Making Everything Accessible: Alternate Options for Extraordinary Kids
Help me give my students alternative seating and educational games. My students are highly engaged and learn the most when material is presented through games. They access alternate seating to cool down and take breaks when needed.
My classroom is an autism support special education class. My students are incredible! They have a wide variety of skills and many of them have special interests that they know a lot about. Due to the nature of their disability my students have unique needs in the school setting. In our class not only do we focus on academic skills, we focus on social, emotional and behavior skills as well. Students in my class tend to thrive on predictability and consistent schedules. COVID-19 has impacted how they access their education for three school years. While they are incredibly resilient and surprise me every day it has been hard for them to make so many changes because of COVID.
Currently, my classroom does not have a break space. In most self contained special education classrooms there is a small room where kids can go to cool down and take a break when they are having a hard time. Currently, my students do not have access to a space like this despite needing one. With alternate seating I have created a small space in the back of our classroom where kids can go to take a break when they are overwhelmed and need to calm down. This helps ensure the safety of the students and staff in my room. We also complete our read aloud in this area. Bean bags would enhance this space and make it a desirable area to go to. The students are learning how to de-escalate and access breaks when needed and the space being comfortable helps with that.
My students are the most engaged when learning is in the form of a game.
When I am able to take the material and turn it into a game the students learn the most because they are highly involved with the lesson. Their work avoidance decreases because they often don't see the work in the lesson because they are so focused on the game aspect. I primarily teach ELA and Math. Math and writing tend to be the most difficult subjects for my students so having games centered around math and writing skills will help them practice their skills and make progress with them.
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