My district practices full inclusion for math so students who are normally in a self contained class for other subjects come to me for two periods a day (block scheduling). My inclusion class has 25 students and 7 of those students have an IEP. Needless to say I have the daily challenge of meeting a very WIDE range of needs to ensure that every student is learning. I have a special ed teacher who comes in to co-teach but sometimes I feel that I need about 6 extra teachers to make sure everyone is engaged with their group. Over the past couple of weeks I have felt very frustrated with students' lack of self control and sense of accountability.
My biggest concern for my students is the awareness of what is happening around them. EVERYDAY we start class with getting out our assignment notebooks and writing down the homework assignment. EVERYDAY we are waiting for the same 5 students who sit down, sharpen their pencil, talk to people at their table (who are writing down their homework), and wait for directions (that had already been announced). This routine takes up almost (sometimes more) than 10 minutes of class.
If it takes 10 minutes to write down homework you can imagine how long it takes to get through a lesson. If my days continued this way I going to LOSE It!
I called a meeting with two of the special ed teachers and a social worker to create a plan for our struggling students. We picked a few behaviors that we wanted students to focus on during class. Our wonderful social worker then created a half sheet for students to help them monitor positive behaviors in class.
I present you our DAILY MATH GOAL sheet..
My co-teacher or I initial in the boxes when we see the behaviors listed. If they reach five initialed boxes they earn a piece of candy.
We have been using this sheet for about a week and I have seen some success with a few of the students. Other students have not bought into it. I am thinking I need a bigger reward than candy so my next step will be to find a way to get some $5 gift cards to popular stores for students to earn. Once they have had a certain amount of successful days they will earn a gift card.
I really think if students have an immediate reward (candy) and a long term goal (gift card) we will see greater results with all of our students who are using the sheet!
I am keeping my fingers crossed and will keep you posted!