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HELP!!! All I have is ULS
Old 08-25-2018, 08:16 PM
 
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Hello I'm a new teacher working in a self-contained classroom. I have Kinder and 1st grade students who have very little skills. I have little resources and no money and I'm trying to figure out how to get through a full day (everyday) with my students. I'm spending to much time trying to plan and make a schedule but it seems I'm just spending my wheels. I know its only been a week of school but I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants everyday and I'm trying to set the right expectations. Due to age and attention span we do take a lot of breaks but since all I have is the ULS curriculum, which stills seems to advanced for them, I don't know how to make it through an entire day or how my day should look. If they can only do an activity for 5-10 minutes, I'm going to need tons of materials and I just can't afford to purchase anything right now. I really don't know what to do but I can't spend everyday, late evenings trying to planning, I'm going to be burnt out by Labor day. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 08-26-2018, 05:17 AM
 
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Sounds like you have a challenging class! Can you tell us a little more about them so we can help you better? These types of classes are very different in different states and sometimes even in different districts within the same state. If you can give us a bit of a picture of what your class looks like, I’m sure we can help you figure some things out.
  • Why is unique learning to advance for them? Is it they don’t have a cognitive academic skills, or do they have other impairments that make it difficult for them to use the curriculum? ( orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, etc.)
  • Are your students verbal or non-verbal?
  • Can they follow simple, familiar directions even briefly? For example, if you tell a student to sit down, can they do that even if they won’t stay sitting down?
  • Did they pay attention well to anything? Music, videos, playing with toys?
  • Can they perform basic, age-appropriate life skills? Do they feed themselves? Do they toilet independently? Can they come in a place there are books like an appropriate spot without assistance?
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Uls
Old 08-26-2018, 05:50 AM
 
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ULS has three levels. The lowest level is hand over hand, so you should be able to do some of that with them. Hit up the Target bins in the front of the store and dollar tree for things you can buy cheap and use to set up work tasks. At this point you want them completing tasks for the sake of learning to complete work and then recieve a reinforcer. The tasks could range from stringing large beads to putting the beads on the string to match a pattern picture. It will all depend on their level. Think simple. You're trying to increase their motivation to complete tasks. I would set up a handwriting time (or typing based on needs), a Reading time, a Math time, and a Science time. ULS will cover Social Studies for you. You're also going to need a time to collect goal data for your IEPs. Handwriting could be a letter of the week. For every subject try to introduce or reinforce the concepts with a song, video or hands on item. Feel free to PM me for more ideas. I taugh K-5 self contained for many years.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:14 AM
 
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I have a total of 5 students right now, as the 6th one hasn't shown up yet. One in wheelchair, nonverbal, low. Only one student is toilet trained. They're mainly verbal but very limited in their language skills. They have no concept of writing so we're working on pre-writing skills or trying. Yes they can follow simple directions for the most part. They can't work independently right now so everything is whole group. We're pretty much working on alot of prerequisite skills. I'm adjusting how I'm going to collect data for their IEPs. They like videos, I've used YouTube, I just want to make sure that it's used in an academic way and not as a babysitting tool if you know what I mean. Trying to figure out a flow, so that they can learn a routine. I know things don't always go as planned in this setting but I would like to have a visual, a way it should go so that even when we get off schedule I have a "road map", a way of working us back on schedule. I was a para last year so I couldn't afford to purchase things for the classroom and handle my personal finances. I'm planning to purchase items for work tasks but I have 2 weeks before I get paid, so I honestly can't afford anything. I have to work with what I got. I'm just having a lot of trouble visualizing what the day should look like. Reading through ULS, there's alot components that I feel I could use but not everything, although I'm getting familiar with it.
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Only ULS
Old 08-26-2018, 10:05 AM
 
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Do you have any classroom aides? I hope, that is a lot of students for that age in a self-contained classroom.

If you have other adults in the room, you could set up a discrete trial or even flash card station. One for math, one for reading and one for life skills.

The IEP goals could drive this and you only need index cards or even cut up pieces of paper.

I know you are trying to limit screen time, but apps like ABC Mouse are very useful at this age and you can use guided access to lock the iPad into the app. IPads are also great reinforcers. There a lot of similar free apps out there and your co-workers in Pre-K/Early Childhood may be able to help you there.

Do any teachers in your building have extra CDs of things like Dr. Jean or Heidi Songs that you can burn or download onto your device?

Sensory breaks are also huge at this age. Can you take a morning recess or do movement games to get the wiggles out?

That is four rotations there. You could do for example, morning reading rotations of 10-15 minutes: sensory movement, a group song and either have the students working on iPads while you do discrete trials or an aide doing discrete trials while you do ULS. You could repeat the rotations if fell like you have more content to get in for the day. Or you could add a hands-on art activity to work on fine-motor skills if you do not have to purchase the supplies.

You would then do the rotations in the afternoon with math content.

Keep in mind that at this age attending to instruction and learning to transition from activity to activity are also skills that are important and will take time for the students to master.



Last edited by readandweep; 08-26-2018 at 12:06 PM..
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I agree with the PP
Old 08-26-2018, 12:21 PM
 
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She is on the right track. Do short, frequent exercises or activities. Don't feel bad if you do the same activities more than once a day. These students will do best with frequent repetition.

And too, think "real" time instead of "I have a full school day to fill..."

By the time you attend to the feeding and toileting of that many kids, and take in consideration of OT, PT, Speech Therapy, Music Therapy, breaks, recess, drop off and pick up, there is not that much instructional time and it is not in very big chunks.

But that's okay, because all of those activities add up to a real day in a real school room.
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