Saturday, January 16, 2010

Diversity in the Classroom

Before I began reading the chapter, I was excited by the chapter title because I have a very diverse classroom. When I began reading it I was happy to see that it stated that even before there were different types of classrooms, all "normal" classrooms were diverse. This is completely true because I remember back to the days when I was in elementary school and we didn't have different classroom for different types of learns. We were all in one room, even though we were all learning at different speeds, some of us slower than others...that being me. I was never great at math but I always tried. I remember that because I had such a hard time with math the only thing the school did was make me come in early one day for extra help. Sadly, I can't say that it helped. I think if it was for more than just that one day maybe I would have improved in areas where I needed too.

Going back to the chapter, I really like how they pointed out the important part that being that there are different types of learners. For me, I really like teaching hands on activities...this is also what I did for my intervention for my paper. I think hands on learning is important because you can make the lesson a lot of fun but educational at the same time. In my opinion, those who get the experience to do hands on learning will remember it more. However, even though this is my favorite way to teacher, I as a learner am very much a visual person. I have to always be taking notes and getting a visual of what is really going on. I remember even during a job interview one time I asked the woman, who later became my boss, to visually show me how a third shift worker's time clock worked and I remember her having to draw a clock for me with arrows and the whole deal so I could get the picture.

Also with these types of learners in the book, I like how they gave you procedures you could use for these types of learners.

Overall, I think one of the main things to remember from this chapter is that students have learning disabilities. However, just because they have learning disabilities doesn't mean that they are "unteachable" or "unable to learn". Everyone has their own way of learning and everyone has difficulty with something. With this, teachers need to make different types of lessons and not just teach one type of style. You as a teacher have to appeal to everyone and make sure that even though the student might not be able to tell you that they do better visually or kinesthetically, need to make your lessons applicable to each student. Also, if you think a student has a disability in an area, it's your job to address it.

The point of the chapter was diversity and that each student learns differently and there are different type of learning disabilities. This is something teachers must remember. I know everyday I go to work I tell myself, these kids are here for a reason and it's my job to help them succeed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week six

Chapter 1
The first thing I would like to touch on is speed-drill practice activities. I know this is at the beginning of the chapter but I really like speed drill practice. I have noticed that you can turn this type of activity into fun games that the students really enjoy... such as math around the world where each students stands by their desk, the teacher goes around the room with math flashcards and the student has one chance to answer the flashcard in less than five seconds. If the student gets it wrong they have to sit down and the last one standing wins. It's a really great game that I have noticed students really enjoy.

I also think that application activities have a lot of potential. This is an area where teachers can become creative in what they do with their lessons and how they teach their students.

I like how the chapter broke down what each of the different types of assessment tasks involved. It think it's really important to understand what each of these involve. These areas also show why it's important to have different types of components on a test...for example a true and false section, multiple choice section, essays, ect. This all validates why testing is important after the teacher has taught a section in a subject. It seems that in elementary through the end of my bachelor's degree, all the testing was about those three types of assessments. Now in grad school it seems to be more a long the lines of nontraditional assessment. I like it though because I feel like the teacher has to pay more attention to whether I really know the information rather than just throwing a test on my desk and having the scantron machine grade it. I think the blogging that we do is a good example of nontraditional assessment.

Chapter 13
I liked this chapter because it talked more about hands on learning and activities that can be done that are fun yet educational. However, I did think some of the activities were confusing- like the "round we go". I was easily confused by that. But, I liked the "Piles" activity. I think that one is more easier for younger children. In my class we do that a lot with feeling cards and putting the feelings that are similar together. (In my classroom we focus a lot on behaviors and correcting the behaviors).
Another activity that I have done many different ways is the scavenger hunt. I have noticed that students love it and it can be made in an educational way but fun so that the students see more of the fun side than the educational side but are learning. Scavenger hunts have such a two way street that it makes them very effective.
I thought this chapter gave a lot of ideas on different ways to make teaching into fun activities. I am going to spend some more time looking at this chapter because I really like the activity ideas that it has.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hmwk Jan 6, 2010 class

