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deekybee deekybee is offline
 
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First Year Autism Teacher - first week help
Old 08-06-2016, 07:16 PM
 
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I am a first year teacher and I have accepted a job in an Autism classroom for grades 3-5. I have experience working with students with Autism at the high school level, so I have some idea how I plan to structure my class. I am however completely stumped on what to do those first few days / weeks. Looking for some veteran's to share their tips

How do you teach practicing the routines?

Any good "getting to know you" activities?

What do you typically do on the first day of school in your Autism class?


Also, a friend of mine uses classdojo in her intermediate autism class. Anyone else have success with that? I only ask because it seems like it could be a good way to track behavior data.


Thanks everyone so much in advance. I am super nervous being a newb and all.


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Old 08-07-2016, 08:33 AM
 
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The biggest thing for me is teaching new students how to follow the picture schedule and how to transition. I would also establish yourself as the one with the reinforcers and "fun" activities.

Do you know anything about your students?

I would start with the students who struggle the most with behavior and transitions, making sure they know exactly how you want to transition and what they should do.

Do you have aides? I usually have my aides be at the table/station the first couple weeks, working on puzzles, art, board games or tablets.

I'm the one walking the students through transitions and checking the schedule with them.

I then gradually work myself in at my stations and establish what it takes to earn the reinforcers.

If you can, I would send out reinforcer surveys before school starts or send them home the first day. Depending on the level of of your students you can give them reinforcer surveys in class or run preference assessments with them.

As for Class DoJo, I would be interested to see how that works in an autism classroom. I loved it when I taught resource.

My students have very student-specific behavior plans and levels of need. I also do not have that large of a class where a whole-class system would work effectively.
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deekybee deekybee is offline
 
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:23 PM
 
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Thank you so much for your reply

I met some of them briefly back in June, as far as I can tell the majority are non-verbal but all were able to navigate a computer website. I do know i wont have more than about 8 students. I will have one aid and just saw my classroom today and I have a ton of computers! I also have a bunch of puzzles and board games so I will definitely follow your advice and set them up with that the first few days.

Thank you so much for the idea of the reinforcer survey, I found a good one on TPT so I will have parents fill that out at the open house!

Thanks again for all your advice now to figure out how to set up my classroom! lol
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Just saw this!
Old 08-20-2016, 09:51 AM
 
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I teach k-2 autism, heading into my second year! Last year, I had no clue what I needed to do and had no clue what to expect from my students. I was really given a false sense of their levels in talking to my aides before school started, so I scrapped all my plans on the first day when I actually met them. We spent a lot of time practicing things like walking in the hall and moving around the classroom, and less time on instruction until they had more stamina for that. We did a lot of paired work (2 kids with 1 adult) just playing games and pacticing turn taking and following directions, and that also allowed me to get to know the kids a little bit better.

Good luck!
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deekybee deekybee is offline
 
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:53 AM
 
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Thank you so much for your reply. From how it looks, I am in that same boat. I don't think I can even begin planning until I meet and get to know the kiddo's. Their IEP's aren't much help lol.

I am lucky enough to have tons of puzzles and board games already provided to me so I guess that will be my plan for the first couple of weeks!

Thanks everyone who took the time to respond! First year teaching nerves are serious!


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