How do you stay on track during small groups?
An important part of my teaching schedule includes a daily pull-out session with small groups of 4-5 students. We meet for 45 minutes every afternoon for an intensive session focused on IEP goals and objectives. Behavior and time on-task plays a significant role in the success of these sessions. I’ve tried many, many different incentives, seating arrangements, you-name-it…with mixed results.
Here’s what I’ve had the most success with:
Using an agenda!
This is obviously not high-tech, but it has caught my students’ attention. I believe it’s a combination of having a structure of activities and the fact that I just may let a student use one of the cool crayons to cross off the list (extra incentive!). Our agenda rarely changes…we start with journal writing (more on this coming soon!), math warm-up (i.e.: a quick flashcard race or problem-solving with manipulatives), lightning-fast sight words review, songs (phonics – I use Heidi’s Songs), Long E (a focused phonics mini-lesson – I will usually keep the same topic for one week with a variety of hands-on activities), and then an earned “brain break.” We decide together what the brain break should be…i.e.: a puzzle, using wipe boards for 5 minutes, file folder games, etc.
A scorecard is at the bottom of the agenda with a column for points earned by Ms. D and by the students. Points are earned bykeeping our hands to ourselves, using quiet hands, using kind words, etc. Students are striving to earn ten points for their brain break. Now I just need to find a larger board to use for writing our daily agenda! Flashing lights and any sounds may help, too 🙂