Saturday, February 28, 2015


As with most things on this blog, I'm not writing this post as an expert but as an experimenter who's doing her best to find out what works.

At our school, we have a dedicated Alternative Learning Environment classroom. Right now, there are five students, all boys, in the class. Two second graders, two third graders, and one fourth grader. These students have such bad behavior issues that they can't be in a regular classroom setting.

So my school's policy until very recently was, since they have severe behavior issues that prevent them from functioning in a normal classroom,  it will be just fine to throw them into regular activity classroom with no aide or anything... So I would have a normal class of 23ish second graders plus two second graders and two third graders.

Finally I put my foot down, along with the other activity teachers, and administration decided to change the way they're doing activity for the ALE kids. And just in time since we got a fourth grader added last week.

Now they're coming to see me all at the same time, still no aide, but I don't have a whole other class to teach while they're there. But now I'm having to figure out what lessons I can teach to two second graders, two third graders, and one fourth graders with severe behavior issues, that will engage them all, keep them calm, and actually teach them something.

This week, I gave them the choice of using play doh or Legos. The only stipulation I gave them was that they had to actually make something, not just play. I told them at the end of class, they would be given a chance to share what they made with the rest of the class. They did pretty well. It was rowdy, but they all actually created something. Then one of the third graders threw his Legos across the room at the end of class and a second grader destroyed his creation so he wouldn't have to share. But hey, for the first time having them by themselves, it could have been way worse. I didn't have to call an administrator and there was no physical violence! Small victories.

Do you have any severe behavior issues? Does anyone else have an entire class of ALE students? What kind of projects do you do with students like this? 


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