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HopeYouDance 09-22-2012 11:04 AM

PLEASE HELP! new & no curriculum
I am new to teaching resource room after teaching 5th grade for 3 years. My school is grades k-5 with approximately 2,000 students. For the past 4 years, there has only been 1 resource room teacher, but after her caseload exceeded 60+ students last year (:eek:), they decided that they should create another resource room position. I received a phone call over the summer letting me know that they'd chosen me for the position. My school has a very rigid curriculum for classroom teachers, but has nothing for the resource room. I am really excited about the opportunity :D, but I am going from working within very specific restraints to having free reign, and its really overwhelming!

i've been working with students for 2 weeks and have barely kept my head above water. I have about 35 minutes to work with each group of students. my students are grades 2-5. I am trying to group my kids by ability, but with all of the scheduling conflicts (not allowed to pull out for gym, recess, science, reading, and no more than 1 workshop a week) the groups are much more dependent on grade level. any advice would be helpful.

where do you begin? what do you teach each day? how do you choose what to teach when the kids in your groups have multiple goals that don't all coincide? i don't even know what questions to ask because i am so lost :confused:. please please help!

beachygrl 09-22-2012 11:52 AM

You're going to do well!
Take a deep breath & relax. You're in a good place, because you know your students' needs & goals. Your issues are scheduling & planning.

A little more info would help us give you better advice. Which subjects are you teaching? Is your 35 minutes 1 time a day? Are you pull-out, or is your program stand-alone? How many students do you see at a time?

HopeYouDance 09-22-2012 12:30 PM

thanks so much for your response!

Let me answer your questions...

Which subjects are you teaching?
I teach reading, writing and math. Most of the students have IEP goals in all three, but their recommended services specify how many times per week they should receive services in math, and how many in language arts.

Is your 35 minutes 1 time a day? Are you pull-out, or is your program stand-alone?
Technically I see the students for 45 minutes once a day. I pull-out into my own small room. The problem is that with the size of my school (6 floors) and the need for me to pick up and drop off each of the students at their classrooms (children are never allowed to walk throughout the school without a teacher), the actual time in my room works out to be about 35 minutes.

How many students do you see at a time?
I am allowed to have up to 8 students at a time. I have 36 students that I am servicing right now, so most groups are 7-8 kids. Most of the kids are mandated for 5 times a week, but a few are only 3 times a week.

I'm currently working on a few spreadsheets that will group each of the kids by their goals. Hopefully that will help with the scheduling, because I am redoing my schedule for the 6th time this school year (and we've only had 10 school days so far! *sigh* any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!!

beachygrl 09-22-2012 03:47 PM

That info helps!
So, first you need to figure out when you can have each kid, then, within that framework, decide what you're teaching when. I think I'd have an easier time to alternate Math days with ELA days, but something else might work better for you.

It's crucial that you find curriculum materials that have a logical progression from one skill to the next. Don't worry if you're using materials below grade-level, you can adapt as you go, and it's easier to move up the skill level than down when you're planning. For instance, if you're working on figurative language, "it's raining cats & dogs" is more basic than "hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul."

It's inevitable that you'll have kids at all kinds of levels, so plan for short assignments (no more than 5 questions/problems) that they can work on reasonably independently. The "I do, we do, you do" gradual release model is effective in situations like yours.

The good news is you'll be getting lots of exercise walkin' all these kids to & from class! I think I'd use that time to practice math facts, or rhyming words, or something.

Don't know how helpful any of this is for you, but if I think of anything else I'll post again.

gstwilightt 10-14-2012 09:59 PM

Special Ed

As I read your post, I thought about my first days of teaching Special education. It is definately (IMHO) the hardest teaching position in a school district. We have to multiple levels at the same time, in my room anyway, and all of them have different goals and objectives. In addition to having multiple disabilities, ranging from LD, ED, AU, and MR. I am sorry you are having a hard time, and I hope your year gets better.

ceopalgal 11-21-2012 02:28 PM

Compliance facilator
I can relate to your plight. First, I would seek the assistance of the Exceptional Ed. facilator at your board. They might go by a different name in your district. Their job is to assist resource teachers with your problem. Scheduling can be a nightmare get help. Also, by law your student should be able to access the same curriculum as the general ed. students.

Additionally, are you using the common core ? Most of the IEP goals and objectives can be alligned with the common core standards. Of course you will modify and use accommodations.

Once your scheduling is set up it will so much easier. Hope this was helpful.;)


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