CBM in Math 12/3

Q: Based on the module and what you have learned over the last three classes, how might you use CBM in your own classroom?  What strategies or tips might you use?  What questions do you still have about using CBM?

A: After reading through the module, as well as previous discussions in class, there are a few different ways I could see myself using CBM in my classroom. Curriculum-based measurement is a tool used to track and monitor the students progress throughout the school year. Using CBM for math, as well as other curriculum areas, is a way for teachers to demonstrate growth of their students, as well as a decline in growth. Using this database also allows educators to communicate results to parents and other professionals that may need the information. Another crucial reasons for implementing this measurement is for teachers to assess their own teaching and its effectiveness on the class (IRIS Module). There are a number of different ways I would use this curriculum-based measurement in my classroom. For example: I would use this to set goals for/with my students. After looking at some results, we would be able to sit down, see what is and is not working, and set goals for the future. These goals can be done through benchmarks, National norms, or intra- individual framework (IRIS Module). This would involve the use of graphing data, which is another way I would implement CMB. An effective strategy to use could be altering instructional strategies after looking at the data. If I am finding that a majority of the students do poorly on a certain area/after something is taught a specific way, it may indicate that my teaching techniques were not effective. One tip from the module that I find to be very effective and important would be involving your students. You want to show them their progress to ensure that they understand when they are improving and when they need more attention in a given area. Students should be involved in their curriculum-based measurement, and have the opportunity to see how they are doing in school throughout the year.

**All info from IRIS Module/Class**


Assistive Technology 11/19

Q: For Thursday, think about how you might use assistive technology in your classroom.  How can it be useful?  Who can it support?  What questions do you still have about assistive technology?

A: Assistive technology is be described as an device or or service that can help a student with a disability meet their needs. It also helps to ensure that these students are participating in the general education classroom setting. It also helps to improve the functional performance for the students (AT module). According to the AT module, the uses of assistive technology are communication, academic task performance, social activities, moving & positioning, and accessing materials.

Because assistive technology can be both a device or a service, these two things differ. Devices are pieces of equipment that students with disabilities use to improve the functional capabilities. These devices range in complexity, as it can be something a large as an IPad or hand-help device, or something a simple as a rubber pencil grip (At module). Services can be described as assisting a child in the actual selection of the technological device (AT module).

This AT module taught me that there are several things I can do as a teacher to support students who need assistive technology. For example: incorporating technology into instruction as much as possible is a great idea. Along with that, teachers must always know a students strengths and weaknesses and be aware of who needs what. To be a successful teacher who understands the importance of assistive technology, it is important to participate in AT training. It is crucial that as a future educator, you too know how to use the devices, that way, you can easily work with a student in need (AT module).

One question I still have is what do you do if other students in the classroom are becoming jealous about a student using a special device? What if they don’t understand it is something they actually need, and just think it is unfair?

Gifted and Talented 11/17

Q: What do you understand about gifted and talented or twice exceptional students that you didn’t before?  What specific strategies might you use to meet the needs of these students?  What questions do you still have about gifted and talented students?

A: I believe that gifted and talented students are often overlooked in the classroom setting. I always thought that gifted and talented students were just to be challenged more in the classroom through a more complex worksheet or more higher order thinking questions. What I didn’t know, however, was that being gifted and talented can often lead to low achievement, despondency, and unhealthy work habits. This is due to the students boredom in the classroom and lack of interest or challenge (Myths). As stated in the article about Myths, nearly 58% of teachers have received no training in terms of teaching gifted and talented students. This is because we focus so much on the students that are at a low level or special education students. It was also discovered that only students that come from higher income school districts are offered services for being gifted and talented. What I also did not know before was that gifted and talented students can still have a learning disability, and often times, they do (Myths). These gifted and talented students are often referred to as “twice-exceptional”. These are students that have both strengths and weaknesses in different areas (Winebrenner).

