Welcome to my Life Skills classroom! I am so excited to share with you my classroom tour!
When you step foot in my classroom, our bins are on the left. Students know to put their lunchbox, water, and any notes in these bins each morning as part of their morning routine checklist.
The first area is of course our SCHEDULES. These are so important to student success throughout the day. I use left to right schedule (you can read more about how to set these up here) in my classroom. Some kids are transitioning to the student success binder schedule that I carry in my teachers pay teachers store here. Any way you do it, your kids NEED schedules to stay on track , reduce behaviors, and just plain be successful.
This year, I decided to store all of my visuals at the top. I actually straight up BEGGED the custodians to lower my bulletin board almost to the ground so my kids could reach it. Luckily, he happily did so for me, and super quick too! Then I was able to make some Veltex boards out of cardboard, (see my DIY tutorial here) and store all of my visuals on top out of reach and organized! Having this much space was super helpful and I think it will help my staff and I stay more organized this year.
On the right there is a new whole class behavior board, I’ll go more into detail about that next week! The felt money is from target!
As you can see, I use all of my furniture in a way to create separate spaces, sort of like little hallways, and little rooms. I really think this helps to have defined work and play areas, as well keeping areas contained for students who may be more apt to wander or bolt.
The group area and white board are the hub of my classroom. We meet here for morning meeting, art, and any whole group activities. This is where we do our Vocabulary word of the day from my Monthly Vocabulary Units and where we use our interactive whiteboard!
This section of my white board may just be the most important part of my entire classroom. Each color card has a student name on it (blurred out in all my photos) and each day we fill in daily activities. With 3-4 grades in one classroom, we need to stay on track as adults too, this is where we can quickly glance to see what ___ is up to today, without having to look at student schedules and sift through common daily activities. This also helps specialists, if they want to change a students session time, they can glance up to see if they are available and not interrupt your teaching.
This year we will be implementing our new classroom motto, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” ! I always say this to my kids, but this year it will be our theme.
The sign hangs right above what we call our quiet zone. My kids go over here to take a break when they need it. One of my paras got me the sign years ago and it just stuck 🙂 I got a new comfy chair for this area this year! And isn’t that hand made tissue box cover gorgeous! It’s from a parent and matches our classroom perfectly!
Where do the kids work? We have 3 stations in our classroom. 1 paraprofessional station, 1 teacher station, and 1 independent work station. We rotate through these stations during our center time. Everyone works with everyone- no assignments! I will be diving deeper into center time next week! You can find the calendar above in my tpt store HERE. & the first/ then board in this behavior management pack.
Each student desk is equipped with the visuals needed. Students carry their personalized token boards from center to center with them. Extra pieces are stored on the veltex board above my schedules, it is inevitable that these checkmarks get lost! We also have morning work checklists on our desks!
Some of my higher students will be transitioning to my Simple Success Student binders this year. They have everything they need to be successful as they travel around the building to inclusion, specials, and therapies! This student uses a dry erase marker and checks off his own token board! I love when they gain this independence and I can scratch the crazy velcro pieces 🙂
Here is another work space. This is mostly an area for discrete trial, all the materials are kept in the bin on the teacher side of the desk. The veltex board is used for velcro prompt pieces. You can see my DIY of how to make this board here.
Student targets and reward choices are easy to reach on the teacher side of the desk. I keep all materials away from student side in case a student throws or swipes frequently. Reward choice boards are available in my behavior management set. These sight word sets can be found here.
Each student is assigned a bin! I keep their student binders, DTI binders, and IEP goal materials in these bins. Some students have daily student folders that they independently get out of their bin each morning when they begin morning work. Above is Fluency Strips from The Moffatt Girls! We use these in discrete trial DAILY!
This section is also home to our data clipboards. Here is where they are stored in the classroom, but they are mostly around the room near the student so we can take data quickly- and of course they are color coded due to Teaching Special Thinkers advice!
This is the independent work station. Students match the card from their independent work schedule to the box and pull the box to complete it. When complete, they move the box to the all done bin under the table.
I use duct tape on the table to designate spaces for 2 students to work. They learn personal space best this way!
Most kids like to stand at this station, and I like how it puts a spin on flexible seating in a special education room, but I have a chair option too! This giant shelf also works GREAT for designating spaces. This side is all work, and the other side is life skills and play!
You can grab my independent work cards here!
My play/ reward area is one of my favorite spaces.
This shelf had a giant hole in the back from last year, so I used it as an opportunity to cover with a piece of sheet metal and use for our magnet marble station (affiliate link) that the kids love so much!!!!
This year, I plan on teaching my kids directly how to keep the play area clean. This is included in some of their life skills goals! I put a picture visual and a word label under each toy on the shelf. They will have to match the toy to the spot on the shelf when they are cleaning up!
Our life skills word wall is aligned perfectly with my Life Skills Centers and Life Skills Centers Extension! ALL of the words use in this unit are supported with Smarty Symbols images and will help my students with their writing this year!
Underneath the word wall is some bins from an old rainbow cart that did not survive some abuse last year 🙂 The bins fit perfect on this shelf and are helping my paras and I stay organized! Each bin has something different and we know when we are getting low that it is time to make copies. I spy some awesome resources here from my TpT store, Breezy Special Ed Journals, and Autism Adventures Homework! My Simple Math Curriculum is also stored here!
This is definitely the most exciting area in my new classroom. I decided to move classrooms when one become available, simply because of the sink and cabinet space! In a life skills classroom, it is VERY difficult to not have a sink, so I am so thankful for this year! As you can see, I use curtains with stitched on velcro to cover up areas that are busy, I really don’t like much decor or busyness around my classroom, it is such a distraction! Black backgrounds work great for keeping this to a minimum!
This is the hub of our life skills area. Data sheet clipboards are easily accessible! My life skills center of the month is hanging up, but the plastic covers from the Target Dollar Section make it easy to pull them down and check the visual directions off the list, erase, and throw back up!
The bins on the right are where we keep all our ADL supplies! Each kid has a drawer and it contains toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, and deodorant 🙂
This year we will be focusing a lot on recycling! These bins are AMAZING, they are small, and just perfect for what I was looking for. Keep an eye out for a blog post on how I will be using these, but in the mean time, you can grab them from Amazon (affiliate link) here!
I hope you enjoyed this year’s Life Skills Classroom Tour! Be sure to check out last years tiny classroom tour here. In the next few weeks I will be going into detail on my schedule, and how I run each classroom center and work block! Any questions? Ask away!