This post is about two things. The first reason I’m writing this post is to explain how my classroom works. The second reason is because I am so proud of one of my students, who I’ll call Michael. Like to hear the story, here it goes. I make MUST DO Packets for my students for Social Studies, Reading, & Phonics. I didn’t make it up. It’s a remnant of my L.A.U.S.D. days when the students were required to do Independent Work Time (I.W.T.) to allow teachers to work with students who need extra help. I don’t work for L.A.U.S.D. any more but have borrowed the concepts and made them my own for my students since they need to work independently for each subject.
I’m not sure how other combination classes are run, but I’ve borrowed a little of this from L.A.U.S.D. and a little of that from other schools where I’ve worked. So, my classroom is especially suited to me.
This is how I set my class up. I teach two grades. I have MUST DO Packets for Social Studies, Reading, & Phonics. For the Social Studies Packet, the book is structured so that each chapter is split up into 3 or 4 lessons. So, I used to split the packet into three-four parts & give the students packets weekly. I realized it would be better for me to give them the packets in one big packet. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it has been working.
To get back to why I’m proud of Michael. I found his Social Studies MUST DO Packet and realized he he was on Lesson 1, while the rest of the 4th grade was beginning Lesson 3. “Umm, Michael?,” I said, “Why are you still on Lesson 1? We haven’t been on Lesson 1 for at least a week.
He just looked and said nothing. That was on last Thursday. By Monday, he’d caught up to the rest of the fourth grade.
“Good job, Michael!” I said.
Now, back to how my classroom works. I have the MUST DO Packets during Social Studies, Reading (Reading Comprehension Packets which I have recently changed to Vocabulary & Spelling Journal). I split the specified amount of time in half. In the morning, I have Religion (30 minutes) & Reading (45 minutes). So, I have to split the time in half & rotate for all subjects. That leaves 15 minutes with me for each group for Religion with 15 minutes independent time. That’s where the MUST DO Packets come in. The students have to have something to do. Firstly, to satisfy the time requirements for each subject & to keep them busy. Have you ever seen a group of kids with nothing to do? Yeah, I thought so! I have a table in back of the class where I can keep an eye on all the students as I work with the other students. For those students who get off task, that’s where my classroom management system comes in. There are various fees for disrupting the class and not staying on task.
So, that’s basically it in a nutshell. That’s how my classroom works!