Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I've been Boo'd!

  I've been Boo'd by Allison over at Miss Allison's Class!  How fun! Thanks Allison for Boo'ing me and for always sharing your great ideas on your blog!

Here are the rules:
Cynthia at 2nd Grade Pad is hosting this BOO'D linky.  

1. Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers.
2. A blogger that has about the SAME number of followers .
3. Someone that has LESS followers.
4. Highlight their blogs with links to encourage others to check them out.
5. Don't forget to let your fellow bloggers know that you shared about them. 
 6. Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goody from your store as their "treat." (Unfortunately, I don't have a store yet so I don't have a freebie to offer-sorry!)

 More Followers: Sasha over at The Autism Helper.  I love all the videos she shares and I am envious of how organized she is.  I get a lot of great ideas by reading her blog and look forward to getting many more!

Same Followers: This one is hard to find because I don't have many followers yet and most people have more than me.  So, I'm going with Kate at Fun in ECSE 
(who also has more followers than me but I tried to find someone who was close).  She is not only a fellow Special Ed teacher but she also teaches in Michigan like me!  She does a lot of great lessons and activities with her students that she shares on her blog.

Less Followers: Hailey over at The Autism Tank is a newer blogger like me.  She has lots of great ideas for tasks and she includes Freebies!

I promise to have a real update soon.  I keep bringing my camera to work and forgetting to take pictures!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adapted Listening Center

I recently revamped my listening center.  I felt like some of my students would just sit at it without much focus on the book they were listening to.  Some would even sit for a while after the story was over, lost in their own thoughts.  I wanted my Listening Center to be more structured and also last for one switch of our reading centers.  (Next year my goal is to make question sheets for the books that a majority of my students would be able to do independently.) So here's what I came up with:

I numbered 4 bins (I don't think I'd ever need more than 4 stories to fill a 10 or 15 minute rotation.)  I uploaded all of my Books on CD to my computer.  I copied 3 or 4 books to a CD (depending on the length of the stories).  Then the students don't have to switch CD's between stories!!  I also put numbers on each bin and made a pull off card for the students to keep themselves on the correct book.  1/2 of my students can follow along with the right book fairly independently but I'm wishing I had put a little clip on each CD that says, "now pick up the next book."  I'm sure the prompt could be faded but it would help the students who struggle with when to go on to the next book.  It's really helping though.  I've also added visual "rules" to the center to help them follow the routine or for a visual reminder if someone is off task.  
When I started this center I had one of my aides sitting with each student to practice the routine.  The amount of days someone sat with them depended on how independent they were able to be.  When I was able to fade my aide, I added an additional center that will not be independent.  

This is our first year doing reading centers in this way and I'm finding this as a successful way to teach my students the centers that will be independent before adding all of the "manned" centers.  

Here's a quick pic of my Read to Self center.  4 of my 6 students are able to at least look at books independently and 2 of them need to be read to.  I practiced reading independently with each of my 4 independent students so that this could be independent as well.  These are the bins from Lakeshore that I spent a ton of money on a few years ago but find that I'm not so good at keeping organized.  Therefore, I've re-purposed them as reading bins.  

Does anyone have any other tips for making Listening center and Read to Self independent?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October Currently & Monday Made It

Happy October Everyone!  I can't believe it's here already.  My class is finally getting into the groove of our routines and the weather has been perfect lately.  

Realized after I had already saved this as an image (and didn't save it any other way) that the book was supposed to be my favorite October Season book!  Whoops- the answer to that would be "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed some Leaves."  The books in this series are good for engaging my students in literacy and also for sequencing activities.

I bought a bunch of stuff at Target the other day for Fall and Halloween.  Here are some of my goodies and the activities I made to go with them:

Apple, pumpkin, ghost & leaf foam cut outs for something I haven't thought of yet- any ideas?
Halloween, turkey, leaf stickers for patterning and counting.
Pine cones-I think I'd like to do a sorting activity with these if I can find another size.
Skeleton erasers for counting activites.
The foam stickers are sea/ocean themed but were on clearance so I grabbed them.
Mini clothespins- they were just so cute!

My Monday Made Its:

I also bought a pack of each of these table scatters.  I made this sorting activity.

 And this sorting activity for my kids who can read to work on vocabulary.
And I hot glued a bunch to clothespins for patterning activities that will also work on fine motor!

