After Breakfast time, students get to go to recess. This is my break and I use this time to take care of any necessary things. My staff supervises my students and includes them with their peers as much as possible. Once the bell rings, my class lines up against my bungalow classroom (we're RIGHT on the playground). As they walk into my classroom one by one, they wash their hands, check their schedules and sit down.
NOW IT"S TIME FOR BOOK TIME!
Reading time in my class is equivalent to silent reading in most classes. I have a book helper pass out book baskets to students and let each student pick a book or two. If the student is on task, I allow them to get a "reading buddy" to help them read. Some students choose to read to their "reading buddy."
"Reading Buddies" are such a FUN way to teach our students to remain in their seats and read/look at a book. It helps them stay engaged and interested! My reading buddies change depending on the interests of my students. This year I have some stuffed animals, blankets and pillows. I just bought a minion yesterday for one of my students who loves them! I can't wait to add him to my reading buddies tub. It's important to note: the stuffed animals and toys that are in the reading buddies time are ONLY used during reading time. They are not uses as reinforcers or toys throughout the day. I try not to mix the toys for different activities or their novelty will wear off!
I keep my books in book baskets. I've found its much easier to grab a basket and walk around to let a student choose a book from the basket. The library gets too messy without the baskets as my students have a difficult time sliding the books in a bookshelf! The baskets (from dollar tree!) are a quick fix!
If you notice the red tub on the top shelf, I can assure you there is a reason for this! Two of my students who are more prompt dependent had difficulty taking a basket out to put their book away and get a new one. I didn't like the books being placed "loosely" in the shelf as it looked messy. I added the red tub for my students to use as a book return spot if they are unable to put them in the basket on their own. From here, my book helper will take the books out of the red tub and return them to the baskets with the assistance of staff!
So, the most important part of "book time" are the moving parts going on during "book time." We have book time for 15-20 minutes in my classroom. During book time I play classical music to help calm my students after an active recess. It is during book time that we also do all of our toileting needs. My aides take the students who need supervision in small groups. The ones that have health needs/diapers are taken 1:1 to the changing room. The students that are able to go on their own are sent 1 by 1 by me. I stay in the room and supervise the students that are not using the restroom at the time and maintain reading time. We are efficient and are able to get all toileting done in 15 minutes or so. I choose to do this all at once (3 x a day) to minimize the distractions during work centers and such. If a student has to use the restroom and an aide needs to go, it can throw off the work centers. Now- of course, this happens. Usually, I have gotten my students use to the routine and by October they are able to understand to wait until the provided "bathroom breaks." I know this may sound harsh, but it works. NO PLEASE UNDERSTAND, IF A KIDDO"S GOT TO GO… THEY GET TO GO!
I have taken over the handicapped bathroom with a ton of visuals. I use visual supports within the restroom to assist students who are being potty trained. To read more about the bathroom visuals I use, click HERE to read more!
I also have a social story that I use to teach potty training skills! Click HERE to read more!