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Depending on a student’s disability, a peer assistant can answer questions and provide examples, assist in exiting the classroom in the case of an emergency, read orally, turn book pages, provide an appropriate social model, act as a scribe, and help the student perform many other necessary tasks (p. 180-181).
In the ELA classroom, a peer assistance program should be set up carefully with the students’ social and academic needs in mind. Peer assistants can be matched based on common interests, common abilities, common needs, or other factors. When setting up a peer assistance program in my classroom, I will be careful to adequately assess the situation that requires assistance. I will then approach the student in need of assistance to ask if he or she might beneﬁt from a peer assistant. It is important to ask the student if there is anyone in particular that he or she would like to work with. A peer assistantship should be friendly, comfortable, cooperative and accepting. I would set up a meeting with both students to discuss goals, reservations, and requirements of the partnership. I would then plan regular meetings to check in with both students and to gauge progress. In the ELA classroom, students can beneﬁt from peer assistantships on a variety of levels. The teacher’s realization that many students can beneﬁt from having a note taker or a scribe will increase involvement and conﬁdence among all students.
can be a powerful tool in improving inclusive classroom performance. It can also strengthen bonds between students and be a real motivator for student involvement in school. Students who tutor can help to create an inclusive environment for tutees (Chapter 8, p. 182-183). To set up a peer tutoring program in my classroom, I would get all students involved in some way. Even students who are high-achieving and seek to be challenged in school can beneﬁt from sharing their ideas with peers. To make sure that there was not a divide between tutors and tutees, I would incorporate peer teaching into instructional time so that all students would have a chance to practice teaching new content to each other. I would set aside class time to review procedures and policies for peer tutoring, including a way to document peer tutoring meetings. Students should also be trained in how to eﬀectively and respectfully tutor their peers. Peer tutoring is a great anchor activity and can take place during class time when students are at diﬀerent levels of a lesson or when some students have completed an in-class task and others are working through new content.
can increase achievement and improve attitude toward the subject matter. Cooperative learning simply means that small groups of students work together to complete a task. This can be adapted and modiﬁed in various ways (p. 189). Some ways that I would implement cooperative learning would be to always specify objectives, determine and communicate group parameters, and explain goals. I would provide tasks where each group member could have a job, and I would provide time in school for groups to collaborate. Cooperative learning should be productive and focused, not just a time for friends to chat or for some students to do all of the work while others skate by. Therefore, cooperative learning in my ELA classroom would be monitored and intensive. I would also place an emphasis on group dynamics, eﬀective listening skills and eﬀective teamwork.
can be done in many ways and helps raise awareness about the diversity of the classroom. Helping students with special needs become true members of the class is essential to their academic, social and emotional progress and well-being (p. 178). Building community and breaking down stigmas in an already established middle school or high school environment can be met with resistance, but to prevent students with special needs from being ostracized from the school community, it is key (p. 178). Some ways that I would build community in my inclusive classroom would be to begin class with icebreakers and community building activities and to hold a discussion based on the values of the inclusive classroom and the social construct of ability. Discussing disabilities rather than pretending that they don’t exist can create comfort and acceptance in the classroom. Community building activities can show students what they have in common with each other and give everyone an opportunity to be themselves in a safe space. Community builders should be challenge-by-choice activities that respect the individual while working to build up the group.
is similar to peer assistance. Peer social initiation enlists peers in promoting social interaction with students who are o1en withdrawn or isolated. Children with autism are one group who could beneﬁt from peer social initiation (p. 181). I would implement peer social initiation in my classroom on a need-by-need basis. A1er carefully observing student behavior, I would assess if a student may beneﬁt from peer social initiation. I would then ask a trusting and compassionate student to work with the withdrawn student, if they are willing. Similar to peer tutoring, I would check in with those students in the partnership on a regular basis and make sure that the process was eﬀective and that the withdrawn student felt emotionally safe. I would also document the interactions of the two students and monitor progress.
– developing organizational skills including time management, neatness and understanding procedures can help students focus on learning and self-manage their study practices (p. 250). In my classroom, I would have procedures posted in the room so that students could refer to them and meet the goals of the classroom. I would also post the agenda each day as a means of modeling organization for my students. Students are able to organize their time during the class period as well as their thoughts when they know the agenda. I will clearly post and discuss any homework assignments and schedule changes, and I will put procedures in place for organizing classroom work, notes and homework in binders and folders. I will initiate check-ins with all students regarding these binders and encourage eﬀective organization of papers, work and all assignments. This includes keeping an up to date calendar in the room with all assignments and objectives.
– for students who are auditory learners, listening to content and ideas may be the best way for him or her to study. Students with other learning styles can also beneﬁt from improved listening skills and may require extra practice (p. 257-259). In my classroom, I would implement listening activities based on all literature, speech, and expository works. I would vary the type of text that I am using for the listening activities in order to gain student interest from all students. I would explain the purpose of the listening activity and then have students translate what they heard into their own words. I would also model the use of key words and how to take notes while listening. I would use topics that are interesting and motivating to students, such as television shows, the media, etc. I would also give guided notes for students to ﬁll in pertinent information and also to give them an organizational model for organizing ideas. During any lesson, I could use checking for understanding as a listening exercise – by asking a student to repeat back directions or to repeat a new concept asks them to translate something that they heard into their own words. Listening can be practiced subtly or more intensively through planned lessons and units.
“provides students with a greater depth of processing of information…” (p. 261). Teaching students the purposes of notes, strategies for taking notes in diﬀerent ways, speciﬁc formats for notes, and key questioning techniques during note-taking can help students focus on learning in a personalized way. One way that I will teach note-taking skills is to have students write short summaries. Short writing activities help students articulate their thoughts and integrate those thoughts with new learning. Students must have the opportunity to put learning into their own words. Otherwise, they will not own the content and it will mean nothing to them. Guided notes are also helpful, and students can have the option to be creative in their guided notes. I will also teach diﬀerent formats of note taking such as tables, columns, abbreviations, and lists. However, I will never limit all students to using just one form of notes. It is important for students to ﬁnd a strategy that is comfortable and eﬀective for him or her.
helps students become ﬂuent in organizing information and referencing materials. Knowing how to navigate the library’s print and non-print resources helps the student to take ownership of his or learning and become a more independent information seeker (p. 266-267). To develop library skills for improving study skills, I would implement lesson plans that involve working in the library to reinforce content. I would teach students how to use reference books and databases for ﬁnding relevant information and for supporting their own ideas. Students can also explore the internet for programs that could help them study by inputting their own information. Flashcard so1ware is available on Web 2.0 sites and can be an eﬀective study tool. In teaching technology and library skills, I would also teach about internet safety and reliability. Students becoming independent in their inquiry also requires a level of responsibility.
raises student awareness about the types of studying that will be most eﬀective for them. Doing a learning styles inquiry in the beginning of an academic year can get students thinking about how they learn best, helping them to take ownership of their learning and to think critically about how they take in and process information. In addition to doing a learning styles inquiry as a get-to-know-you activity at the start of the academic year, I would keep a record of the diﬀerent learning styles in my classroom. I would also implement self-assessments on many assignments in which students will have the opportunity to give me feedback on how instruction worked or did not work for their learning style. I will also teach multiple study methods and highlight how each method can appeal to one or more speciﬁc learning styles. I will teach my students how they can adapt content to make sense for them and for their learning style. I will also promote inclusion of all learning styles and modalities within the classroom, stressing that each learner learns in a diﬀerent and unique way.
for students with learning disabilities means
rearranging seating, organizing the classroom for eﬃcient movement and calmness for all students, and locating books and materials in accessible locations. Daily routines and schedules should also be adapted and clearly identiﬁed for all students, regardless of whether or not they have a high-incidence disability (p.59). In adapting the physical environment in my classroom, I would strive to make the physical location of desk and materials easily available to all students, even if there were not a student with a high-incidence disability in my classroom. A classroom should be open, accessible and inviting to all people. Providing adequate spacing between desks and chairs, not stacking books too high, and having seating set up for both individual and group work with little movement are all ways to adapt the physical environment for all students. I will also be ﬂexible in the classroom layout and make changes as necessary. Students should have variation in the setup of the room, so there should be opportunities for new layouts and many diﬀerent physical environments. Daily routines and schedules should be posted on all walls so that all students can read and identify them from any vantage point.
includes modifying literacy requirements for students with literacy problems, implementing hands-on learning when needed, and working with students to help them adapt their own instructional materials and study skills for classroom learning (p. 59). I would adapt instructional materials in the ELA classroom by having students keep assignment notebooks, scheduling time for speciﬁc tasks, and minimizing literacy requirements when needed and replacing them with hands on activities in one-on-one-or small group settings. I would also provide opportunities for specialists to work with students in small groups. Peer tutoring could also come into play for some students while making adaptations in instruction. I can also set up stations to diﬀerentiate process and content during class time.
