My Classroom

Welcome to my classroom! I teach in a self-contained, life skills unit at a middle school (6th-7th grade).  My students all have severe disabilities and are in my classroom for the majority of the day.  They each go to at least 2 general education classes, like PE or art, depending on their needs and interests.  This is my classroom.

 The room is pretty small, so I have had to get creative with the best ways to maximize space and minimize the chaos.  Last year, I had 15 students on my caseload.  Many were one on one with some pretty intensive behaviors, so I also had 8 paraprofessionals.

Group Area- Table 3
I have three group areas in my classroom.  Because of the wide range of abilities and communication styles in my classroom, I rarely do whole class instruction.  Instead, I split the class up into three groups and each group goes to one of the group tables.  This way, I am able to run one group and I have my paras run the other two.

This is my independent work area. My TEACCH tasks are stored in the green bins on this shelf that I bought from Walmart. They are sorted by type and difficulty. The icons on the front of the bins are removable, and there is a copy of the image underneath the velcro. I place the removable icons on student's visual schedules. They go to the correct bin and locate the task and when they are finished, they put the task and the icon back. It's not a perfect system, but it has worked for our needs so far.



My student's use behavioral trackers (read about them here.)  They pick up their trackers in the morning here.  The blue strip of paper taped on the counter is a counting aid for students when they purchase items from the store (see below.)


I use a class wide money system. You can read about how I implement it here.  Each student can earn up to $4 per class period.  This money can be used to purchase free time activities or items from the class store.  This cupboard is our class store. Students only have access to this at the end of the day.

Classroom Store

This is our free time cupboard.  It's in the adjoining "motor" room so that it is not as easily accessible during work time.  It's full of games, puzzles, and books that students can choose during free time.  They also have access to portable DVD players, iPads or computers during free time, if they have enough class money to purchase an activity.  I have a rule that if they had an electronic device for free time one class period, they must choose something else the next class period.  This way we can rotate and everyone can have a turn.

Free Time Area


This is one of my favorite things in my classroom!  This is where I store all of my picture icons for student schedules or PECS books.  I always print and laminate extra when I create new icons and keep them here so we can easily grab one when the other gets lost or eaten.


I am currently re-decorating for the 2016-2017 school year and I can't wait to show you! Stay tuned for a classroom reveal!


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