Homework and Transitions

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by Ms. CTP, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Ms. CTP

    Ms. CTP Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    Hi Guys,

    Well this will be week 3 of the new school year for me and so far so good. I've had a few incidents of challenging behavior, but overall I really can't complain especially after reading some of the posts about autistic students, etc. Sincerely, my prayers are with you all.

    As the subject indicated, my questions are regarding homework and transitions. Any suggestions for things K-4 can do independently or with little help from parents at home? The majority of my students are LD and at a 2nd/3rd grade level. We read a story a week for which I have them write vocab words 5 times each on Monday, complete word search on Tuesday, alphabetical order on Wednesday, and sentences/study for spelling test Thursday. They also do addition/subtraction worksheets. My one K/1st grade level girl traces alphabet, numbers, matches numbers to objects, etc. Any other suggestions?

    Finally, my one BD and my other autistic student have problems going from activities they're really engrossed in, to starting something else. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.
     
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  3. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    What kind of schedule are they using?
     
  4. Ms. CTP

    Ms. CTP Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean (I'm a second year teacher, first year with my own self-contained room). My school day is from 8:00 to 1:45. I'm struggling to keep up with the schedule, but it's supposed to be as follows:

    reading from 8-10
    lunch/bathroom 10-10:40
    math 11-11:40
    science 11:40-12:20
    social studies 12:20-1:00
    homework preparation 1:00-1:15
    free time 1:15-1:35
    1:35-1:45 prepare for dismissal

    A specific example is when I had them making puppets as a art connection to the story we read. When it was time to go on to math they kept coloring, cutting, using glue etc. and resisted putting things away and getting out their math books.
     
  5. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    Do you give all your students (or just those two students) their own, personal schedules each day? If not, this would be my first suggestion. Have your students structure their schedule immediately upon their arrival to their classroom prepares them for what is going to be expected of them--its kind of like a preview to them that at some point that day, you will be making puppets, but eventually, you'll need to stop to do math.

    Depending on your students, you could use object, photo, line-drawing, or word-schedules. If you want more information on those, I'd be happy to post or find some links. For your student with autism (and your BD student), creating their own schedule (maybe to keep at their desk or at a specific place on the wall each day) will probably help with transitions. It takes time for students to learn the routine, but if you regularly transition with the phrase "Check your schedule, what is it time for?" students can learn to do this independently. Can your student tell time? If so, and you feel like you can keep to a schedule, then include the times, which can help structure his day. If not, or if you feel like you'd really prefer more leeway in your day, only include the activities. (Some students may get stuck on the time--i.e. it maybe 8:31, and his schedule says at 8:30 reading is finished, but you're finishing the last page of the story--he's transitioned himself).

    I would also invest in some timers for your classroom--the visual ones are great but the digital kitchen timers work well too. When you are starting an activity, particularly one that you know is preferred by your student with autism or your student with BD, set the timer and announce how much time everyone will have. Be clear and be specific: "We are making puppets. The timer is set. In ten minutes, the timer will beep. We will put away the puppets. We will check our schedules." Remind all your students, but especially the two you are targeting, at regular intervals throughout the activity. When it gets closer to the timer beeping, remind again, stating exactly what you want to happen when the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, repeat yourself--ask your students to tell you what needs to be done. Sometimes having the student turn off the timer for you can help break their focus from the activity; also, placing a small visual cue with them, maybe with their own timer, if the rest of your class doesn't need it, might help (one of my students used to have a card that read "Sit for morning meeting. Stand up when timer beeps.").

    Another thing to keep in mind, depending on your student, it may be a matter of task completion. Some students with autism (or BD, for that matter) may display what people typically call compulsive tendencies--they NEED to finish the task, they simply CAN NOT leave it undone. If you think this might be the case, try to structure your activities/schedule so that your students are likely to finish activities within the allotted times.

    I feel like I just wrote a novel. I hope a little bit of it might help you. I would really encourage you to try individual schedules if you can, and if you can't, definitely try some advanced cueing and incorporating timers. :D
     
  6. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    If you do try individual schedules, I would try to break up your reading block a bit on the schedule if possible--that might help with the transitions within the block.

    Also, in reading your replies, your students sound pretty high-functioning academically. You could probably do some simple word schedules (maybe in a day-planner type of book) or very basic picture cut-and-paste schedules--if you structure the routine from the start, the students can learn to do them completely independently.
     

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