Sunday, September 3, 2017

Rest Time in Special Needs Classrooms

About a month ago, I posted on Instagram about how I have a rest time in my classroom. I also asked my followers if they do a rest time/ break and how they set it up in their classroom. I was a little surprised at some of the responses I received from people. I had some people tell me that I shouldn't "waste academic time" giving students rest time, I had some people tell me that there is no way their principal would allow rest time and I had some people super excited to hear "nap time" alternatives.

Here's some generic information how about I set up rest time and why I do it:


Now, let me tell you a little more about how and I why I chose to implement a rest time 5 years ago. When I started teaching at my current school 5 years ago, I didn't have a rest time. We had a few students with pretty severe behaviors and when we started taking data, we noticed that the majority of the negative behaviors were happening in the afternoon. My paras and I were able to look at our students in the afternoon and tell that they were just wiped out by about 1:00pm. So, I decided to take the data and graphs to my principal and asked her if I could implement an hour long rest time. She was a little hesitant to agree at first, but she agreed to let me implement a rest time for a trial period of a few weeks if I continued to take data and it showed that the negative behaviors in the afternoon decreased.

Amazingly, SO many of the negative behaviors in the afternoon decreased (some completely stopped!) with rest time so we have continued to do it. Another great thing about starting rest time is my students magically became SO much more productive in the afternoon! Before rest time, I was only able to do centers, independent work, and some free choice time. Now that my students are resting and refreshed, we are able to do gross motor groups, math instruction AND centers, independent work, and some free choice time!

Here are some of the AMAZING ideas people sent me on Instagram. I love how creative 

Do you have some sort of rest time/ break time in your classroom mid-day? What do you call it and how do you set it up? I'd love to hear more ideas!

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