Friday, September 3, 2010

Need a Quiet Space in Your Classroom?

When I was visiting one of my high schools today, the teacher for students with severe disabilities showed me how she had put high shelves in the classrooms for keeping assistive technology and augmentative communication devices handy, yet out of reach of the students when they were not using specific devices.  By using the white, coated metal shelves (usually found in closets) we could see what was on the shelves more easily than if she had just used particle board or another solid material.  That was enough of a great idea for me for one day, then my wild PT friend asked me if I had seen the "sensory" area.

Well, we walked into another room and I saw a square beach canopy set up in the room, with streamers hanging from the horizontal supports and all kinds of electronic aquariums and other electronics to provide gentle visual stimulation during a quiet time.  Last year I thought about placing a large, clip-on beach umbrella over the computer tables to cut down on overhead glare and decrease distractions while using the computer, but this idea was much more effective in changing the whole tone of an area for students.  Will take pictures soon to share.

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