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LeoBa Media, New York


Teaching in the INCLUSION classroom: LeoSuresh, New York
 

~~~~~~~~ Part: 3 ~~~~~~~~
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7/25/02


Modifications & Accommodations

Students have different strengths and weeknesses and learning styles and use different multiple intelligences. And hence same mode of teaching and testing will not work. If the purpose is quality education for all, many modifications and accommodations are to be done. What is modification? The purpose is to enable an individual to compensate for intellectual, physical or bahavioral challenges. The modification allows the individuals to use the existing skills and repertories while promoting the aquisition of new skills or knowledge. Tests are modified according to the student's IEP's. Modifications result in a change in the content or conceptual difficulty of the curriculum.

What are accommodations? Accommodations are modifications to the delivery of instructions or a method of student performance that does not significantly change the content or the conceptual difficulty of the curriculum. Accommodation is often the only way some students benefit from the classroom or instruction. Success of the student is the purpose of accommodation and we know that success does lead to more success.


Case study: Grade: Jr. High Inclusion classroom
Subject: Mathematics - Area and Perimeter of Rectangle
Standard: ## Math.
Cooperative Learning

Case Study: Peter, Shadasia, and Andrew are categorized under serious behavioral/emotional disturbances, they proved earlier that they are cooperative in math class and like to be changed for good. Peter and Andrew are not getting along well. Anthony is 17 years old with learning disabilities and Sheila is perfoming at par with other peers, but have some serious auditory problems. All other students are functioning well at their age appropriate level exept the above said five students, but their social skills are improving. Two paraprofessionals are available for assistance.
We use the PASS variables for successful delivery and assessment.


P ~~~~~~~~ In the cooperative learning environment every student will work with their group to reach the objective and improve social skills. Drawing as many rectangles(whose area is 24 sq.cms.) as possible and finding their perimeters is the lesson objective(critical thinking part).

A ~~~~~~~~ Divide the class of 28 students into 7 groups of maximum 4 students in each group. Arrange the desks in a way, 4 students can sit around, and make sure Peter and Andrew will not be in a same group. Paraprofessionals will assist Peter, Shadasia, and Andrew to focuss on their task. Anthony has learning disability, problems with language(mainly reading is his problem, listening is good), but he is not dyscalculia. Teacher will provide audio tapes to explain the math problem to Anthony and detailed written questions and explanations to Sheila. Overhead projector is also used in the classroom. For Sheila, television captioning, adapted telephone equipment(TTY), computer assisted instruction and hearing aides will be used. If needed paraprofessionals will work as interpreters. Misbehavior of any kind can not be tolerated in the cooperative learning environment. Classroom participation will be observed and teacher checklists will be used. Allow Sheila extra time for the project. Give the students opportunity to demonstrate the project using graph paper or computer or any other means.

S ~~~~~~~~ Structured lessons are well organized and systematic. Earlier, we learned what is the perimeter and area of a rectangle. Now, I am taking them to the next level.
Clarity of lessons is to easily understand lessons. Here the lessons are very clearly written and organized. All the doubts are cleared before going further.

Redendency helps to develop familiarity with new concepts(skills and ideas). After learning perimeter and then area of the rectangle, we are trying to understand how area and perimeter are related and students are working on it.

Enthusiasm creates exciting lessons, fun and warmth. In the graph paper, students are drawing many rectangles of area 24 sq. cms. After drawing one rectangle, they will find more possibilities for many more rectangles having the same area, creates enthusiasm. Appreciate rate of presentation neither faster nor slower. The purpose is the students' maximum gain from the lesson. Pace of teaching is according to their stength of absorption. Maximized students engagement is necessary for them to be on task for long time to reinforce their knowledge and possitive behavior. Briefing is very important, as researches say, "what one remembers is the most is what he heard the last."

S ~~~~~~~~ Systematic evaluation using portfolio assessment with rubric. Teacher made test/quizzes. Performance assessment. Test modifications according to students IEP's.


