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Welcome!

Welcome to my blog:) Since I am so far away from my friends and family, I want to keep you updated on the fun and trials of my new job. Thank you to everyone for your support, encouragement, and the tips/ideas you may offer!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Silver Lining

I am the 1st - 3rd grade special ed teacher at my school.  However, the 4th-6th grade teacher has a high case load this year.  So I have been helping with a couple of his 4th graders the past 3 weeks.  It has been pretty rough so far.  Yesterday was the straw that broke the camels back.

One of the students was only showing up 50% of the time, (unbeknown to me) due to specials being during the scheduled writing/spelling block.  So I fixed this problem by talking to the classroom teacher.  CHECK.

Then the students have been staring blankly into space for the majority of the time, requiring me to keep prodding them and working with them one on one.  Which is difficult/impossible when I have 8 second graders and 1 first grader in there at the same time.  

SO after having a moment of doubt, I made a new game plan!  

Here's the plan.  The fourth grade students each have a grid of 5 squares across and 5 squares down.  When they are doing something I like I give them a star.  My goal is to give them positive feed back approximately every 2-5 minutes, or any time I see them on task (especially without specific verbal instruction), raising their hand without prompting, getting out their next task, etc.  Once they get 5 stars across they can move their football on our football behavior chart one spot.  (For more information check out this post.)  This allows them to earn bigger rewards.

On the left - token board with stars
Top - Check list
Right - Student work


In addition to positive reinforcement each fourth grader has a checklist of the things they need to do each day.  For example:  get out folder, practice spelling words by writing on the board (or stamping or rainbow write, etc.), DLR (Daily Language Review also known as DOL), writing, and a blank spot for me to fill in things that pop up.

Today was the first day using my new game plan, and it went well.  Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow!!!  It's also Friday:)  

I'll up date this with pictures...hopefully tomorrow.

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