Tips for modifying instruction in class.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bewlove, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

    Jan 9, 2014
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    Sep 5, 2014

    Tips for modifying instruction in class?

    Hello, there! I am a fourth grade ELA and social studies teacher. I am needing a little bit of help in figuring out how to modify instructions and word for some of my kids.

    This is my first year teaching, and in the first few weeks, I feel like I have neglected some of the important aspect of teaching that I did in college. These are things that will be reflected on my evaluations, so I want to make sure that I begin incorporating them in my lessons.

    I haven't really been modifying any classwork (other than tests, etc.). But, I know that it is an important part of lesson planning and would fall under "knowing my students".

    My day is split up into two classes. My first class is my lower group, and my second class is my higher group.

    In my lower group, most of my kids are still able to do the work. I notice it takes them a considerably longer time and that I have to tell directions, write directions on the board, and model directions for them. I still will then have some kids who raise their hands because "they don't know what to do". ;)

    My higher group is much quicker to get things done and definitely have overall higher grades.

    I do some grouping now (we have centers that we rotate, and we do turn and talk). But in my lower group, I have some low, low, low kids. I have a kid who is on a kindergarten reading level. He gets pulled for RTI but he is in my class during the day. He quite literally cannot read anything we do and has to have everything read to him. Every question, every answer. He needs a teacher to help him write things down because he can't spell them and they are illegible. I have a few others who are fairly low (one who has an IEP--but I think half of his problems are that he isn't focused), and another one who receives no SPED services, but that I think could HIGHLY benefit (once again, no punctuation in sentences, doesn't know what a question mark is, spells basic words wrong--like 'of' as 'uv').

    So, I guess my point is, that in grouping, these three boys are kids that I want to put together so that I can work with them together. When with other levels of kids, they tend to pull them down because they require so much individual attention to get things done (especially my non-reader). However, these three boys are buddies and tend to goof off when together. In class, I have them sitting far apart and it's fine. When's not a great situation. They just can't focus when they're sitting next to one another. I can sit with them and make them get their work done, but if I'm not right there watching them, I promise they will be distracted. How can I correctly group these kids without worry of them not being on task? If I need to be right with them (which at this point, I do), how do I help my other students when they require my constant supervision? I do have (and use ) a clip up chart for behavior. This is pretty effective in my class, even with these three boys, and the boys aren't really behavior problems individually. It's just when they are together. I don't even want to put them in a scenario where they are tempted to goof off around one another!

    This brings me to my other question. We did our first close reading lesson today, an article about the Indians. Most of my kids did fine with this, but I know these three struggled. I know that they say that "every student is tier 1 and should receive tier 1 education". And I agree--for the most part. But I know my boys, especially my non-reading student, did not benefit from "circling the words he doesn't know", reading it twice, etc......he can't read!!! He doesn't know any of the words! So what do I do? Do I give him a completely different article? How can I do this without embarrassing him? When we do classwork, his neighbors around him will tell me he is copying off of their paper, and I usually just ask if they would mind helping him with some of the words while I am aiding other students until I can come around to help. I hate to burden them, but I don't know what else to do. I want to give him work on his level (something with words along the lines of "Sam ran fast"--and he would ask me how to pronounce those words). I am still required to test him on our skills though. I don't know how to meet his needs as well as the needs of my other students.

    Any tips for modifying/grouping my lower block of kids that has these three boys (especially my non-reading kid)? Thanks so much.
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Sep 6, 2014

  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Feb 28, 2007
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    Sep 6, 2014

    My first step would be to investigate these kids further, talk to the other teachers on your team and get more background information. Talk to the tier and special ed case manager, reread IEPs.

    For giving directions, I would get some picture cards (make your own or check with general directions and use them consistently on the board. Instead of answering what to do, just keep pointing to the board and smiling, they'll catch on. For those lowest 3, are they capable of doing the"thinking", just not the reading/writing? Can you record yourself reading the passages and questions so that they are doing the thinking? What are you responsible for? Teaching them reading/raising their reading levels? Teaching them to think on grade level aside from reign levels? Meeting them at their current level? It really depends on what their IEP says, what the interventions are, and what teaching models your school uses, so talk to your grade level team and their 3rd grade reading teachers and get more info.

    I would definitely think about setting it up where those 3 boys automatically go to your small group area as soon as you are done teaching and teach the rest of the class that they must work for 10-15 minutes every day before asking questions (see above about directions). You can either use the time took on reading skills, modify the assignment/instruction, or whatever needs to be done with the 3 kids. Then, they can do a different assignment or listen to the passage being read while you assist the class or move on to harder work.

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