The importance of classroom structure is so that each center or activity is visually divided and defined. Students can focus on the work in that area and not be distracted. The physical structure lends to the predictability and eases the anxiety of transitions. Since verbal language and socially cues can be difficult for children with autism, when the same physical areas are used for the same types of tasks – students know what is expected of them and what they will be doing when they arrive at a center.
Arrange centers in your classroom to maximize space and make sure everything fits in! Time consuming process! My advice: play around a little bit and try some different options. My structure changed every year my first few years until I found something that worked!
I like using furniture whenever possible for dividing centers. This helps provide storage in each area which is essential! In my room I have 4 shelves back to back (2 back to back next to 2 back to back) in the center of my room dividing the room up. I also use shelves, desks, tables, dividers, cabinets, and file cabinets to separate sections. Here are a few pics of the sectioning:
I got this divider from enasco through donorschoose. It’s awesome because it is huge and very sturdy but also safe for any students who need a safe break area.