I think it's important for teachers to understand the reading and writing process and the connection between the two. There are roles that are played between the two, one being the reader and the other being the writer. These two roles are so intertwined and important to understand that anyone teaching should be familiar with these roles. You can look at these two roles and compare them to the teaching and learning roles and compare them to each other. In special education we talk a lot about parallel process and these two, reading and writing, can be seen together as parallel process. That I think is one of the most important aspect of understanding the connection between the reading and writing process. A lot of what goes on between reading and writing is very connected in seeing that those that read, write and those who write, read. This allows the student to make connection is each of the areas. I think that when you are teaching the younger population it's always important to have them try to tell a story and also try to write a story. I know with my class now, I have an activity coming up where they are to do an art activity and make a picture with certain objects and then they have to write a story to go with their picture. I know a lot of my students are going to become frustrated because they cannot spell, however, they have great story telling ability. I also think this activity is going to be interesting because my students are better at reading than they are at spelling. So, I think this activity is necessary and will show the paralell process in reading and writing along with spelling.

Word recognition I think is really interesting. Word recognition reminds me of an activity that I did once in school where the teacher had a jumbled up sentence of words and showed us that we could still make out what was written in the jumbled up sentence because the position of certain letters were where they needed to be allowing us recognize what the word was really suppse to be. Being able to recognize the word allowed me to decode the word to what it was really suppose to be. Word recognition I think is really important in reading and spelling. In reading we are able to pull the word from our memorized word bank.

However, my question is, do those with dyslexia have trouble with word recognition or even those who have had head trauma or brain damage at a young age (or even any age).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Article 4 and 5

Based on Article #4 and #5:
The disproportionate representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse children in special education is a significant issue in education. After reviewing the article:
List some of the issues surrounding this topic?
-Discrimination seems to be one of the biggest components surrounding this issues.
-disproportionate representation
-"The overrepresentation of ethnic and linguistic minorities in special education has resulted in several well known court cases".

Discuss how legislation has attempted to ameliorate this problem
there were amendments made in 1997 to IDEA...states need to collect data for the purpose of monitoring and reducing disproportionality...

Describe the problem as you see it
Make a suggestion…What is the solution as you see it?
This quote is the easiest way for my to get my point across: "the unequal opportunities for many students of color because of the consequences of structural poverty and the discriminatory treatment of students of color in the general education system".
The solution would be as easy as to treat everyone equally. However, it's unfortunate that some racial and ethnic groups a being over identified for special education just because of their ethnicity.
To me the easiest solution would be is to allow everyone and anyone into the regular education class, have the teacher track everyone's progress, and then from there make the fair and appropriate recommendations. However, I know this is what I would do doesn't mean everyone would do this.

This topic is hard to me to discuss. I'm not sure completely why. Maybe it's because I find it hard that people are discriminated against just because of what they look like or who they are. To me everyone should always be treated equally and even though I know it hasn't always happen in our history I would like to think that people are being treated equally now. No one should ever been marked or labeled anything just because of their ethnic or racial background.

Acticle 3

Based on Article #3:
How has the evolution of medical technology changed the way we look at disabilities?
I think with the new medical technology we now look at disabilities as they should be looked at. Before it seemed like those with disabilities were looked at as if they couldn't be helped and were just going to have to go through their lives like this. However, with the new technology, we see disabilities as something that can be helped, that are biological and genetic, and with the proper care and treatment the individual will be able to be helped.
It's a big change because we are now looking at disabilities in a scientific way and in the medical way because disabilities have a large medical component to them.

What implications will this new outlook have on teaching and mandated legislation?
I think it will lead to teachers having to understand how the brain works and how the brain is affected by the disability. Teachers are going to need to be more on top of each student and get them into earlier testing when a disability is suspected. Also, the RtI that is state mandated may actually be mandated to be put in place.

