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Very Low class
Old 08-17-2017, 07:39 PM
 
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Hi y'all
Haven't posted here in a very very long time. I've had my kids for a week. After testing, I have discovered that 9 of my kids read at a 1st grade level 11 read at a second grade level and 5 read at a 3rd grade level. 5 of my kids read at grade level.
I have one with ODD, 3 with ADD, and 2 with ADHD.
I have 5 who cannot pay attention at all for the life of them AT ALL. I am beside myself and cannot get a grip.
Home issues have taken a toll on me and I don't think I'm ready for this.
I'm just looking for advice.
I'm on day 8 and already horribly frustrated. I don't want my year to be like this. I want an amazing year. But I'm just repeating myself and waiting a lot.
30 kids is too many.
Words of wisdom?
Words of support?
Just words?
Asking people who know, you know?
Thanks guys...


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Old 08-17-2017, 07:51 PM
 
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30 is a lot.

I would try to write steps or directions as often as I can. Then I just keep it pushing back to them. I also find myself counting often. They move fast then. I am not sure what's happens when I get to zero.

Frequent movement and opportunities to talk. I pull sticks or something similar mostly. Add in some brain breaks? I also spend a lot of time teaching what good listeners look like.

Adding: Use checklists (put on desk, or have them staple to assignments)
Give them a study buddy. Put those kids who are organized beside them and give them the job of helping keep that student on track - they can clue them as to getting assignments out, reminding them of what they are supposed to do...


Breathe. And use great amounts of patience.

Last edited by kahluablast; 08-18-2017 at 05:07 AM..
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You have your work cut out for you
Old 08-17-2017, 09:13 PM
 
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I would make it my number one goal to show them how fun reading can be and how informative it can be as well. If the children leave with an appreciation for books they will continue to want to learn to read. If they can read they will continue to learn for a lifetime.

I would make time to read aloud to them daily. It could have a science connection, or social studies, or math to double dip. But I would not let a day go by without reading to them.

Choose the best books and have fun with reading so they get hooked!

Good luck! Do your best each day and then go home and take care of you.
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Wow!
Old 08-18-2017, 01:33 AM
 
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You have your plate full this year that's for sure! But a challenge can refresh us in many ways. It just causes us to rethink and get help I've had similar groups. Are any on IEPs?? Get special services??

So my best tips are to shorten lessons, make them as interactive and hands on as you can. Read alouds are times to model but also to get them thinking and working together. Lots of turn and talks, jot quick notes, make webs and charts to capture the big ideas (visuals can help). It helps to break up longer lessons. Try to get in some movement, get up to move to a different spot n the room, partner work on the floor, etc.

Do you do guided reading? With your low groups, it could be extremely beneficial.
All the best to you. Post back to let us know how it's going
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:57 AM
 
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I agree with 1956BD about doing as many read alouds as possible.

I had a very challenging class last year both behaviorally and academically. I used read alouds as as much as a "break" for myself as for the kids. My students were LOW and had VERY limited attention spans and as a bonus were developmentally immature; however something changed when I read to them. They became focused and engaged. They settled down and we were able to have class discussions.

I use comprehension choice boards. I would read a bit then have a child pull the card or roll the dice and read the question. Sometimes we answered it orally and moved on. Other times I used it to model writing in our journals (restating the question, giving text evidence, etc). Overall, I was able to teach more "off" my lesson plan than if I tried to just get through my regular lesson. Plus if Admin walks through I'm working on comprehension and class discussion / oral & verbal skills

Just take it day by day. There'll be good days and there'll be not so good days. Focus on the things that work and do those things.

One more thing (sorry this is so long) but I remember my 4th grade teacher reading "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume to my class. We loved it. Now, I read that book and the series each year. My students LOVE it. They become vested in the characters and follow each book in the series. They become hooked. It's seriously amazing to see. I cherish those times because it's a little bit of quiet in the midst of a crazy day.


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Love Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing
Old 08-18-2017, 12:53 PM
 
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It is humorous and the students can easily make connections with the story and characters. Good choice!

In October read The Monster's Ring by Bruce Coville. Best Halloween ever! It will hook the students as well. The book also teaches some valuable lesson like be careful what you wish for, read instructions carefully and watch out for bullies because they might become your friend. Great chapter book read aloud!
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:45 PM
 
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It could be helpful to watch Harry Wong video clips on YouTube, especially the policies and procedures ones. Sounds like your kiddos could benefit from that.

