Welcome! I am so excited to bring you into my self contained classroom for a K-2 classroom tour!
I have been teaching a K-2 grade self contained autism classroom for 5 years now. Let me start by saying I have a HUGE classroom. I love all of the extra space we have!
First, here is our “hub”. We use this area throughout the day as a whole-group area, including Morning Meeting.
We start our day sitting and following directions. I play a washing hands song and direct each student to one of two sinks to wash their hands while a paraprofessional waits to help.
Next, I pass out their visual schedules to start our centers. I keep our white board projector on with a visual timer found on Toy Theater all day. I also play calming music through our speakers. This has helped to calm the environment and almost any visitor coming into my classroom comments on how calm it is.
The next part of my K-2 classroom tour focuses on my centers – they take up most of the space in my classroom.
For most students, we have to explicitly teach the students the center rotations for around two to three weeks before they become independent or semi-independent with their schedules. Taking the time to teach the routines and expectations makes for a smoother school year and I highly recommend doing this every year!
If you need help on how to teach routines, check out this post from Alyssa.
During center time, my students rotate clockwise through six centers in the morning and five centers in the afternoon. My centers run for 15-20 minutes depending on the day’s events and what time will allow.
Center 1 – Independent Work
All of my students have their own desk with a three drawer workbox system as one of their centers. Here, my students spend time working through their drawers independently.
Click here to get the system I use completely free!
Center 2 – Chromebook
My students each have their own chromebook, so we made this a center. It is easy prep and just needs a paraprofessional to occasionally check in on them. My students start with digital Word Work, then Boom Cards, and finally they do Lalilo or Starfall. I love this low maintenance center!
Center 3 – Listening Center
In my classroom, my listening center used to consist of the three drawer workbox system except with a book on cd in each drawer. Students would work on independent skills such as placing a CD in a player, pressing play, and following along with a storybook. Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year, my students now use this with an iPad and the reading app epic. We put the app in guided access so students remain in the app for the entirety of the center. Another easy prep center!
Center 4 – Art/ELA/Science
This is one center that takes a little more prep time, but it is so worth it. My students love their weekly art projects. I have a paraprofessional facilitate this center. We use Made For Me Literacy for our monthly units and art projects. This makes the prep a lot easier! On ELA days, my students use Simply Special Ed’s Comprehension Mega Bundle, and Simple Letters: Matching for Special Education. We use other materials as well, but these are our favorites.
Center 5 – iPad Learning Apps
This is another very easy prep center to have in my classroom. During this center, my students can choose the following apps to play on: ABCmouse, Starfall, Teach Your Monster to Read, epic, or Homer.
Center 6 – Math/IEP Goals
This center is facilitated by me. It is where I teach math and progress monitor for my students’ IEP goals. I use a few different products for this center: Simply Special Ed’s Math Skills Binder and Simple Math Curriculum Set 1 and Set 2. I also like to use TouchMath curriculum.
We velcro the afternoon schedules to the back of the student’s morning schedules for easy switches. Some of my students have even started resetting their own schedules!
Individual IEP & Toy Bins
Moving on from centers, the next part of my K-2 classroom tour shows our individual IEP bins and individual toy/reinforcement bins.
Check out Whitney’s post on how to use individual IEP bins. I love them!
I am lucky enough to have two bathrooms in my classroom! One is for students and another is for staff. It is so nice having these in my room! We keeps students’ extra clothes and any toileting needs in the bathroom.
We also have two sinks. Both areas are labeled with step-by-step hand washing visuals to help the students.
For the last portion of my K-2 classroom tour, my favorite part of my room: here is my classroom library! I love this area of my room. I would love to have the area more cozy with a carpet but we have to keep it closed this year.
Thank you so much for coming along on my K-2 Classroom tour. I hope you found it helpful! If you would like to see more of my classroom, let me know!
If you have any questions or need help in any way, please feel free to comment here or in our Facebook Community Group.