I teach 2nd grade resource room. I have a student who has received the majority of his instruction (reading and math) in the resource room setting since kindergarten. He has made great gains in reading, scoring close to above average on CBMs and informal assessments. He does well in all areas - word reading, decoding and comprehension. We recently removed his reading services, so he can be better challenged in the general ed. setting.
This student does struggle with self-motivation and attention, but only in a large group setting. However, I feel it is because the aide who was in his classroom last year did EVERYTHING with and for him, despite the teacher's request not to do so. Obviously there's nothing I can do about that now, but wanted to get some ideas on where to go from here. The general ed. teacher is getting frustrated with this student because she will give a direction and he will not work. She has had him complete unfinished work during recess and choice time and it still doesn't seem to have an effect. There are no clear motivators for this student.
Any thoughts on simple strategies I could suggest to this gen. ed teacher to get this student more motivated to work????
Could the teacher possibly try a token system of some kind? A token for on task behavior, or a token per assignment completed. When he has earned so many tokens, then he can get some type of reward (sit next to a friend, 10 minutes on the computer, ect,.....you may have to do an interest survey to find out what might be motivating for him. Time timers might also be useful. These are visual timers that he can see how much time he has left to complete an assignment or task. Is he still on an IEP? If so, he should have accommodations in place for the teacher in the gen ed setting. Hope some of these help. :-)
Have him do work in smaller chunks and reward him with something that he likes. Use color your own behavior charts. Also talk to gen ed teacher to praise him on what he does, try not to produce negative vibes. Find out what he likes. Some students like working on computers, ipads. After he gets 3 stars, he can work on the computer for 15 minutes. When working with him, also work with other students. He will see how others work, and will have the opportunity to make friends. Put him to work with other students that can help him. You can also make a visual schedule, so that he can know what he has to do and what consequences/reward he will be getting. Try to involve him in class, pass out papers, pick up assignments... Use lots of praise, "thank you for raising your hand, good job on your first problem, keep it up! I feel this is a student who wants to be accepted, but does not know how.
Because you said he only a struggles in a large-group setting, I expect distraction is the answer. I would talk to him about it and offer some sort of a study carrel set-up, to help him block things out, if he would like to try that.
If you think that's more than he needs, what about giving him a tool to break his work into smaller chunks? I saw something on Pinterest where you cut the front of a file folder into three sections. The child slips the paper they are working on into the folder and only opens one section at a time.
If your goal is to help him fit in with the other kids, I would not go for bribing him with computer time. The other kids only resent it when they see someone get rewarded for things they do anyway.
It is much easier for a child to stay on task when the adult to student ratio is small. The attention and self-motivation can be controlled and monitored by the adult, and praise is easier to dispense. When a child moves to the general ed classroom, there are so many distractions...movement, noise, voices, differentiation, etc.
Has anyone inquired about ADD? I would certainly want to investigate it.