SPED and lows

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:26 am

SPED and lows

Post by dillarda » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:30 am

I am having the hardest time starting Kagan. I put my groups together and most are doing very well. I have about 30% SPED in my classroom and I am not doing well with those students at all. They are pulled out constantly so I try to have them spread out. This works ok. The biggest issue I have is them not wanting to participate in discussions- they really cannot if they missed most of the class or are so far behind the content they do not understand it even with interventions. I feel like this is hurting my low mids since they end up paired with them a lot of the time.

How to I work around this? I don't want to hurt the students that are low and trying, but the ones that are low and not trying are hurting the group effort. I have tried moving them but when it is 5 kids and not 1 or 2 it is really frustrating.

Elia Chesnoff
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:35 pm

Re: SPED and lows

Post by Elia Chesnoff » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:09 am

First kudos to you for being thorough and thoughtful in your team set up. Since students are being pulled out, I would imagine it is difficult to catch up them so they can process with structures. Two ideas come to mind. The first is to buddy up the students so that someone in the class can take ownership of catching them up. Perhaps even introduce the idea as being an honor. In some cases it may be appropriate to have the tide to just listening in on the structure. When buddying up, consider which students will have the most patience and maturity to work with a student who has missed content. The second idea that comes to mind is to consider incorporating any teacher aids, if available, into the structure. In terms of low mids being at disatvantage, class structures can randomly pair students up so it’s not the same shoulder partners pairing up with one another.

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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:12 am

Re: SPED and lows

Post by KaganMarketing » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:31 am

Thank you so much for posting your question to the discussion board! It sounds like you are doing many things correctly.

30% SPED is a high number and when students are not in your classroom, that creates more complications.

I will give you a few suggestions but if you want to email me directly for more dialogue, feel free to do so at jackie@kaganonline.com.

It would be nice to know your grade level. That would help me give you better advice.

First of all, I would look at those students who are in your classroom the most and put one on a each team of four. Make sure you do lots of teambuilding. Also I would sit those teams close to each other so that when students are gone you have flexibility in the pairing across teams.

There may be times when you will have two special needs students working together from those teams. This would mostly apply when students are doing the same level of work- different from the team.

For those students who are gone a lot, I would probably put them on a team of five. Include them with structures used for teambuilding and review. It sounds like you may have to give them different work and they may not be able to participate with the content 100% of the time.

I know this is difficult, but you kind of have to look at each student individually and do your best to make sure that they are in the least restrictive setting possible.

I would also encourage you to make sure they are part of all of the class building activities.

As I said, feel free to email me directly with more questions. I hope this was helpful.


Dr. Jackie Minor
Director of District Implementation