Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rules on the First Weeks of School: BTS Giveaway

You must think I'm joking right?!? Well I'm not two blog posts in one week! And it is during school! WHAT?!?! LOL

I'm just a little impressed with myself. I decided to team up with some awesome fellow special education bloggers to bring you a Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway! There is a rafflecopter giveaway below so please keep reading. It will go on starting today until September 8th.

I wanted to really focus on rules in the classroom. I have seen a ton of pictures on Instgram, Pinterest, and Facebook of teachers posting their classrooms ready for the new year. Of course something that is in probably every room (if not you are crazy and love adventure!) is a set of classroom rules. Some teachers like to let the students come up with them but, in my classroom that might be a little off. I think my rules might be something like this:



1. Students are allowed on the computer and iPads whenever they want.

2. Students can have snack whenever they want.


3. Students can have breaks ALL DAY.

4. Teachers should not teach or discipline any students.

5. Students are basically allowed to do whatever they wanted and teachers can't stop us!!:)

Let me preface first by saying my students are wonderful but, if they had the chance to do whatever they wanted all day instead of working their butts off like we do, I could totally see these being the rules in our classroom.

Rules are what give our students in any classroom boundaries. It lets them know what they can and cannot do but, as teachers we need to be sure that we are going over these rules thoroughly to make sure they understand what is expected of them.

During the first weeks of school I am like a broken record. I am constantly stating our classroom rules and I am giving lots of examples in different areas in the classroom. I explain how each rule can be interpreted in that part of our classroom whether it is the direct instruction area, work tasks, or sensory room. This allows the students to internalize that information.

In order to be able to do this and tackle different modes of learning for my students I created a product that could be used with multiple learners but, still was functional and appropriate for teaching rules during those first weeks of school.



Also, be sure to hop on over to The Autism Vault to stay on this blog hop and get a chance to win all these great resources!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Classroom Reveal 2016-2017

So, it is time to start another year of school. I can not believe it. I am going on year 8... REALLY?!? It feels like I was just in my first year of teaching like yesterday?!?

Anyways, I am in year 4 of being a special education teacher in a self contained middle school autistic support classroom. And I want to say that looking at my room you won't see changes, and yet, you will see changes. I have tried to make this room work for everyone. I have six students this year and 4 staff (2 one-on-one aides, and 2 paraprofessionals). It is an interesting group to say the least but I wouldn't ask for it any other way! Only time will tell and when the kiddos come on Monday we will get the true test!

I wanted to give you a reveal of all that I have worked on to create this wonderful classroom for my students. So here we go!!


When you first walk into my clasroom this is what you see, my students' schedules. There are clipboards for the students that have laminated dry erase schedules and then under the clock you see the schedules with pictures. It is kind of hard to see but actually there are flaps that have a red check and a green check and when a student completes that part of their schedule the turn the flap over so that it is green and means they have finished that and can go to the next part. 

This is one of my para run stations at the horse shoe table. This year I am calling it "Academy". The reason why is because it is going to be a complete mix-up of academic activities. 

This shows my lifeskills work area. There is a rectangular table to work at with some rubbermade drawers with tasks in them and then the counter with the tablecloth on it is my newest baby that houses all my tasks! 

Here is the front of the counter and as you can see I have pictures on the doors and drawers because when you open these up there are life skills tasks inside that the students have to complete. There is probably a post specifically on what is in here coming soon! 

These are the cabinets that house some of the other life skills materials. I have students hang clothes, hang shoes, fold shirts, and sort light and dark laundry. You can also see in this picture the schedules that the students have to follow with their names on it when they work in this area. 

On this cabinet you will find my work task schedule cheat sheets! These are life savers to help my staff and students to know what they are going to work on each day. These are part of my Work Task Starter Kit. This is my supply cabinet. also houses all my school materials and supplies.


This is the view of the entire cabinet. It took about 1/2 a day to organize it all, but it will save all of us so much time when the school year starts! 

A close up of the cabinet. You can see that I have everything in a basket and then the basket is labeled. LOVE IT! 

Another look at the cabinet organization! <3


This is my work task system. It consists of both the black and wood shelving. I couldn't tell you how many tasks I have here but, there are a lot. Which gives me a lot of options to mix it up for my students so they don't get bored and that is key! 




2 Computers for students to use. 

Binderwork area- independent work for the students. The students will use both binders with tasks in them and also cookie tray activities in this area. 

Classroom library

Classroom rules, hooks for hanging backpacks and coats, and a table for break times for drawing and doing puzzles. 

Bindershelf where we store Academy work, morning meeting binders, communication binders, lunch materials, and a place to put finished work. 


Direct instruction area with whiteboard, morning meeting board, teacher desk. 


Morning meeting board, whiteboard and technology station. 


Morning meeting bulletin board. My favorite stuff to teach! 

My teacher's desk, love how tiny it is! 

Unique vocabulary pocket chart and a computer for students to check their class dojo info! 





Left side of the room

Right outside of the sensory room, I added a few more items for an extension. And I added a core vocabulary word wall for students to reference! 


As you can see, I have a lot of stuff, and if I ever had to move all of this to a new classroom (which I don't intend to in the future!) I would probably go with a company like MakeSpaceMakeSpace. They provide easy options for anyone to move and store things. As a teacher, the service they provide is perfect. Check out their self-storage locations to see if there is one near you! 

I hope to take the time this year to go through each area of the classroom and give a more detailed blog post on what happens in each area of the classroom! Happy new school year to all of you whether you have started or not!! :)