Author Topic: Slower learner classes  (Read 774 times)

Offline lena

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Slower learner classes
« on: May 24, 2012, 04:22:15 PM »
I have somehow been put in charge of a class they call slower learners  for junior high school
they are using the New Horizons textbook for class 1 ichi nen sei
we havent gotten very far past the first few pages

I have no idea how to teach students with special needs.

Any ideas for activites will be great

so far Ive kind of been treating it like a normal class with the exception of trying to make it more active
one of the students is really bright and the others would get left in her dust therefore more cooperative games would be helpful
than competitive ones as with a normal class.

Offline karta

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Re: Slower learner classes
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 11:38:58 PM »
I no longer teach special needs but I did for the past 2 years before using New Horizons. 
all of my students have point cards so that when they raise their hand, no matter if the answer is right or wrong, they get a point.  I tell them (and the JTE tells them) it counts toward their grade.  It's arguable whether it actually even can be counted but it's a good motivation tool, ESPECIALLY in the special needs.  Make sure they know it doesn't matter if they get it wrong, they always get points just for participating.

So, my special needs class last year was mixed with both 2nd and 3rd graders but they couldn't read English very well.  So, what I did at first was show them flash cards as a warm up. The first part of the year, I simply used alphabet cards.  I showed it to them, they had to raise their hand and say the letter and the word written at the bottom (for example; A, apple).  I only had 5 kids so if they answered it, they kept the card.  At the end, they counted their cards, had to tell me how many they had in English and I made a "ranking for the day" on the board.  1st place student got the most points, 2nd got a little less and so on.
Later on in the year, the flash cards became actual vocab words they used in the book.

By the end of the year, their reading skill really did seem to improve because I usually let the fastest kid answer.  They liked the competition but if one kid really is much better, I would avoid making it a speed contest.

The JTE and I used the content of the book but rarely taught from the book.  Instead, we had them make mini-presentations, make posterboards and write short letters in English. 
So, if the book had a self intro, we had them create their own after teaching them some basic concepts.
One other theme was summer vacation, so they made a posterboard about their summer vacation in English.
Another was action verbs like play, swim, etc so we had them play a gesture game where they had to guess what their partner was doing in English.

To be honest, those classes were a lot more fun than my regular ones but sometimes we would run into blocks where the kids just straight up refused to do things.  They got tired super easily and one kid's bad moods could ruin the atmosphere because of the small class size. 

Offline lena

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Re: Slower learner classes
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 10:18:38 AM »
Thanks for the info
that really helps a lot
I hope I can get them motivated I think using the point system is a great idea

Offline keeperofalstooth

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Re: Slower learner classes
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 11:23:24 AM »
All that Sarah said was good stuff.

I'd like to reitterate that the textbook may not be appropriate depending on your students level.  Use it if you can, but don't feel stuck to it.

Also, be more repetative than you usually would.  It helps to reinforce whatever they've learned already.  When I taught the special needs class a few years ago, the first 10-15 minutes of class would be the same.  Instead of just asking "What day is it today?" we'd be sure to also sing the days of the week song every single time.

Visuals are also helpful.  For example, if asking about the weather, make a poster so the students have a visual reminder of the options.  They may not need this (now or later on) depending on their level, but it's especially helpful for those who have more challenges.