Reflection/Evaluation: Praise can be an important motivator for students. This rectangle activity (attached) is to reinforce memory and comprehension of information that was gained in the lesson, and critical thinking part.

Paraprofessionals' enthusiasm and active role keep the students on task. Many circumstances are avoided for students not to drift from their objectives. In very near future, Peter and Andrew will work together successfully. We did all these modifications and accommodations for the students to succeed and we act on what we believe. Success does lead to more success. Beliefs affect attitudes and attitudes affect bahavior. And the dispositions affect intelligence. As Feuerstein says, "behavior shapes the brain as much as the brain shapes the behavior." The overall success is the result of cooperation among the students, parents, teachers and other staff. Silent competition is not the term, but cooperation is as we are working for the students. And insure that students will have a successful learning experience that motivate them for further learning.

I herby add the lesson plan for the activity.


LESSON PLAN

Teacher: Leo
Subject: Mathematics Chapter: 7(Page 82), Area of Rectangle
Grade: Jr. High
Date: July 25, 2002    Co-operative Learning


Aim: Draw rectangles and calculate their perimeters

Objective: Students will be able to draw as many triangles as possible with area 24 sq. cms. and calculate their perimeters.

Skills: Analyzing and critical thinking

Secondary Skills: Writing(Drawing), listening, speaking, measuring length and cooperation.

Materials needed: Graph Paper(Sq.cms.)

Prerequisites:

  • Concept of a rectangle
  • Area of a rectangle
  • Perimeter of a rectangle
  • Factors of 24 and Ordered Pairs

 

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8/04/02

Free CHOICE
********************************************************** My Personality Profile Color

Last year when I prepared the IEP Annual Review for every student in my special education class, I felt a tremendous amount of responsibility. The insight and the cooperation among the CSE team was incredible. Certain points I learned about IEP is always useful. And I am not selecting this for my freechoice since I had already written about this in my article review and already submitted the IEP's I prepared to my instructor earlier, though IEP is one of my best choices. From the 'palm activity' to the concept of area of a square and rectangle is one of my best teaching experiences in my classroom last year. I am not selecting this either for my free choice since I had already included this in PASS lessons of this portfolio.

My selection for free choice is a simple activity I did in our classroom, where many of us did not give any significance at all. It opened up a whole new world for me to understand myself before understanding anything else. My personality profile color. GOLD is my personality profile color. "Law is order, and good law is good order." Aristotle's words are hundred percent true as far as I am concerned. This color profile is unbelievable. This personality profile color truely reflects my personality. It gives me another opportunity to look deep into my life again.

As far as my job performance is concerned I am realistic, set and achieve goals, I repsect(and seek) positions of authority. I am very responsible in all aspects of my life. I want everything to be precise as much as possible. To be more specific, when I involve with job, or any other activity I want to know, what needs to be done by whom, when, by what means and what degree of quality. And I want my work to be appreciated for its quality. And I know all my weakness too. Knowing the weaknesses is one of the secrets of success.

We live in a community. In a work place, I won't be working alone. I will be meeting very many diverse people of different personality. Now, I can easily find a method to find the personality profile color of my co- workers whom I can deal with confidence. Being an analyst, I will find a way to work as a team in any setting.

By visualizing, how do I interact effectively with others of different personality profile colors like orange, blue or green, I come up with certain strategies. First study all the positive and negative qualities of those groups. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses are the key of success. I am looking forward to focus on my humble job with confidence and optimism.

Now I clearly understand from the profile, what I enjoy at work and what I appreciate and expect. I will try to be more respectful and worthy and a simple teacher. Not only I set goals but also achieve them and find their practical applications that make me a Contructivist. Gold are cooperative, practical, and efficient workers. They respect authority, discipline, and punctuality. Well-defined duties and responsibilities are appreciated by "Golds." They like to be rewarded for hard work, loyalty. Golds are responsible and dependable employees, stable and honest.

