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deekybee deekybee is offline
 
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Student teaching in a resource room... Help!
Old 04-01-2016, 04:27 PM
 
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I am currently student teaching in an intermediate resource room at an elementary school. I am not having the best experience. My mentor is nice but, the nicest way I can put it is I don't agree with her style of teaching. There is no routine, progress monitoring, or classroom management, I spend 80% of my time redirecting students, which is so difficult when we have such a short block to teach for.
Testing is coming up and my mentor has instructed me to just plan activities for the remaining time I am there for the students to do since the schedule will be so hectic.
Well I am not working right now, so I can't keep buying my own resources. I am just at a loss as to what to do with them. I only need to plan for two 45 minute blocks of reading and writing for 4th and 5th of about 15 students(but really they are all on a 3rd-1st grade level) for the next month. But because the behaviors are so out of hand I don't see how I can teach a lesson on anything this late in the year (I have tried several times and failed). They have a difficult time simply staying on task to read a one page article, which is what they need to do as their IEP goals are all on reading strategies.
I would really appreciate any and all suggestions, or if anyone can point me in the right direction I am suppose to be taking this, it would really help me!

I felt so confident before this semester, but I have not received any feedback from my mentor l and it's just been difficult to know what I need to do.

(She doesn't want me doing centers, but partners are fine.)

Thanks in advance!


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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
 
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:58 PM
 
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I would start with some type of behavior plan. When I used to teach intermediate, I also taught in 45 minute blocks and would have students earn 5-10 minutes of free i pad time at the end of the block. I also had a lot of severe behaviors and it was better to get 35-40 minutes of quality instruction in and give up the time at the end for them to earn free time. Students that chose not to participate/do work or who were disruptive had to either finish work during this time or write sentences about what they were going to do differently next time. I've also had students earn some type of fun game at the end (again, only for students that do their work), but I found the free time to be more of an incentive for kids with worse behaviors. I've done games like around the world with sight words or math facts or math fact relay races (kids are in teams, you say a fact, the two in front run up and try to grab an object, first one to grab the object and say the answer gets a point). Alternatively, you could have teams of kids or individual kids earn points for appropriate behaviors and then give them a number of free minutes based on the points they receive. This can be more direct for students who need a visual to see which behaviors are earning them free time and which are not.

The other thing that I would suggest is to lower the level of work/what you are expecting them to do temporarily. I have one group this year with really severe behaviors and if they feel that the work is too hard the whole group ends up being chaos. I have to go at a much slower pace and do a lot more "academic hand holding" in this group, which is frustrating, but at least they are learning vs. doing nothing at all when the work is more challenging. Try whatever activity you are trying to get them to do with an article at a beginning 1st grade level and do a lot of modeling. Make the tasks that you are asking very direct. This is the exact opposite of what you will hear in college, but I have found that my students with behavior issues really need more basic and "boring" activities like worksheets. When I first started teaching I felt like I had to make everything so "engaging" and have a dog and pony show for every lesson. Over the years I've figured out that my students are happiest and most engaged when they feel successful and understand what they're supposed to be doing. Don't be afraid to try more straight forward activities.
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:49 PM
 
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Haley gave you some great ideas for how to get them working! Here are some resources for reading materials that you might be able to use:

Get epic.com (Some books have audio)
ReadWorks
TweenTribune
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:15 PM
 
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Thank you so much for your reply! Both of you! You gave me so many great ideas, I definitely feel like I need to plan a "dog and a pony show"! lol I will try your suggestions of giving them a simple worksheet and talk to my mentor about implementing a behavior plan. I think that would be totally doable for the remainder of my time in there.
And I will check out those resources you suggested. Thank you both for taking the time to reply!
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NewsELA
Old 04-03-2016, 02:24 PM
 
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This is a great resource with current event news articles. Plus you can adjust the Lexile. I use it in my room-kids at different levels can read at an independent level, answer the provided questions and then you can still have a whole group discussion because everyone read about the same thing!


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Old 04-03-2016, 04:09 PM
 
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Newsela starts at a 4th grade level. It's challenging for my 3rd graders. I would recommend readworks, have fun teaching or education.com. All of those sites have lower level reading comprehension and writing. Also, if you google what you're looking for tons of amazing free resources come up.

I agree with starting with a behavior plan. When I taught resource I did sticker charts. I know people hate them, but they were effective for me. I had 30 boxes on a sheet of paper. The kids had to fill half a sheet and got to pick from the prize box (I would suggest computer time or free time for you). They loved picking their stickers and putting them on the sheet-even my 6th graders.

No dog and pony show, make it quality learning. She's basically putting you in takeover so, while you can't change everything, make it work for you.
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Good advice
Old 04-05-2016, 12:17 PM
 
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Readworks is good. I hope implementing a behavior plan will work for you. Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:20 AM
 
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readingatoz.com: there is a free portion to the site. You can get levelzed readers.

teacherspayteachers.com: If you have not been here, go check it out! It will literally become one of your best friends!! Awesome work by fellow educators at all levels including special education.

If you don't have to "stick" to anything particular, choose a picture book (there are so many appropriate to the level at which you kiddos are working). Then use different activities to teach comprehension, sequencing, draw or write about favorite part. If doing non-fiction, they can write about something they learned.

You could also take a topic such as "butterflies" or "plants and flowers," "spring," "summer" and create activities around the theme.

For my second graders, I follow the unit they are doing and modify how I teach what the rest of their classes are learning because they are learning the same material (just taught according to teacher style). Not so easy when I also have K and First also doing there own units.

I hope this made some kind of sense.
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Student teaching
Old 05-15-2016, 02:41 PM
 
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What kind of curriculum is there now? Is there any type of Direct Instruction ( big DI)? This program is used in a lot of resource rooms. It is very effective and keeps the kids interacting instead of just expecting to read already. I would think you would need a program that teaches them how to read.
Making Words is another fun activity.
Orton-Gullingham methods such as tapping out sounds, using sound boxes, learning red words (sight word) practice.

If your cooperating teacher isn't using anything or teaching you or giving you ideas to use, I think I would ask for a different placement.
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