Wednesday, July 31, 2019

High-Leverage Practice 19: Instruction

I am going to discuss High-Leverage Practices as mentioned on the CEC website organized around four aspects of practice. I hope you will join in the conversation!

HLP19 Use assistive and instructional technologies.

Assistive technology devices are defined in the IDEA 2004 as:
“Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.”

There are so many low and high technology tools that can be used in a classroom to help my students. Just like glasses help a person see better, these tools help the student learn better. If asked by other students why one student might have this tool, I explain that just like we eat different foods because our body might need different nutrients, our brain might need different tools so that we can all learn the

Low tech tools might include:
·      Pencil grips
·      Post-it notes
·      Base ten blocks
·      Alphabet blocks
·      Alphabet magnets
·      Adapted cup
·      Highlighter
·      Washi tape
·      Index cards

High tech tools might include
·      Calculator
·      Spell checker
·      Augmentative communication device
·      Computer
·      Laptop
·      Digital timers
·      Recording device

What assistive technology tools do you use in your classroom? Please share.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

High-Leverage Practice 18: Instruction

I am going to discuss High-Leverage Practices as mentioned on the CEC website organized around four aspects of practice. I hope you will join in the conversation!

HLP18 Use strategies to promote active student engagement.

I think it is so important to keep students engaged in learning. If they aren’t engaged in learning, they tend to be disruptive because they are bored.

By keeping students engaged, there will be fewer behavior problems and more excitement about learning.

One way to promote student engagement is to make sure that they are active participants in their learning. It is important that they don’t just sit and listen to the entire lesson. Ways to encourage participation is to have class discussions, question and answer, fill out an anchor chart, or have students help model what is expected.

Getting into small groups will also help encourage discussions and conversation. By encouraging conversations, it will increase the understanding of complex concepts. 

Incorporating movement in a lesson will help keep students engaged. Having students do a dance or an exercise that teaches the lesson is very motivating. Having students jump on a life-sized number line for math facts is a great way to incorporate movement into the lesson.

Letting students create something new with their new skills or concepts can be very engaging. This makes students use their imagination and sometimes collaborative skills to make something. I don’t think we allow for creativity enough in the classroom.

I think by including movement in the lesson, it encourages student engagement. When students are moving around, they are paying attention better. Incorporating exercise or dance might help the more active students stay on task. Movement helps keep students from being bored or apathetic towards the lesson.

What are some ways that you promote active student engagement? Please share.

Photo by Laura Fuhrman on Unsplash

Monday, July 29, 2019

High-Leverage Practice 17: Instruction

I am going to discuss High-Leverage Practices as mentioned on the CEC website organized around four aspects of practice. I hope you will join in the conversation!

HLP17 Use flexible grouping

When I was growing up, I remember most of my teachers lecturing to the whole class. All of the lessons were taught to the class as a whole. After the lesson was taught, we worked independently in our seats. Many times, I would finish early and then read a book or do something to entertain myself until the rest of the class was done. Others were not so well behaved and as soon as they were finished, they would disrupt the class and get into trouble.

I didn’t like to ask questions when we were in a large group. I was afraid someone would make fun of me or the teacher might be mad that I didn’t understand something. I would try to figure it out or sometimes ask a friend for help if the teacher wasn’t looking.

Now I see that sometimes smaller groups are more appropriate and conducive to learning.

I might group students according to ability levels so that they stay challenged in their learning. This will keep them from being bored and will stay on task.

I might group students according to interests. Students who have the same interests might enjoying learning about the same topic together.

I might pair up students that are different ability levels so that one student may help the other. This will help both of them learn and retain information.

Another group may be some who have the same opinion to debate another group with an opposing opinion.

All of these types of grouping will help the students stay engaged in learning. Students may feel more comfortable asking questions or stating that they don’t understand something. Others might feel like they don’t have to compete for attention when they are in smaller groups. Being in a smaller group may also be less distracting and help the student focus on the new material easier.

What other small groups do you use? Please share.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash