TEN ESSENTIALS EVERY AUTISM CLASSROOM RUNS ON

Saturday, June 27, 2015 / 4 comments


I could not survive without velcro in my classroom. We use it for EVERYTHING. Schedules, work tasks, choice boards, visuals.. literally everything. I also order in bulk for my classroom supply order (that the school pays for) and then I purchase even more (with my own money) to keep at home so I don't have to bring it back and forth. My favorite place to order Velcro is Feiner Supply. I have found that you get the most bang for your buck there, and although it feels expensive at first, it will save you multiple trips to Walmart to buy the measly 1 foot pack for nearly a million dollars (exaggerating, but it's not cheap). I like to order a few of the adhesive backed tape rolls (1/2 inch), and the adhesive backed coins (1/2 inch). I will say that we use more SOFT (loop) velcro than HARD (hook) velcro, so I usually buy twice as much of the loop roll as I do the hook roll (i.e. If I get 2 hook rolls, I'll get 4 loop rolls.
I am an organization freak.

It kind of comes with the territory of teaching students with autism. I need my room and center areas to be free of clutter and crap so my students can focus on the task at hand instead of my mess in the corner. Over the past several years, I've accumulated quite a lot if plastic bins. I use them to organize tasks at every center, classroom supplies, monthly materials, etc. I usually purchase these at Target when they are on sale for under $1.00 and then I can use my card to get an extra 5% off. Bins are always at the top of my supply donation list at the beginning of the year!



For some reason, we go through these things like wildfire in our class. I use them for any task that involve pieces, sending tasks home, dividing treats we make, the list goes on. At the beginning of this year, I plan on buying in bulk at Sam's Club because I know we will need them (quart size and gallon size).


We are doing a lot of worksheets on a daily basis in our room. Almost everything we make needs to be protected so we don't have to remake it year after year. I love the personal Scotch Laminator. It's cheap to buy, and if you purchase these laminating sheets from Amazon, you can save a ton!



I use a glue gun almost DAILY. We glue task pieces onto clothespins as well as to create workboxes. I probably have about 4 glue guns by now, and I always make sure I'm stocked up on glue sticks from the Dollar Tree. 

We have clipboards everywhere in the classroom! I have one for each kiddo to collect data, in most of my centers for data collection, and we even use them as behavior charts. I've purchased a ton from Dollar Tree and love how I can reuse them year after year. 


Book rings are great to keep flashcards together and "bind" adapted books. I love using adapted books I've made or purchased from TPT, and I have even adapted some paperback picture book favorites after laminating the pages to protect them from daily wear and tear. I stock on book rings from Amazon because they are so much cheaper to buy in bulk! I know some other teachers use a book binding machine to keep their books together, which is a great alternative to book rings. 

If you've been following this blog for a while, I think it's pretty obvious I have a serious love for clothespin tasks. Clothespins are SO cheap and I love that my students can work on academic/functional skills combined with fine motor skills practice at the same time. I used to buy my clothespin packs from Dollar Tree, and they were about 36 in a pack (I think), BUT I've discovered that Walmart sells a 100 pack for around 2 bucks - SCORE! 

Although Velcro is my favorite thing in the world, it RUINS scissors. I like to have a few pairs of scissors designated to Velcro cutting only (I usually keep them in the same basket as the Velcro). I've also recently discovered non-stick titanium scissors which are pretty darn cool. Also, for those of you that will be doing A LOT of cutting like me, these spring action scissors are amazing for reducing hand strain because the spring opens up the scissors after each cut. Finally, I've investing in a paper cutter for when we are cutting books, prepping art activities, and basically for anything that can be cut in straight lines and in bulk.


I use a color coding system for my students in the classroom. You can read all about it here on a guest post I did over at Mrs. H's Resource Room. I purchased 2 packs of Astrobrights paper and my supply stack is still going strong after 2 years of using paper from the same packs! 


What are your must haves for your classroom?! 
I'm always looking for new things to buy in bulk and hoard! :)


4 comments:

  1. completely agree!! I have and LOVe all these things!

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  2. I also use all of those items. I also buy those little bags of mini erasers from Target's dollar spot to use as counters, game pieces, for sounding out words (place one eraser for each sound). My students love them and I like how I can change them out depending on the season. I also use a lot of page protectors and have made my own dry erase boards with duck tape edging and dry erase markers.

    Teaching Special Kids

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the tiny erasers from Target, too! They have so many different uses!

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  3. **For those Velcro scissors, a bottle of acetone nail polish remover is a lifesaver!! Really takes off the sticky in a flash!!

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