Modules 1-2

Based on articles #1 and #2:
What are the social and mental implications for children with learning disabilities?
It seems that those with learning disabilities are more likely to suffer for depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and attempts (also completion), along with disruptive behavior in the classroom. Children with learning disabilities are more likely to suffer from these due to lack of self esteem and boredom in the classroom from not understanding what is truly being taught.

Think back to when you were in school. What strategies do you remember teachers using (academic or behavioral). Think about how a child with a Learning Disability would respond to these strategies. Explain and comment.
Honestly it's horrible to say but there isn't anything that really sticks out in my mind of what a teacher I had used to help us learn. I know that if we acted out we were punished by detentions and having to meet with the principle. Sadly this is really all I remember. I think we were threatened a lot with detentions, suspensions and removal. However, I look at things now days and I always think to myself about how I never remember seeing TSS clients in my classrooms or hearing of alternative education programs. Maybe this is why I think that when I was in school not a whole lot was done. It really seems like it is of the new coming trend.

How will you refine your practices to address the social needs of students with disabilities?
I truly believe every student can be taught and most need to be taught in different ways because everyone learns differently. With my practices I think a big part of it will be making sure I have enough time meet with each student individually so I can see the progress they are making. I will also make sure that I keep documentation of the student and what is going on that way I can get them proper help. It's easy to sit here and type out what I think I would do, but it's not until I actually get in that situation that I know what I really need to do.

Online articles 12-13-09

Here is the first part of my blog for this week. This is the online articles. and I hope I read the right articles because my computer took me to different sites I think!!

How Children learn to read:
When I began reading this article, I found this beginning part to be every important: "To learn to read well, children need the blocks of knowing the sounds of letters and the blocks of knowing the meanings of words (vocabulary), word parts (grammatical markers) and groups of words (overall meaning or semantics)" (Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities). All children need to know the building blocks to reading otherwise they are going to struggle with reading for the majority of their school careers and beyond. Learning to read was a hard thing for me when I was in elementary school. I remember that they would break us up in to three separate reading groups. These groups were determined by how we read. I was in the middle group, but I can tell you to this day I wanted to be in the highest reading group and it lowered my self esteem knowing that I wasn't in the group and that even though no matter how hard I tried, I wasn't going to get moved into that group. I feel that somewhere along the lines, my reading skills became not up to the highest standards. Maybe it was from changing elementary school when I was little.

I also like how the article brought up the point of how parents should be meeting with their children's teachers to see their teaching style and what methods the teacher is using and also to examine the work their child is being given by their teacher. This is something I think parents over look. I think that parents, at times, let things go because they assume all teachers are doing their jobs properly and their child is learn correctly and is not having problems. I look at my job and even though I'm a teacher for an after school program through Sarah Reed Children's Center, it is my job to do each child's homework with them from their regular school and to make sure it is done appropriately, I at times look at that and think to myself...I do homework everyday with children that are not mine and I bet I know more about their learning disabilities than their parents do because their homework is getting done with me. I think if more parents were to sit down and do their homework with their children they would have more insight on what their children are struggling with and where they are excelling.

From the rest of the article the two most important points I liked was that each child needs and effective reading program and that parents can find signs of early learning disabilities if they try. I liked the effective reading program idea because it speaks about six different components that are important with reading. I also like how it stress certain parts of reading that are essential in making sure the child becomes a fluent reader.

Reading and Dyslexia:
The multimedia I selected was reading and the brain. First I want to say that I really enjoyed this part of the homework. I liked the watching the video and hearing first hand from the parent, child, and the doctor. OK, so for my reactions... I think it's amazing how much technology we have now days to do things like what this clip showed. We can actually get an fMRI of a child's brain who has dyslexia. From this fMRI, we can see which hemispheres of the brain are doing what, when, and why. In the clip it said that the "normal readers" left hemisphere light up more when reading where as those with dyslexia, their left hemisphere don't light up as much. It was also interesting to hear that dyslexia is biologically based. I think this clip was very informative and I really enjoyed it.