Friday, October 23, 2009

Moving Along in October . . .

The Kindergarteners and newcomers continue to be my most challenging groups to teach this year. The "Kindergarteners" I should start off by saying are actually a group of Kindergarteners *and* first graders. Even in my mind I keep thinking of them as just Ks, sometimes forgetting that there are first graders in the mix too. I'm trying to build in parts of my lesson where I push the first graders to do more than the Ks (especially in writing) but some of the first graders are *at* at Kindergarten level anyways. The squirrely behavior at the end of the day has been really frustrating and I want to try to come up with more fun things we can do in the classroom so that we're learning English but not necessarily always reading or writing. It's just a lot to ask of these little ones at the end of a long day. On a positive note though, the last two days have been almost miraculously good in terms of their behavior. I've been rewarding them early and often with stickers and Skittles (maybe one or two Skittles per student for the entire period). And of course lots of praise for the kids doing the right thing. It's working and I'm so relieved. I'm starting to feel like now we can start getting to work!

The newcomers have also been improving slightly in the last couple of day. There are two boys in the group who are non-stop talking, calling out, jumping out of their seats, etc. There are another three who are easily pulled into all of that who then compound the situation. When any of them are gone things run much more smoothly but when they're all there it's really out of control. I finally started calling parents which is really hard for me because I don't speak Spanish so I need to get a translator to call home for me. In addition to the phone calls I've been trying to break up the group a little by having two or three students go off to a center to work on something while teach to the rest of the group. The students who are off at the center are enjoying being independent and doing something hands on while the students who stay with me are much calmer in the smaller group. It's only been a few days but I'm hoping that this system will continue to work out.

No comments: