General IDEAS in the classroom...Any ideas are helpful!!!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Deedah86, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Deedah86

    Deedah86 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Okay, my mind is going a mile a minute and i'm just trying to get settled into my job. I got the job two weeks ago so the assistant helped me plan the first week and I taught it. She is WONDERFUL. She has been in this room for six years, so she knows the kids and knows what they can and cannot accomplish. It's a k-2(ish) self contained room. 4 autistic, 2 have CP, and two are just dd.

    Having said that..She and I both agree that things need changed in the classroom. Pretty much all of it...We are going to tackle everything one thing at a time, so I am just looking for random ideas from other teachers -because sometimes you just need to share ideas in teaching. So here is what I'm looking for how OTHER teachers do it:

    Group time...How long should i do it at this age? What activities do you do? Is it the same everyday? (obv books will change with themes, and such...) Just tell me how yours goes...in general

    Daily Schedule: Do you have it posted? (I know I should)....Is it something vague that you keep all year and changes daily...Like all Mondays are the same? How detailed is your pecs schedule if you have one? does it say Fine Motor Skill, or the specific skill you're doing?

    Does each child have their OWN schedule (if they don't already have a notebook? Right now mine is set up by color, but if we hand them the folder work icon, for example, they throw it, because they think it's not "fun". If we just lead them to the table, they're fine and they do it. So I know we're supposed to be using PECS, but where do I draw the line?

    Actual work (folders, or however...)
    Does each child have individual work, or is everyone's pretty similar? I know in a perfect world, everyone would be working on their own goals....Is that what you do?
    How many kids do you work with at once and how long do you let them work?

    CENTERS? What other centers are offered during work time? PLEASE be specific...the previous teacher in my room has a lot of great stuff but I just want to make it more available and clearly placed in centers....If that makes sense...Or are clearly stated "centers" something that only younger classrooms should have?

    Do you have audio books available and do you use them daily?





    I know this is random, but this is where my mind is right now...Help if you can! ;-)
     
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  3. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2012

    I don't have any suggestions beyond assigning each child their own color and color code EVERYTHING! Even within separate areas in the room. Work crate, leisure schedule, table seating, desk area, data collection. All of it should be color coded to match the student to help independence.

    Have a great year!
     
  4. Deedah86

    Deedah86 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2012

    Thanks, that's what I started last night. :)
     
  5. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2012

    Your classroom sounds a lot like mine - I have an elementary self-contained ASD/DCD classroom. Sounds like you are off to a great start! Here are my suggestions:

    1. Regarding schedules - I would suggest each child on an individual schedule. This will allow you some flexibility as far as different kids working on different things at different times of the day. In our room, we have a general "monday" schedule, "tuesday" schedule, etc. because of specialist times and things out of my control, but the routine is the same as much as I can make it be. All of my kids' individual schedules are on tables at the front and when I give the directive "check schedule" or show the visual cue, they know to walk up there and see "what's next?" I've seen it set up different ways, but mine are on a Do/Done system. The kids don't carry the schedule icons with them, but rather, move them over to the other side of the book when they are finished. Also, going to the schedule station gives us some movement between groups, which is good. The DCD teacher across the hall from me has the schedules for her kiddos in wheelchairs on clipboards in bags that stay with the kids.

    2. I'd keep schedule icons general as much as possible. For example, I have two different pictures - "group work" and "group table" - group work means we sit in a circle-time sort of arrangement around the SMARTboard and group table means we sit at the table. What we do at those places is variable. Sometimes math, sometimes reading, sometimes a science experiement - depending on the day and our schedule. It gives us some flexibility. We also do have a "special activity" schedule picture (a star) which we use for birthdays, classroom visitors, and things that are out of the ordinary.

    3. Regarding group/circle time - don't be afraid to have certain kids "exit early" or "join late" - if they can't handle the whole thing or only need work on certain skills, stack the order so they can join for the parts they are capable of and need. I have one student who we are working on sitting in a group for 2 minutes, so she just does lunch count with us during morning group, then leaves, then joins us for our song at the end.

    4. Regarding group times - mini schedules! Have somewhere, something that is visual that lays out exactly what is going to happen - Song, Story, Pledge, whatever. Then those things can disapear or get crossed off or whatever.

    I find my kids do better with multiple, shorter groups spread throughout the day. They last 20 - 30 minutes

    My Morning Group (I do them all on the SMARTboard, but have done them without before I had one) look like this:

    Morning Group

    Who is Here? (like check in - my kids practice looking around, finding, and pointing to each other)
    Good Morning (we practice greeting each other)
    Pledge
    Lunch Count
    - the kids take turns coming up and picking their lunch, telling what they want, and picking a friend to go next
    Today's Schedule - we look at the general schedule for the day, including what special we have. There is also a change board we look at that denotes anything out of the ordinary (staff gone, gym closed, inside recess, etc.)
    Social Skill of the Day - we watch a video model and practice
    Song - usually related to something academic or thematic we are studying

    Also - I have one kid who goes to general ed for a while during this time - and it is right on the mini schedule. After Today's schedule, there is a little icon that say, "Johnny leaves," and then we all practice saying "goodbye Johnny!" "Have fun with Mrs. Smith!" etc.
    Good social skills practice.

    I also have a math group, a relaxation group, and another group time where sometimes we do reading, sometimes thematic stuff, etc. Last year the speech therapist and I did a speech/social group. If you want more specifics on what/how we did those, I could post them too.

    5. Regarding Centers - I would suggest making the procedures for the centers very concrete and specific and then just switching out the materials. This will make the kids more independent. I find that it works better for my kids if our centers are more geared towards their interest and we use them for rec/leisure time (and important skill for kids with ASD!). Mine are all in buckets and the kids get to choose which the would like from their PECS books and tell us. I usually only have one or two things in each bucket and will switch them out about every two weeks. I have Puzzles, Construction (sometimes Legos, sometimes bristle blocks, sometimes wooden ones, sometimes Dominoes, cars,....you get the idea), Art, (white board, PlayDoh, markers, paper, scissors glue, stamps) Reading (have choice of books, Leappad, books on tape, read to stuffed animal, etc.), Signs (I have a kid who is obsessed with signs), Animals, Pretend (puppets, costumes, figurines, etc.

    I would post pictures if I could, but my classroom is literally under construction. (Not mine!) We're getting air conditioning and my room is the last room in the entire school to be done, so I can't even get into it until Monday. All my stuff is on a trailer! Wah!

    Keep it up - you sound like you've got great ideas and lots of enthusiasm! Best of luck for a wonderful year.
     
  6. Deedah86

    Deedah86 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2012

    I'd love examples of the other groups!!! Seriously THANKS!!!

     

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