Getting Students to Respond

Saturday, February 15, 2014
Getting Students to Respond, Classroom Management, Middle School

Every day is an adventure. Teaching students that have learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, ADHD, are on the Autism spectrum, and have lower IQs is the norm in my classes. Many times they don't understand math, have given up on their education, and have low self-esteem. Those things are shown by sitting and staring off into space, putting their head down, talking back/being rude, and some days just not bothering to lift a pencil.

Yesterday was one of those days - Valentine's Day with a dance looming at 3:30, Friday, a full moon, and a math teacher expecting students to do some math!

Period 2 - Lost in Space: 
I was going through a work packet they started the day before. I know many of my students didn't bother using their notebook to know how to actually answer the questions. So I decided to go page by page and talk about how to solve each item. I was interacting with the kids and having them tell me the steps for each problem. I kept reminding students to fix their paper if they needed to. 

Of course, my student that stares off into space was staring off into space. When I called on him to help us with what to do for "mean", he had no idea.
I have started reading the book, Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov. The first suggestion in the book is called "No Opt Out". Basically, when a student doesn't answer a question, you call on another student to answer and then come back to the first student for them to answer. I did that and it worked! "Lost in Space" student was paying attention when I came back to him for the answer. 
Getting Students to Respond, Classroom Management, Middle School

Period 6 - I'm Not Working and You Can't Make Me: 
One of my students walks into the room and declares, "Just send me to the office now. I'm not going to do anything in here today." I'm not going to lie. Some days this would just send me over the edge, and he would be at the office. Not today - I knew I needed a different approach. I calmly mentioned that he would be staying in class today. I also asked him to get his folder and notebook. At first, he did not comply. I continued in my calm voice after a few minutes and made my request again. He actually complied!
"I'm Not Working and You Can't Make Me" student went through the packet with the rest of us. I included him when asking how to solve the problems. I told him a few times that I would help him solve the problem when we were finished. Now he didn't do a tremendous amount of work, but...

1) he stayed in class
2) he didn't disrupt class
3) he participated
4) he did do some work
Getting Students to Respond, Classroom Management, Middle School

What helps you get students to respond?

Get Students to Respond, Classroom Management, Middle School,

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