Creating a schedule that works in a self-contained classroom can feel a little like swimming with a weighted backpack on… It is HARD! Today I am sharing some ideas that have worked very well in my classroom.
Design For Less Behaviors
In this example, we alternate sitting and moving based learning activities. Our morning work is mostly play based tasks such as legos, lincoln logs, linking people, watercolors, coloring, etc.
We also build tons of movement into morning meeting. Read more about our morning meeting tasks by clicking a post title below:
I count our quick writing time as movement because we spend parts of it out of our seat. For example, students are coming up to do Question Of The Day or we are sitting on the floor taking turns writing about our theme words on the dry erase board.
Read more about how we do this writing activity: Instruction In Mixed Level Groups.
After P.E. we have 2 half hour time slots devoted to direct instruction. We do take a 3 minute break at in the middle for reinforcement, but I do not consider that enough “movement” time. You can read more about direct instruction/work centers by clicking the picture below:
Since math groups are after work centers, a “sitting” activity on Tuesdays, I make it a movement group. A HUGE favorite in my classroom is count the room. For this activity, students have to search the room or area to find picture cards that match their sheet. Once they are found, they have to count the number of items on the card and record it on their sheet.
We use the count the room activities that are included in our theme units. Each set comes in 2 levels, so all of my students can participate. It gets them moving and learning without me having to do extra work… WIN!!
Tip: teach your paras how to read your schedule and therapy grid, so you don’t have to be interrupted when a therapist needs to reschedule.
Want to learn more ideas and tips for getting students moving? Read: Put research Into Practice By Building In Movement.
I hope these ideas have been helpful!!