I began the third year of my Special Education career opening a brand new, freshly built Primary Community Classroom in an existing school. What an amazing opportunity to completely design my very own classroom space and start from scratch with my own program. With some help from
S.B. Linton, I set up my classroom in a way that would best serve my students.
“Every space in the ASD classroom has a meaning, purpose and f unction to the students who use it. It must reflect the strengths and personalities of its students and accommodate their needs.”
The Schedule Wall is the hub of the classroom. Students with Autism rely on schedules to organize, self-regulate and maintain consistency in what can be an overwhelming school day.
The Kitchen is used for snack and mealtimes, cooking, group sensory activities and our new Life Skills centre.
Individualized work stations allow students to complete Desk Work with limited distractions in an environment that fosters independence. The environment allows for 1:1 support for students who need it, and also for staff to float between more independent students while they work.
The Break Room is place where students can choose to take a break, calm down and relax. Here is where we conduct self-regulation programs for students dealing with anxiety and behaviours.
My students are Grades K-2 aged, so I sectioned off a corner in my classroom as a Play Area to store toys and games, as well as a board to show off their work.
The Meeting Area is where we hold Morning Meeting and Circle Time activities daily. Here, we have access to the Smartboard and also our IAS bins.
The Staff Area was a last minute addition to my class. I was once told that the best classrooms don’t have a teacher’s desk. I found this particularly tricky when deciding where to leave day plans and supply plans. I don’t use my desk, so I shoved it in a corner simply to hold these administrative items.