Back-to-School & Organizing student schedules

Hey guys! 4 days of school in and I'm feeling like we're off to a good start. Not going to lie, after setting up my classroom the last couple of weeks, I was about ready to call it quits and find a new career :) but then the students came and I remembered I actually love my job!!

This year I'm teaching a language arts/math block for two and a half hours in the morning, two sections of fine arts, and then a resource with the same students I have in the morning. As I mentioned at the end of last year, the students I have in the morning are very different from the students I had last year, but, as far as I can see now, I think it will be a good change! Since I have so many 1:1 aides in my classroom, I decided not to do hardly any whole group instruction, but have my students rotate through centers. There is just one student without an aide, so I usually have him work in a pair, or have an aide multi-task if their student is doing independent work tasks. We do start with a "morning class" for the first 10 minutes of class where the students take turns greeting each other - but that's it!

Are you thinking, holy cow that's a lot to organize? :) Well, I'm trying to turn over a new organization leaf and here's what I came up with. You can see below my "master student schedules" - for myself and my aides, this is where I have the times listed and the name of the activity that each student should be doing. Then, I have a description of what each activity is, where it happens, and what they should be doing. Finally, the students schedules are made with symbols from board maker and ordered on a strip of Velcro on a folder.
Organzing special education student schedules
 ~If you noticed my master schedule doesn't match my students folders - well, kudos to you! Reason being, tomorrow we have a "late start" (professional time in the morning which means I lose an hour of my morning block) plus we will be praticing for our file drill, so their schedules reflect that~

Updated 9/3: More pictures of schedules that were taken with a "real" camera

My "master" schedules - changes depending on the late of the week due to social communication group, school store, late starts, and other random events.

Extra schedule pieces kept here :) And below is the info I had typed up for my aides, especially for that first week - so everyone knew what the schedule pieces meant and what to do without me running around like a crazy trying to explain everything at once:
As students come in they can choose a relaxing/sensory activity. I will try to play a video/music during this time. Then we will start with a class activity - saying good morning and things like that, short about 10 minutes

Next, everyone works on different things at different times. Follow your students schedule. It is important for the students to move around the classroom and do the activities in the correct locations because it will help them a) not get bored by being in the same area and b) understand what they need to do by doing the same types of activities in the same location

Class - at desks

Binder - at table - Look at the white board above binders to see what work to do for the day

Language - at green desk by window - work on flashcards in green bin in the area, get an idea of what your student knows / needs to work on. This will later become discrete trial training section/IEP goal.

Work Tasks - desks in corner - Teacch boxes. Instructions and data sheets on the white board

Calendar - at desks - Add the month and the year every day. Count the dates, add today’s date. discuss today/yesterday/tomorrow and have students velcro in the appropriate places. Check weather on the ipad, and match the symbol. Finished and have more time? Have student type/write today’s information, match symbols, count numbers, etc.

Reading - polkadot rug area, can sit at desk/chair or on the rug - have student choose a book in the green bin (simple readers/adapted books - NOT the Story Reader!) in the bookshelf to read (just give a couple choices). Encourage student reading, even if they have to repeat or only read occasional words.

Math - at desks - I have worksheets on the file cabinets. Practice money naming, counting, sorting. Will give more instruction as I have time.

Update: See some of my instructions for my aides on some of these activities here.

I'll plan on sharing more pictures of my classroom and the activities that I have going on during this morning block hopefully soon as I better figure them out :) I spent a lot of time this summer on Sasha's blog, The Autism Helper - so quite a few of my ideas come from her!

How about the rest of you? Have you started yet? How did it go? Or are you still setting up your classroom? Can't wait to hear all about it. Be sure to leave your blog lovin' link in the comments so I can be sure to follow you!

Some snack / cooking activties

So school starts in 1 week. I can't believe how fast it went! Well, summer school went really well and I thought I would be posting more about it...but obviously I haven't.

One thing we did during summer school was cook, just about every day! Here were a few of my favorites...

Fruit skewers or fruit kabobs. These were great to make because they work on fine motor and patterning skills. We also added star shaped marshmallows. It was a great 4th of July activity!
Making muffins - always a great cooking activity.

Trail mix might be my favorite thing to make. You can add whatever you want and just about every students can have something to pour in. Also, it's impossible to mess up!

We also made pudding, popcorn, freeze-pops....and trail mix again :)

During our cooking / snack activities, we used this free printable from boardmakershare to encourage language.

(C) Brie Holtrop- Breezy Special Ed. Powered by Blogger.
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