Friday, May 20, 2011

Everything in Its Place

In our elementary schools students work on word sorts each week.  Sets of words are grouped in word families (stop, pop, top, plop) and students use them in different ways during the week.  I try to schedule time with my students when they are working with their word sorts because they have to cut the words apart, align them in columns according to their word families and then glue them in place.  Great functional fine motor and spatial skills practice.  The composition books can get pretty thick, and often messy, with all the glued strips of words.
One teacher I see weekly, who has a class for students with moderate intellectual disabilities (MoID), runs a tight ship.  She is very creative in her teaching yet is also very orderly in how she has the students keep their materials that are used frequently in class.  Above you can see how she has them keep their Word Sort books and also the composition books in which they copy a morning greeting from the board or write other morning work. 

This class utilizes a set of word processors, which students use daily to write their vocabulary and spelling words and sometimes sentences which include the words.  Students also use the simple word processors for other writing, as the teacher wishes.

The teacher talked her husband into making these wooden stands to hold clipboards.  Students can sit tall and look straight ahead to see their words as they type.  If a student loses his/her place on the list then a simple sticky note can be used to underscore the word being typed.

Yes, the classroom organization even applies to lunch choices.  Students and teachers use the colorful nameplates to indicate their lunch choice.  One more way to foster functional reading skills.

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