Saturday, April 4, 2015

Communication

Sometimes my students don't like to talk. I have one student that when he is upset, frustrated, anxious, or angry he completely shuts down. He doesn't say a word and just looks at me. I have tried asking him questions, but I think this makes him more anxious and he can't get his words out. I've had some success in asking him yes or no questions that he can nod or shake his head no, but this can be exhausting and frustrating for the both of us. When he is in a good mood, he is able to talk and let us know if he needs something, so it's not like he can't talk at all. I decided last weekend to make a communication type board/folder for him when he is in his shut down mode. We practiced using it while he was in a talking mood, just so like fire drills- it's important to practice what to do when in crisis while we are calm. I had to change a few things- some of the emotions/moods/feelings he didn't think were necessary, like happy or calm, and I had to add hungry and annoyed. He and I came up with the coping skills together also. I also explained that if he was unsafe, he may have to wait to use some of the coping strategies until he was safe. My goal is to use this folder before we get to that, though. I like to catch them before they start hurting themselves, others, or me- but sometimes it happens (more to me than anyone else).

I laminated the questions and answers and then hot glued them on the folder. I only have access to a personal laminator, but maybe I'll go to Office Max over the next week to laminate a full folder for added durability, especially since he ripped off the questions the other day.



In case you can't see, the questions are on a flap that open up to show the possible answers. All my student has to do is point at his answer. It has worked 5 out of 8 times, so I do think it's worth keeping with him. I just have to make it stronger!

Friday, April 3, 2015

My Daily Schedule, take 2

This time I'm linking up with a fun monthly linky party with Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd for
                                
My daily schedule is quite different from the norm. I teach in a separate facility for students with severe emotional and behavior disorders. Every classroom has a behavior specialist that comes in the room to teach social, coping, and life skills to the students. In my 3rd and 4th grade room, the behavior specialist comes in twice a day for one hour each time (yes, a total of 2 hours per day!). It is the most difficult time of my day! My students don't like to talk about their choices, feelings, or habits, and they REALLY have a hard time sitting through an hour long lesson! I've tried explaining this to the specialist, which I would think would realize this, but they are still expected to sit and listen. Next year, it is changing to just one 30  to 45 minute session- I'm so excited that I get to teach more! Anyways, I'll stop venting and get on with my schedule.


As you can see, this year I don't have a lot of instructional time and with those pesky new assessments- it is making it difficult for my students to pass them. I know that I give them 2 free times, but with their behaviors they need sensory breaks to keep them motivated. I also use my science and social studies time to teach reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. In my math, because I have students ranging in skills from a first grade level to a fifth grade level, I start out with whole group, then meet with smaller groups while the other students are completing individual work and/or centers. My students also come from 9 various home schools and ride the bus anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to get to school or back home. 

I have enjoyed seeing other bloggers schedules for their classrooms and how they manage various groups and students. Hopefully, someone can also look at my schedule and gain some insight for their classroom!
I guess I need to get back blogging more, since I totally messed up my post the first time!