This semester I have been taking the Exceptional Students class as well. This has made me open my eyes and realize a lot of things in the classroom that is/can be accommodated to students with a disability, mental or physical. In the main classroom I have been observing in there has been a few students that leave certain subjects to go to the resource room. To be able to go into the resource room the student needs to have an IEP (individual education plan) done for them. This is done for them under the law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The students are in the least restrictive environment by spending as much time in the general class room and going to the resource room for a special subject.
There are some students in the classroom that I have helped and graded tests for that I knew that they had lower reading levels. The teacher has reading groups that she would meet with each day to work on their reading. It was good to see that she puts the students that are all on the same level together so they can work together to become better. She has different level books as well for each level that the students are on so they can work their way up.
It is a great things that laws were passed for students so they cannot be left behind, and they have the best chance at an education that they can get. All students reserve the right to learn everything they can, and I can see that it is being enforced very well in the classroom I have been in.
Friday, October 7, 2016
This past week I decided to visit a 3rd grade class instead of the normal 2nd grade I have been sitting in. I love seeing the differences between teachers and how they handle situations differently as well as teach differently. That is the best part about teaching is you can make it your own.
In this 3rd grade class that I visited, the teacher was working on spelling. There was one point in the lesson where she had the students play a tic tac toe game on the SMART board. The basic rules of the game were to go to the smart board, choose a word, say it out loud as well as in a sentence, and state if it was a action verb or a be verb. Then they got to choose their spot on the board. It was a great game because it did help the students pay attention more because they had to come up with a correct sentence, and answer correctly if it was an action or be. The game got the rest of the students in the room thinking and cheering them on. Games, I have come to find out, are a very useful teaching tool for elementary aged students.
Another thing that I observed in one of the schools I was in was how well it is for students to be up and moving around. If not just for a moment to get their wiggles out or just to teacher another part of a lesson. This lesson was about the phases of the moon. The teacher had a few students up and 2 balls and a light shining on the one. The other kid acted as the earth cover part of the moon to show the phases of the moon and how they are created. It is good to see that there are good and creative ways to still engage students than just having them write notes.
Student suggestions are an excellent way to allow students to feel like they do play a role in how they are learning. In this 3rd grade class that I was sitting in on, while the teacher read their story, Charlottes Web, to the class a student suggested that they work on their cursive while they listen. It is good to hear and see that students are okay with being productive while listening to an enjoyable story.
In elementary classrooms there are sections that MUST be read word for word out of a given lesson book. This is very difficult to help students stay engaged while simply reading from a book. For another class I've had to sit in a resource room and that teacher has all of her students answer questions on cue (snapping her fingers) to keep them all attentive and on track. I think that a good way to keep a lesson straight from a book could be made a little more engaging by having students answer on cue. It gives them a reason to listen for an answer and smaller children typically enjoy the sound of everyone being in sync.
It has been so fun to see the engaging ways that teachers are using in the classroom without the students even realizing that its molded specifically for them to learn better, and have a better experience. I enjoy seeing the certain ways that I could make a classroom more enjoyable for my future students.