Finding time and opportunity to conference with students

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Lotte, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Oct 11, 2007

    Hi!
    I hope somebody can help me with my problem.
    I am a subject teacher who switches classrooms for each lesson. Usually, in one day, I have 4-5 classes and therefore visit/teach in 4-5 different classrooms. I have 4 lessons in each grade level each week.

    The classes have about 25 students in each of them. And all the classes have 1-2 students that wil start wandering or disturb others if I let go of them for a second to help someone else. (Yes, they have various medical problems but have to stay in the classroom with everyone else their age level.)

    I really want to find a way to conference with the students in groups, depending on their challenges and to work on further strategies with them.. My question is.. How do I get this done?
    It sounds like most of you have your own classrooms, where you can set up your self-instructing workpacks, games and various exercises for the kids to work on, while you conference with other kids. But everything I need, I have to bring from lesson to lesson, and at times there is no recess between the lessons. (One lesson ends at 11:00 and the next starts at 11:00 -which is when I have to be in the next classroom with the next group.) I run as fast as I can, but it limits how much I can bring to and from, wrap out and wrap up from class to class.. (The kids don't change classrooms-only the teachers)

    Any advice, Please? :confused:

    Which exercises could I do that would keep them occupied so I could help others, or just any other advice would be most appreciated..
     
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  3. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Oct 12, 2007

    Bumping this up...
    Please help!
    I can't think of a solution and I need to start on Monday.. :unsure:
    Pretty please?
     
  4. miss brave

    miss brave Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2007

    Hello,

    I'm in the same boat! I'm a new teacher, so I'm still getting the hang of things. I do find it difficult to conference with individual students, as I seem to spend a lot of the time just managing behavior. And since I see so many different students, I'm reluctant to spend a very long time with just one, because that means everyone else gets neglected for the week. So I tend to keep my individual conferences short.

    I'm also trying to do more small group work -- the students sit at clustered tables, so I try to have them work with the kids at their table, and then I work with one particular group of kids at the rug. This way, it's not as crowded in the room in general, and the kids are engaged in different tasks so the noise level is kept to their own table.
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Oct 13, 2007

    1) get one of those plastic wheeled crates.. keep everything you need in the crate.

    2) Come up with games that need little materials- or just materials the kids already have in their classes. I don't know what you teach, but dice and cards are great for math

    3) I have a work table for conferences. From there I can see everyone. I call kids to the table to work with me, or they come to me when they need to conference.

    4) Have checklists for them- for example, an editing checklist- sometimes they need reminding about what they should do, but I say "do blah blah, then come back to me." It helps them to do small things then come work with you after they have done several small steps on their own. You can have several kids at a time that are checking in periodically, but you are not conferencing with anyone.

    5) Before you really start doing conferences, you have to have the class managed and under control. I work for several weeks teaching the activities whole class that they will eventually do while I work in small groups.

    6) When you are doing a conference, you cannot be interuppted. The student you're working with deserves time with you alone and so does everyone else. Be clear and practice this. Make sure they know what to do when you are working with someone else.

    I spend about 5 minutes on a reading conference (except once every 6 weeks I spend maybe 10 minutes while doing a more complete assessment and running record)

    With writing, I will spend 5-10 minutes reading the story and giving some suggestions. Then they come back later, do the same thing again. I never do all the steps at once. I give feedback and send them to work on and improve what they are working on.

    In math, everyone is occupied enough that I can work with a few kids and go over a specific concept if needed.
     
  6. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Oct 14, 2007

    Thank you so much.
    I forgot to mention that I am a language teacher..
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 14, 2007

    You might (for the future) create some age appropriate file folder practices for them. Keep the folder semi generic and add cards for the current lesson.

    Create standard review or practice lessons (vocab practice sheets).

    I second the games.

    Many of the things you normally do, you can continue to do. The difference may be that you have to teach them skills and strategies of how to do it independently and wait for you to return to ask questions. For example, for first graders I have them circle all the words in their reading they don't know. Then when I have an opportunity to get back to them, I will walk through each word and have them draw a quick picture to remind them above that word (or sometimes I will do that part). This way they are not interrupting me EVERYTIME they don't know a word. Another strategy I teach them is to move on. Skip the question and come back later. I also make sure I give 3-4 pages for them to do in case one of them they just flat out can't do.
     

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