Friday, September 13, 2013

Classroom Organization and Projects

Where does the time go? I can't believe that we are already half-way through September and that I've already been working over a month in my new job! I haven't been able to blog as much as I have wanted to because of work and graduate school but I'm trying to keep up!

I have found my students calming down (just a bit) and I am settling into my own at my new job. I don't feel like I have to search for another job at the moment and I am liking my school and district the more I participate and get involved. I am so relieved that - at least at this moment - the administrators, program specialists, and principal are behind the decisions I make. My principal has given me a few compliments, which I am very grateful for - I feel appreciated and welcomed at the school. It's a change that's been three years in the making.

I'm beginning to see positive changes in the kids. I'm very happy that they are settling into our daily routines and they understand that we mean business - very different from what was expected (or not expected) of them last year. 

I did want to post some more recent pictures of my classroom. Things are coming together. I still have one bulletin board that I am working on and I still have boxes and bags laying around that I would like to get organized and put away.

Here are some before and after photos - clearly, still a work in progress!

With the help of my aides, we got some more bulletin boards up - a news/information board for parents and a social studies board. 

Here are some more pictures of my classroom projects - trying to get organized!

Homework board 
My "junk corner" - need to get this organized ASAP! 
Working on getting this bookcase organized
We've been working a lot on guided writing with my students - and it's one of the few activities we do as a whole group. Each morning after our ELA centers, my kiddos take out their ELA composition notebooks and I give them a topic to write about. Yesterday was a hard day (behaviorally) for a few of my kids, so we tailored the writing to reflect that. My students dictated the sentences to me and I wrote them on a piece of chart paper. They crack me up sometimes. It's always the ones who have trouble behaving who can verbalize exactly what they need to work on. 

 Thinking Maps is also a program I use in my classroom - I will be dedicating a post all about them in the near future and how I use them with my students with special needs!

Writing portfolio wall
Classroom organization really is key in a special education classroom! I am so particular about my things and keeping things in order - it's borderline OCD! My friend Melissa over at The Adventures of Room 83 recently blogged about some drawers she bought at Big Lots. Knowing that Melissa shares my affinity in organization, I went to Big Lots this past week and picked up three sets of drawers for my classroom - one for each of our center areas. My aides and I - along with the help of our custodian - began putting the drawers together today. 

The final product
I know what I will be working on next week! Until next time...

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