In my sped inquiry, my focus was on the tools and strategies that my classroom uses to meet the needs of all learners. Context: My classroom consists of ten ELLs, two LSTs, two ASDs, and one SLP. There are also students who requires additional support, either for behavioural or academics, yet does not qualify for them.
Zones of Regulation:
The zones of regulation are an integral part of my classroom. Students are familiar with the different zones that they may be in, and that we expect students to be in the “green zone” and be ready to learn. In front of our classroom door to the outside, we have a semi-circle that covers the line-up space. Students are the enter the line-up when they have calmed down and are ready to enter the classroom from the outdoors. During different class periods when the students would move to other classrooms within the school, students would put their head down for awhile after they return from each transition. This helps the students to re-center themselves and to be prepared to engage in the next lesson.
Supporting Students During Individual Activities:
As I have been connecting with my students and learning their strengths and areas in need of support, I recognize that it may be difficult for some students to ask for help or to stay on task. This has led me to create check-in cards where students can ask for help discretely during independent work. This is also helpful for teachers to recognize when someone needs some more support than others, and to make the time to approach the students and provide support. It is also helpful in reminding students that they can keep working on different parts of their work while waiting for help to come around. Another method that I incorporate in my classroom is the “ask three before me (teacher)” policy, where students should ask their peers first before asking for the teacher’s.
In my Grade 2/3 class, many of my students are tactile or cannot sit for periods of time. The following are some of the classroom resources that are available to use for some or all of my students:
Stars token system: This system is a parent-teacher collaborative effort to acknowledge the students’ (we use this system for two students) effort. The students earn a star for each lesson that they are staying on task and for their effort in their work. The stars would be exchanged for stamps in their planner at the end of each day. The parent(s) will determine what the stamps may be exchanged for.
Seating tokes: This system is implemented for students who have a difficulty in staying in their seats during listening or independent work periods. Students can earn a token for each period of the day (morning to recess, recess to lunch, and lunch to the end of the day) when they are staying in their seats, facing forward, and focusing on their task. In exchange for every ten tokens, students would earn a 15min computer lab break.
Brain Breaks: (specific to a student with ASD)
- After listening or seated for a period of time.
- Can be taken after instructions are given, or after some parts of the work are completed.
- Work to be completed after the break.
- ~5mins duration.
- Permission from instructor.
- In the common area of the classrooms pod wing, or in the integration room.
- A token is given when the student stays on task(s) and has completed their work.
- 8 tokens= a break in the integration room, time in the computer lab, etc.
Setting Students Up For Success In Individual Activities:
- I do- We do- You Do: scaffolding instructions towards independent work.
- Examples of sentence structures for written activities.
- Activities to include a written and visual component to demonstrate understanding (making friendly worksheets), in addition to checking-in with students to share orally.
- Ask three before the teacher: peer support.
- Spelling vocab on the board: sharing possible vocabs to use.
- Scribing for a student with ASD on a whiteboard (has difficulty ordering thoughts and sentences in addition to spelling).
- Providing a laptop option for another student with ASD to type out their writing activities.
- Greeting the students as they enter the classroom.
- Communicating with parents to see how their child is (any events the previous evening or in the morning?).
- Checking-in with students as they prepare their day (putting their things away and when they are working on their daily activities).
- Checking-in with students after recess or lunch and if you have observed a difference in their level of attention during the day.
- Communicating with parents at the end of the day (face-to-face, in their child’s planner, in an email, or with a call).