Why do I need to know about other personality profile colors? In a collaborative/co-teaching school environment, collaboration and cooperation are the key words. Success mainly depends on the team work. Once I know myself, I will be able to understand others. This color profile can be of much useful to learn about ourself and others.

We need to understand that people are different, and we all have the same characteristics in different proportion. We need to accept likenesses and differences to successfully participate in a community(it can be school or society). This is the reason this personality profile color impressed me a lot and it will be useful wherever I go. As far as I am concerned, "Law is order, and good law is good order."

 

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08/04/02


Action PLAN

Before taking the course my knowledge about Inclusive Classroom was very limited. But my understanding about IEP's are excellent. Many ways of Collaborative teaming was new to me. In the cooperative learning environment, I learned them in a systematic way.

After finishing my Graphic/Visual article review, I leaned more about the strategies. From the article these are the ESSENTIAL STEPS I learned for the Planning for Inclusion. As they are very important, we need to study them in detail for the success of the students.

  1. Who should be on the Planning Team?
  2. Identifying Critical Concers to guide plan development.
  3. Identifying the student's priority skill areas.
  4. Determining if student's needs can be met
    through General Education Activities.
  5. Managing tasks to support Individual Student Programs.
  6. Summarizing and Monitoring the student's Program.
  7. Planning movement to the next Grade.

The article says about the strategies to help facilitate the participation of diverse students in INCLUSIVE hetrogeneous classroom. But it did not explain them in detail. The strategies are:

  • Cooperative Learning
  • Collaborative Teaming
  • Partner Learning
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Student Empowerment
  • Creative problem-thinking
Also I learned, who should be the members of the planning team, and what do they do, and their major goals and more importantly, how do they plan effective education program for all students in an inclusive classroom. In my opinion, my Graphic/Visual article review represents the complete course in few graphical representations. I learned many factors from reading and from the video. Studying cooperative leaning in a cooperative environment was very successful in our classroom. When there was not much participation, everyone paid the price, that is what happened in PASS lesson plans. Robin taught many thing the way we are supposed to teach in an inclusion classroom. In reality, we put our feet in their shoes to understand the way they learn.

This is one of the best courses I did this year. Here I found some answers during the discovery of truth. Here I got an opportunity to understand the strategies like cooperative learning, collaborative teaming, and peer tutoring, to help facilitate the participation of diverse students in inclusive, hetrogeneous classroom. And also to understand the practical process and essential steps of planning for inclusion. Establishing a positive classroom atmosphere is the success of a teacher is one of my missions and maximizing academic engaged time. Classes feature more cognitive behavioral approaches towards instruction. And this is what I want to do in my classroom this year. All students in the classroom feel they are welcome and the class is an extended family. No anxiety in the classroom. Anxiety also sabotage academic performance of all kinds(4). Prepare the structured lessons according to the PASS and SCREAM variables and as per IEP's. The PASS lessons, Accommodation and Modifications lessons done in the previous chapters(refer this Portfolio) will be the models I am going to use in the coming school year. Enthusiasm and motivation are the key words I need to focus. Always, take the students to the next level for critical thinking. Brain-storming ideas are unaviodable(7). Using the strategies like peer tutoring and cooperative learning and collaborative learning in classroom will be my main focus of this academic year. Also, I will implement Feuerstein's Mediated Learning Experience(2) in my classroom as an intervention strategy.

In the lifelong process of learning, we will come across many bridges and hedges. We will hear so many echoes and dissonance when we cross the tunnels. Once we reach the wild open space, we may not hear other vibrations. It is our turn to make sound of different frequencies and harmonies. Once inspired, well and good or else everything is a waste. In short, I want to practice the valuable things I had learned from this class. Gaining more and more knowledge and put them in practice will be my motto as a Progressivist. I will focus not only on the classroom management, but also to the skillful management of the paraprofessionals to work as a team for the maximum benefit of my students. Communication, planning and scheduling, instructional support, modeling for paraprofessionals, public relations, training are other factors I need to address. These are the knowledge and skills teachers needed and most critical when directing the work of paraprofessionals(9). Stress management will help everyone to focus their job productively.

