I teach students who have multiple disabilities in grades 3-5. I have a unique class since some are from the district we are housed in and other students are from surrounding districts. It is a countywide program housed in a particular building. We have K-12th grade classes in 2 districts in the county. There are 2 other classrooms within my program that have 3-5th graders. Since we do not have the luxury of having particular textbooks and workbooks that we use like students in the general education curriculum, we have to make most of our lessons. We are still held accountable for teaching the state standards.
We just recently began making theme bins based on the standards. We used the science and social studies standards and grouped them in categories to name each bin. For example, standards on land, rocks, geography, and earth were grouped together and called “Where in the World.”
Included in all of the bins are 3 weeks worth of lessons for each subject area (reading, writing/technology, science/social studies, and math) based on this theme and content standards. Each lesson also includes a higher level and lower level activity since the students’ abilities are so diverse. Each teacher created 2 bins for the year and each month we rotate the bins. This really cuts down the preparation time that each teacher has to spend. In each bin, there are 3 weeks worth of lesson plans, handouts, games, books, and anything else needed for the unit.
This is a very fun way to teach the students the standards and they love having themes. And as the teacher, I love having great lessons with half the work!!