New to special ed and need advice

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by Guest, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Oct 20, 2002

    Hi! I'm starting next week to take over a special ed class for 5th and 6th graders. I'm looking for chapter books to use for reading, because my principal is letting me use anything I want. She said I don't have to use the basal reader if I don't want to, (which I don't, it's too boring). So, I'm looking for chapter books I can use for the kids. They're around the 3rd and 4th grade level, so I'm thinking I can use the same thing for all the kids. I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas that you use in your classroom with your kids. I want to make this as fun and exciting as I possibly can for these kids.

    Also, what sort of activities do you do with your chapter books? Do you give them tests on chapters? I'm trying to be as creative as I can, and I really need all the suggestions you can offer! Thanks!
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 20, 2002

    Hi. You didn't say what kinds of needs the students have. If you have any with language processing difficulties or delays be sure to get a catalog from Books for the Blind (may be called Recordings for the Blind) - you can order audio tapes inexpensively. I have a regular 5th grade class with some special needs. When all the kids are reading different novels you can do many activities that allow them to move at their own pace. You can have daily silent reading, then journal writing. You can choose the topic - what did the main character do in your book today?, describe a conflict in the story, list the characters and their relationships, find 3 words which are challenging and write their definitions, comment upon the author's choice of setting, language, mood, etc....... the list is endless. You can give a mini-lesson first on - plot or setting or characterization. This way all kids can be reading on different levels. Then at the end of their books, you can give them a list of choices instead of a test. Write a letter to the main character, tell how you and the main character are alike and different, create a different ending to the book, make a timeline of major events, make a mobile or diorama of the most important scene .... Each student could illustrate a book jacket and you could hang them around the room throughout the year. Or you could make a collage of illustrations from all the different books. Let the kids get comfortable but be sure to enforce silence. Go to thrift stores to build a large classroom library. Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Oct 20, 2002

    Oh my gosh that helps so much! Sorry, I did forget to tell you what kind of needs they have. They all are LD students, no behavioral problems, or emotional problems. No one needs any kind of services like CP kids, or anything else. Your suggestions are wonderful! I really like the collage of different book illustrations. I think I'll have to use that.

    Are there certain titles though that anyone would recommend? I'm only going to have a case load of around 10 students, and they won't all be in at the same time. So I was thinking of doing a group activity with the same book for everyone. If there are any titles out there that you think are great, or your kids really enjoy, please let me know! Thanks!
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 21, 2002

    Glad to be of some help. My one dyslexic boy (I have only 11 students) really enjoyed a Gary Paulsen book on tape - really high adventure (he and a partner squealed - oh cool, they just cut a sheep's head off); it was called something Mountain. Sorry I don't remember the whole title. I have a library of about 200 books in my classroom. It helps. Some lower ability kids love the Beverly Clearly stories. For laugh-aloud, read-aloud try Bunnicula by James Howe. For fantasy, how about A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle? Some kids love the Series of Unfortunate Events books. I think for you, though, the series Time Warp Trio would be super. The books are short and very funny. My fifth graders love them. I read aloud The Knights of the Kitchen Table and then several of them purchased the whole series from Scholastic. The Magic Tree House series would be wonderful for your group, also. These are fantasy but also provide a humorous look at times in history or world settings - I read aloud Revolutionary War on Wednesday, I think it was, when we were studying that. There were just enough facts mixed with humor and simple language. These are short novels also. For a bit of drama, I read aloud Shiloh, and my third graders a couple of years back loved it. For silly stuff, the series that has titles like Leprechauns Don't ..... or Santa Doesn't ...... sorry, can't remember the remainder of the titles! I will check today. These are easy readers. Animals Ark books are easy books for animal lovers. Anything else? I have taught 3rd and 5th most recently so we probably will have lots to share. My school is very small so we get quite a few LD/ADD kids, though we have many advanced students too
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Oct 21, 2002

    There is a series of chapter books called Starpole Series. It is filled with high-interest easy to read stories. It is really good for students with LD.
     
  7. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 21, 2002

    Can you tell more about this series? Publisher... where can you buy it? I know a fellow teacher that could really use this.

    THANKS!!!

    Lori
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Oct 22, 2002

    Also kids with language disabilities have a difficult time visualizing the stories they read, that's where the comprehension is sometimes lost. I find when we read books it helps alot to have the kids draw a picture about some part they liked in the chapter. I was surprised at first to find this is difficult for LD kids, even the older ones. It's helped a lot with comprehension when they learn to visualize while they read.
     

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