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 boardmaker and ordered on a strip of Velcro on a folder.
~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
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.
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!