I teach a self-contained class with full inclusion. This year we have all identified students in grade four in one room. There are 13 identified students in my classroom of 26 students. Within these identified students there are 10 identified as Learning Support and 3 as Gifted and Talented. The remaining 13 children are functioning at average or above average level.
I do a number of things in order to keep students on track:
- I have assigned each identified student a buddy and manage my classroom on the buddy system. This works really well because it makes all students responsible for their own work.
- The buddies check up on each other, and my work is cut in half.
- We also provide homework trackers within the school for each student, so my buddies make sure each one has his/her homework assignment before leaving the classroom for the day.
- During my silent reading period each day the buddies read to each other. OK, it's not exactly SILENT, but everyone is reading and it works really well.
You will not believe the independence it has created for all students and how close these students have become. I have found I have time to chat with each team of buddies weekly and give praise. Self-esteem has risen tremendously and peer acceptance has increased. They have become protectors of each other.