Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Classroom Tour Part 1

Howdy, I am finally back and I proud to say. . . I survived my first year teaching elementary students!  The learning curve was steep coming from the world of early childhood but absolutely AMAZING!  I can't wait to share everything my staff and I created throughout year one.   

I started the year with 11 students and 5 paraprofessionals and end the year with 14 students and 6 paraprofessionals.  All 14 students, have a variety of needs and abilities, ranging from a cognitive level of 12 months to 8 years.  Each student has their own programming, schedule, and range of inclusion time, I will get into the specifics of those at a later date.

I want to start my re-entry back into the world blogging by visiting my classroom.  Click below to see part one of a two part classroom tour. . .


Today, I walked you through half of our space.  We are blessed to have two connecting classrooms.  The first as you witnessed in the video has individual student desks and services as our large group area and individual work space.

It also has free choice and social (play-based) centers in it.   Kindergarten and first grade students, who need support in play and socials skills, use the space as a center rotation when they are not in inclusion time.   Our second through fifth graders use the space to do desk work.   As they finish their desk work, they can earn play time at the various centers.   

In the afternoon some of our students who are not ready for large amounts of inclusion time and need practice with using time safely and appropriately, use the space as a free choice area in which they get to choose where they want to play and move from center to center for thirty minutes as long as the center they choose is not full and they have cleaned up their previous center.  

They use the choice board container above to request where they want to play.  Then they take the clothespin with their name or picture on it to that center, if there are two clips at the center they have to pick a different place to play so not to overload one center in particular.  

My higher students also use the round table in the corner of this room for our writing lessons.  Our district recently adopted Readers' and Writers' Workshop,  a fabulous program but one that is a little too abstract for some students. So we work from the workshop's philosophy of having a love for reading and writing but made the work more concrete for our students using a language based technique from Utah State University, called SKILL- Supporting Knowledge in Language and Literacy, which I will share more about at a later date! 

That is all for now, join me next time for part two of the classroom tour, where I will share 6 more classroom spaces!

Best Wishes, 


  1. Are your students doing Structured Teacch?

    1. Yes! It is an absolute lifesaver. The philosophies of Structure Teaching is embedded throughout the day for students to gain independent skills and transition from one activity to the next seamlessly!

  2. Do you students spend the majority of the day in your classroom or are they also assigned to a gen ed classroom?

    1. They each have a general education classroom as well. We do inclusion time when it is meaningful and appropriate for each individual student. Some have a lot of inclusion time others spent quite a bit of their time with instruction specific to their needs in our setting with hopes to transition them to more inclusion time as they gain skills.

  3. Hello. This will be my first year teaching ECSE. I previously taught kindergarten for a long time. I'm nervous about this move and feeling overwhelmed. I do find your blog to be helpful. Do you have ant advice on how to set up a schedule?

  4. What types of students do you have? I struggle with a good layout because of my kiddos in wheelchairs.