Saturday, June 8, 2013

The ABCs of sped prep Best for the kids

Welcome to ABCs of sped prep, step B! Today we are talking about setting up your classroom environment based on what is best for your students.

As previously mentioned, I am rewriting my old prep posts from my 1st year of teaching. Here's a little flash back:

"6/8/13 I survived student teaching and landed an interview 3 days after graduation.  The original position I applied for was filled internally, but due to an unexpected opening I was offered another position as soon as it popped up! Praise the Lord, I'm officially hired as a special education teacher."

After doing some research, I found some great articles on setting up your classroom environment:
The next set of links are amazing sped bloggers who set up their classroom based off function instead of theme. When setting up your classroom ask, "What is the function of this space/area/decoration?" If it's not going to be will more than likely get torn down my your kids (or at least mine tore down non-functional materials!)
     Whew! Are you with me? I know that was a lot of info, but it is all very useful!! Put yourself in your students' shoes when designing your room. Your kiddos probably don't think these things, but it could help you see from their point of view:
  • Is there space to move around, but enough structure I know what I'm supposed to do in each area? 
  • Are there noises, specific lights, colors or patterns that could be overwhelming or overstimulating?
  • Is there clutter, manipulatives or materials I can easily throw or eat if upset? (you think I'm joking...but a bookshelf piled to the ceiling will be a hurricane of projectiles if your kid is having a meltdown.) 
  • Where is my place in the room? My desk, my materials, my backpack and lunchbox location?
  • What am I going to do today? I'm hungry, when will we eat lunch or snack? How do I get the teacher to realize I need food? ...maybe start throwing her unifix cubes on that shelf?? 
  • I need to pee, where's the bathroom? How do I ask to go? Maybe I'll just pee in this chair...close enough to sitting on the toilet. ;)
  • Why is my desk way over here...I can't see the smart board. Every time my teacher calls on me she gets mad, but I don't know what the heck she's talking about! (Here's the biggest tip I learned from student teaching- sit in every student desk/location and see from their point of view. If you can't see or hear, they won't be able to either!)
Can anyone else relate to these questions? What are some other things you would suggest to think about when planning for your classroom?

Thanks for reading, and here's a freebie to help you plan a warming, functional and organized classroom!

Let's continue to step C!