Friday, 7 September 2018
CoL Update (Term 3, Week 7)
This week has been crazy as it was Tongan language week, however a couple key things I can talk about are 1) my first social story and 2) moving up reading levels.
Social stories are something I learnt about from Donna Ryan at a PD session a while ago. The PD session was about visual aids in the classroom, but she mentioned social stories because they are visual aids to help children understand what to do in a social situation. They can be made about ANYTHING. The one I felt was necessary to make was 'how to sit on the mat', as Ryan often struggles to do this in what could be called the 'expected' way.
I explained to my class that I wanted them to pose for pictures and not to worry about why, so they were happy to do so. (Thank you 10 year old photographer!)
Then I made the social story.
It was simple and easy to make, and I kept the 'instruction-ey' part simple. The pictures show what the words describe.
My plan is to give this to Ryan during mat time to help him remember what he should be doing and manage himself. I find that I am almost constantly asking him to turn around, sit down, face the front etc.
Don't get me wrong - I understand and acknowledge that sometimes he isn't able and ready to do these things and that is okay. But sometimes he is ready and able, so needs a gentle reminder.
Also because I am aware of the social precariousness of 10 year old boys, I have made 5 copies of this social story and will give them to anybody who needs a reminder. That way Ryan doesn't feel targeted or picked on in any way. I will only give it to students when they need a reminder - not giving it to them straight away and assuming they won't/can't do it. Only when they need it.
Another highlight of this week was that I rejigged my reading boxes. I have these tubs to store colour-wheel level books for Paul and Kian (and another ESOL student who I have mentioned a couple times). Previously, these started at Level 9-10 (blue) and went through to Level 21-22 (Gold). I finally decided that if Kian is going to move I kinda have to force him. Due to his learning differences, he has been sitting around levels 10-15 for the past few years. He moves up, slides backwards over the holidays, moves up again, slides backwards, etc etc. He is currently reading Orange books (Level 15-16) with me at 'guided' level, and was reading level 9-14 for independent reading. However, he wasn't really doing any independent reading. The books that go home come back unread and he refuses (due to confidence) to read to anybody but me or Paul in class. Hence, I got rid of the level 9-14 tubs and he is now going to only be reading orange or higher. There are a mixture of types of books to give variety (and level of complexity, as PM books and sunshine books are different even though they are graded at the same level). I really want to challenge him and build his confidence so he can and will read these books. He is capable of it and I want him to see that. When I explained that I was going to get rid of the blue/green books and he was only going to read orange, he didn't really care. So no opposition!
I put in Level 23-26 books with the spare 2 containers I know have. Even though I only moved Paul a few weeks ago onto Level 21, he can pretty much read them first time, independently, so hence I am not challenging him enough.
Paul (and the other ESOL student) read with me both together and separately, and they will read to and with other students as well. They get a lot of mileage because of this.
For Paul, this participation and contribution, and be willing to work with others in different ways and in different contexts has really accelerated his learning.