Middle School SDC Class Setup Help

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Youreapeach, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Youreapeach

    Youreapeach Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Hey All,
    Thanks to all who have responded to previous posts. I've been seriously overwhelmed, and any bit of help/info is very much appreciated! I'm going to my classroom tomorrow and am going to hunt down the custodian and see about getting some things I need! Thanks again for the advice on that, I'm trying to be more positive about the state of things.

    Now, my focus is on setting up my room, and establishing a good behavior/classroom management system. I want to do a rewards system, like a store, or a prize bin. However, I don't know how to do it or what the system should look like! My classroom is a self-contained, SDC class for 6-8th grades. It's not a life-skills, or Autistic class. My understanding is that the kids are pretty much all LD kids and a few with Autism (high functioning). I don't know what to do in the room or how to structure things! I don't want to be too "babyish", but I don't know the kids or how high functioning they really are, so I want it to be appropriate! I also gather there may be some behavior issues. I've got 5 rules established, but don't know where to go from here! In resource I used a sticker chart. When they filled it up, they got to choose a prize. However, these kids will be with me all day except for PE, and I don't see how a sticker chart would work...I'm looking for other ideas from folks who have experience with a class like mine.

    I'm also wondering what to include on my bulletin boards? Any ideas for something fun for this population? They'll be with me all day, so I want to make the room nice for them, but not too stimulating. I bought a little rug (the floors in my room are so gross!) and was going to make a little reading area in a corner. I was thinking about getting a beanbag seat or something. I am just not sure if this is appropriate for their age? Coming from elementary Resource, I just ran things so differently, and am just lost right now! Thank you in advance for your help-you guys here are the best!!!
     
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  3. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Hi! I teach in a similar setting.

    The first thing that you should know is some kids in middle school will do anything for a sticker, but some kids won't. There is a book called The Tough Kid Toolbox that you should consider reading. It's pretty pricey, so see if you can order it from your library or local special ed. resource center. You may also want to look into CHAMPS by Randy Sprick or Love and Logic or you could implement a token economy.

    I'd say for the first day of lesson plans, plan things for the third grade level. You could always make it easier or harder. I've taught similar classes and the kids have always been around 3-4th grade in functioning. Some of the higher 8th graders were around 6th grade. You will figure that out after you are done assessing them.

    As for bulletin boards, go take a look around the school and see what other teachers are doing. I like to put my student work up on bulletin boards or use them for educational aides.

    The rug thing is not a bad idea. My kids love sitting on the floor. It's gross.
     
  4. Youreapeach

    Youreapeach Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for responding Waterfall! I appreciate it-I was getting worried! I haven't been able to look at anything, anybody has. I'm out on the very edge of campus in these old bungalows. There are a few other classes near me, but I haven't met anyone yet. When I was there last week, nobody else was there. I've barely met anyone on staff! That's another reason I'm freaking out! I am afraid it will be too late by then! I'm going tomorrow and Tuesday to work in my room and put things up. I was going to put up a calendar board. Do you think that's too young? I've always had one of those up in my rooms. Also, I was going to put up a long ABC thing over the board. I didn't know if I should get one in printing or cursive? Do middle school kids even have to use cursive?? I'm so not familiar with this age group!

    As for the token economy, that's what I want to do, but I'm stuck with the "how" part of it! How to keep track of things and what they have to do to earn certain things, etc. Not sure I'll have time to check into those books before school starts, but I appreciate the reference for sure!
     
  5. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Calendar boards are good for middle school. The alphabet thing may be too young if its print. Its okay in cursive but my kids never know how to write in cursive and its okay with me as long as they can sign their names.

    http://www.usu.edu/teachall/text/behavior/LRBIpdfs/Token.pdf Here is really good info about token economies.
     
  6. Youreapeach

    Youreapeach Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2009

     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2009

    What about Behavior Baseball? I like this idea because you can reward positive behaviors (moving to first, second, third, home run) and you can have consequences for poor behaviors (strike 1, 2, 3, out). It's a great way to divide the specific reinforcements and consequences (first strike = ____, second strike = _____, third strike = ______, etc. etc. as well as a run can earn: ____).

    You can also use it as a group reinforcement - such as when the class earns ___ runs you will have a special trip or party or treat, etc.

    Basically set it up as a baseball diamond, with three smaller circles to the left. The kids names could each be on small baseball players (print some figures from the internet, or you can buy a pack of baseball cards and the kids can pick their players!) Put a strip of velcro in each spot (strike 1, 2, 3, at bat, base 1, 2, 3, run) and then have a laminated card that says "Mrs ___'s Team's Runs: _____" or something like that, where you can write the number and erase it as they earn more.

    The kids would start "at bat" each day. They could do positive things to earn a base or a run, and if they do not do those positive things they would get a strike (or 2 or 3) ... OUT would be a major consequence, hopefully you'd never get there.

    I like to run it as the following:

    If they are moving forward, they go one at a time. So the progression would be:

    Start on "At Bat"
    then:
    1st
    2nd
    3rd
    RUN
    back to at bat
    1st
    2nd
    3rd
    RUN, etc.

    If they are on 2nd and make a bad choice, they would go to strike 1. If they are on 3rd, they'd go to strike 1, etc. No matter what base they are on, they will always go to strike 1 for their first infraction. Same thing moving forward. If they happen to be on strike 3 and they do something positive, they move back up to 1st base. If that makes sense. I don't like the idea of being on strike 3, then moving back up to strike 2, then back up to strike 1, etc. That doesn't make sense to me, but I guess you could do it how you wanted to!

    I always thought it was a cool idea for middle school. I used it in my elementary school classroom but I am sure it would be cool for middle school.

    Another idea would be the flipping color card system. I've heard good and bad things about it. Personally, it's too "vague" for my kiddos with autism, but maybe it would work well for higher kids. You could make it grown up by using something like a file folder and they flip the color within their own folder, so it's not out for all to see. Or something?
     
  8. Youreapeach

    Youreapeach Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Thank you Teachersk!!! I love baseball and was thinking of doing something like Ms.XXXX's Dugout for a theme. I am totally going to take this idea and see if I can make it work! Thanks again for the help and detailed response!
     
  9. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2009

    Some Behavior Ideas For Your LD Classroom as well

    Make sure that you POST a schedule of every subject you will be covering, most likely you will be teaching multiple subjects. You will need an area for the "data collection" which is used for their individual IEP's too.

    Section off each part of the room to serve a purpose:

    Calendar Board (Current Events/Morning Opener)

    Group Instruction area with desks and chairs close to the board

    Smaller group instruction area to focus on collecting daily data on IEP objectives so that you can see that they are working on these.
    Preferably smaller tables, even kidney tables serve this purpose better.

    Learning Centers related to: science, language arts, social studies, math. Carrells work the best for these purposes or those room dividers. You can make simple centers using science project boards too.


    Homework/Turning In Papers area: table or desk with stacking trays where you want them to put all their completed work according to their academic focus.

    Behavior: Try this site: http://www.redandgreenchoices.com
    It shows the students how to make "visual" representations of what CHOICES they can make and what CONSEQUENCES (positive and negative) for those choices that they CHOOSE to make. NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Students with autism will need a visual schedule of the daily activities or they will become overwhelmed very quickly. They desire structure and strive on routine and repetition.

    A break area where a student can "calm down" when it looks like that learning isn't going to take place and it should be free from fun activities, just a place to get away from work that could be overwhelming. Keep a chart for all your students and document when they need to go to this area.

    I have some pictures of how I structured my room on "proteacher.com" so that you can see what I meant.
     

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