Structures with a Very Low Student

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:57 pm

Structures with a Very Low Student

Post by mrteacher » Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:04 pm

I am enjoying implementing structures to a whole class this year, and am already seeing great results with my students in Grade 1. However, as I am introducing more academic contents, I am noticing a lot of difficulties to implement structures, due to the following reason.

I have a student whose academic achievement/progress is very low. He cannot draw simple pictures and write his own name, and is always giggly. As I was using structures for the past several weeks, his partner and teammates were very frustrated, since he was not working on any tasks (including very simple ones) and was acting silly. Even when we did non-academic tasks using structures including teambuilders and classbuilders, he did not participate in tasks but rather acted silly. (I am aware that these issues are beyond academic achievement.)

I do not know where I can place him when making groups. (I understand the concept of Kagan team formation.) If you have a very low student or two, what can you do? I do not get any support from any special education teacher or educational assistant.

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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:21 am
Location: Dallas, Texas

Re: Structures with a Very Low Student

Post by angelapink » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:44 am

First, let me compliment you for putting him/her in a team! It may be a challenge, but everyone deserves the chance to work on a team. For management, you can start with a warning. We suggest you even physically move the desk a couple inches out. You could say, "This is a warning, if you improve your behavior (stop acting silly), then I will move your desk back in to your team, if not, then you will be moved away." The second warning is the "island" or call it what you want. It's a place where they sit alone doing the "unfun" version of what the team is doing. How long they sit there is up to you, but the goal is to have them in a team as much as possible, so maybe just until the end of the activity. Sometimes this consequence will fix the silly behavior. When it comes to academics, feel free to make modifications for them. Sometimes you don't know what will work best for them until you try it so feel free to try modifying (since you don't have help from SPED). For example, maybe the student shares a verbal answer, but their shoulder partner records it for them. If you are doing a structure like RallyCoach, you can actually make the problems they solve slightly easier. I always tell teachers, you are the best at adaptations. So feel free to modify for the 1 or 2 that need it, and work their way up to functioning in the structure like everyone else. BTW- great job using Teambuilding and Classbuilding structures. Sometimes kids act out because they aren't comfortable, and these activities may help build the team up so they are able to work better together. Let me know if you've tried anything that works for those kiddos. We'd love to start a list of helpful ideas for teachers.The more these students get to practice working in a team, they more social skill progress they will make. :)

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Re: Structures with a Very Low Student

Post by Rob » Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:52 am

I agree with Angela 100%. The young man sounds to immature both academically and socially (for a first grader). A couple thoughts: talk to his kindergarten teacher (if available) to see what circumstances allowed him to find success; try a pair structure like RallyRobin, socially, it is more challenging to work with three than one; and lastly be his partner and/or sit at his team when doing a Teambuilder or content structure to model appropriate behaviors. Keep trying and let us know what is working and not working.