Aug 9, 2014

Setting Up an Autism Classroom On a Budget Series (Part 2 of 5)


It is kind of hard to set up a room without furniture if your classroom does not have much, but there are a few tricks that can be used to save. Furniture, of course can be costly, however, recycling can be called to play by using old sturdy bookshelves as a storage place for a materials for a work station and centers. Teacher's desks should never be the focal point of a classroom, especially in a classroom teaching students with autism. However, if a desk must remain in the room, a teacher can set up the teacher's desk in such a way that it doubles as a divider. For example, the desk can help to create a division in the room which allows for various areas like an independent work area or a play area. 

When creating a division in the room, it is usually common that one would use heavy partitions or study carrels which can cost hundreds of dollars. To save some cash, use cardboard or corrugated dividers instead of expensive partitions. Dividers like these can be found at Calloway House Inc., a website that sells classroom products. 

These dividers are light-weight and can be removed and stored away easily or can be secured by placing something such as a desk or table on both sides of them to help them stay up. You always have to be careful to have items that do not tip over easy, especially if you have a student that may like to throw or push things. 

Custodians can be very helpful in setting up the classroom. Asking the custodian in the school if they know of any "hidden' desks, chairs, tables or partitions works for me. They are the go-to people with the knowledge of what is going on furniture-wise for that building. File cabinets are also items that may already be in the school and may be able to help create the areas of the classroom you want to create. Just ask if there are any file cabinets that you can use to create centers for your classroom.  Asking the custodians is a sure way to save some money and time.  You might be surprised what they come up with!

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