There are many strategies to implement when it comes to teaching the gifted and talented, or “twice-exceptional”. Found in the article written by Susan Winebrenner, it is important to always capitalize students strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. Although it is important to focus on their struggles, it is also important to focus and draw attention to the strengths. You never want to take time away from those strengths because this is what makes these students gifted and talented. Another strategy to use is to incorporate a variety of different teaching methods. All students learn differently, and these “twice-exceptional” students may need visual representations, while others may learn in a different format. It is also important to focus on the content and concept before adding in the details. By applying this strategy, students can learn the big picture, and the dive in deeper. Lastly, compacting is a huge strategy for these specific students. Compacting focuses on letting students demonstrate their mastery, or having them make it known that the content being taught in the general education classroom is not challenging enough. This seems very important because it makes both the teacher and student themselves aware that they need more of a challenge (Winebrenner).

One question I still have regarding gifted and talented students would be who makes the decisions about their learning in school? Because this is often overlooked, how do they determine the steps to take to provide for their needs?

Autism 11/3

Q: What specific accommodations or modifications might you use with students with autism (hint: answer to this question can copy/paste to your A&M project)?  What concerns or questions do you have about working with students with autism (I will compile a list of these and bring it to class)?  Make sure to reference the readings in your answer.

A: Autism is a very common and interesting disability. This disability, which commonly affects childrens communication, socialization, and interest. Because autism is such a large disability to distinguish, it is often determined using a spectrum with five different disorders. These range from mild cognitive, social, and behavioral deficits to more severe symptoms, such as intellectual disabilities and nonverbal. Because this is such a common thing to see in today’s society, there are of helpful accommodations to implement in the classroom. One of these accommodations would be really beneficial is floortime. This can be done at home with a parents or at school with a teacher. During this time, you would spend some time one-on-one on the floor, working on social/communication skills through interaction.  Picture exchange is another useful strategy. This is when you use symbols, gestures, and objects to communicate. Social stories also work well for these individuals. Social stories allows students to hear social situations through a brief story. This will show the student a better understanding of a specific event or behavior. These are beneficial strategies to help encourage emotions and communication among these students. (Autism Strategies Article)

Some more commonly used accommodations found in the Educator Guide to Autism article may include ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis). This is when praise is shown and rewards may be given after reinforcement. Students may become excited and proud of themselves if they are praised for the good work/effort, and a positive reinforcement or reward may encourage and motivate them to do more work. For example, If a student has completed a math problem with a partner, you could praise them by stating how great they worked together, and how you heard such intelligent discussions between the two of them. You could then tell the student with autism to complete another problem, and they will be rewarded with getting to explain their answer to the rest of the class.

A concern I have about working with students with autism is how to accommodate these students in successful ways, based on the spectrum. Autism is such a complex disability, so finding the best suitable strategies seems like a challenge educators must be faced with on a daily basis. I want all students to feel comfortable and motivated to learn, and it will be my job to make sure this is done successfully. I am excited to experience more time with these students, and grow as a future educator that makes decisions and implements strategies!

Communication Disabilities 10/29

Q: Based on what you read and what you now know, what are some key strategies you are going to want to use when working with students with communication disabilities? What questions or points of confusion do you have about working with students with communication disabilities?

A: There are many things about communication that are crucial to education. Communication includes receiving, understanding, and expressing different information, feelings, and ideas (Chapter 6, pg 125). When thinking about students and teachers, along with other school staff, communication plays an enormous role in success. There are many ways to communicate that we sometimes, don’t even notice. We communicate through speech, movement, body gestures, vocal gestures, and sign language. As stated in Chapter 6, communication, through both spoken and written language, is the cornerstone of teaching and learning. As we start to think about students with communication disabilities, we must consider those with speech and language disorders, as well as the effects that cultural diversity will have on the overall learning environment.

There are many strategies that could be beneficial to implement for those students with a communication disability. For example, Chapter 6 discusses the importance of using graphic organizers within the classroom. This strategy is used to assist students in comprehension and writing accurately/effectively. In early education, communication is learned through interactions taking playing inside and outside the classroom. This is when speech will be key to learning how to communicate properly. There are some accommodations that could be used as helpful strategies as well. For example, finding out what representation works best for the student, and applying it to their assessment. Also, some students may need that extra push to interact in the best fit possible for them. Instead of allowing them to use their most comfortable communication skill, challenge them to step outside the box.

I think that my biggest concern about working with students with communication disabilities is what happens if the skills are so weak that the student can’t even interact properly with me? I know that over time, teachers will either find the best ways to communicate. If not, they will have an aid to assist. However, since this student will be in the general education classroom for at least parts of the day, if not all, I must find my own successful strategies as their teacher.