30 is WAY too many!
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:45 PM
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More info...
Old 08-18-2017, 03:47 PM
 
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Hey guys..

Thought I should let you know...we are an IB school. So we are very fast paced. Students are expected to be self paced learners, asking their own questions, etc.

No time for read alouds.

They are required to be on a computer program (Lexia/Jiji) for 45 minutes every day. They have a language class or PE twice a week (Russian or Spanish).

Due to the very large Slavic population and their religious beliefs, we are not allowed to do anything at all related to Halloween. No crafts, activities, no costumes, I can't even mention it. No, we are not a private school.

We are a charter school, and we cater to parent requests.

It's just so much.

We have 3 classes each of K-3. Each of these classes has 20 kids. Starting in 4th up to 8th, there are only 2 of each class. So those classes of 20 merge into 2 classes of 30.

This is the final plan for our school and will likely not change in the near future. The requirements placed upon us seem to get more intense each year.

Just overwhelmed.

Thanks for the input.
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I don't feel qualified to offer help any more
Old 08-18-2017, 06:05 PM
 
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as I know nothing about IB schools. I do sympathize however and wish you the best of luck.
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Idea
Old 08-19-2017, 08:46 AM
 
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I feel for you! You may want to check out Whole Brain Teaching. I use the "class,yes" and it's simple and effective. I don't have the personality for the style of it as a whole, but it has some great nuggets and I know there are videos you could even show your class.


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Ib
Old 08-19-2017, 09:12 AM
 
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I don't know what that entails, so I'm no help there.

I'm not sure what you mean about not having time for read alouds. Everything they do is self-paced? Do you do whole-class teaching once and then they work at their own pace?

Are you allowed to do small groups when they're working on their own?

Can you at least read aloud something (picture book) during whole class teaching that goes along with the topic?

I'm so sorry it's a rough year for you. I had one of those last year and it couldn't finish soon enough.

DEFINITELY get time for yourself. It's absolutely necessary. Schedule monthly massages or lunch dates. Take nightly baths to unwind. I worked at school until everything was done so when I got home I could separate myself and it be "me time". It helped.
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Hang in there
Old 08-23-2017, 08:19 AM
 
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I hope your administration is providing helpers for your class because you definitely need help with that many.

You mentioned 45 minutes of daily computer work using Lexia/JiJi...for literacy and math, I believe?

Can Lexia be set to where all the students listen/watch the same e-book or interactive story (if so you could get your "Read-Along" through this method)? Then hopefully, your students could hear the same stories, and you could interject stories that help with student self-control/governing behavior....

Can Jiji be used by multiple users to view the same material? If so students could work on the same math materials.

In either case, perhaps there is time before or afterward the computer lessons to discuss the learning outcomes desired...?

I like what others have said about your need to take time for and care of yourself!
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I've been there...
Old 09-04-2017, 07:20 PM
 
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I understand where you are. It is rough. I teach in a charter school that also caters to parents.

Last year, I had 27 students in my class. (76 total in 4th.) I had 4 IEPs for true learning disabilities, 6 IEPs for speech, 1 kiddo with ODD/ADHD medicated, 1 kiddo with ADHD medicated, 4 diagnosed but not medicated ADHD, 1 student who was on the spectrum but hadn't officially given the school the word, and 1 ASD student who was just receiving his first IEP due to throwing desks, self-harm, and other behaviors.
Of those students, 2/3 of the class was reading below a 4th grade level. 8 were at a K/1st level.

We went to teaching 3rd grade curriculum. Behavior problems decreased and they started to become successful.

LOTS of movement. Quick pace with directions and transitions. It seems backwards, but if they were given time to become distracted it took me forever to reign them back in. I give out a ton of high-fives for being on task. Sometimes I throw out a pencil or eraser - when they least expect it. We rotated our reading class between 3 rooms (the 3 4th grade teachers) so they had 30 min centers, 30 min direct instruction on the story, and 30 min Lexia/Reading Plus. That worked amazingly well for us.

I have no other advice or words of wisdom. I understand where you are. I was incredibly exhausted all last year. Best of luck to you.
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