I am a K-4 special education teacher. I see individual students, groups of students, and all of my students at different points during the school day. While my classroom is not the traditional type, I find that we still operate as a single unit or team.
Organized chaos is the way I like to describe the amount of learning, sharing, and interacting that exists in our room.
Students may be seen simultaneously working in groups at the kidney table, relaxing in a quiet corner of the room, using classroom computers, or perhaps independently working at their desks.
Our room is designed for both learning and leisure. With the amount of transitions and moving around, students and staff must work as a team to be operational. My students enjoy working together and sometimes separately. Though there are various grade levels and ages in our room, we are in fact a family of learners.
Providing choices is gives my students a voice. Having the resources to provide those choices will greatly benefit my students. My kids need the option of moving while learning, which is not always an option with the traditional classroom furniture. By having flexible means I am giving my students the option of moving while still being mindfully present in the classroom. Students will be able to use the alternative seating options daily, which will greatly impact their learning.
Make the environment match the student, not the other way around.
Creating a positive and rewarding classroom environment is exactly what my students need in order to be successful. Students will have the option to use technology in the classroom to show what they know. There are endless amounts of resources and tools that are provided through devices like the iPad. From tracking academic goals to finding interactive apps and websites, the iPad is what every classroom needs. With alternative options for instruction, expression and representation my students can show what they are capable of by removing restrictional barriers.
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