One thing that overwhelmed me was the vast array of ability levels in math. It made me wonder how we could help all of them at the same time. It was a little discouraging at first. We tried grouping and then I came up with math folders. I copied a multitude of worksheets in the areas the students needed to work on. Then looking at each student’s goals, I compiled a folder with a few worksheets for each student. If the student’s goal was to complete 9 out of 12 addition problems correctly, I sectioned off 12 problems for him to complete on that worksheet. If he met his goal, we checked it off on his goal chart. The immediate reinforcement of checks on the goal chart encouraged the students to work hard in those areas so they could earn the rewards. Students often asked for worksheets so they could meet their goal. I even had one ask if she could do flashcards during playtime!
We also had good success with DEAR time. Each student chose a chapter book to read during DEAR time. Each day the students completed a journal sheet about what they read that day. We used graphic organizers for story mapping, character analysis and sequencing. This week the students will work on writing a paragraph about their story and creating a poster or diorama depicting their favorite scene in the book. On Thursday they will present their book report in front of the class. Some students are choosing to dress up as their favorite character. I am looking forward to seeing their presentations!