Keeping them engaged

Sat down with my mentor and had my week 1/week 2 feedback given at the same time. Was told I has achieved everything I needed to achieve (Yay). From building relationships with students, to engaging them in relevant and fun content to applying behavior management strategies in a very challenging class (year 2, Special education, ASD non verbal) which was a big step in the other direction of the spectrum I’ve usually worked with. So instead of working on Naplans and developing persuasive arguments I was attempting to engage 6 students that were ASD with OCD links working on the letter L today. After listening to Jolly Phonics and a short Powerpoint I sat the students down to do some hand over hand drawing of the Letter L then use playdoh to create the letter L.

Students loved the IWB and the hands on stuff but I’m finding anything that is 1 dimensional (much like worksheets) which just don’t “Stim” the students enough. Something to remember, I asked my mentor “but they seem to run round and I can’t keep them on task at the best of times” my mentors reply was simple “They are ages 6-8… which means in general you would get between 5-8 minutes in a normal classroom between losing their attention… throw in the disability and you lose between 3-4 minutes depending on age. so really you may have a total of between 3-5 minutes of engagement in a 30-45 minute lesson… don’t beat yourself up just stick to your guns” Another piece of advice with students with ASD is be the boss and never give leeway (because when you do they will remember what they did to achieve it and will do that every time to get that break)

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