Before I pack up my classroom for the year I wanted to take the time to show you a few photos of my classroom. Each year that I teach, I love my classroom space more and more. I think this a combination of accumulating more teacher STUFF and having a better sense of what works and what doesn’t work. That being said, I really LOVED my classroom space this year! As context, I taught a self-contained 3rd grade classroom for children with autism and other disabilities. I love, love, love classroom themes, but I struggled to think of something that would be age-appropriate for 3rd graders (i.e. not too cutesy) while also not being over-stimulating. I settled on a “City” theme and I’m so glad I did. The theme provided a fun and functional structure to our classroom and allowed us to touch on some great life skills throughout the year! The teacher table, or direct instruction area is my favorite classroom space! It’s where we do morning group, whole group instruction, and where students get 1:1 teacher time. I also don’t have a teacher desk, so this is where I store all of my supplies and materials. I use magnets and magnetic hooks to hang visuals and instructional materials on our whiteboard. This allows everything I need to be at my fingertips!I’ve always had classroom “basics” (the things that you see in EVERY elementary classroom) like an alphabet, word wall, calendar, etc. but I often felt like these items were just “there” (taking up space without really being utilized by students.) THIS year I decided to change that by making sure that these classroom “basics” were actually fun and functional enough to be student-friendly. Two big changes I made were an environmental print alphabet (with pictures and icons that were familiar and/or meaningful to my students) and an interactive word wall.