I wanted to share 7 simple tips that I wish I knew when I was setting up my first classroom.
Tip 1: Use dollar store coloured plastic table cloths to cover bulletin boards.
This quick inexpensive fix to creates a tidy uniform look and it doesn’t fade like paper (and it lasts so much longer!)
Tip 2: Use large ziplock bags as student “book bags”
Can’t afford book bins for each student? Use large ziplock bags as their “Book Bags”. They can even keep them in their desks (if you use desks) which will cut down on transition times
Tip 3: Skip the pencil sharpeners - really!
Have two bins of pencils. One full of sharp pencils and the other bin for broken or dull pencils. Have pencil sharpening as one of your end of the day jobs (Student Jobs) to get you ready for a new day.
This will help reduce student work avoidance tactics.
Tip 4: Avoid shiny displays.
Did you know the glare from our harsh school lighting makes laminated displays very difficult to see? If you are wanting to protect smaller materials, consider using page protectors, better for the Earth and you can get some that have a duller finish to them.
Tip 5: When possible, use table and floor lamps!
Using table and floor lamps, and natural light when available can allow you to dim some of those harsh fluorescent lights with their distracting hum and glare. Some classrooms even drape light blue fabric over the fluorescent lights for better lighting which can impact student learning and success.
Tip 6: Post a visual schedule for the day.
Make it as specific or general as what works for you. A visual schedule is not only best practice for your children with Autism or special needs but for all children.
Tip 7: Start the year with empty walls. Include your students in the building process.
At the beginning of the school year, build the classroom WITH the students. If it’s on the wall it is important and the students know it. Start the year with empty walls that you can build together.
I hope you enjoyed these tips!
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