**Chapter 6**

ADD/ADHD 10/27

Q:As you read, think about the following questions:

  • Based on the reading, what are some strategies that might be helpful for students with ADD/ADHD?
  • What are some strategies that would be unhelpful (have you seen examples in schools?)?
  • What concerns do you still have about meeting the needs of students with ADD?  What specifics do you hope we discuss in class?

A: In Chapter 8, Understanding Students with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, there are a number of useful strategies to implement for the students with ADD/ADHD. Some of the accommodations that we may see on a regular basis are a private and quiet testing area, seating arrangements, one-on-one instructional time in a resource room or the back of the classroom, extra time to work/study, and more. In this chapter, they explain that students with ADHD often have a tough time focusing when there are other students around. The placement of the student within the classroom, as well as where they work in terms of group work crucial. Students with ADHD would benefit from sitting somewhere close to the teacher, but also somewhere they won’t feel overwhelmed by the distractions of others. This could be done through a seating arrangement close to the teacher during instructional time, and a separate desk in a quiet corner during independent practice. In the Executive Function pdf, they mention that individuals with ADD/ADHD struggle to stay focused and on-task. This can be improved by working on organization of tasks and materials, and taking breaks when frustration occurs.

An unhelpful strategy to implement for students with ADHD would be lowering expectations. If a teacher/parent expects less from these students, they won’t perform to the best of their ability or highest potential. These students may need accommodations, but overall expectations should remain the same. Another unhelpful strategy I have seen in the classroom is removing recess time for unfinished work. Although I do believe that there are times when students should have to stay in for recess because they have no completed required work, I don’t believe that this is something that should be implemented for students with ADHD/ADD. If these students have a week to do homework packets and don’t pass it in, then they should follow these rules and stay in to complete it. It is if a student doesn’t finish classroom in time that they should not have to miss out on recess or outdoor activities. Giving them that fifteen minutes to get out of the classroom could be just what they need be ready to focus when they get back inside.

One questions I have about students with ADHD/ADD is are there ways to accommodate for these students, without having to make it noticeable to the rest of the class? Are there ways to make them feel completely comfortable with their specific needs/struggles without involving others or making others aware?

**ADHD Chapter 8 Article & Executive Function PDF**

Learning Disabilities 10/14

Q: What “ah-ha” moments did you have as a result of completing the reading? What makes sense to you now that didn’t before? What (specific) strategies might you want to use with students with learning disabilities in the classroom?  (hint: you could use this list in your Accommodations and Modifications project). What questions/points of confusion do you hope that I will address in class?

A: After reading through the Learning Disabilities Info Brief, I had a few different “ah-ha” moments. Looking closely into the LD info brief, I learned that there are some specific learning disability names that I was not aware of. Dysgraphia is a learning disability in writing, and Dyscalcula is a learning disability in math (LD info brief pg 1). I knew previously that there could be specific learning disabilities for these reasons, but was not aware of the specific names they had. Another surprising fact I found was that students with learning disabilities often have average or above average intelligence levels (LD info brief). This is not to say that I thought students with LD’s were unintelligent, but I was not aware of the average of above average knowledge they possess. Learning disabilities are also extremely common in the United States. As stated in the LD info brief on page 2, nearly one million children (ages 6-21) have a learning disability. That is 1/3 of children in the U.S. (page 2). Lastly, one thing I found to be interesting was something you are able to do if your child is denied an evaluation. If denied, you are able to request an independent evaluator for your child (page 3).

There are a number of different strategies I would implement in my classroom as an educator. Students with learning disabilities may need some specific accommodations and modifications to help them succeed. Some of these include giving the students extra time to complete assignments, or a more quiet and secluded area to concentrate. Having a specific step by step schedule available for the students to look at could also be extremely helpful. I also believe it is very important to differentiate instruction, as all students learn differently and struggle in different areas. Incorporating technology, audio, visual, and hands-on activities/lessons will be beneficial to meet the needs of all learning styles/strengths. As an educator, it will be crucial to observe your students, and identify what works best for each and every individual to make them successful. – Info from LD info brief page 5

One question I still wonder is what happens if the student is denied the evaluation, and none of the other alternatives are successful. This may have been discussed previously in class, but I still wonder what steps you take if you really feel your child needs an evaluation they are not receiving.