and paras..but so far (2.5 weeks in) my year has started off well.

  3. Setting up necessary routines, especially for students new to your class or school. Lots change when students get to the middle school!

  4. I loved all your ideas on pairing! I also agree that finding out what motivates students at the beginning of the year is really important!!

  5. I think the hardest thing about going back to school is teaching and learning with new room staff. Everyone has their own ideas and methods from previous rooms.


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