How to Put Structure in the Classroom for ESL Pre-Schoolers

How to Put Structure in the Classroom for ESL Pre-Schoolers

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Recently I invited you to ask questions if you would like some help or feedback on a situation involving your students, clients or children. For this week’s video, I decided to respond publicly to Dianne W’s question because I thought perhaps it would resonate with several of you.

Although I’ve done videos on the things I talk about, I’ve never suggested these strategies for children who speak English as a second language. As you build your bag of tricks, you will find that many of the visual supports you use for your children with special needs, that you can also use them for other children as well.

Take a look!

Speaking of those strategies that fill your toolbox, I have recently been sharing my tools with the general education teachers in my school district. Like most schools, you always have that 3-5% of students who are in general education classes, yet they need that extra, extra effort on the part of the teacher.

These students absolutely belong in the general education classroom, yet our general education teachers are not as familiar with the tools we use in special education as they need to be.

Let’s face it, those of us who work with children who have special needs have had some of these tools I’m talking about for years and they somehow seem so, common. The surprising thing is that some of these tools that are so familiar to us, can be a completely new tool (and sometimes a life saver) to a gen ed classroom teacher struggling with that student who is non-compliant or that student who won’t complete tasks.

Just this year, I observed a student in first grade who was having trouble with following classroom routines. He often would refuse to complete the tasks the teacher asked him to do. I suggested that we start with a token board…. complete with five reward stars. Once all five stars were earned from completing his tasks, he could earn a reward.

Within just a couple of days, this teacher stopped me in the hallway and said that her student was completing ALL of his assignments. She was dumfounded that something as simple as a token board could get this student working! As she said, “Who knew?!!”

Since that day, I’ve been sharing with gen ed teachers many of my tools in an effort for teachers to be proactive to student behaviors and to be able to set limits with students in an effort to get them back on task. I am now seeing and hearing teachers use the 2+2, the 5 Point Scale, the Token Board, First/Then and the Verbal Behavior Map and Work Systems with lots and lots of successes. Note: I have videos on ALL of these strategies/tools!!!

They LOVE having options and I can tell they feel empowered!

Share your tools with your gen ed teachers and perhaps you’ll start hearing and seeing a difference in your classrooms!

You take care and I’ll see you next time!


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