Today I was subbing in a special ed room with middle school. The lesson plan was to show the movie, “We are Marshall” during social skills class. I found it really interesting that when the movie started playing, classroom management issues went away including inattentiveness and poor behavioral choices.
First this shows that these students are capable of positive behavior. Second, there is something about the hypnotic value of film that keeps these kids calm. Students need only be passively engaged.
The biggest challenge of a special ed room seems to be the level of stress that kids experience. For example Terrence could only work for about 15 minutes on math before his stress level got too high. Terrence has the intellectual ability (which I see in so many SPED kids) but fails to perform due to other factors.
So, the question I am left with is how we capture the calming effect of film in other areas of the classroom with SPED students.