Don't forget to link up for October Currently with Farley and check out Monday Made It over at 4th grade Frolics!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How our stations work

The last time I made a post I showed you our schedules.  Today I thought I would show you how I help my kids complete the tasks as independently as possible.  We use number matching 4 of 6 students.  There are numbers that correspond to the number of activities to be completed at each station.  The kids match the number to the number on the shelf or drawer.  We consistently use TEACCH methods to set up tasks and work systems.  This means that we work from Left to Right and Up to Down.  

The following are examples of what their  independent work stations look like.  These have been decided based on the furniture I have and which students would work best at each spot.  The large connected desks are great.  Plenty of space and the shelf helps fit more work tasks.  There is a finished basket by each independent station for students to put each task in as they finish.  We mostly incorporate folder tasks and paperwork at independent work.  However, we sometimes put puzzles or other similar tasks as well.  
I needed a 5th independent work spot this year and I was really trying to avoid taking up more valuable space so I bought a folder storage pocket chart and hung it next to my most flexible student's desk.  It works great!  

One of my students uses a color matching system instead.  He is most successful with matching colors so it works better for him.  He still needs prompts to use it correctly, he often wants to match all of them to their partner before completing any of the work:) His work tasks are mostly tasks that we have made to fit his needs and academic abilities.  


Here is our choice area.  This was not set up last year.  There was more structure needed for my new students so I made pull-offs (Velcro pictures that can be pulled off)  for each choice activity the students can pick from.  They are able to match the pull-off to the desired task. Once they clean up one task they can make another choice.  

  I also took a picture of how we organize the pictures visuals we need each day.  They are alphabetized so they can be found quickly.  I believe this was an old calendar pocket chart and it works perfectly!

Also, What Happened in First is having a 100 Follower giveaway! Check it out here:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Still Here!

Well, hello!  I am so impressed by all of you bloggers who manage to start their school years and keep up on blogging.  Every night over the last few weeks that I've gotten home I've wanted to make an update but haven't managed to make myself follow through.  So here I am finally updating because I finally have a relaxing weekend.  

This school year has been challenging so far.  Last year was my first year teaching in a classroom for students with Autism but I was lucky to have kids that already had routines down and most of them were fairly flexible and able to transition to me, a new teacher, and the new ideas I had for the classroom.  However, this year I have a kindergartner who  is struggling with the transition to a new classroom.  She is adorable but exhausting!  

My class is very different this year and I've spent a lot of time making my classroom fit the needs of my new students.  I have my kindergartner that I mentioned and a 3rd grader (both girls!) as well as 4 students that I had last year.  All but two of them have different schedule needs.  

This is the schedule that two of my students follow.  It has two pages, one for the morning and one for the afternoon.  They are both able to follow it independently and know to switch from AM to PM on their own.  The blue chip can be moved from item to item in order to help keep track of where they are in their day.  While I put it on both of their schedules only one of them uses it consistently.  The other impresses us all the time with the memorization of his schedule.  He may not always go where he should go next but he can most often tell us where he should be:)  And it usually doesn't take more than a verbal prompt to get him to go where he should be.  Neither of these boys need to pull off the pictures and take them to where they are going.   

Kelly's schedule looks very similar to the boys but she needs 4 pages so that she only has one row of items.  She is still getting used to following a schedule and needs support to take the top item and take it to where she is going.  While there is a strip of velcro for a chip on the schedule, currently she is not using the schedule in this way.  Kelly cracks us up because it takes numerous prompts to get her to her schedule and then when she finally gets there she doesn't take the correct item, she turns to a page with "choice" on it and takes that instead.  It proves to me that she has the ability to understand how to correctly follow the schedule. 

As for checking in where she needs to be it looks like this and when she arrives she puts the picture in the corner on the velcro:

This is the schedule I use with Gabby.  She is my kindergartner and this is the schedule she used in preschool and she was not able to transition to the schedule I use with the other kiddos.  We prep the items for the whole day and put in the new ones once she has completed all 5.  Over the last few weeks she is becoming more independent in checking the schedule herself and transitioning to where she needs to be.  However, there are still lots of times that she refuses to go where she should be.  We are working on it!  Gabby does take each card wither her to where she is going and she puts it in a matching card holder that looks like this: 

This is the "schedule" that one of my other students uses.  We hand him the clothespin when it is time to go to a station and he matches it to the color cardboard hanging at the different stations around the room.  Previous teachers have tried numerous other schedules/ways to help him transition with him and this is what they found to work best so it's what I've stuck with.  

