The beginning of the school year is a great time to revisit how the classroom is modified to meet your students' individual needs. Below are some tips around Organization, Illumination, and Selection and Adaptation of Materials to help you prepare for the year ahead.
- Organize the classroom by dividing it according to subjects areas, such as music, work or snack areas, using furniture, rugs and colored tape.
- Arrange the furniture so that it is not placed haphazardly throughout the room and is consistently in the same location.
- Designate places for materials and toys within their defined learning areas.
- Be consistent about returning materials to their designated space.
- Reduce the amount of visual clutter in the classroom. If there are open shelves, eliminate distractions by covering the shelf unit with a solid-colored cloth.
- Use curtains and blinds on windows to control the level of illumination at different times of the day and to avoid glare.
- Use non-reflective surfaces to eliminate glare from overhead lighting.
- Use individual lighting to focus on a specific task.
- Seat a student with his or her back to the window to reduce distractions and discomfort from the light.
Selection and Adaptation of Materials
- Use visual and tactual symbols or signs along the child’s route to provide cues for orientation and mobility purposes.
- Use contrasting colors for all activities.
- Avoid using a patterned background such as a flowery or checkered tablecloth for work surfaces.
- Enhance toys that are not visually stimulating with colored tape to provide more contrast.
- Outline materials with a contrasting color. For example, try outlining the indentation of a puzzle with a black marker.
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