I’m a Special Day Class Teacher who was moved from 3rd grade to Middle School this school year. All my students have learning disabilities and many have behavior disorders. My newest strategy has been to set-up “Centers.” I’ve put four students in each group. The centers are:
Computer Lab (I have four old classroom computers that can go online – I have my spelling and keyboarding program for them to use: http://spellingcity.com/akinsete and http://phonetictyping.com. Usually there is one student in the group who can help if students have technical problems, but for the most part the computer center runs itself.
Pocket Chart-Sort Center – We are using the Language! curriculum. I’ve adapted the sorting exercises in the workbook to a pocket chart sort. The students sort words, combine syllables and make sentences at this workstation and then record their answers to their workbooks. A parent or instructional assistant is there to help.
IWB – I am blessed to have an Interactive White Board. The Language program has a CD called Sortogories. The students do the electronic sorts at the IWB. This center is close to the pocket chart so the Instructional assistance can keep an eye on this group. They have to score perfect and one student records the group results.
Teacher’s Table – This is where I can work with a small group of four. I find this much more effective than teaching at the IWB. Many of the students have processing delays which affects their ability to copy from the board or take note. At the table we do vocabulary, grammar exercises and reading. There is about 20 minutes of instruction. When I complete this group, the students rotate “Centers.”
Before the Centers, we spend time in a full group going over what is expected in each Center. Sometimes we listen to the audio of the text, looking at related pictures on the Web or completing the workbook pages that can be done successfully as a large group. I use table points to motivate and manage behavior during large direct instruction. But teaching to a group of 15+ is by far the least effective method of reaching LD students. During and after the Centers the Aide and I give stickers on each person’s sticker chart for each “Center” they completed. A full chart gets “free computer time” or some other perk.
Bye for now -Adrienne Akinsete at http://msateaches.com