Building Your Special Education Classroom? Here Are 6 Must Haves!
27th December 2023
Being a special education teacher is undoubtedly rewarding, but we all know it can be daunting and time-consuming. A little free time that you get out of your teaching responsibilities, you spend on researching, writing IEPs, and organizing for the next session.
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned teacher or a new one, you know there are times throughout the school year when you run out of necessities and restock. while restocking pay attention to the items that you have used up completely, those are probably the must-have items in the special education classroom. If you are still unsure, here is a cumulative list to help you out.
Must-Have Items In Your Special Education Classroom That You Cannot Do Without
Here are a few things you need in your classroom to teach your students in the best way possible:
- Teacher Area
This is one of the most important items you need to have high up on your must-have list. Even though it is often overlooked, you know how important it is. You need your own space to feel comfortable and finish your work at your own pace without any interruptions.
You also need plenty of desktop space, the required technology, a comfy personal chair, and a few other personal items. Another major thing to remember is that it is a student-free zone, so make sure you have your boundaries.
- Student Area
There are numerous student learning areas you need to have in your classroom. The first space would be for group instruction where you would have tables and chairs and plenty of space to spread out their materials.
You would also want to set up a small corner for small group instruction where students will have independent learning tables filled with learning activities. The last and most important would be a calming or isolation zone for students who are sensitive to noises, light, or social interaction and need some alone time. It is not a punishment table but a zone with limited restrictions.
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- Prep Materials
Special education teachers must prepare extensively. Accepting it is preferable to not having the best tools to deal with it quickly and effectively. A laminator is the first essential item in special education. You ought to own a laminator at home even if your school has one.
Do you know those evenings when you realize all of a sudden that you neglected to prepare and plan? Purchasing a home laminator can prevent you from becoming more obnoxious because of things like downtime, your admin stopping by and observing, etc. You can also include Velcro and binding machines in the list of special education must-haves.
- Teaching Materials
Hands-on activities are very beneficial for the majority of students receiving special education services. It is essential to have adaptable manipulatives for teaching and practicing skills.
Always keep magnetic clips or hooks close by because you never know when or where you'll need to hang a visual. Protective pages are essential. Worksheets can be used for visuals you need to change regularly or made reusable.
- Curriculum Must-Haves
For teachers of special education, visual aids are essential. You can download a library of pre-made visuals and create any kind of visual you need if your school does not have access to any visual creation software. Try to have interactive, grade-appropriate resources for teaching English and math as not all your students will be at the same learning level.
With the help of interactive, leveled reading materials, students can progress from learning letters and letter sounds. They can rise to more advanced literacy ideas like antonyms, words with multiple meanings, and final blends. Having leveled assessments, teaching resources, a system for tracking progress, and building review and practical exercises can be a lifesaver.
- Classroom Management And Organization Materials
Gather every bin available in a variety of sizes and consider how and for what purpose they will be used before making a purchase. Consider how you will lessen visual distractions and busyness if they are going to be in a visible location for students. Additionally essential in special education are timers.
An organized behavior system is essential for classroom management. Your pupils must understand exactly what is expected of them as well as the penalties for disobeying the rules. Positive reinforcement ought to be the main focus of the behavior management system.
Build A Better Classroom
When you first start, setting up your classroom might feel a little overwhelming. However, with the list mentioned above you can decide for yourself, what exactly you need and how it can transform your class for the better. Additionally, as educators, you can enroll yourself for special education courses or specific autism and ADHD courses online to keep yourself updated about the changes, policies, etc.
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