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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,004
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,004
Senior Member

Old 04-05-2018, 04:59 PM
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I only work with K-3 now, but my job used to be K-6 and I also saw students in 45 minutes group. Many of my older students had behavior issues. I let them earn 5 minutes of free i pad time at the end of every day if they followed my rules for the first 40 minutes. Waiting until Friday for a reward is too long for kids with major issues, IMO.

Yes, it was a "waste" of 5 instructional minutes daily, but IMO it was worth it to give that up in a favor of 40 minutes of solid instruction with minimal disruptions first. I'm sure if I added up all of the time I was correcting behavior, restating rules, and dealing with severe issues prior to this, it was way more than 5 minutes per day!

I picked some simple rules that were paramount to keeping the group on task- I'm going back almost 5 years now, but I think it was something like voices off, stay in your own space, do your work. I put out one of our PBIS tickets with each student's name on it on the table, and put 3 unifix cubes on top. Each time the student wasn't following one of the basic rules, I simply took a cube away. Since I didn't even have to say anything, this cut out the kid arguing with me and meant I didn't have to stop teaching to correct behavior.

If students had at least 2 blocks left at the end of the 40 minutes, they got to keep the pbis ticket and 5 minutes of i pad time. One block left earned them the 5 minutes of i pad time. If they had 0 blocks left, they wrote sentences about what they would do differently the next day while everyone else got the i pad time.

In my groups with less severe issues, I'll have students earn an academic game at the end instead of free i pad time. I still get the benefit of keeping the kids on track, and really the last 5 minutes is still instructional, just in a slightly more "fun" activity. For example, word bingo, around the world with sight words, or SNAP! This works for many of my groups, but back when I taught 6th grade I needed the reward to be bigger in order to motivate students.

IMO, I don't think you'll find many (any?) reading activities that they'll actually enjoy. They're there because reading is extremely hard for them, and by this point they're probably pretty embarrassed by this as well. I would focus on helping them experience success (IME, my kids are most motivated and well behaved when they feel successful, even with the most "boring" of activities) and finding a reward/consequence system that works to manage behavior rather than focusing on trying to find reading activities that are supposedly more fun/interesting.
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