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Kimberly Eick

EDUW 694 Section A

May 18, 2014
Classroom Environment Reflection
Welcome to Mrs. Eicks classrooms. I am a high school CD teacher. In the last 3 years
there have been 4 different teachers for this very classroom. This classroom requires six staff to
comply with the IEPs and individualized needs of the students. Of the six staff in this classroom
four were new this year myself and three paraprofessionals.
My classroom is designed more like an Elementary classroom in that the curriculum is
individualized, the communication is at a lower level, the activities are more Elementary based,
and the dcor is student driven and sometimes created by the students. We decorate the room
to match the season or activity that we are doing for the month. I currently have twelve
students on my case load. Of the twelve students one is blind hard of hearing and non-verbal,
five additional students are non-verbal, another one has echolalia and will repeat movies all day
we use a play/pause/stop card with him. Eleven out of twelve students have a diagnosis of
Autism with one having the diagnosis of Aspersers.
I have 3 classrooms that are adjoined and serve various purposes. The first room is a
classroom designed with student learning mind. The room includes tables with chairs, a
bookshelf and a rug. It does have 2 bulletin boards; one has student awards and the second
with seasonal dcor as well as student art work. The reason that I wanted tables over desks
was for the purpose of assisting students in learning. By sitting at a table they are able to spread
their materials out and there is an extra chair at each table to enable staff to assist a student
when they need help. There is a Smart Board in this room.
In the middle room there is an office or sensory area for the students to use as needed.
In the morning the office is used for one student who needs to be alone and requires silence to

complete his work, in the afternoon it is a sensory room for multiple students who need a place
to regroup. The office can also be used as a time out area if needed. The main portion of the
second room is designed for learning as well but for the nonverbal students who need extra
assistance like hand over hand, sign language, one on one, as well as other accommodations.
This room is also equipped with three doors; two doors that lock so that when a student is
having a meltdown we can get the rest of the class to safety and monitor the behavior of the
The last room has the purpose of teaching life skills. It has a full kitchen, bathroom,
washer and dryer. This is the room that we eat lunch as a group. Six of the twelve students
need direct supervision during lunch. This room is also used for science experiments, teaching
the students how to clean, laundry (washing, drying, folding, and putting away), dishes
(washing, drying, and putting away), cooking, business skills (we make and sell popcorn every
Tuesday, coffee on Friday, and once a month a sweet treat), and organizational skills. Last year
we had the first Turkey Day Celebration where we invited the parents, members of the school
board, members of administration, and fellow teachers. We completed most of the food
preparation in this classroom. The students made a large portion of the food. We had two
members of the community come and teach the class how to make lefsa. We hope to have the
second Annual Turkey Day Celebration this fall.
Next year I am hoping to have some consistency by coming back to my current position
retaining the paraprofessionals in their current roles, as well as keeping the students consistent.
I want to keep the inviting atmosphere that we have created this year by including other classes,
teachers, administration, and parents. I am hoping to continue taking the students on field trips
throughout the community and try to have at least one a month. Last year we went to the apple
orchards in Gays Mills in September, October we went to the Pumpkin Patch and corn maze,
November we had the Turkey Day Celebration, December we went to the local movie Theatre

and watched the movie Free Birds, January and February we stayed inside on days that we
had school, March we had a sledding party, April competed in the Job Olympics, May part of us
went to the DHH Olympics and we fundraised all year to go to Wisconsin Dells.
In looking at my current classrooms I would like to work on keeping up the bulletin
boards throughout the year. In addition, I would like to create a comfortable inviting reading
area in the first classroom. To do this I have put a requisition for more bookshelves, bean bags,
and a couch (administration did not like the idea of putting a bathtub in a reading area). I also
asked for tables that are at wheel chair height taking into consideration one of my students who
is in a wheel chair 20% of the day.
I would also like to have more technology available for the students. I have one student
who needs access to an I Pod or MP3 player for his classes it helps him focus and stay on task.
I would also like to encourage regular education students come in and work with this population.
We had a great group of seniors this year that have worked wonderfully with my students and I
sincerely hope it can continue for many years.
For my first year in a public school it went pretty well. I learned a lot and hope to keep
learning. I had some good mentors that assisted me in my first year. I look back to the first
meeting with the paraprofessionals and it was interesting. At my previous job I worked alone
with 12-15 kids in a class now I was going to have 12 students with 5 paraprofessionals. I wish
that I could have had a little more training in working with paraprofessionals.