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teacher0729 teacher0729 is offline
 
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Individual "to do" list?
Old 07-31-2018, 08:56 AM
 
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When students enter my room for reading intervention, I like to write down each student's plan on the board so that even if I am busy with something else, they know what to do and can get started. Still, some of my students wait for me to give them some direction even though I have reinforced to look at the board as part of the routine. Most of my students do different things so I have to tell each of them individually. Does anyone have a different idea for how to get them to initiate their work and be more independent? I'm thinking of just writing down their to do list on individual whiteboards instead and then they can actually cross off what they complete, it can be sitting on their desk when they walk in, etc. Just wondering if anyone has done anything else...


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Old 07-31-2018, 12:12 PM
 
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Generally when I differentiate activities/practice for students in my reading intervention small groups, they are either doing the same thing but with different materials, or I am giving them a choice between 2 options. My students (K-5) come to me from different classrooms, so even though our group might start at a certain time, I usually have about a 5 minute span of time when kids actually show up.

Another option would be to have students do basically the same thing each day (read a decodable, word sort, whatever), and just switch up the content so that they know they always start with ____ until you change it up and show them something different.

I have all of the materials students might need pre-prepped -- individual book "bags", word lists on rings, sentences on rings, etc. Once students know what is expected with each type of work, I will put the materials, or choices, at their table spot so when they come in, they get what they need and get started. That way I can be greeting students, checking in with everyone, or doing whatever might come up (I'm a reading specialist and instructional coach, so I do occasionally need to deal with "emergencies" from the coaching part of my job). If kids don't start right away, they get a quick "if you waste 5 minutes every time you come here, in a week that is 25 minutes of time you wasted! That's almost one whole class period! Oh my goodness, that will make a huge difference in learning to read! I hope this doesn't happen again." talk from me, either right then or after our group.

Initiating work, and working independently, is a tough one for our kids who are struggling. At least in my experience, kids who are seeing me for reading intervention have typically not been very successful in gen. ed. and learn to rely on people to give them answers, hand hold them through everything. It takes a lot of practice and training to get the kids successfully working this way. If you don't do that foundational routine building, it doesn't really matter what system you have - on the board or individual boards. It's almost like reprogramming them - in this room, we do ______. My groups are very fast paced ("there is a LOT to learn!") with transitions every few minutes and if the kids don't come in and get focused, we don't get the results we need.

I am not a huge giver of rewards, but I do occasionally (to keep it special) let an "all star student" choose a prize or I have giant star stickers I will give out. I award those sparingly, but always tell the entire group how it was earned. I will use them to motivate a student who has been struggling but has a great day, or to highlight a behavior I want to encourage (like getting start right away and showing initiative and independence). I don't do it every day, so it is a big deal and the kids really pay attention to how the prizes can be earned.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:20 PM
 
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I like your idea of individual task lists that are waiting for them. If your routines are often the same, you could write them on a piece of paper and slide it into a plastic sheet protector, that way it could be wiped off and used again the next day.
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