Teaching Children with Special Needs: Is Your Classroom Ready for a New Year?

If you're like me, you're a bit of a procrastinator—especially in the summer when your mind is on sailing, golfing or whatever activity floats your boat. For some of you, school may have already begun. You took a trip into school the other day to survey the shiny floors (thank you custodial staff). You're surveying your classroom and you're wondering what you can do to bring the love back. Things look shabby, and you know your special needs classroom must be a warm and inviting place. You want classroom resources to do double-duty and allow for some play but also great learning at the same time. I've put together a shopping list, or activity reminder list of areas of your classroom you don't want to forget when you go to your principal with an annual wish list. For special teens, and you don't want to forget those students who are sometimes hard to reach, there are some areas you might spruce up. Like any other kids, they're trying to find themselves, and you know they look to you for guidance. You might want to shop for:

Kids also need to relax and unwind, almost like they are at home. My favorite items in my classroom are soft chairs, beanbag seats and big, fluffy pillows on the floor. Yours may need new covers, or at least you'll want to clean and sanitize them. There's something called an Alert Seat, for posture and positioning and a great break from hard school seating. You can use your fancy chairs for motivation; kids love to sit in the "The Chairs" for a reward for all their hard work. I like a fun site called "Pinterest" where you can post your classroom celebration ideas, and find instructions from other teachers on how to make crowns and tiaras for your special kids. For our kids with learning disabilities, don't forget supplies for:

  • Auditory Processing
  • Sensory Processing
  • Movement and Kinesthetic
  • Visual Input

Language Processing Idea! Let kids record a series of messages to other students with directions to a special place in your classroom to help with auditory sequencing and memory skills. On the Teacher's Lounge on the Achievement Products website, there are also wonderful activities to jazz up your classroom. Some of my favorite activity sites are:                

So, welcome to a new school year! Let's invigorate our learning for student success! Special education is constantly evolving. Write to me (comments below) and tell me your stories. What would you like to read about in the Special Ed arena? I'll gladly share my experiences.


Grant Name: IWP Foundation Educational Grants

Funded By: Innovating Worthy Projects Foundation

Description: Giving on a national basis. The Foundation makes grants to organizations dedicated to serving developing innovative programs, disseminating ideas, or providing direct care or services for children with special needs, acute illnesses or chronic disabilities.

Program Areas: Disabilities, Early Childhood, Special Education

Eligibility:  Public School, Private School, Other

Proposal Deadline:  12/31/2015

Annual Total Amount: $100,000.00 - $200,000.00

Average Amount: $1,000.00 - $10,000.00

Address: 4045 Sheridan Avenue, Suite 296, Miami Beach, FL 33140\

Telephone: 305-861-5352

Email: info@iwpf.org

Website: Innovating Worthy Projects Foundation

Availability:  All States