One approach to setting up a classroom is to organize it into centers.  TSBVI teacher Suzanne Becker explains why she adopted a center-based approach,  "I’ve structured the classroom into distinct learning environments or centers differentiated from one another by themes, the materials stored there, the seating arrangements (tables/chairs, couches, beanbags, rugs), and the physical landmarks dividing them. This organization has helped my students make associations between the centers and the interactions, activities, materials and sensory experiences that occur in each."

Centers for Younger Students

TSBVI teachers Sara Kitchen and Amy Doezma share photos of the centers in their classroom.

                  Bubble ball pit              clothing exploration center

                    Bubble Ball Play Area                              Clothing Exploration Center


                  gross motor center             HOPSA Dress center

                    Gross Motor Center                                   HOPSA Dress Center


                             independent play                  kitchen exploration

                               Independent Play Center                Kitchen Exploration Center


                             light room          music center

                               Light Room                                     Music Center


                   water and sand play center        throwing center

                        Water and Sand Play Center                      Throwing Center


Active Learning Class Tour

Description: A brief tour of an Active Learning classroom.

AL class tour

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Independent Exploration in the Kitchen Center

Description: A young boy explores kitchen equipment in the Kitchen Center of his classroom.

independent exploration Kitchen center 
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Active Learning Calming Materials

Description: A teenage boy in the Calming Center in his classroom.

 calming materials
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Vocational Center

Description: A teenage boy in the Vocational Center in his classroom.

vocational center video 
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Drum Interaction

Description: A teenage boy and his teacher drum on an assortment of metal tins.

drum interaction 
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Ball Interaction in Throwing Center

Description: A teenage girl and her teacher in the Throwing Center in their classroom.

ball interaction

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Hairbrush Interaction

Description: A teenage boy and his teacher explore different hairbrushes.

 hairbrush interaction
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Co-Active Movement in Hygiene Center

Description: A teenage boy and his teacher gently twisting side-to-side while exploring hand lotion.

 coactive movement hygiene
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 classroom centers collage