Education in Motion is a blog implemented to spotlight innovative education through interactive sharing. Ideally, each month, a LaSalle/Putnam County classroom will be highlighted who is modeling best practice through inventive use of technology, creative teaching strategies, or other original methodologies for serving students.











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Thanksgiving Activities in Area Classrooms

Ms. Chapman's Classroom ~ Earlville CUSD 9

Students in Ms. Chapman's TSI Program not only receive core instruction, but also daily life skills training.  In preparation for Thanksgiving, students used their computer skills class to make a grocery list into a table, while using the Internet to research prices.  Sale ads were used to find the lowest available prices, and students were instructed to estimate the total cost of the purchase.  Students also received instruction on serving sizes, so they could estimate how many of each item to purchase.

Students were responsible for every detail, from creating the invitations to setting the table for guests (and there were many!).  Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, stuffing, buns, and pies were all prepared and served by the students.

Mrs. Ugolini's Classroom ~ Seneca High School

Students in Mrs. Ugolini's program are assisted with study skills, communication, and independent living skills.  In celebration of Thanksgiving in the classroom, students were instructed on the skills necessary to prepare homemade soup.
Students were responsible for following a recipe, chopping vegetables, and cooking the homemade ham and corn chowder to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Mrs. Ugolini's students enjoy cooking and eating what they cook.  The soup was offered to staff members, and they report that the soup was awesome!

Technology Applications in the Life Skills Classroom

Technology Applications in the Life Skills Classroom

Tari Jansen's PAALS 1 Program - Leland Elementary School - Leland, IL

The PAALS I classroom at Leland Elementary has been in existence since the 2009-2010 school year. Since this time, the teaching and support staff have worked diligently in continuing to develop the program to the benefit of the students who attend.

PAALS I (Promoting Academic and Adaptive Life Skills) is designed for students in grades K-3 who may require small group or 1:1 intervention, and require strong visual and environmental supports to assist them in learning skills for communication, academic skills, adaptive functioning, socialization and behavior skills.

Leland Elementary PAALS teacher, Tari Jansen, records herself using an iPad to demonstrate the lesson for the day for parents. The video is then shared through the use of Google Docs, so parents are able to practice these skills with their child at home.

Tari uses this same application for a variety of purposes including: video modeling vocabulary signs/letters and sounds, sharing student progress videos with parents, sharing functional skill development with parents, and to demonstrate functional skill lessons.

In addition, students can be observed watching prerecorded videos of Tari video modeling a variety of skills, including sign language.

“I have learned from my students that the use of visual supports enhances their understanding when receptive and expressive language skills may be delayed.  Most teachers of special needs students know this and incorporate pictures as a use for communication or skill acquisition.  By using Google docs as an avenue to share photos and videos, I am applying this same concept to parents. They are not teachers, but desperately want to know how to help their children communicate and learn.  Videos and pictures send a clear message on how to apply the skills that I have learned in over 15 years in education.”

 Students use the SMART Board to reinforce functional math lessons, as well as to assess their current skills. Tari notes that her students are more motivated to work using the SMART board, and it can essentially be used as a positive reinforcer.

“Of course the new is starting to wear off a bit, and it certainly cannot be the only means of instruction, but it is another tool to keep things exciting!”

The SMART board is used during snack to integrate a functional and engaging math activity into snack.

The SMART Board is also used in conjunction with the Unique Learning System, which helps to reduce the need to print, copy, and laminate.  The SMART Board provides the opportunity for quick lesson differentiation, allowing for more whole group instruction opportunities.

“I have been able to apply the concept of core plus more even within a highly individualized environment.  I love the idea that we can all work together and have an authentic environment to practice joint attention skills and social skills.”

Students have also began using the SMART Board for yoga sensory breaks.  

“Practicing yoga with K-3 students has been HILARIOUS! It has been helpful two fold in that it allows an opportunity for a sensory break and gives the children a chance to laugh at their teachers…this has strengthened our sense of community.”

Would you like to collaborate with this innovative educator? Contact her: Tari Jansen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hello and welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!
Please review the following links as a refresher to the services available through the L.E.A.S.E. website:

  • Login into the L.E.A.S.E. website through the “Login to LEASE Website” feature in the left hand column.

  • Login into netIEP by using the netIEP link featured under “Quick Links” in the right hand column.

  • Register for a free Infinitec account. This link is featured under “Quick Links” in the right hand column of the L.E.A.S.E. website homepage.

  • Review the IEP forms list, found on the L.E.A.S.E. website “Resources” – select “Teachers” – select “Write an IEP” – select “netIEP form list”.

  • Review the L.E.A.S.E. Library, found on the L.E.A.S.E. website “Resources” – select “Teachers” – select “Access the L.E.A.S.E. Library”.

  • Review upcoming professional development opportunities on the L.E.A.S.E. Event Calendar. The calendar link can be found on the  L.E.A.S.E. website menu.

Cross Categorical Coordinators and Supervising Schools

Available Classroom Services:

  • Student or classroom observation
  • Curriculum and assessment consultation
  • Guidance with developing and implementing behavior interventions
  • Recommend and/or train in the use of academic interventions
  • Co-teaching support
  • Assist with short and long-term planning and scheduling
  • Assist in the improvement and updating of methods, materials and/or techniques
  • Technical assistance through phone, email, or meeting