Friday, January 3, 2014

Low Tech Approach to Successful Large Groups

Hello, 2014!! I have been working on some very exciting things for the New Year and can't wait to share them here. But first as promised awhile back, I want to share how Lisa Holt of USD 465 in Winfield, KS adapted the strategy posted for successful large groups.  

This version is a low tech alternative for classrooms not equipped for SMART Boards.  Here's the email and photos Lisa sent me explaining how she is using poster boards in her large group sessions.

Just thought I'd share the poster boards I made for our afternoon large group.  I really did not like how this period of time was going, but had not decided how I wanted to do it.  We did not have nearly as much structure as the morning group with the poster boards and lap books. I decided we needed to use the same format but different topics.  I also incorporate more songs during this period.  I do not have a smart board so this format is working well for us (Thanks, Lindy!). 
Here is what we are doing now:

The "Lunch" and "Money" poster boards I added to the morning LG.  We have a money song we sing that the students like. I velcroed real coins on to pass around. 

The other boards are for the afternoon LG.   The "Season & Holiday" board expands on the morning one.  I wanted to have something to talk about the holiday for the month and am using social narratives about the holiday, holiday songs, and even crafts once in a while.  

I am using the "Book of the Week" board to talk about vocabulary words in the current book. I have been trying to find books with repeating text so my little guys that are nonverbal can use a switch to be more involved.  I've also made worksheets that go along with the book for the older students to use.  
For the "Letter of the Week", I am using environmental print types of words and I am velcroing them on so that they can go into an ABC book when we're done with each letter. (Later I'll have a whole book with environmental alphabet words for them to use as a task.)   
I am using the "My Body & My Senses" to label body parts and to go over the 5 senses.  This week we did my "tasting mouth" and started tasting sweet and salty things.  I made up simple category sort pages on BM so that after we are done I'll have these to use as tasks for foods that are sweet, salty, spicy, and sour.
The next page is "Be a Bucket FIller".  Our school theme this year is being "Bucket Fillers". (I am SO thankful for a principal who encourages such a positive atmosphere for kids and staff!)  I was trying to think of ways to apply the "Bucket Filler" concept in my classroom.  It looks quite a bit different than it is for the other kids, but these things are more at their level.  I have been using the iPad a lot for video modeling of what "bucket filling" looks like.  We have some favorite actors and actresses from the regular classrooms who love to volunteer for my videos! I am also going to incorporate a token system using the buckets kind of like we did the frog token system at SI and have a quick large group before they leave at the end of the day to count them up, etc.  

Hope this all makes sense and hope everything comes through okay!!  -Lisa
Lisa -- It sure does makes sense and it is a wonderful example of resourcefulness!!  Thank you so much for sharing it with the Considerate Classroom community!  You are an inspiration to special education professionals everywhere! 

Happy New Year!! May your 2014 classrooms be filled with successful curriculum! Thank you for continuing to follow my blog.  It's an honor to see how my fellow overcommitted teachers are implementing strategies and suggestions I have shared!  If you have something you created from the strategies shared on the Considerate Classroom blog or from presentations I have given, please let me know.  I would love to share your hard work with others as we are all in this together! :)

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