Aug 11, 2014

Setting Up an Autism Classroom On a Budget Series (Part 3 of 5)

Supplies for the classroom cost teachers so much money. For classroom set up, teachers should make use of the numerous websites that provide free materials. Download free materials, schedules, data sheets and visual supports on sites like I have here are

Classroom organization can present some ways to save as well. First and foremost, a teacher can use dollar store tubs as storage bins for storing student work, lessons plan materials and more. Zipper baggies of various sizes come in handy for just about every aspect of the classroom environment. The smaller baggies make great storage for flash cards, and the jumbo bags can be used as a reward/reinforcer bag to store large toys or to store extra clothing or student’s personal belongings. Similarly, reusable food storage containers of all sizes, double as toy storage containers, art supplies containers, reward containers and work bin containers. If bigger containers are needed, check for back to school sales on Rubbermaid-type 20 gallon containers, which can be as low as $4.00 each.

Buying pocket folders when on sale (at back to school time) is another way to save. Many times you can get folders for 5 cents or 10 cents in early August at office supply stores. In addition, we know that data binders are an important tool in organizing the student's progress on their personal goals. Educators can make dividers for the student’s binders by using colored construction paper or card stock paper instead of buying pre-made tab dividers. If a teacher is savvy with the computer, he or she can create their own free data sheets using the “Create Table’ section of a word processing program or do an internet search for “data sheets” to find some freebies that fit the needs of your students. There are a few data collection sheets here. 

 Data Collection Sheets

Recycling old binders to use for the students data binders or asking the principal or other teachers if they have any unused binders can also save loads of cash. 

If a classroom has no shelf space, recycle old sturdy bookshelves to use as shelving if needed. Classroom organization can also be helped a bit by asking parents to send in old, cleaned containers such as margarine, butter, or oatmeal containers. These items can be used to store toys or to store puzzle pieces or small pieces for work tasks. 

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