Saturday, April 27, 2013

Successful Saturday: Teamwork + Book Buddies

Happy Saturday! I feel like the closer we get to summer break, the more I look forward to Saturday! It's time to share this week's success stories.
Here is my success story of the week:
I teach at a K-12 special education school. We have pretty broad spectrum of kids in our school. The kids that come to us in each grade level are unique based on the general trends of successes/failures in the public school special education system and the types of resources we have available at my school.

My class is K-2, so I get a lot of kids who need early intervention. My students are the kids who don't need an aide in a small room, but they aren't very successful in a large classroom. They often have trouble with sensory stuff (noise, touch, etc.) and they struggle to learn concepts, but they can do it with some extra help. Appropriate behaviors are also a struggle.

The kids that come to my school when they are a little older are often jaded from years of failure in big public school classes. They have low self-confidence and poor academic skills. It's not uncommon for us to have kids come in the 4th or 5th grade and read at a 1st or 2nd grade level. We help them learn to read and do math, but really that's not the most important part. We have to build back all that confidence they lost over the years as they struggled in their old schools.

This past week I brought up the idea of book buddies to one of my fellow teachers. I did it with my friend Ali at my old school and it was AWESOME. My friend Jessica works with a 5th grade group who is more severe than our typical students at this school. They have really been struggling with confidence and social skills. My little guys love attention and need to learn social skills like paying attention and sharing.

We've started book buddies and it's been a big success! The big kids love being "a role model" and the little guys like trading buddies and having different big kids read books and talk about stories with them. The older kids often mumble and don't read with voice, so reading to the little guys encourages them to make the stories sound more exciting.

Here are the Successful Saturday Rules:

  1. Share your success story on your blog! 
  2. Link up your blog story with the linky banner and a link back to this post so others can share their great ideas and link up too.
  3. Go read at least 2 other Successful Saturday blog posts and leave a comment. I don't know about you, but I LOVE finding other blogs to follow, get ideas, and share successes! 
Link up with something that was successful in your classroom!

Aren't the pictures adorable?! Have you ever done book buddies?

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