We are back for Week 2 of the Special Education Summer Blog Hop! I hope you learned tons of tips & tricks last week about scheduling and are BACK to get tons of NEW ideas about setting up your classroom!
I’m going into my 6th year of teaching now and this will be the FIRST year I haven’t totally changed my classroom set-up!! My first 2 years of teaching, I changed it during the school year. Sometimes, it can take a little while to get right (especially if you’re in a small space!!). I’m so glad that I finally figured out what works best for ME & my kiddos.
Obviously, your classroom set-up might need to look a lot different than mine! Maybe you have a smaller space, are in a resource room, do more whole group/small group/centers. Personally, I haven’t been able to do a TON of that in my current district. The ages and abilities are a VERY wide range and I have to have space for all sorts of areas!
Here is a general floor plan of my classroom with all of the “big spots” labeled:
When you walk in my door, this is pretty much what you see!
As you can see, I have these handy divider walls to separate the big spaces in my room that are marked on my classroom floor plan. These are GREAT for lowering distractions for my students! Now, if only they weren’t in those God awful primary colors. (Sorry guys, I seriously hate those colors and have REALLY contemplated spray painting them!!!)
When you walk in the door, you run right into the fine motor work area. It will still be here next school year, but I hope to amp it up A LOT and have some great work tasks in there!
When a student goes to the fine motor area to do their work, they’re given 3-4 picture icons on the Velcro strips to match to the corresponding work bin. Much like the TEACCH work bin system, but I don’t have them get the bins from the left and leave them on the right.
To the right of you when you walk in the door are our computers. We have 3 computers, 2 of which have TOUCH SCREENS! Woooo! SO nice for my kiddos that aren’t using a mouse independently!
The computers are used for math work, Spelling City, Zac Browser, typing practice, or just reward time!
The next thing you will notice are two work areas which are our 1:1 work areas. Both of these areas are where all IEP goals are worked on by either the teacher or a paraprofessional. I like to rotate who works with which student each day to give the student a new person to work with (if possible! sometimes it’s just me in the room!). Like I said in my last post, each student is allotted 40 minutes per day to work with a staff member 1:1 on IEP goals. Obviously goals are worked on at other times, but this is THEIR time! 🙂
The carts are with the 1:1 work areas and hold all sorts of materials & manipulatives to work on goals! The second picture is an idea of what the area looks like, minus that shelf. I don’t have an updated picture without it. 🙂
Next up! Our whole group area!!!! WOO! We are blessed to have an Interwrite Board which we use just about EVERY whole group time AND every morning group! This is where we do the calendar, weather, and educational songs in the morning. Then, during our whole group time, we work on standards based materials through Unique Learning or that I have prepared for us!
Let me just say how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE having individual desks. I did it for the first time last year and will honestly NEVER go back. I HATED that big kidney bean table. All that happened there was fighting over chairs, mixing of materials, and never EVER enough room to work. HALLELUJAH desks. OK, I’m done. I also really really love those tennis balls. God bless my ears. 😉
Anyways, that is our whole group area. I am really hoping to use it even more next year! Many of my kiddos are returning and I think we can handle it. 🙂
Next up, our book/calm down area. I don’t really have a name for it, it’s just a great place for my kiddos to go look at books & relax OR get their wiggles out on the little trampoline!
My kiddos love this spot. When they choose what they’re “working for”, it’s often to come over here and chill out in a bean bag with a book!
(Are you still here?! SO MUCH TO SEE!)
Next up are our independent work areas! This is where my students come to work on tasks that are already mastered. Just like in the fine motor area, they are given picture icons and have to match it to the corresponding bin & then do the task. When the task is done, they place it on the “finished” square and move on to the next task. When they’re done with all of their picture icons, they’re done in independent work!
There are two independent work areas so that I can have two students going at once! Love these spots!
Lastly, we have our play area. There is also a swing over here that is ONLY hung when a student works for it & earns it. I would love to keep it hung all the time, but honestly there are just some munchkins that can’t handle that temptation. 😉 Can’t say I blame them!
I’m doing an overhaul on our play area which will contain MUCH less toys and more organization. It should look a little different come August. 🙂
So there is my room! I hope you enjoyed a glance into it & it sparked a new idea or two about your own classroom next year!
Click the button below & hop on over to Erin’s blog to read ALL about how she sets up her classroom! Make sure you hop on through all the blogs for TONS of new ideas!! 🙂