Structured Learning Classrooms in Special Education

Children with special needs often benefit from the predictability of consistent routines and structure. Structured learning classrooms in special education provide the necessary support in the classroom and throughout the school day to promote student engagement in learning activities, behavior management, communication, and social skills. These Watson Institute structured learning classroom resources provide suggestions, guidelines, materials, data sheets, daily schedule templates, checklists, classroom layout,samples, and more for setting up a structured special education classroom.

Independent Work Stations

Many classrooms for students on the Autism Spectrum incorporate the use of independent work stations.

Quality Guidelines Checklist

As teachers begin their new classroom, they can continually assess the components and practices with the Yearly Outcome Form.

Material Chart

The Material Chart can provide teachers with a general list of materials to purchase when planning a classroom.

Data Sheets

Data collection is an integral part of measuring the accomplishment of goals
Classroom layout at Watson

Classroom Layout

When planning a classroom, a visual of the environment can be helpful.
Watson organizational skills

Classroom Centers

Pictures and descriptions of possible centers found in classrooms can be seen in the Centers Powerpoint.
Learning scheduling at Watson

Schedule Powerpoint

Once the environment has been designed, teachers need to create schedules for students and for the adults running the classroom.
IEP at Watson

IEP at a Glance

Developing a one page IEP is a good starting point to aide in creating the physical environment.


Team meetings help staff to work more effectively as a cohesive team. Having a format to follow can promote a productive outcome for team members, especially enabling positive outcomes for their students.