I am a resource room teacher and most of the kids I see are only in my room for a portion of the day. They come for math or reading or both and then they go back to their regular education classroom. For the most part my kiddos stay for about a hour for each subject but both years so far I’ve had a couple of kiddos that need to stay for a little longer in my classroom. Sometimes its just because they need extra support and sometimes, for various reasons, they are having trouble coping in their regular classroom. Either way I had to figure out something to do to keep my Extra Special Kiddos on task during their time in my room once I had to move on to another group or grade level.
That rather long introduction brings me to my topic and question for today!
So Special Education teachers out there in blogger land, what do you guys do when a student or two requires more help or time then the vast majority of the other students you work with?
I’m a fan of Picture Schedules for my kids that stay with me after the rest of their group has returned to class! I have kids in grades Pre-K thru 3 and when I have a student that stays with me an extended period of time I like to use the picture schedules to help keep them on task after I switch to a new group. So if I have a kiddo in Kindergarten that stays all day with me I am not going to have him/her try to do the same work my 3rd grade groups are doing:) When this happens I put the tasks that need to be done on the schedule, in the order they need to be done. Then, depending on the age of the student, either the para or the student can check the board to see what they should be doing without disrupting the group I’m with.
My 2 favorite things about them.
They cut down on interruptions. My first year of teaching, before I had discovered them, I was constantly interrupted because the student didn’t know what to do next, or they rushed hoping the next thing would be more fun. With the picture schedule they know what they should be doing now and what comes after.
The schedule isn’t based on a set time. I did try a typical classroom schedule where everything has a scheduled time: reading 9-10, math 10-11… but it didn’t work for my type of classroom. It just wasn’t flexible enough. With picture schedules I can change the order as needed and I simply had to teach the kiddos that before they move on to the next task the current one must be down completely and correctly.
Now for my first freebie. There are tons of different kinds of schedules available all over the place but most of the ones that I’ve grade are geared to a specific grade. I wanted something that could be used with multiple grades. I couldn’t find what I was looking for so I made my own. You can check out my Picture Schedule Set on Teachers Pay Teachers for free. I’ll try and take pictures this week of how mine is used in my classroom. Since I’m not a self contained classroom, I typically only use this with individual students but I included most common classroom activities like stations/centers and group activities so it could be used with a whole class.