Resource Room Math

Part of the transition this year has been to push in math for all students. This came with a caveat that we created a small class taught by a math teacher that included all SPED/IEP students, counts for minutes, and many low students. In years past this was frowned upon, but also it lead to many behavior problems in one classroom to feed and fester off each other.

Well what do I have this year 11 students in a class that have been categorized "low" or "IEP" or would benefit from "Small Class Size."  I will mention not all of them are in the yellow or red zone and many have "tested" out of it.

The behaviors have began, but luckily I also have the SPED/Resource Room teacher in the classroom everyday with me.  (Huge Relief; Together we divide and conquer).  With this are some large challenges though.

What's Worked and Hasn't

1) Ringed Warm Up's - Each student has 50+ index cards on a ring that clips.  This has been a success! I leave little notes in them each week and give them a max of 10 points for completing warm ups for the week. This has held students more accountable. We still struggle getting writing from a few and have had some pages fall off the rings, but overall they look forward from written feedback and with a small class size it is feasible for me to leave these notes.

2)  Behaviors - In a class of 12 there is 1 behavior that is large then a few who can be defiant. We are trying to find solutions to keep them in check. What works best is proximity seating and when we do selective grouping distribute the problems between separate groups. What I would eventually want to see would be some kind of "relief" pass for the student so if he knows he's gonna blow up or be disruptive he can place himself in an alternative setting or some type of card system similar to elementary school. The defiance piece usually surrounds student(s) weakness of writing this is one we conquer slowly involving mom, lunch time, sports, etc.  These I believe will get better and I have a feeling this could be my favorite class.

3) Help - I have one student who has excelled at helping those next to her. Again not all are red zone kids so this has been a relief that she can turn and help another student.

4) Cubbies - Like elementary school each student has a cubby in my classroom (not just a hanging folder) (I took over the art room so this was a bonus). This means there's no excuse for not having stuff.

5) Table Tops - Students love writing on the table tops. I am seriously considering letting them do their tests on the table top and taking Ipad pictures of the problems. It has strongly helped some of my weak writers because they are not confined to space.  They can write the problem the size of their hand which makes it easier to read. I am still trying to work out the logistics of how this would work, but I believe it has potential with multiple drop boxes for each student to link the pictures into their file. This could also be a grading nightmare.

6) Test Folders -  Each student has an individual folder for tests. I slip the tests into the folder and in the inside with the brads I include a summary of the key notes for students. The notes allow them to have them in a readable fashion with an example of each type they describe. So for fractions it has adding/subtracting, multiplying, and dividing with words explaining how and an example.


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