Thursday, September 6, 2012

Morning Group for Kids with Autism

Day 2 went a lot smoother than our first day of school and my kids are starting to settle in to their routines.  The only downside of today was the fact that someone broke into our school and stole laptops and iPads out of 10 classes (mine included!).  But back to the topic at hand...many elementary grades start their day with a morning meeting or circle time, and my class is no exception.  However, a class targeting students with autism may need to do things a little differently.  Here are some pictures of my morning group board and supports I put in place to help aid in my students' learning.

This is the schedule we follow for our morning group.  
Greetings:  Usually consists of saying "good morning", asking a question about my students' week, or discussing important classroom happenings.

This is the magnetic pocket I keep my attendance folder (with my class list).  See my previous post about the importance/relevance of taking attendance in an autism classroom.

This is my "social time" area of the board.  Here the kids take turns asking each other questions.  In the upper left hand portion of the picture is a laminated page that says "What is your favorite farm animal?"  Then there are several animals pictured.  Students ask their classmates the question and then tally their responses in the blank boxes.  We change these questions every week.

The purple pocket chart will be eventually used for our weekly vocabulary words.

The green/blue pocket chart at the bottom of the page has a question (this one says "How many letters are in your name?)  The kids take turns asking their classmates the question.  When students answer the questions, they come up to the board and place their name under their answer.  Nonverbal students participate in this as well by walking up to a student and pointing to the words (while an adult reads it out loud) or handing the question to the other student.  These questions are also changed weekly.

 Here is our dry erase calendar (I think I found it at either Target or The Container Store for around $10).  It is a perfect size for my class!  Below the calendar students velcro the correct month, day, and write the date.  

 Next, we do weather.  We identify the weather outside (by placing a star on the correct weather....sunny, cloudy, rainy, etc.)  We use our iPods to look up the temperature and write that in (using a dry erase marker) and students velcro the appropriate temperature (hot, warm, cool, or cold).  We finish weather by identifying the season (by velcroing it in the appropriate place).

This is our journal area.  We choose a different topic to write about each day.  Topics range from animals to holidays, weather, movies, important events, food, science topics, and social studies topics.

My students finish morning group by completing individualized binders (all with different level work tailored to the student).  The binders have pages that correspond to everything covered on the board (social skills, calendar, weather, and journal).  To find some of these materials available for sale and for FREE at my Teachers Pay Teacher store, follow the links below.


  1. I am so glad that I found your site. I've started to use some of your ideas in my classroom this year and hope they make this year my best yet! I don't know how you come up with all these great ideas and post them but I sure am happy you are cause it is making my new year a little bit easier:)

  2. I'm so glad you find my site useful! Let me know how things work out in your classroom! Hope you have a great school year!