Classroom Structure {Considerations}

Just like there were a lot of essential considerations to figure out during organization and planning – there are some important considerations when arranging your furniture. Before you start hulking around massive shelves and cabinets and sweating through your cardigan – think these things through.

  • Transitions
    • How will you have your students wait to leave the room (ie. before lunch, gym, end of day, etc.)? I think it’s completely appropriate (and way easier!) for younger students to sit and wait. For older kids, it’s not as age appropriate so consider other visuals cues for a stand and wait system. I tape names on the floor so my guys know where to stand.
  • Schedules
    • How many wall schedules will you need? If using binders – will you need space for this? Set aside some space for these.

The Autism Helper - Structure


  • Storage
    • At each center you will likely need storage for whatever activities you will be doing at the center. This is a HUGE antecedent intervention for behavior management. Have everything you need at each working station! Behavior problems will occur when you have to get up and grab a highlighter or data sheet. Don’t leave those busy hands unoccupied for even a second. Have everything ready to go where you need it. Well placed storage is the answer!

The Autism Helper - Structure


  • Matching Furniture 
    • This is where you are going to think I’m nuts again. But – I swear – there is a method to the madness. Try to match furniture styles in each area of your classroom. My classroom furniture is comprised a complete mish mosh of my random finds from around our building. But I can group similar items into each center. This helps visually separate each center even more. And let’s be honest. It looks better. So put all the brown chairs at the reading table and all the blue chairs at the morning center. If two bookshelves are lined next to each other – make it the shelves that are the same color or same height. Make it cohesive.

The Autism Helper - Structure


  1. Great posts!! They are very informative.

  2. Thanks! Glad they are helpful!

  3. And they thought I was crazy. In my classroom I always had the teal chairs at the computers and the blue chairs at the group table. I even put a piece of masking tape on the back of the chairs with a label of where they belong.

  4. You have lots of energy and wonderful ideas. I teach ECSE and have a very diverse classroom of abilities including integrated peers. All of your materials and ideas will fit into my environment and know I have my summer project or should I say projects.
    I too have always had my color coded chairs in my different areas. I struggle with space for table top or independent work. I have 7 centers in my room already so my first task is to “think this thru”. Thank you very much.

  5. Thanks so much, Barb! So glad to hear you find my ideas helpful! Have a great summer!


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