Here is what the stations look like once the students arrive.  There is a check in for everyone who needs it.  

It takes a while to set up everyone's schedule each day but it's worth it to make our day run more smoothly.  Most days we have the schedules ready for the next day before we leave which helps a ton!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting back in the swing

Well, I survived the first day and a half of students!  I'm feeling quite exhausted today but overall they went well.  My kiddos that were in my class last year have transitioned nicely back to the routine of school.  It's definitely one of the perks of having kids for multiple years- they know the routine of my room and can come back with little trouble getting back in the swing of school routines.  The little changes I've made for the year have not seemed to through any of them off so far because I've stuck with the same basic structure to my day.  I have two new students this year but can't seem to get one of them to come to school!  I talked to her dad and he said she would be in school today but that didn't happen:(  I met her last year and she's a sweetie though.  I also have another new girl in my room (2 girls out of 6 kids-we're beating the odds in my room!) and while she's also a cutie she has sure been pushing her limits!  I keep adding more and more visuals to try to meet her needs and I know that within the next week or so she will get the flow of the room.  She had me RUNNING today though and boy did she think it was hilarious!  

So here's my plan for this school year as far as my schedule goes:

8:20-8:45- Breakfast and work for my students who are at school. (We consistently have bussing problems.  3 of my students come from another school district that does not have their own ASD programming.  There are 22 students on the bus that needs to get to 8 schools ALL AT THE SAME TIME. The poor kids are on the bus for 2 hours and are still almost an hour late to school!)
8:45-9:35 - Specials (My kids get music & gym)
9:40- Breakfast for students who were on bus, Gen Ed Special for my Kinder, classroom centers (these are ABC center, Fine Motor, Job Skills, Independent Work, Work with Teacher)
10:25- Everyone will be in the room!! We are going to do a reading block for as long as possible- fingers crossed for a full hour:)
11:30- Leisure time
12:05- Lunch
12:35- Calendar (I wanted to do this in the morning but I only have one period with everyone in the am and I've decided that Reading is more important)
1:00 Outdoor recess if the weather permits
1:30 Afternoon Centers (same as morning but most kids don't get through all of them in the morning)- at some point my 3rd grader will be in Specials at this time when she is ready
2:00-2:40 Math Centers
2:40- 4th grader in Gen Ed specials, Rest of class finishing afternoon centers, group project like cooking, game, or art project
3:15 Classroom Jobs (once we get into a good routine with our bus dismissal time)
3:20-3:35 Home

I did not have a Math or Reading block last year.  I did Math in the morning at Independent work and Work with the Teacher and Reading in the afternoon for the same.  However, this summer I felt I really could beef up my Math and Reading time with my students.  I've also been considering changing how I do my Morning and Afternoon centers to what I saw on The Autism Helper.  It would be amazing because I'm constantly struggling with a good way to differentiate at these time or simply find something that all my kids can do without some speeding through them.  As I get my Reading and Math blocks fully figured out I will explain what's working and what's inevitably not working.  

If you're still reading I also wanted to share something non-teaching related.  I have tried making fish in foil a few times recently and both times it turned out amazing!  It is so easy.  I'm going to try to get my husband on board so in the winter when he doesn't travel as often he can make dinner!  Here's an example from Pinterest although it's not the recipe I made:

Monday, September 3, 2012

September Currently

This is my first currently since I've been blogging!!  If you're checking me out from the linky please consider following my blog:)  I'm a newbie blogger and appreciate all of my readers!

Listening:  We just got home from brunch at a little French restaurant in Detroit and I wanted to link up quickly before we go enjoy the perfect weather.  So, I'm listening to silence.
Loving: My husband is home for a week before he'll be gone for about a month without a chance to come home.  He travels for work and this is one of his busiest times because he will be working on all of the baseball post season shows this year.  I wish he were home a different week because I will be torn each day between staying at work (this will be my first week) or coming home to see him.
Thinking: I keep posting about all of the things left on my "To Do List" and while I've managed to cross some off I keep thinking of more.  I know that once the school year really gets going it will be harder and harder to get them done.
Wanting: There is this ice cream place near us that has homemade ice cream.  Our favorite flavor is honey cinnamon.  I think today is the perfect day to indulge:)
Needing: I think this needs no explanation!
Favorites: 1. I've been obsessively using my new laminator.
2. I went shopping the other day and found some cute stuff to start the year.
3. I love riding my bike and we are going to ride around Belle Isle today!

