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Unwrapping Creativity: Gingerbread House Day in Special Education

Greetings, Special Education Champions!

As December marches on closer to Winter Break, let’s focus our attention on festive charm.  I was thinking that we could gather around the gingerbread-scented joy of Gingerbread House Day on December 12th. Today, I want to connect with you personally, sharing some ideas and a few insights and ideas tailored to our special education classrooms, where each student’s journey is uniquely extraordinary.

Connecting Through Gingerbread Magic

The aroma of gingerbread houses often carries the spirit of the season into our homes and classrooms. In the world of special education, these aromatic creations become not just festive decor but gateways to hands-on learning. Let’s unwrap the magic of Gingerbread House Day with lessons that resonate with students navigating moderate to severe disabilities.

Colors and Shapes Extravaganza

For our students engaging with the Functional Academics curriculum, Gingerbread House Day becomes a canvas for exploring colors and shapes. Begin by introducing a variety of gingerbread house shapes and colors. Use visuals, real-life examples, and interactive games to make this exploration lively and engaging.

🌟Lesson Plan Idea: Gingerbread House Shape Sorting🌟

  • Provide templates of different gingerbread house shapes. 
  • Have students sort and match gingerbread house shapes based on similarities.
  • Reinforce color recognition by incorporating different colored templates.


Literacy Through Recipe Reading

Incorporate Functional Academics into Gingerbread House Day with a delightful recipe-reading experience. Simplify recipes to accommodate various reading levels, making it accessible for all students. This not only enhances literacy skills but also brings the joy of creating something delicious.

🌟Lesson Plan Idea: Recipe Reading Relay🌟

  • Break down a gingerbread house recipe into simple steps.
  • Create task cards with each step and corresponding visuals.
  • Facilitate a relay where students take turns reading a step and performing the associated action.


Life Skills and Teamwork

Gingerbread House Day provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce life skills and foster teamwork. Encourage collaboration, communication, and shared responsibility as students work together to create their gingerbread masterpieces. This collaborative effort not only enhances social skills but also creates a sense of accomplishment.

🌟Lesson Plan Idea: Gingerbread House Building Teams🌟

  • Form small teams with diverse abilities.
  • Assign specific roles to each team member, fostering a sense of responsibility.
  • Encourage communication and teamwork throughout the building process.


Inclusion and Adaptation

Remember, inclusivity is at the heart of special education. Adapt lesson plans to meet individual needs, ensuring that every student, regardless of ability, can actively participate. Consider alternative methods of expression, such as visual aids, communication devices, or peer support.

Coaching Insight

As you embark on Gingerbread House Day, keep in mind the extraordinary impact your guidance has on these students. Your commitment to creating inclusive and engaging lessons contributes to their growth and joy in learning. Embrace the messiness of hands-on activities, for it’s within these moments that the true magic of education unfolds.

Celebrate and Share

I encourage you to celebrate the gingerbread creations with your students. Create a display or a virtual showcase, allowing students to share their unique gingerbread houses with pride. These moments of celebration contribute to a positive and inclusive classroom culture.

So, dear champions, as you unwrap the magic of Gingerbread House Day, remember that your dedication and creativity are the ingredients that make these learning experiences truly special. I’m here to support you on this festive journey. If you have specific challenges or need additional resources, please leave a comment. Together, let’s create a gingerbread-inspired celebration that echoes with the laughter and achievements of our exceptional students.

Warm regards,

Barb Beck 🏠

Creative Content Director, Specially Designed Education Services (SDES)

©2023 Specially Designed Education Services

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SDES has teamed up with Mundo Pato, Inc., our cloud publishing partner, to create a simple and affordable solution for special educators to use during this critical time.

The Virtual Teaching Materials are a separate supplemental purchase that will greatly enhance the Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics ​or can be used on its own.

Virtual Teaching Materials Pricing 1st year: $1000 non-recurring configuration fee plus 12 x monthly charge.

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Monthly subscription charge is based on a minimum of 100 students ​and increases by $125 per group of 25 additional students.

Scheduling Tip

Find a student in your classroom who can read and understand your master schedule. Assign them a job in the morning to help set up individual student schedules. See the video of Megan setting up the schedule.
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Suzanne’s student Megan was her Teacher’s Assistant first period during her junior and senior year. One of her jobs, among other clerical tasks, was to set up individual student schedules. It saved Suzanne prep time in the morning and was a great vocational experience for Megan.

SDES has teamed up with Mundo Pato, Inc., our cloud publishing partner, to create the full Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics in the cloud. *The Styer-Fitzgerald Program in the Cloud Start-Up Fee: a $6000 non-recurring start-up fee will be added to the first year subscription only.

Cloud Pricing

Per Month
Per Year*
Monthly subscription charge is based on a minimum of 100 students ​and increases by $125 per group of 25 additional students.