Color Coded Classroom

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
I have almost completed my first year as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher. I taught the older grades in the years prior to this one. In regards to teaching your little ones (or bigger ones) to use visual schedules and transition cards, one of the biggest tips I can give you is to color code your classroom!

It's SO simple!

1. Determine what areas you want to have in your classroom. For example, I have various areas in my classroom: the library, the whole group area, the direct instruction area, the math table, the reading table, the art table, the sensory table, the social skills area, and the play zone.

 *This is an example of how I planned out the areas of my room. It looks a bit different than this now, but this was how I brainstormed what areas I wanted and where to put each area. 

2. Assign each area in your classroom a color. For example, the library could be the yellow zone, the whole group area could be the white zone, the direct instruction area could be the blue zone, etc.

*This is an example of my classroom. As you can see, the various colors are indicated by the lanterns above each center. I also use the correlating bulletin board paper at each center when possible.

3. Set-up a visual color system for your students. This will include color coded schedule icons and color coded signs. The color coded schedule icons will go on your student's schedules. I have also included shapes with my system so that my students can be practicing colors and shapes throughout their day. Check out my transition color coded system here.  For all of my other schedule icon needs (i.e. recess, snack, bathroom, sensory room, etc.), I use Christine Reeve's Autism Pre-K- Elementary Classroom Visual Bundle.

*This is an example of my student schedules. As you can see, I use a mixture of color coded visuals and picture visuals. 

The color coded signs will be posted at each center with velcro attached so that your students can match their schedule icon to the appropriate center. This allows your students to practice matching colors (and shapes) throughout their instructional day.

*This is an example of the color coded signs that are placed throughout my classroom. 

4. Go all out! Color coding the areas of your room, especially your center areas, provides your students with the extra visual supports that they may need to distinguish one area from another.  Use color coordinated bulletin board paper. Use color coordinated hanging lanterns. I bought some from Amazon that I love. You can purchase them here. Use color coordinated binders. This helps you and your staff remember which data binder belongs to which table.

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