Too small of a class?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by tiki7719, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jan 5, 2016

    I took a job teaching a resource room biology class. I started yesterday and would like to receive tips on how to best keep a class of two engaged..yes, two. Well, technically it should be 3, but one student was suspended and I cannot get a definite answer as to his return.

    The students I have are night and day. One is very engaged, excited to learn the content and some lab work. The second student is the complete opposite. He would rather sleep and try to cause a disturbance. He is already refusing work these first two days. From reading his IEP and speaking with his other teachers and administation (even the P), this is how he always been. According to the staff who currently has him and did have him, his mom is concerned too but is unsure of how to handle him and they believe its his way of coping as he has a pretty low iq.

    I want to nip it in the bud from the get-go. However, with it being a very small group, I am not sure the best way to approach it. My goals is to have an engaged, hands-on classroom, but it'll be difficult with just one participating student.

    I am thinking of starting by calling mom and touching base with her (to introduce myself) and see what best works for him.

    Any other suggestions?????
     
  2.  
  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,755
    Likes Received:
    981

    Jan 6, 2016

    Because it's only 2-3 students, maybe you shouldn't treat it as a 'classroom' but as small group instruction. Sit there with them, on a chair next to them, and not as if you were in a classroom full of kids.
    The kid that is shutting down: try to build some rapport with him, see if he opens up. Maybe you can start some really cool experiments to get him somewhat excited about the subject.
    Him wanting to sleep and causing a disturbance tells me that he hasn't excelled in school and he's shutting down as a defense. It's easier to sleep and fail than try and fail something. It's also easier to be disruptive and cover up the fact that he's a low reader, or doesn't get science, etc.
    Doing some experiments that he can take part in, and be an important factor in it would make him want to be included, and he might just care enough to not be disruptive and not sleep.
    Don't expect miracles, but I think this could work.
     
  4. Historyct

    Historyct Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 6, 2016

    It is going to take some time. I had one student in the beginning of the year (he transferred schools) who was very similar. He had a low reading level, he was three years older than the other students in the room, and he did not want to participate in groups or do any independent work. He rarely engaged in conversation with me or with anyone around him. He just did not want to be there.

    I started to break him down by greeting him in the beginning of class and telling him to have a good day at the end. This caused him to open up more with me. He would tell me about hobbies and share stories, but not excessively/consistently. Once I established that rapport, I then increasingly approached him one-on-one in class and asked if he needed any help or if he didn't understand something. Because he was comfortable with me, he didn't have any issues admitting that he didn't know what to do. I clarified as much as I could, and I gave direct, specific instruction. When I would return to his desk 5 minutes later, he was working diligently. Before he transferred, he grew so much that he would enter class, shake my hand, and ask what he would be doing that day.

    I would say establish a good rapport with the student first. Show him that you care and that you want to help him succeed by setting aside some one-on-one time with him.
     
    tiki7719 likes this.
  5. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jan 7, 2016

    Linguist-- that is how I conduct my class. Hands on and small group. I sit right across from them and go over each item thoroughly. With the block schedule, the student comes Block A, leaves for lunch (Block B), and lately has been cutting Block C. I found out today from another teacher he acts this way in my class since he does not like the small class with just him and the other student (the third student has not returned from suspension yet). I told Administration about him skipping Block C, and they told me to "document, document, document" (which I have been) and to mark it as a "cut". However, when he did come in today, he did his bellwork when asked and even did it quite efficiently. He took his 'lab safety quiz' and did well on it. I did provide positive reinforcement and did make notice of him doing his work, especially his writing activity. When we got to notes, he did the first page then started to drift away. I tell my students we will not take many notes, but we do need to do some. The note structure I use is guided notes.

    Historyct-- that is exactly what I'm trying to do. I greet them all with a smile (even my students not in this class)and because it is such a small class, I build in questions about hobbies, etc. He's a hard egg to crack, especially since he does not want to be in class. Currently, we are working on Introduction to Microscopes. I try to build a rapport with them by asking what they would like to see under a microscope. Luckily I work in a bigger school where we have quite a bit of resources and am able to pull those slide :) As it turns out, the amount of work we did in the 4 days I've been there is more than they did the entire first half....
     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Jan 9, 2016

    I have the exact same 2 student class. One appears uninterested and the other is beyond enthusiastic. Because of the small size I can easily differentiate, which looks like having lots of activities and fun breaks for my enthusiastic learner and plenty of time to scaffold work for my learner who needs more prompting. We are very open about their different learning styles and I am careful not to value one above the other. Much of the time I give them work they can do as individuals because their styles are so vastly different. When we do work as a small group we follow a rule that my enthusiastic learner can't dominate the conversation and the other student must jump in and make comments. I use respectful humor to bridge their differences. My goal every day is to keep the one occupied and the other awake :)
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 433 (members: 2, guests: 410, robots: 21)
test