New Teacher.....PLEASE HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by SpecialPEGirl, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. SpecialPEGirl

    SpecialPEGirl Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2011

    I have a very difficult situation....

    I am a new physical education teacher in a school whose last teacher did absolutely nothing with them for 20 years. I have barely any equipment, maybe a few scooters, basketballs, rubber balls, soccer balls and hula hoops. The majority of my students are non verbal. I am in a 6-1-1 class, with minimal help from my paraprofessional.

    I cannot get them to do anything. I plan stations for them and have it set up for when they come in, but they always just come in and knock it over and throw everything around the room. I only have 1 para per class so I dont have much help. The students are used to coming into the gym and doing whatever they want with the equipment that is laid around. They dont have floor spots, a routine or anything of that kind. I am trying to establish an enter routine and I have some floor spots in the making (they are getting laminated). For now, I have them line up against the wall and they listen to some movement CD's. However, they just run around the gym causing a dangerous situation with the ribbon sticks I gave them since they are just wooden sticks with ribbons on the end. I am really having a hard time with my autistic group. I have one child who will not leave the corner of the gym. If you do try and move him he will have a tantrum and start swinging and spitting. I also tried an obstacle course (the most basic one so they were able to complete it) and that also didnt work. I am doing the most basic skills to make sure they are able to complete it, but they wont even try.

    Do you have any advice? This is a very difficult group. They are all so used to doing everything one way, which is no way, that now I am here trying to establish new rules they are having a very hard time cooperating with me.


    Basically, these students are used to doing nothing and now that I am here trying to make them do something, it isn't working. They throw tantrums and they can be very violent. I can buy some equipment. Do you have any recommendations on some useful equipment?

    PLEASE HELP!!!!!! I have been coming home in tears everyday this week. I am used to being a good teacher and having good classroom management, I have even worked with severly disabled children before. The difference between then and now though is my last group of students were used to having a normal PE class.

    :confused::confused::confused:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 2, 2011

    Start slow. Get them to come in and go to their squat spots and then let them have free time. Then, add in a quiet signal or return to spot signal or freeze signal Build up slowly.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 2, 2011

    I agree with Mopar. One thing at a time! If it takes a week to get them to even sit in the spots, and then you let them do whatever- thats fine. Do what it takes. Then next week add one more thing, and so on.
     
  5. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Mar 2, 2011

    I am not a PE teacher, but I take my lowest four students with autism to the gym (three first graders and a kindergartner) by myself every day for 25 minutes for a structured gym/movement time. You sound like you are definitely on the right track to have things structured and make routines for them. I second the other posters that it will take time and you will probably need to build up slowly!

    Color coding their spots/equipment might be a good idea - that way kids who don't read will always be able to recognize their space.

    My kids have "sitting spots" (colored square with their name and a picture of sitting "cross cross" taped right on the wall to the inside of the gym door. I hold the hand of my runner and walk him right to his spot; the rest all come in and sit down. We do some quick breathing/heavy pressure exercises that I taught them in the classroom.

    Then we run laps, staying on the blue line that runs around the gym. They all have a visual "lap counter" chart color coded with their name - they run one lap, move an X down, etc. until they get to 5. It took a while to train them to do this, and I had to do a lot of running with them, but now they are pros!

    Visual cues and supports are key. I have a ring of visuals on my lanyard with pictures of things like stop, wait, quiet, sit, etc. I use them all the time and my kids all know now what they mean. Once you get them sitting down, you can show the wait card, count to 5, then let them up, etc. Slowly build up as they are able to be successful.

    I would also suggest using only one kind of gym equipment. Either give them all the same thing (color coded, so there is no fighting) or else get out only one or two of the gym equipment you are working on teaching. Things I have had success with giving to them to play with independently: scooter boards, nerf footballs, dancing scarves, nerf frisbees.

    I taped off an area on the side of the gym and made a sign, "play with teacher," on it. Monday through Thursday, I get out one of a kind of gym equipment. (This week we are doing jump ropes). Then I work with them one at a time on teaching how to use the equipment, praising and reinforcing for any kind of success with the gym equipment. I also have a token board velcroed to the wall so they can see how many repetitions they have to do with me before they are "all done." Fridays I give them all one and we play together. I've also drafted gen ed peers to play with us 1:1.

    My kids all have visual gym schedules in laminated file folders. On days I am teaching gym equipment, they say run, play, and play with teacher. For play, I might give them a nerf ball or just let them run while I work 1:1 with them. Our recess is so late (2:30!) that they need that movement break during the day.

    Sometimes we do structured movement, and we've worked up to doing running, galloping, skipping, crawling, rolling, etc. across the gym. They all have a color coded number that they have to take across with them and match to the opposite side of the gym. Gives them a purpose and keeps them on track!

    Other things we've done:

    -mat sandwich (lay between gym mats)
    -run and crash into wedge mats
    -ring around the rosie (they love this!)
    -play chase with peers (although I never chase them - don't want them to think its a game to run from teacher)
    -pull each other on scooters with hula hoops
    -dance to their favorite music on a CD player
    -yoga

    I have a visual of how much time has elapsed. I give the kids the X's to put on and make sure they all see when there is one minute left. Even my lowest kids know what it means now when they see the last X. I pull out a barrel for them to put any equipment they have been using in, then walk them to their sitting spots. At first I used edible reinforcers (gummy bears!) to get them to their spots, but now they are so well trained they just come on over.

    I know it seems like everything is just nuts - but keep at it. Consistancy and structure will help so much, and they will get it!
     
  6. SpecialPEGirl

    SpecialPEGirl Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2011

    @ bethechange---wow thank you so much. it sounds like you are an amazing teacher! Today I made color coded floor spots with numbers on them. They are in the process of being laminated and I am going to tape them to the floor tomorrow morning. I am then going to desginate a student to their own spot on the floor and practice entering and exiting with them. Everything is just so overwhelming. Cleaning up the mess this last PE teacher left for me is more difficult then I imagined it would be. Monday was my first day and I wanted to come in and be the hero, and it was a disaster day. Last night I just decided that I cannot do everything in 1 day and I have to do things slowly, especially with autistic children...just like my other posters said.

    I apperciate the advice, and any more is fully welcome. As a new teacher I am like a sponge ready to soak up all new information!
     

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