Meeting the Needs of All Students

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Welcome to Wait for it Wednesday!  This week's topic: meeting the diverse needs of our students.  Rarely do we come into a school year with a class that is mostly on the same level for reading and math and certainly we have a wide range when it comes to behavior/attention issues.  So after talking to a new teacher I was inspired to share some tools I offered her for a handful of her students she was worried about ~~

Teaching is hard work friends!  I think as veteran teachers we can sometimes ( certainly not always ) forget that.  Trust me there are days I come home, put on jammies and have a glass of wine.  #exhaustedmuch But I was talking to a brand new teacher about her class and realized how overwhelmed she was and just wanted to help. 

She was asking me how to help a child that has very delayed fine motor skills.  Another child can't sit still, and another one kept losing their place during reading groups.  I listened as she shared her concerns with me.  Some I thought were easy fixes with some class management tweaks and ideas other required a much different approach.  

So as I was sharing ideas I had with her I realized there might be a teacher out there with the same concerns that wanted #ideasfast.
I  found this picture from

Here are some ideas of what I've done in the past.  I've used a 4 inch binder for the student to write on which gives them a natural slant to work with - research shows that the angle of the slant board promotes better placement of the shoulder, arm and hand.  It helps with posture as well as allows the child to reach from the top to the bottom of the page.

Another idea for the child that has weak fine motor skills or really struggles with writing - the Alpha Smart!  Kids love this and it motivates them to write and write and write.  I've used this for years and seen wonderful changes in children that use this device.  

I used pointers and highlighting sticks a lot in first grade when I taught reading but last year I had a child that constantly lost their place in our chapter book reading.  I pulled out my old highlighter sticks and it worked like a charm.

For the child that can't sit still I had several ideas to offer her:

BRAIN BREAKS one of my favorite tools from GoNoodle always seems to help them refocus.

Another idea - Attach an exercise band around the legs of a chair for them to move their legs around without being disruptive.

Maybe even use a stress ball to squeeze or a calm down corner.  There are wonderful ideas on pinterest for calm down corners.  
Keep doing what you're doing teachers - your students are blessed to have you!

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