Adapting and Modifying a Classroom Environment for Children with Autism

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Kacie Borland


Before beginning the course please read the information below:


Welcome To:

Adapting and modifying a classroom environment for children with Autism


In this course, you will learn about the many variables of adapting and modifying classroom environments for students with Autism. We will cover the variety of information on Autism and sensory diets, how a classroom structure benefits students learning and behavior and how to implement these strategies in your own classroom. After completing this course, you will be able to answer and reflect on:

  • What is a classroom environment?
  • How can I better understand students with Autism?
  • What do sensory diets do for our students?
  • What is needed to create a safe classroom?
  • How can I implement my understandings of classroom environments, Autism, sensory diets and safety to modify a classroom environment correctly in my own classroom?

Throughout this course, we will be examining, documenting, viewing and experiencing real classroom environments based on information that is given in the course and reflections of your own experiences. At the end of the course, you will be able to reflect and use the variety of techniques, skills and knowledge of classroom environments for students with Autism within your own classrooms. In order to meet this objective you will be creating your own classroom blueprint based off of the information that we learn in each module. Within each module you will be keeping an open journal of all of your experiences and results from the projects/questions based on that topic. As these are open journals, you and your peers may access these journals for open discussions. You may discuss and collaborate with each other regarding your areas of concern or skills that may or may not have worked within your own classroom. This journal and discussion are to benefit you as a tool and a guide when you implement these skills, techniques and understandings that we will be focusing on throughout the course into your own created classroom.

'Enjoy the course!'
And in the words of Ms. Frizzle
“Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

Remember: this is a learning experience; if you don’t try, we won’t know

Notes About This Course

  • This course is based on 4 modules, each unit having only one lesson (listed below).

'In order to reach the given objectives the following is expected:'

  • Watch videos
  • Reflect and discuss your learning with your classmates in discussions
  • Reflect and discuss your experiences with your classmates in journal entries.
  • Contrast and compare classroom environments
  • Take notes

'In order to get the most from this course you will be required to:'

  • Pay close attention to all materials used in the course: read, watch and listen.
  • Throughout the course discuss your experiences and learnings continuously with your peers and individually
  • Use your journals as a guide and tool to construct your final project.
  • As there will be areas for your to write your journal, due to unexpected technological experiences; I suggest that you write them in a word document and upload as an attachment.
Please save your assignments/ journals as followed:
Last name.First name.Module#.Journal#.

'Please Keep These Areas in Mind When Journaling:'

1) What have you seen/used that reflects to the specific module in your environment?

2) What are some areas of concern or suggestions?

3) Use specific and detailed descriptions/scenarios.

4) Remember that each journal needs to focus on the topic of each module. You can tell a story, list examples, sites that could be used, how to better or change areas of interest etc.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 …And We Are Off!

Links to Modules:

Module 1: Introduction: Classroom Environment

This first module will be the chance for you to meet your peers and discuss together what your pre-history and knowledge is with classroom environments. Take this time explain what you know and even would like to know more of. In your discussions you will tell another peer what you believe a classroom environment is, what may be needed to make it a classroom environment, why you believe it is important and how you think it impacts learning.

Module 1 Objectives

  • Learners will be able to notice the different areas to take into consideration when developing a new classroom environment: physical environment, psychological environment, the role of the teacher and classroom climate.

Lesson 1: What is a classroom Environment (link)

Module 2:Understanding Autism and their Needs and Risks

In the second module, you will walk in the shoes of a student with Autism. Understand the varieties of Autism, what different students may feel, hear, and see. How they may react to different situations, their needs and how they learn and even the safety risks you could encounter in your classroom settings. We will be observing and researching this common disability and discuss how each student can adapt to classroom environments, while keeping in mind the risks that a classroom environment may have and the safety precautions to take to ensure safety to you, your staff and students.

Module 2 Objectives:

  • Learners will briefly discuss the definition of Autism, and will then indicate the support and the needs of these students.
  • Learners will distinguish how to identify and reduce risks in student and staff classrooms.

Lesson 2: Understanding Autism while Creating a Safe Classroom

Module 3: Sensory Diets

The third module will be focusing on what sensory diets are, how they are used and what they consist of and the significance of its use. You will be researching different toys and equipment’s used for sensory diets and explain how it could best be applied and used in a classroom for students with autism.

Module 3 Objectives:

  • Learners will discover the importance of incorporating sensory diets for students with Autism.
  • Learners will explore the different toys and equipment used for sensory diets.
  • Learners will evaluate the key ingredients to developing a sensory diet.

Lesson 3: What are Sensory Diets? (link)

Module 4: Classroom Blueprints

During this module we will be taking a look at different classroom environments that you may come upon today. You will take notice of correct classroom setups and even some not so great setups. While viewing, reading and taking your own experiences into consideration, you will pay close attention to the small details, use of equipment, layout, visuals, safety precautions and toys that are used throughout the classrooms. You will work together with your classmates to find meaning and dissect these rooms using the knowledge we have learned in our previous modules.

Module 4 Objectives:

  • Learners will see different classroom environment set-ups and different equipment to create different learning environments throughout the classroom.

Lesson 4: Let’s start with the Blueprints (link)

Reflection and Application: Modifying Classroom Environment

Let’s put it all together! At this time you will be using the module materials, readings, videos, discussions and your journals as a tool and reflection aide to help you create your very own classroom. Given a specific situation for a new upcoming year, you will take the information and previous layout of the classroom and create, adapt, apply and modified classroom to benefit the safety and atmosphere of your future learners.

Reflection Objectives:

  • Learners will create and implement their knowledge of sensory diets, Autism and classroom safety by modifying a given classroom to incorporate all tools needed to create a better learning environment.

Final: Adapting and Modifying Our Classroom Environments


Image Links:

Graphic of read:[File:readme.png]Image courtesy of english-book-clipart-person_reading_book_clip_art.jpg

Graphic of Miss.Frizzle [File:closer.jpg] Image courtesy of miss+frizzle+space+dress.jpg

Graphic of Rocket: [File:rocket.jpg] Image courtesy of kliponius-cartoon-rocket-clip-art_418018.jpg

Graphic of Classroom: [File:blackandwhite.jpg] Image courtesy of classroom-clipart-280x168.gif


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