Friday, September 20, 2013

Pick up the shovel and fill them.

Never in my schooling do I remember being a part of a 'small group'.  I don't remember 'intervention' or 'remediation' time during the day.

I don't remember being one-on-one with any teacher, ever in my entire schooling.  I am SO glad that things have changed.

Let's be honest.  Teaching (effectively) with 27 students in my room is difficult.  About 68 times during each lesson I have to remind my students to stay on task, to stop getting distracted, to put something away, to stop throwing paper at each other, to stop talking to their neighbor, etc.  My small group time is a life saver.

If it weren't for small groups I really wouldn't have a clue what most of my students actually know.  Being consistent about meeting with each of my students on a regular basis to just go over the basics of what they've been learning has been so great to me and my success as a teacher.  I don't form actual 'remediation' groups.  I figure out which students don't "get it" as I am teaching the lesson and they end up at my table that afternoon.

I love the quote in the picture.  It reminds me why small groups and meeting one-on-one is so important.  Sometimes my students just need that extra "umph" to get over the hump and have that 'ah-ha' moment we as teachers strive to see.  Some understand a concept immediately and some take weeks to finally master it.  Some even longer than that.

As teachers, we must remember that every student is different.  Therefore, how we teach must reflect that.  We must figure out multiple ways to explain one concept.  We must cater to all the different learning styles in our classroom.  We must sometimes allow students to fail so that we truly know where to find the 'holes' in their learning and figure out how to help them.

As I completed my Response to Intervention testing and papers this week I realized I have so many students with many unique needs.  I still have students who are on the phonics continuum.  I have students who can't do simple division.  I have students who have no number sense.  As a fifth grade teacher, this is just slightly frustrating.

It is my job to find these holes in their educational file cabinet and fill them.  Not every student learns at the same time, or in the same way.  As much as we wish they did, they simply don't.

It is time to take responsibility for these student's 'holes', pick up the shovel and fill them.

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