Assessment is always critical when standardized tests are mandatory. Teaching to the tests is the mission of many schools. We should know the differences in evaluation. Academic achievement is not the only purpose of schooling. The importance of many dispositions are crucial in the students' life as intelligence characters increase the strength of multiple intelligences(3). Developing good dispositions is the idea behind character education. These dispositions enable us to strengthen our intelligence is the key. This is where I focussed from my earlier childhood. Recent advances in neuroscience are changing views of intelligence and how emotions and dispositions and other traits shape and motivate intellectual bahavior. The greatest part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions(or virtues) , and not on our circumstances. Destiny is the last word and the first word is character. In every aspect of my life, those words of Heraclitus influence. My values, views and virtues revolve around character. The importance of the three R's is only secondary. As Heraclitus put it this way, "Character is destiny."

The question remains is how to understand the perception of a student whose strengths and weaknesses of his/her multiple intelligences are very diverse. And how do I prepare the students' "intelligence profile"(4) in a scientific manner to help me understand their strengths and weaknesses of different intelligences and to prepare lessons with PASS and SCREAM variables to successfully deliver and assess the lessons. Also I want to be well aware of the recent researches and studies in many fields including educational psychology and thinking about thinking to clarify many doubts and to become an excellent teacher in an inclusive classroom. Inclusion is a process not an event; successful problem solutions evolve rather than occur(9). I want to be an effective teacher, to become an effective inclusive classroom teacher. Students with disabilities will be educated to the greatest extend possible in the general education classroom is my motto.

 

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8/04/02


Self-assessment Reflection

My best work in this portfolio is the Graphic/Visual article review. Strength of my visual intelligence is higher and hence I learn more by seeing things. Also I represented everything from the article in a very simple and systematic way so that anyone can understand easily.

From the article these are the ESSENTIAL STEPS I learned for the Planning for Inclusion. As they are very important, we need to study them in details for the success of the students.

  1. Who should be on the Planning Team?
  2. Identifying Critical Concers to guide plan development.
  3. Identifying the student's priority skill areas.
  4. Determining if student's needs can be met through General Education Activities.
  5. Managing tasks to support Individual Student Programs.
  6. Summarizing and Monitoring the student's Program.
  7. Planning movement to the next Grade.

The article says about the strategies to help facilitate the participation of diverse students in INCLUSIVE hetrogeneous classroom. But it did not explain them in detail. The strategies are:

  • Cooperative Learning
  • Collaborative Teaming
  • Partner Learning
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Student Empowerment
  • Creative problem-thinking

Also I learned, who should be the members of the planning team, and what do they do, and their major goals and more importantly, how do they plan effective education program for all students in an Inclusive classroom. In my opinion, my Graphic/Visual article review represents the complete course in few graphical representations, that is the reason behind my selection.

 

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Bibliography:

  1. Feuerstein, Reuven. Instrumental Enrichment. Baltimore: University Park Press, 1980
  2. Feuerstein, Reuven. Mediated Learning in and out of the Classroom. Illinois: Skylight Professional Development, 1996
  3. Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books, 1983.
  4. Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books, 1995.
  5. Ritchhart, Ron. "From IQ to IC: A Dispositional view of Intelligence." Roepert Review, Vol. 23 Issue 3 pl43.
  6. Gardner, Howard. The Disciplined Mind. New York: Penquin Books, 1999.
  7. Conrad, E. Peer-Tutoring: A Cooperative Learning Experience. Tuscan, Arizona: Center for Educational Research and Development. University of Arizona Press, 1974.
  8. Greenwood, C.R., Delguardi, J. Together We Can! Classwide Peer Tutoring to improve Basic Academic Skills. Colorado: Sopris West, Publishers, 1988.
  9. Ratner, G. (et. al.). Inclusion: Education for all. Albany, New York: Effective Teaching Program, 2002.
  10. Mastropieri, Margo, A., Suruggs, Thomas. E., The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Instruction. Colombus, Ohio: Printice-Hall Inc., 2002

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