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Common Core, Shopping, & Prepping

I made a post the other day but I skipped talking about my Professional Development I spent Thursday in.  We had a Common Core Math Crosswalk hosted by one of our CI (Cognitively Impaired) teachers and while of course I was itching to be in my classroom I did find it to be helpful.  I was unaware of the Common Core Essential Elements that have been established for us Special Education teachers to follow in Michigan.  In the document I have linked there is a list of the other states that are currently following these standards as well.  The Essential Elements are in most cases a simpler form of the Standard. For example, instead of needing to count to 100 by ones and tens in Kinder, students need to count to 10 by ones.  

At the PD we were also given an index card for each standard with ideas for activities, an assessment for our students to be given twice a year that relates to the math standards, and best of all a bin FULL of the materials needed to teach the standards in the way were being asked to!  What a great PD, we actually walked away with everything that we needed to begin instantly applying what we learned.  Oh, we also walked away with a 2" binder FULL of every Common Core Standard and it's relating Essential Element(s) for Math and Language Arts.  The binder is a bit much because I would more commonly turn to the internet to find standards but it was helpful to look at the different standards together as a group.  

On to shopping....

I found this set of two posters with position words on one and opposites on the other!  The position words will be hung right away, my kids are always working on better understanding these words. I also grabbed another pencil box, 2 plastic file holders for center materials, and a thermometer that I hope works.  I had a really hard time making weather concrete for some of  my students last year.  
One of my kiddos cracks us up because when it's time to put the weather up each day he gets insistent that it's actually something else.  For a while each day he wanted to put up "stormy" and would practically wrestle us to put stormy on our weather chart instead of whatever the actual weather is.  I showed videos of what a storm was and pointed out the window to the fact that it was not storming it was sunny (or whatever).  I took him to the window with the picture of the weather and tried to show him how it looked similar outside.  Unfortunately, it did not seem to click.  We will keep trying though and this year I've moved my calendar area over to the side of the room with windows so we can consistently look out the window to check the weather and I will be adding this thermometer to window as well.

I went in to Staples yesterday in need of making a poster size image. (I'm freaking out because I thought I had all of the months printed for my calendar but I'm missing September and October.  To fit on my calendar they need to be quite large!)  I am unwilling to pay what they are charging so instead, I wandered around the aisles.  There were indeed things on my list I needed and I managed to find almost all of them on sale.  It's time for some new crayons, glue sticks, erasers, and we can always use folders.  I'm stealing an idea from Miss Allison and making welcome back gift bags for my aides. So I bought the items needed for the gift bags.  I also grabbed those two pencil boxes for just a penny each!  

I have been laminating like crazy!  I hope that as the school year picks up my laminating habit will slow down:)  I love how thick the lamination is though and that I can get stuff done from home instead of waiting to go into work and laminate.  I am of course saving stuff to laminate there too.  But things that I think will be used again and again and last better with this thick lamination I'm going for.  

I also just peaked on Pinterest a minute ago and these caught my eye:
They would be great for my kiddos when they are mainstreaming (click the picture for a link to them at amazon).  A fidget that doesn't stand out.  I could also see every kid in the class wanting one of their own:)

Have an enjoyable Labor Day everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Getting Ready

Well I've been in my classroom everyday this week and I still don't feel even close to being ready.  There are so many things I want to have done before Tuesday! My to do list seems to keep getting longer instead of shorter.  

I need to make my daily schedule or at least a flexible one for now in order to not have to get too angry if the specials schedule changes.  It's often frustrating that my class is last on the list of priorities when it comes to scheduling specials!! Kids with autism need structure so why are my kiddos last on the list when it comes to scheduling specials.  To make matters worse our specials keep getting scheduled first thing in the morning (except for one special that is the second period which makes things even more confusing) and many of my students arrive at school 15-30 minutes late because they ride a bus for over an hour.  Then my student who relies most on routines never knows what's going to happen when he arrives because he could get to eat breakfast or he could have to go right to Specials.  -Sorry for the mini-rant!

My to do list includes:
-Making a schedule.
-Finishing putting things away in my classroom.
-Making assessment binders for each of my students for their IEP goals that can be assessed via paper.
-Finish getting info together for my Gen Ed teachers I will be working with about the kiddos. (I'm also going to get folders together for my specials teachers which I didn't do last year.)
-Have my September lesson plans ready.
-the list goes on and on but those are some of the main items

I did get some stuff done this week though and I'm liking some things about my room a lot but wishing I could find more time to make other things better.  Slowly but surely I guess:)

My Word Wall!  I love it!  I painted my bulletin board black and I think the border is so cute:)  

This is a close up of the border.

This bulletin board sometimes gets ripped down by students so I kept it simple and put my feelings posters up.  We also use an old calendar pocket chart to organize our PECs for daily schedules.  These bulletin boards were painted blue by a previous teacher and they are ready for a fresh coat of paint but I think that will be a project for next summer.

This is my calendar area.  I'm going to add shapes on the left but I haven't printed them yet.  I'm trying to decide what to add along the top but I don't want to overwhelm my kiddos.  Even though I like displaying lots for calendar time I think visually it can be overwhelming so I'm trying to keep it simple.  I also bought that blue dot in a set a while ago, they are dry erase stickers that can be stuck anywhere!  

This is my calendar and I think it is perfect for my kiddos.  They really like the routine.  I got it at a workshop I went to and it's made by the county I work for.  However, I realized recently that I don't have September printed!!!  I must do that before Tuesday!!! (another list to add to the list!)

Here is the bulletin board in the hallway.  I saw an idea somewhere of putting the kids pictures by their names and I think I will do that next week.  The little owls have their names and the big owl says, "Mrs. Kaltz's class is READY!"

I bought these Cookie Sheet Challenge Sheets from TPT and I think they're so cute.  In the corner is a spice container that I bought at IKEA without a clear plan when I purchased them but this will be a perfect way to use them because they are magnetic! With the help of my aides and my sister I've been slowly prepping all of them (I bought 2 sets).

Well, I'm going to get some sleep so I can go back in tomorrow and then do some School Clothes Shopping!!  I was joking with some friends tonight about how it's fun that I get to go School Clothes Shopping for so long:)  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

One School One Book

This year will be my third experience with the One School, One Book Program.  The program is put together by Read to Them, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to have families reading together at home!

My first year of teaching was in a 1st grade classroom in Detroit, MI.  It was a constant struggle to get parents involved in their children's education in a more proactive way.  However, our reading specialist got a grant to have the One School, One Book program.  The book she chose was Because of Winn-Dixie and the families loved it!  The program was getting the exact result that it intended, parents who wouldn't normally read with their kids were reading with them every night and really enjoying it (who knew!).  While this program did not change every parent's focus on reading with their kids, it did change some and that's huge!

On top of the families reading the book, schools are encouraged to have a daily trivia question or questions.  During both experiences with the program, this was the case.  At my current school they really hyped it up and the kids were into it!  If you haven't read Frindle, it's about kids changing the name of a pencil to a Frindle.  Kids and teachers all throughout the school were calling pens and pencils Frindles.  There were also posters throughout the building about the book.  During lunch time teachers volunteered part of their lunch hour to read to any students who were not caught up at home.  Families filled out a survey at the end and many of them asked for a new book each month!  (The program is intended to be for one book to be read over the course of a month.)

Last year I taught at another Title 1 school and they were doing One School, One Book for the first time.  The book they chose was Frindle (another great book!) and while my parents did not get as involved in this program the school was very happy with the results.  While I will be encouraging some of my parents more this year to read the book to their children it is not practical for all of my students to listen to a chapter from a chapter book at this time.

That brings us to this year.  This year our reading specialist got a running start and chose the book and had it purchased for all of us in June!  It's our summer reading and she's asking for us to get involved in writing questions.   I recently finished the book, The Lemonade Stand, and it was very cute.  It seems like the kind of book that all kids can relate to in some way.  There are also a lot of topics that can be discussed with students from character traits to math concepts.  I'm excited to see how it goes this year.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wishful Thinking

Happy Friday Everyone!
I'm having a lazy Friday evening at home catching up on blog reading, Friday Freebies (one day I will have one to share too:), and making a wishlist for my classroom. I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing that I had an endless budget to buy all of my dream classroom items.  There are soooooo many things I want that I know would get used.  I think I could spend $1000 on Melissa and Doug products alone.  I'm browsing through their products right now and slowly making a dream classroom list.  I'm sure I will purchase a few things once I receive my classroom budget for the year but I will also prioritize and many of my wishes will not be granted.   Leave a comment with what is on your dream classroom wishlist!  Here's some of what is on mine:
I saw this at Lakeshore today and I almost bought it but I've gotten into the habit of searching on Amazon on my phone before purchasing things to see if they're cheaper and of course it was.  I will probably buy this soon.  I have another thing that has these tasks on it but I think this one is more cute.

