Friday, August 3, 2012

Special Ed Scheduling HELP!!!!

I know I just recently posted... but it's after midnight here so it's technically not a 2 post in 1 day situation... right...

Anyways, I need help!!  Is there anyone out there that is teaching in a pull out setting???  I am!  For those of you that don't know, I am the intervention specialist for grades K-8 (yes you read that right) at a tiny Catholic school (1 class per grade) and I am only there in that position 3 days a week.  The other 2 days I was hired on as their instructional assistant (boo) to assist the teachers in small groups for grades 1-5.  The easiest way to schedule was to mix up the times for both positions so that I do a little of both every day.  If you walked in my room at any given time, you would honestly have no idea which hat I was wearing.  The only difference between the 2 is that during my instructional hours I don't do any of my own planning, the classroom teachers tell me what they want me to work on, I pull the kids and we do it.

Ok so on to my question... For any of you that are in a pull out type setting, how do you structure your time to make it the most efficient?  I have 30-40 minutes 2 or 3 times a week to get my IEP kids and tier 3 RTI kids to meet their goals... Are you kidding me?!?!  Now that I really think about it and put it that way, no wonder I have felt the last 2 years that I am making no progress with any of them...

This year I want to try something different... I got my schedule to work out so that I can take each grade 3 days a week.  When I mentioned my concern to my principal, he suggested that I teach subjects in 2 day increments.  So for example I would teach reading for 2 days and then math for 2 days and then reading again and so on and so on.  Do you think that would work?  Do you have  a better suggestion? 

This is really stressing me out in case you were wondering... Any help anyone could give would be greatly appreciated!!


  1. I taught resource in K-5 (3 classes per grade) for 5 years. I currently teach a self contained class for students who are at least 2-3 years below grade level in all subjects. I have found that most kids have an extremely short attention span and 2 mini lessons are often more effective than 1 long lesson. I would teach a short reading lesson and a short math lesson on most days. For some skills, you are going to need an entire 45 minutes to teach the skill. If you do mini lessons, the students are practicing the skill everyday instead of every 2-3 days which often involves more reteaching on your part because they have forgotten half of what you taught them last week. On the downside, 2 mini lessons will involve more planning and preparation on your part. You will need to be very organized so you have time 2 complete the lessons. When I taught, I would have one area/table set up for a reading lesson and another area/table set up for math. I kept all essential materials at each location. When I finished with the first lesson, we all moved to the other location which really helped with transition. It was a clear signal to the kids that we were changing subjects. It also allowed the kids to move with purpose. Some days I would say, "Hop to the math table." I would change up the directions based on the ages of the kids. The younger ones always liked having permission to hop, skip, crawl, walk backwards, or anything else Ii could think of. Hope this helps! Good luck next year!


    1. Oh I love having the seperate areas for the different lessons and the creative ways of getting there! Unfortunatley, I don't get to see my kiddos everyday, only 1-3 times a week depending on severity of disability, and only for 30 or 40 minutes at a time. I definitely can't do 2 mini lessons and activities in that amount of time! Thanks for the thoughts though, I will have to keep thinking!

  2. That is very hard, only seeing your kiddos 1-3 times a week. I teach in a pull out type setting. I have never tried the 2 days reading, 2 days math, repeat (or anything of the like). I typically had students 2 times per day, every day, once for reading and once for math. Is there any way you could have your students incorporated in the groups you work with as an instructional assistant, so you can do more work with the kids? Good luck! I'm sure you'll do well!

    We are ALL Special!


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