Applying Structure to the General Education Classroom

Not everyone is in a self-contained room. Maybe you are a resource teacher, clinician, parent of a child the inclusion setting, general ed teacher, or your work in co-teaching model. Or maybe you want to get your student ready for more inclusion. Providing physical structure is still something we should and can do in the general ed setting. We have to be a little more strategic about this though. We don’t have as much flexibility. The goal is providing the visual division and predictability while still being a little on the DL. We can’t take over the gen ed room. We need to blend. Trust me – coming in as an over bearing member of the team with 500+ ideas of how you want and need to rearrange someone’s gen ed classroom is a surefire why to make sure your colleagues are talking smack about you at the copy machine tomorrow. So play it cool. And slowly work your way in.

  • set up separate areas based on type of academics
    • For example, for math we sit at your desk and for reading we sit at this table.


  • for carpet time activities pick a specific spot the child with autism always sits in
    • that way they always know where to go and know when they are sitting there what they will do
  • Create lots of rules
    • from which seat they use to who they sit next to; rules help add to the predictability of the room


  • Colored tape on the floor {learn more on using masking tape in this post}
  • Rely on visuals for switching out centers and classes.
  • use furniture style to add a bit more division to the gen ed room
  • for small rooms, maximize the space & use the same stations for multiple activities


  1. I try to never have a teacher desk! It takes up too much space! I’m glad you support that. Everyone always thinks I’m crazy. Thanks for adding a piece about regular ed. classrooms.

  2. you’re so awesome!!!!! SO glad you included some inclusion ideas! 🙂

  3. Love this!

  4. Haha, I know! People thought I was nuts too. For some reason, people have really strong emotions regarding this, haha!


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