Sunday, July 28, 2013

Setting Up Self-Contained/Resource Room

My classroom for the last 2 years was a very unique situation.  I had Kindergarten through 6th grade students all in the same room and they all had some type of behavior.  I had 2 paraprofessionals in the room with me.  I had some self-contained students, some students that came in for certain subjects only, some that came in for resource help outside of the main instruction time, and others that just came in for behavior or social skills support.  There were 40 different kids that I worked with in some way and 20 of those received some type of instruction in my room.  It was a lot to keep track of! I had to have a very good classroom set up to keep my schedule flowing and keep students focused.  I want to show you a couple different things, because I did change to fit my students needs throughout the year.  (I am changing positions this year and will not have a room like this, so I am sharing pictures from last year.)

Here is the mess that I start with each year after they have cleaned the room... it gives me a bit of anxiety!

The key areas in my room are:

Work With Teacher Areas:  These are tables that are usually set near a whiteboard or some type of teaching area that the students use when receiving instruction.  I had 3 Work With Teacher Tables in my room this year (since I had 3 adults teaching).  These tables did move from this original set-up.  I had a smaller kidney shaped table on the other side of room that was mainly used for my primary students. 

Work Alone Areas:  These are tables or desks that students would use to complete their independent work.  I started the year with tables that were separated by tape into 2 sections for the students.  There were trays and crates that were used for the work that needed to be completed and then for the finished work.  I absolutely love this set-up, but I had too many students to work through this.  My students also really wanted their own personal space, so many of my older students moved to desks in the middle of the room.

A Reading Area:

A Safe Spot:  This is an area that students can go to self-calm.  You can use a variety of objects to make the boundaries of this area.  I also put many visuals that the students need.  (The visuals aren't pictured here though).

Computer Area and A Rug Area (2 separate thing, but both in this picture).  The rug area is used for Calendar.  You will also see a teacher's desk in front of the door in this picture.  I had runners at the beginning of the year.  This was a physical barrier that slowed them down because it was a smaller area to walk through to get to the door. Students also were able to check-in and out at the desk and bookshelf.  We eventually moved this desk away from the door, when the barrier was no longer needed.

Leisure Area:  This is an area for teaching about leisure and for Social Skills time.  Some kids with special needs do not know how to pick out and complete leisure activities.  We would teach that in this area.  We would also teach social skills, such as playing together and taking turns.  Notice the tape on the floor is a visual boundary. Different toys were put out on the shelf for kids to play with.

Even though things moved around or changed the type of furniture, I always kept these areas in my room.  It was a good mix of areas for me to be able to manage students that were with me all day and those that came in and out.  What additional areas do you have in your classroom?

Teaching Through Turbulence
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