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StumpedSci 02-10-2016 05:38 PM

Help! No para/help for low kids
Hi - I'm a science teacher and I am dying right now. I have FOUR kids who are very low in one of my science sections. I'm talking MAYBE first-second grade abilities in a 5th grade classroom. One has Downs. These kids miss 20-30 minutes of my class several times a week for speech, too.

The work we are doing is INTENSE, even for the on-level kids. To truly scaffold this material for these special kiddos would be to create completely different lessons AND be able to teach it to them. That's not realistic for me to do. I feel awful that I am not reaching these kids, and they are just slipping through science.

I've asked, begged, pleaded for a para. I have a volunteer who comes in once a week to help them. We've adapted what we can but truly what they end up doing is drawing pictures and is just busy work.

I'm half-venting here...because it's February and I feel like it is a lost cause at this point. But if any of you wise teachers out there have a suggestion...I'm all ears.

dubby 02-16-2016 08:27 PM

Small groups
I also teach 5th, but we are not compartmentalized, we teach all the subjects (though I specialize in science). I'm not wise by any means, but I have students who are very low like yours and 3 that don't even speak/read English, but they still manage to understand the concepts:

I purposely plan for small group instructions with differentiated materials for them at least once a week. At first I was resistant to doing small groups, but the kids started to show growth so I kept going. I always do small groups during the student's guided practice and independent practice time.

I don't know your curriculum or how long you have the students, but if I were just science I might do something like this:
MON: Closed read (whole class) -> teacher introduces and models setting up scientific method
TUE: Closed read -> whole class sets up the scientific method/inquiries
WED: Closed read -> Students practice scientific method/inquiries in partners + I'm small grouping
THU: Whole class observes teacher model while documenting observation -> student observes and discuss verbally
FRI: Class does experiments in groups/partners and documents their observation + I'm working with small group

MON: Reflection on what happen and what they can infer.

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