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LOW first grade class


Full Member
I am an ESE teacher working in an inclusion school for the first time. One of the teachers I work with is a first grade teacher who used to teach title 1. We are both used to low kids, but we are also both used to teaching mostly reading and in a small group. Before, I had 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders so I'm not used to these little guys. I am in there for math, at the very end of the day and we are pulling our hair out. 1/2 of the students are on IEP's or are being tested. I suggested that we break the group into 3-4 groups and teach a small group while the others are working on something at their seats. however, these students are barely writing their names, much less reading directions and working on a worksheet/funsheet by themselves. I have a ton of reading centers up my sleves but no math ones. Whole group is becoming impossible because even with 2 of us in there these kids need so much help staying on task and focused at the end of the day that it takes us an hour what I can do in 15-20 minutes in a small group. Any ideas? Anything at all would be appreciated!:o


Hi Halo,
I have had very good luck using lots of manipulative activities in the afternoon for math. The hands on activities and some movement tend to help those kinds of kids. Look to "Box-it, Bag-it" and "Math Their Way" for great ideas. "Shake Those Beans", Fishing for Facts ( I made fishing rods out of a pencil string and magnet, and fish with paperclips and numbers on them. Kids fish out 2 fish and add the numbers). Use pattern Blocks for a group and have students make a design using a certain number of blocks, or just let them design, Domino Addition... Kids add the 2 sides of the domino, Dice Addition, kids roll 2 dice and add the 2 numbers. Make graph bags, fill bags with some of about 5 different things. Have a graph matrix made and have children color in a box above the picture for each thing in the bag. Later in the year they can write observations comparing the objects.
Good luck!


File folder games

My teacher resource store has books of File Folder Games (by Karen Finch, I think), that can be good for small groups or partners.

Also, www.tinsnips.org has many very good ideas that can fly with general education first graders as well. I've turned their file folder games into matching games where kids use clothespins to clip the pairs together (clip #9 on the picture of 9 leaves, etc.) I was amazed at how much guided practice my IEP and at-risk kids needed before I could safely turn any of them loose with the materials, but it IS coming together.

www.enchantedlearning.com is another great site. Has very simple cut/color/copy books that are GREAT for independent work--even for students who can barely write their names.

I think it's worth an initial time investment to teach your kids to work independently, even on very simple content. That will free you up to work much more effectively with smaller groups--maximizing _everyone's_ learning time.

Good luck--I'm doing it too!