Saturday, March 29, 2014

Five for Friday...March 28, 2014.....The Special Educator's Toolkit.....making changes!

Join us in linking up with Doodle Bugs !

Thanks to the assistance of Cindy Golden's The Special Educator's Toolkit, I have been restructuring my classroom. My most recent changes:

Transition/Waiting Area
Our classroom has visuals to mark where to line up when they prepare to leave the classroom. However, if everyone is not ready at the same time (and let's be real, there are always doddlers), the standing in line thing does not last very long! So I created a waiting area with the expectations posted.


Cool Down Area
Sometimes students have trouble controlling their behavior. There is a need for a place to cool down in. It should be free of distractions with minimal visual clutter. Items to include in this area may be: Cool down steps, social stories, a timer, a choice of sensory items to help the student become independent in becoming calm. the area should also be easily seen by staff.


Organizing the Walls and Teaching Boards

Dr. Golden recommends cutting back on the visual clutter and making the walls useful. Each area should have visual clues as to the area's function.  The OMAC system renames the decorative bulletin boards as teaching boards. She suggests devoting the wall area to the subject: reading, math, social skills and so on using basic visual supports that is helpful to the students. Another idea is to make the walls interactive.

This wall has been for decoration all year, cute, but not serving any purpose. The class was ready for words, so creating a word wall in this big space seemed logical. In just two weeks it has been useful for learning high frequency words and a spelling resource when we are writing.


"In terms of "purposeful decor", consider traffic signs to help arrange your classroom. Students with autism spectrum disorders do not generalize skills well, so this is a tremendous opportunity to use signs such as Stop, Yield, Danger, Phone, Bathroom, Enter, and Exit. Because these are typical symbols found in the real world, these signs help students reintegrate into society."

Cindy Golden
The Special Educator's Toolkit

One of my students pointed out that the girl and boy are on the wrong side! This is our bathroom checkout poster, I will probably end up fixing it.


Spent a fun day with our grand daughter this week! 

I went into the plastic maze at Carl's Jr. with her first......

Then passed the torch to her Aunt! She got to do more exploring with her! 

and that's my week,
Talk later,

See previous posts inspired by The Special Educator's Toolkit:

January 7, 2014: The Introduction
February 15, 2014: The Classroom Environment
February 24, 2014: Classroom Traffic Flow and Setting up Boundaries