Ideas for Middle School Multi Needs classroom

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by sammyrams, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. sammyrams

    sammyrams Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 9, 2009

    I am moving to a new teaching position this year and would love some ideas to help me set up my classroom from those who may have some more experience than I in this type of position. I have been out of the classroom for a few years and am excited to get back in.

    I have a classroom of students who are middle school age but functioning at a Pre K level, if that. They have significant disabilities and not all of them are walking, some have wheel chairs, etc. We will be utilizing the Edmark programs and PECS quite extensively from what I have heard.

    I do not have all the details yet, but am excited for this class! My supervisor told me we would mainly be teaching life skills based on their IEP's. I have taught resource and self contained classes before but the students were nowhere near the level of these students.

    So, what type of things should I put up in my classroom? I seem to be at a loss. I don't want it to look elementary, but the stuff for middle school is way above their heads. I have a room with no windows and it is not that big, so I need to keep that in mind as well.

    I also will have 3 aides in my room and would love suggestions on how you utilize them throughout the year/day. Do you have them rotate groups, etc.? What type of guidelines do you have for them? I would love to meet with them at the beginning of the year, lay out my expectations, which I am still unsure of and go from there. I have 1 aide returning to the room and the other two are going to be new. I am part of the hiring process for them! YAY!

    Any suggestions would be awesome! Thanks so much for your help!
     
  2.  
  3. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 9, 2009

    Well what I did as a new teacher last year - teaching the same type of class - was to set up a general layout for the room and then as I got to know my kids, I made more specific changes.

    I made sure I had my classroom rules, consequences, and rewards posted. Those were in concrete (except for some new rewards I introduced a little later). We went over and over those the first couple of days.

    One thing I did not do when I started that I wish I had - and you probably already know this (I did NOT) - was that no matter how experienced your aides are with your new room - they still don't know your teaching style and what you expect of them. Do have a list to go over with them on day one and have some work ready for them too (cutting out laminated materials, organizing the classroom library, putting up a BB, etc.). Find out what they enjoy doing and hate doing and build on that.

    I'm actually working on my para expectations list right now since I'll have a new one.
     
  4. emerlyn

    emerlyn Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 9, 2009

    Help!

    Would you mind sharing your para expectations? I am a new teacher in a middle school autism classroom, and will have 2 aides. I've NEVER had a para before, so i'm stuck!
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Aug 9, 2009

    Try to keep the room nice and cheery without appearing juvenile
     
  6. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2009

    Sure - as soon as I get them done, I'll post them. We got a kitten yesterday so I got sidetracked! :D
     
  7. sammyrams

    sammyrams Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2009

    Thanks Zoom! I would be interested in those as well. I did find a whole manual online that talks about how to work with paras from the state of Virginia that had ton of great information in it as well. I just did a search for paraprofessional expectations in Google and it came up.
     
  8. SPED_Teacher

    SPED_Teacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2009

    my 2 cents

    I have been working with students with Autism and ED in the same classroom (Dual Diagnose) for 3 years high school level, very succesful. I only used five elements for my program...Believe me I dont use nothing else...

    1. Edhelper

    2. BoardMaker

    3. Independant Workstation (attainmentcompany)

    4. Visual Schedule (PECS)

    5. lots of manipulatives

    My classroom is very structure and I dont deviate from it... our population of students work very well when there is a schedule for then to follow...all students needs to know and learn their individual schedule...each students in my classroom has their own schedule, they are all different dont forget that...

    Sometimes I get bore because my classromm runs so smoothly due to my structure and consistency, once your students know what you expect of them they will do it...it will take time...but it can be done...

    Key to success is "consistency" I hope this work a little

    here is my personal e-mail if you want to contact me
    t h o m a s . f r a g u a d a @ a d a m s 1 2 . o r g
     
  9. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 16, 2009

    Congratulations on your new teaching position. I have been teaching for 17 years - 14 in "regular education" and the last 3 in a self-contained classroom for students with multiple complex needs (aka severe/profound disabilities). I always loved teaching but this job is amazing!

    It has taken me some time to get my footing as there was so much to learn as I moved in to this job. I still have a lot to learn. When I started, I had hoped there would be more sharing of ideas and what is going on in others classroom out there as we are kind of few and far between. So, this year I have started a blog outlining things we do in our classroom, links I have found, ideas I would like to try, explanations of how I run the classroom...etc. I can't post links but if you're interested in checking it out, you can do a google search for "Building a Program That Works". I have some other blogs of those that teach this population linking off of there as well as a ning specifically for teaching this population. Its nice to see there are some connections being made on this very big cyber world.

    I think the replies here pretty much sum up what I would have suggested as its important to establish your routines and schedule for both your students and the learning assistants in your room. Visuals and sensory activities are extremely important as well. Ensure that the projects and work being done is being done by the students and not by the learning assistants. I decorate my room mostly with student materials and reminders, schedules, outlines...etc. I have one board that is strictly for the staff in the room and I post all the reminders related to daily routines for each of the students there so they can just look up and know when to do feeds, toileting, positioning...etc. I have a board that is for morning routines and then my other boards and space displays student work. We also decorate our ceiling in some way each year (last year we had giant student made kites that they painted and put pictures of things they liked on) because my students spend time laying on the floor when they are positioned so that way there is at least something interesting/eye-catching up there.

    Good luck with your new job. Hope all goes well.
     
  10. sammyrams

    sammyrams Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 16, 2009

    Thanks mom!! Your website is awesome and has given me so many ideas that I can start my room off with! I love the idea for the beginning of the year!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Emily Bronte,
  2. Kat.,
  3. greendream
Total: 402 (members: 3, guests: 368, robots: 31)
test