Getting new students in the middle of the year can be quiet the challenge to say the least. Getting 3 unexpected students in the first semester can surely throw you for a loop, which requires an overhaul of the entire classroom! Yes, this happened to me this year, and I am struggling to create a new classroom structure that is best for all students.
In the past, I had all of the students participate in a big classroom group. All of my students needed to work on being with their classmates and this has worked great for us. But things have changed now. I had to divide the class into two groups to best meet all of my students needs, group 1 and group 2. The groups are divided by ability level.
Group 1 students work on completing tasks and following simple directions without their behavior getting in the way. There is a lot of ABA going on. For one of my students it is as simple as keeping an object on the table and not throwing it across the room. Another student in this group has a list of assignments that he is working on. His goal is to complete work without his behavior impeding his work. My third student in this group in working on completing tasks without being prompted by an adult at all times.
Group 2 students continue with the classroom work that we were used to at the beginning of the year. They read their stories with Start-to-Finish from Don Johnston, complete comprehension quizzes, work on Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) as well as math. These students continue working on their curriculum just like they always have.
We try to incorporate some to the curriculum into my group 1 assignments to keep them in the loop of what their other classmates are doing. The division has helped calm the classroom a lot. It was a hard step to come to the realization that we have two distinct groups that need to be separated to be the best that they can be.