Classroom Setup: Building Independence

As an educator, the way you organize your classroom can have a significant impact on how your students navigate their school day. 

If you are looking for ways to teach your students greater independence, try using a Center-Based classroom setup. Within each “Center”, students will have access to resources, materials, and instructions relative to the designated subject. 

For example, if you’re creating a Life Skills Center, this area could include kitchen-themed items such as a play kitchen or grocery store set up. Instructions and activities in this area could include sorting utensils into a drawer divider, setting a table, or creating a grocery list. 

Some other examples of Centers include: 

  • Language Arts / Phonics
  • Reading
  • Break area / Leisure
  • Sensory Area 
  • Fine Motor
  • Math 
  • Science 
  • Computer 

The goal with creating centers in your classroom is to select centers that match with your students’ unique goals and objectives. Each area should be designed to incorporate students’ interests and abilities and enable students to engage with and navigate through the space independently. 

This resource was authored by Watson Institute Special Education Consultant, Lisa Plastino, M.Ed.

Learn more about setting up your Center-Based classroom today and check out our sample material lists! 

Centers PowerPoint Presentation

Center Materials by Subject

The special education resources on this page were authored by Watson Institute’s special education consultants and faculty.

If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.