Summer Small Group - Sensory Rooms

Posted by LIZZIE VANSANT on 7/24/2019 1:30:00 PM

Update: Our original proposal team has added 3 new members: Reed Bowers, Abby Spurlin, and Jenny Mangham. These members are at New Teacher Orientation this week but have been vital participants in developing these spaces.  

We’re coming down to the wire and starting to feel the pressure of the beginning of the year, getting our classrooms ready, and getting our sensory spaces ready. We started today setting up our Movement Room. The morning consisted of rearranging furniture to accommodate for the new purchases that will be coming in over the next couple of days. Here are some pictures of our current space: 

movement room


movement room

 movement room


We moved over to the Snoezelen Room and created a Tens-Frame and Alphabet Strip with the touch lights that we ordered. We anticipate that teachers will be able to use this for whole group or small group instruction. We’re ordering more touch lights to create a lower-case set of letters for building CVC words. We also are planning on ordering additional touch lights for digraphs, diphthongs, and replacements. An additional space will be available to create sentences with both uppercase and lower-case letters. We’re working on documents that will highlight some activities using the alphabet touch lights relating to literacy including phonemic awareness, alphabetic principal, word building, and sentence composition.   


abc wall

10s frame

Expectations - We’re working on creating expectations for the rooms and professional development for teachers. Today, we’ve had several teachers come through and provide us with suggestions for logistical things to think through. We found some visual supports that we will be able to provide to teachers and hang up in the room as an overview.  

Calendar – We’re considering some options for a calendar for both rooms. We’ve thought that it would be good to set-up an Outlook calendar that is shared amongst the faculty and would be accessible to teachers throughout the year. We ran into some conflicting opinions about whether or not a whole-group, small-group, or individual student would be a scheduling priority in the room. We decided that it would first be dependent on the calendar and who reserved time, and then lean back to the whole-group since the rooms are for the whole building.  

Signs - We’re in the process of creating signs to display on the outside of the rooms when they will be in use or are available.  

As the majority of our team has shifted roles, we’re continuing to think through professional development for our staff, especially at the beginning of the year. Our goal is to orient teachers to the sensory-friendly environments and help them create a plan to use the rooms. At the beginning of our professional development training, we’re planning on creating a survey to gather baseline data from the teachers and evaluate their needs before beginning the training. This data will be useful throughout the year to determine what professional development plans we need to develop for teachers to best utilize the space.  

Our next steps are finishing installation of the rooms and begin preparing our professional development session for the staff at one of our back to school meetings.