EDIT: I made the hardest decision of my life so far, and decided to resign from my classroom teaching position in June 2012. Please click through to learn more about why I made this incredibly difficult decision.
If you’ve followed this blog for a little while, you’ve heard of my classroom. Not only do I love making thrifty projects, but I spend about 11-12 hours a day in my classroom from Monday-Friday.
I teach K-2 Autism Support in a school outside of the Philadelphia area. I currently have 9 students on my caseload (will be 10 students later this month). It is crucial for the population of students that I work with for my room to be organized and structured.
I shared about my classroom in this post last year, but I change my classroom arrangement every year. Here’s newer pictures to show Autism classroom organization!
Let’s start with where I spend most of my day: the green center
I teach through small group and direct instruction at this table all throughout the day. It’s actually set up for back to school night in the picture above. I have visual supports that are used frequently in reach, as well as school supplies & workbooks.
Next, here’s the blue center. I make up individualized plans for my assistants to follow at this center, and they are able to reinforce the direct instruction I give the students.
For the few times I’m fortunate enough to have my second assistant in the classroom, I have them run an alternative curriculum called “Language for Learning” at the Pink Center:
I also have my students do independent work at other centers, like the purple center:
The Red Center:
There’s also a center that had individual activities (the yellow center) that practice skills that have been recently mastered, but I totally forgot to take a picture of it!
We also use the computer as a center:
I also love my book nook:
And here’s where I teach “large group” instruction and we have our morning meeting:
Now for some of the logistics in my classroom. Here is what my classroom’s schedule looks like:
All of the color blocks represent the different colored centers in my classroom.
We then use laminated pictures with velcro on the back to make individual student schedules. Every 20-30 minutes, I have the children check their schedules, and they grab the next picture on their schedule and match it to the center they’re supposed to get to next:
I use cheap material to make “curtains” to hide clutter on ugly shelves:
If you hadn’t noticed – my classroom has visual supports for EVERYTHING…including the bathroom!
Four of my students work with “star charts” and they earn stars frequently so they can have reward time with their preferred reinforcer. All of my students have a chance to earn a star sticker every morning and afternoon. If they get 85% of the stars for the month – we will have a class party at the end of the month!:
I also have forsaken a true desk so I could have more space in my classroom for centers. Here’s what I work on (the area on the right):
My students receive lots of related services (Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapies). Because no one is ever exactly on time, I designated a specific “Waiting Table” this year. It’s been so wonderful!
I have honestly just scratched the surface of my classroom set-up in this post. There’s so much more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you! I plan to be posting more about strategies I use in my classroom with this amazing population of students
Let me know your thoughts – I love to hear every single one of them!
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