Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tucker Ch. 3

As special education teachers, we need to adapt our lesson plans toward the specific needs of our students. The book points out how teachers often use a great deal of verbal/auditory information when teaching. We need to remember to include much more visual and hands on materials/activities. This will make our students, especially students who struggle academically, more involved and learning may actually become exciting to them. Getting students more involved and willing to participate is key. Students who participate in class are probably going to learn more. I know that all through school, even in grad classes, I seem to take in so much more information when we do hands on activities. When a teacher is lecturing I would often drift off and think about just about anything else rathering than taking in the material I was supposed to be learning. Group activities are also a great thing to incorporate into the classroom, especially when you can pair stronger students with weaker students. We need to remember to make learning fun!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tucker Chap. 1 & 13

As teachers, we must keep in mind one of the very first things mentioned in this book. We want to incorporate fun activities in the classroom but we must always ask, "What are the pupils learning during the activity?" I am all about using fun activities for learning but we must remember the students need to be learning skills. Hands-on techniques are great for teaching these skills. Something as simple as giving the children play or real money to assist in learning the values of each coin or bill as well as learning to count money out can make learning the skills much easier and memorable for the children. I think that real-world problems are one the most important types of problems we must teach, especially to our students with math disabilities. They must be able to have the skill to tell time, count money to pay for things, measure for cooking, etc. I thought that chapter 13 gave great examples of math activities to incorporate into our classrooms!

Gipe Chap. 8 & 9

Reading and writing go hand in hand. The more you work and improve your students' reading, chances are you may see some improvement in their writing and vice versa. From my experience working with students with learning disabilities (or any student for that matter), as soon as you make learning into something fun, they become very excited to do it. I let my students with a LD in written expression write about topics they choose and that is of interest to them. Suddenly, writing has turned into something they actually enjoy doing. I think that it is important for students to be able to write without judgement at times. Reading and writing are the basic skills students need in order to be successful in their education.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Frustration of Experiencing a Learning Disability

Wow, now that I've done those LD simulations I can understand why student's with learning disabilities become so frustrated. I can also understand why so many of them resist even just attempting to do their academic work. I must admit that I stopped short of completing a couple of the exercises. It's like you don't want to put forth all of that energy and effort to try to understand and complete something that you know will probably not be correct in the end anyway. I can certainly see how it would be easy to give up. It must be so exhausting trying to complete classwork.
I found a couple of the exercises to be especially frustrating. The Auditory Activity under the Attention section was difficult. All of the background noise was such a distraction and it got so bad that I could not even hear what the teacher was saying. I ended up only getting about half (or less than half) of it completed and correct. Another activity activity that was difficult for me was the Reading: Memory and Recall. I was so focused on reading each line quickly before it disappeared that I wasn't even really comprehending what I was reading. I can honestly say that this is something I actually struggled with when I was in school. Reading and comprehension is the basis of learning in school so if this is a student's area of disability school all around must be such a huge challenge. The other activity that I struggled with was the Math Sequencing activity. There were so many steps to each problem and I had trouble following along and doing each step.
After doing these simulation activities, I realize what kind of evironment I need to have in my classroom. I know that classrooms can get a little chaotic and off schedule at times, but a structured, routine environment is very important. When a student is acting out, teachers must realize that it may not just be a behavioral problem but that the root of the problem may be a learning disability. Teachers really need to show support and patience to students with learning disabilities as they are experiencing much frustration with their school work. This activity certainly has provided me with a new aspect on learning disabilities.