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!

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