The new primary classroom at The Lighthouse has been constructed for a group of 4 students whose learning levels vary from kindergarten to grade 2, across many subjects.

Labeling and Organization

It is so important to have an organized classroom. I am particularly excited about the way my classroom is organized because I think it will provide my students the opportunity to take ownership over keeping their own work, toys and learning materials organized as well. If we make it easy for our students to learn these skills in elementary school, it will translate to other environments such as at home, in high school and eventually even the work place.

Individualized student desks/ work bins/ duo tangs

Each student in my classroom will have his or her own desk. Kept under it will be a bin that holds all of their independent work with different duo tangs for each subject. Working with my students to learn to use these on a daily basis will allow them to be more independent as we transition through our schedule. Because each of my students is working at different levels in different subjects, these bins will make it easy for me to keep everyone’s individual work in the right spot. Once I have prepared for the upcoming week, I can put each student’s work in the proper duo tang in his or her bin, without having to worry about what worksheet was intended for who during a busy day!

Labelling

Labels are really helpful when organizing a classroom and can also be a fantastic learning tool! Throughout our primary classroom there are a number of things that have been labeled. The bins in the middle of the classroom that hold puzzles, blocks and learning manipulatives are marked as such, as we will use these things commonly during the day. These labels will give everything in our classroom it’s own place which will make it easier for everyone to put things away. These labels will also serve as a literacy tool. If we show a student everyday that the books go in a blue bin that says the word “books” they may be eventually able to recognize the word “books” in a different context.

 

Classroom Structure: Predictable Workspaces

The structure of a classroom is really important for students with autism. The learning environment should be predictable. The same areas should be used for the same type of work each day. The two main areas in our primary classroom are the carpet space for working collaboratively and the desks for independent work. Having these different areas will help provide clear expectations for students during work time.

Collaborative Carpet

The cozy carpet is the area where we will collaborate in the classroom during morning circle, daily calendar, language centers and story time. Students will come to know that when we sit at the carpet, we work together, listen to each other and take turns. It is so important to have a space like this for students to feel comfortable enough to interact with each other, take risks and learn together.

Independent Desks

The cozy carpet is the area where we will collaborate in the classroom during morning circle, daily calendar, language centers and story time. Students will come to know that when we sit at the carpet, we work together, listen to each other and take turns. It is so important to have a space like this for students to feel comfortable enough to interact with each other, take risks and learn together.

Visuals!

Visuals are awesome tools to help students with autism understand their environment. They also make the classroom a fun and friendly place to be.

Along with a white board and a chalkboard (painted on using chalkboard paint), there are many other visuals in our primary classroom.

As a teacher, I take great pride in my classroom and hope to show my students to do the same. A space that we can all feel secure and comfortable to learn in is a great building block set our class up for success!