NEW High School English RESOURCE Teacher - What to do? Need lessons/activities ideas!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by MotherGoose, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. MotherGoose

    MotherGoose Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2011

    Hi! I am returning to education in a NEW capacity after being a stay-at-home mom for many years. I was a "regular" high school English teacher for 10 years before I left teaching; now I am beginning a BRAND NEW job as a Special Education English Resource teacher.

    My first day of school (with the students) is only a few days away (this Tuesday), I have had NO training, and I am freaking out :eek:

    Can someone please help me???

    I will be teaching 10th - 12th grade English to extremely low level learners; some can't even read. They aren't mentally retarded (politically incorrect, I know), just severely learning disabled and some "emotionally disturbed".

    So here are my questions:

    1. What are some some first day/first week introduction activities I can do with them???

    2. What are some warm-ups I can do?

    3. What is an appropriate daily routine and/or class procedures? (Each period is 45 minutes long).

    Thanks SO much in advance for anyones help!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2011

    We used many of the same books that the rest of the school was using. Sometimes we used an adapted version, so you may want to see if your school has these available.

    Find out if you are teaching the regular curriculum or are working with a modified curriculum as well as if your students are taking the same standardized tests as the other students. My guess is yes, but you never know.

    Then plan to do lots of vocabulary building, read in class, watching short videos or movies that relate to the reading, etc.
     
  4. MotherGoose

    MotherGoose Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2011

    Thanks!... How about the daily routine?

    Thanks for your response!

    What about class procedures? I assume (as I did when I taught middle school reading) they should each keep a folder in the class? BUT what parts should their folder be broken down into? Warm-ups, reading log, etc...??? This is what I am trying to figure out right now.

    I can figure all this out with time BUT school starts TOMORROW so I am scrambling at the VERY last minute. I JUST got this position several weeks ago so I have had NO time to prepare until YESTERDAY!!!:eek:

    And from my middle school days (BIG fan of Harry Wong), I know how CRUCIAL it is to have all the procedures in place BEFORE kids walk in the door. My kids will be at a 6th grade mentality, so I have been told, so I want to be able to have all my ducks in a row so I can begin training them (daily routine) from the get go!

    Ideas anyone? (mabye i'll just start a NEW thread for this particular question.....)
     
  5. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2011

    I teach elementary resource so I don't have too much advice. The one thing I want to point out though is that while they may be on a 6th grade level academically, their social level is most likely that of any other 10th-12th grader. You're working with student who have learning disabilities, not MR. I would put procedures in place that are similar to the procedures in their other classes. My procedures are similar to the gen ed teachers, however, I break them down in single step instructions to increase understanding.
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 21, 2011

    I think you'll find your middle school rules/procedures/strategies will work very well with the group of kids you have described.

    I would start with a daily warm up that is writing/grammar focused. NOT a daily oral language thing, because those are useless, but a question to answer, a word game, a mentor sentence to copy and practice, etc.

    For 45 minutes, maybe divide it like this:
    Warm up -- 5 minutes
    Reading strategy mini lesson -- 10 minutes
    Reading strategy practice -- 20 minutes (small groups/indiv/class as needed)
    Writing connection to reading-- 10 minutes (5 to 7 to write, 3 or so minutes to share).

    On days in which you want to work a little more on writing, switch it with the reading:
    Warm up-- 5 min.
    Writing mini-lesson--10 min.
    Writing practice-- 20 minutes (broken down by time to write, time to share or time to revise. I wouldn't expect them to write solid for 20 minutes. Not at first, at least...)
    Reading lesson that supports writing or is a continuation of something you worked on the day before -- 10 minutes

    OR you could do "writing days" and "reading days" (maybe alternating every other day, or doing them in 2 or 3 day chunks):
    Warm up-- 5 min.
    Writing/Reading mini-lesson: 10 minutes
    Independent writing/reading time practicing strategy or skill from mini-lesson: 10 minutes (you walk around assisting)
    Group share of strategy: 5 to 10 minutes (talk about what worked, share examples, ask questions)
    Continued writing/reading practice with specific learning goals in mind based on mini-lesson: 10 minutes
    Debrief: 5 minutes
    That's just my suggestion. I have never taught the severely spec. ed, and I have a ninety minute block. Typing that out, I am very grateful for a block schedule!
     
  7. mimiarn

    mimiarn Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2011

    I taught in almost the same positions and I followed the gen ed curriculum very loosely. We read many of the same novels as the gen ed, only I got the audio version (played with iTunes). We listened to them together so that we could stop frequently and discuss different reading/comprehension strategies. I started the day with a journal prompt warm-up. We did lots of the same things as the gen ed classes, but did it more whole group. Hope this helps...
     

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