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Resource Prep Tips for Special Education Teachers
28th Feb

2020

Resource Prep Tips for Special Education Teachers


I don’t know about you, but in this field I feel like I’m always prepping resources. Maybe they’re for new activities. Or maybe they’re replacing items that have gotten damaged or lost. Like that time when a student flushed his PECS symbols down the toilet. And we had to replace all of the symbols. Yep, this is real life.

To avoid resource prepping taking over your life – I’m sharing my best resource prep tips with you today. These are tips that I’ve picked up over the years that has made my life so much easier.

Amazon affiliate links are included throughout this blog post.

1. Work in batches.

I love to batch everything. If I have 10 new resources that I need to prep for my students – I’ll print them all at once. Then laminate all at once. Next, I’ll cut all at once, and then velcro.

2. Delegate

Now, if you have a team that you can delegate to – number 1 just got even easier. Especially if you have staff days and students are off. You can have one of you in charge of printing and fetching items from the printer. Another member of staff can be in charge of laminating. Then another member of staff can be in charge of cutting etc. Literally, set it up like a little factory.

Just be sure to keep all of the pieces for the activities together. I like to keep everything together for each activity in little plastic folders and these are what get passed on so that no pieces go missing.

3. Stop Cut, Laminate, Cutting.

I used to be a HUGE believer in cut, laminate, cut. Even though it takes so much extra time, until I saw Stephanie from Mrs D’s Corner do an experiment. She tracked the whole thing on her Instagram – just check out her story highlights here – it’s under ‘Experiment’.

And do you know what the experiment showed?

It doesn’t matter if you cut beforehand or not! Do you know how much time we have saved by now just print/laminate/cutting rather than print/cut/laminate/cutting?! SO. MUCH. TIME.

4. Separate Scissors

This is no joke. Have separate scissors if you’re cutting velcro. Because, as much as I LOVE velcro – it destroys scissors. I feel like we’re always soaking and cleaning our velcro scissors. So, just make sure to have velcro scissors, and then normal cutting scissors.

5. Laminator

You will not regret investing in a laminator – but don’t feel pressured into buying an all bells and whistles laminator. My best ever laminator, cost me just £4. yup, £4. And it lasted me over 4 years! I may have cried when it finally died. My newest one cost me £25 and it’s still going perfectly. So, price isn’t always everything. Just be sure to look at reviews of laminators when you buy them.

6. Laminating

If you’re lucky enough to have a laminator that fits larger pages – like A3. Laminate two A4 sheets at once! So much quicker. I really rate this one.

7. Velcro

I love velcro. Like, I don’t think I could function without it. You’ll even see it in my fabulous Instagram profile picture that a very talented lady designed for me.

Now, people often ask me – which velcro do I buy? Is it the dots or the long reels? And the truth is – I buy both. I use the velcro dots the most because they are so quick and easy to get on the back of pieces. You can also get them in a range of sizes – which is so helpful for different resources.

But I also use the reels for when I need larger pieces of velcro – like sentence strips.

And, before you ask, I always put hard stays, soft moves.

8. Prep in Advance

I’m always prepping resources well in advance. And by this, I mean we literally work a month in hand. So in January, I’m prepping Valentine’s Day stuff. This means that it takes the pressure off us for trying to get things done quickly.

And, to avoid having to quickly put together things like PECS symbols and schedule symbols that have gone missing – or disappeared down a toilet like us.. have back-ups.

We have a craft storage box where we store all of our symbols. And if there’s a year when we have 7 students – I print 14 of every PECS symbol/schedule symbol. And after Christmas, I generally print another set of these as well. That way, we always have spares available – because you never know when you might need them!

9. Binder

I also love my binding machine. Before, I would put all of my adapted books in ring binders. And this was ok. But man, they took up SO much room! But it was a nightmare trying to get hold of the school binding machine – because everyone wanted to use it!

So, I managed to grab a super affordable one on Amazon and I started to bind all of the adapted books at home. And it was a game changer.

10. No Time to Create?

Life is hard. Let’s face it, we are juggling 500 different balls everyday in our classroom. Then we have to try and create resources as well? Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Let me help you out, by letting me create the resources for you – so you just need to print them! You can find all my resources at;

You can also get a free calming strategies adapted book from me here.

Those are my best tips to make resource prep easier and quicker for you. What tips do you have to share that makes resource prep easier for you? Let us know in the comments down below.

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