 I would buy ALL of their community helpers dress up clothing.  I don't have any dress up stuff and I think it would really be great for my students to help them make connections to what we're learning.  They may not understand pretend play but they can better understand what a vet does through demonstration using the items with teacher demonstrations.
I think this is super cute and it teaches a bit of cause and effect.  I have some students who are very low cognitively and I'm constantly looking for good ideas to help them learn new things.

I like that this puzzle is two steps for each piece.  It would be good for my kiddos who are good at basic puzzles but struggle with puzzles where they are putting pictures together.  

I'm sure I could create this myself using things I have but I think this is fun.  This would be one I would talk myself out of.

Well, my list could go on and on.  Don't forget to comment and let me know what you would buy for your classroom!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Therapeutic Thursday

What do I do when I have a loooonnnnggg day?  The first thing on my list is usually to get together with some friends.  That always seems to change my mood.  I don't know what I would do without these people and many others that aren't in this picture.  Sometimes just with my nephew  who is holding my hand in the picture will turn my day around as well.  He is the cutest!

There are times though where a relaxing bath or catching up on the long list of TV shows I'm addicted to will do the trick instead.  

No matter what after a long day you will find me with one of these (and even plenty that aren't):

On another note I will be working in my classroom again.  I think will stop at Lakeshore Learning before hand.  I'm jumping on the chevron theme bandwagon and I think I'm going to combine it with small polka dots and owls.  But stick with a similar color scheme.  Hopefully it all comes together well:)  I will post pictures when I get it done.

Link up for Teacher Week at Blog Hoppin'!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday

I finally got in my room!!!  My husband kept saying he wanted to get things done around the house before he heads back on the road but I could not stay away another day!  We made a deal and we will work on the house all day tomorrow.  It felt good to put things back together and it's perfect timing for Where I Teach Wednesday:)  

For starters, I teach in Michigan near Detroit.  My classroom is a categorical room for students K-5 with autism.  The set up of my classroom depends a lot on what my students needs are.  This somewhat limits how I can use the space but I do my best to make it work.  Here are some pictures of what my room looked like when I left today (I still have to do all the cutesy stuff Friday and next week but just setting up the room makes me feel relieved.).

Here are two of my student's independent work areas.  My desk is in the background. My desk is in an L shape and I'm able to use the side for what we call 1:1 work in my classroom. 

Last year the round table was my kidney table and we had snack and group at the table but this year I've moved my kidney table and I think I will still prefer having snack in this area.  The bulletin boards are still up from last year and most of them will be changed out over the next week.  I've mentioned a few times that I got my job right before the start of the school year last year and I put stuff up on the walls but it was not my priority   This year I'm really looking forward to making it more pulled together.

Here is where my kidney table is now.  My students sit for group activities much better if they have are in a chair with a table in front of them.  I'm also able to easily use this area for numerous activities.  My calendar things will move to the space behind the chair and part of the reason I've moved  this area is so I can use my Smartboard more!! (It's just to the right in this picture.)  I also inherited that almost bare bookcase at the end of last year and I'm sure it will be full before Sept. 4th (the start of the school year).  Last year I kept that other bookcase covered and had all the books that were in the room when I arrived on it (my books are organized in a separate area). My students who could read independently were allowed to take use the books but because one of my other students tends to grab things and throw them on the floor the bookcase was covered.  Hopefully, I can avoid covering it this year and organize it before the start of school.

This is an area for one of my students. We are working hard to teach him not to grab every thing and throw it on the floor but at times he makes it very difficult for us to do anything other than follow him around so we put him in this area.  It's like a giant playpen, he has toys he likes in there, the couch is not a mess like it is in the picture, and the furniture is low so he can see us and we can see him.  He generally manages to get out so it's not seclusion just distraction.  It's also right next to my desk so when I'm working with other students he is right there.

Here's a picture of my room from the back of the class.  I use these barriers to separate spaces in my room or separate two center areas from each other.  On the other side of the green one is an identical set up with a table and a 3 drawer cart.  In the back corner my husband is jumping on the trampoline.  I'd really like to get some cuter fabric for the cart on the left before the start of the year.

I will post updated photos when I'm done.  Let me know if you have any questions about my set up.  Please consider following if you haven't already. Thanks for reading:)