means “maximizing student engagement, providing structured and clearly presented lessons, monitoring student progress toward goals… providing clear organization to presentations, and making expectations very explicit” (p. 59). To adapt instruction for students with learning disabilities as well as for all students, I will use backwards design in planning my instructional time. Students should always be aware of their ultimate learning goals. This includes posting short-term and long term objectives and essential questions. One of my goals in adapting instruction will be to provide rubrics and assessment materials to students well before a summative assessment is due in order to let students prepare for what will be required of them. Another way to adapt instruction through backwards design is to constantly check for understanding and question students eﬀectively. Student answers should monitor and adjust instruction. I will always base instruction on prior student knowledge and understanding.
includes adapting test formats, providing practice tests, reading test directions, and considering alternatives in assessments (p. 59-60). To adapt evaluation, I will provide portfolio analyses, frequent formative assessments and authentic summative assessments for all students. In my ELA class, summative assessment can be based on an ongoing writing process, and it is easy and necessary to use portfolio analysis as an alternative to multiple choice testing. I will also provide choice in assessments in order to appeal to all students’ learning styles. I will read directions on all assessments and check for understanding by asking students to read directions aloud. Objectives will be clear and formative assessments will be focused and directed toward the end result of a backwards design unit.
– teachers should monitor relationships between students in order to protect and continually value the emotional, social and academic development of intellectually disabled students. While students can treat intellectually disabled students with respect in an inclusive classroom, adolescents also have the ability to take advantage of an intellectually disabled peer (p. 64).
To monitor peer relationships, I will start by building community in my classroom. As a follow-up to building community, I will monitor peer relationships by reinforcing awareness of disabilities on a monthly basis. It will be important to refer back to classroom rules and procedures that I have been formulated by the class. I will refer back to respect and fairness while continuing to implement peer assistance and peer tutoring programs to supplement instruction. As part of the writing process, I will remind students to respect each others’ work and to only use kind words and phrases.
with special education teachers,
parents and peers in order to fully meet the learning needs of each student is
essential in teaching students with lower-incidence disabilities (p. 87).
In order to address this strategy in my ELA classroom, I will set up regular meetings with special education teachers, parents and aﬀected peers when needed. When I have questions, concerns or ideas I will run them by a special education teacher who may be more familiar with a student’s speciﬁc learning needs. Because every student with a lower-incidence disability has varying needs, I will make sure to also communicate with the students and with the students’ friends and peers to address any concerns or challenges that the student may be facing.
will help students know and understand what is expected of them in terms of behavior and classroom policies and procedures. Developing social competence can include teaching students to wait their turn, share materials, and to know when they can leave the room for the bathroom or otherwise (p. 88). I will develop social competence in my ELA classroom by establishing class procedures and policies from the ﬁrst day of school. This consistency leaves no room for surprises and holds everyone to the same behavioral and social standards. Of course, adaptations for procedures such as a bathroom policy must be made for students with IEPs and 504s or for any medical reason, so I will also implement a discussion on the meaning of fairness into my introductory classroom procedures lesson. In addition, direct instruction can be helpful in providing structure and consistency to an ELA classroom in need of it. Students with autism o1en need an environment that is comfortable and predicable with routines and patterns. Classroom procedures and policies that remain consistent, especially in an English Language Arts classroom where ambiguity can sometimes be common in content, can be key for students with low-incidence disabilities such as autism.
can help classroom teachers better understand students with severe disabilities. In addition, having a specialist in the classroom to work with the classroom teacher can help to better address the needs of a child who is disabled (p. 92).
In the ELA classroom, I will incorporate skills and strategies suggested by paraprofessionals in adapting and diﬀerentiating instruction for students with disabilities. Establishing a good working relationship also means communicating my curriculum to paraprofessionals as well as keeping a record of student work and being open with other professionals about student progress in my class. I can also look forward to using suggestions from literacy professionals, special education professionals and others in changing my instructional strategies to better serve all students with or without disabilities.
– to prepare students for the arrival of a student with severe or multiple disabilities, the teacher can share information regarding the strengths and needs of the student (p. 93). To prepare my students for the arrival of a student with severe or multiple disabilities, I would have them come up with their own ways to adapt the classroom for the needs of that student. In this way, my students would take ownership of their responsibility to create an inclusive environment, and the strengths and needs of the student with a disability will have personal meaning for that student’s peers. I would facilitate this activity by giving examples of ways that students can act as peer assistants and peer tutors.
techniques can help hearing impaired students learn through lip reading, gestures, and sign language. Teachers using total communication rely on the structure of the English language for speaking, gesturing and signing (p. 97). In the ELA classroom, I can use total communication both as a way to adapt instruction for hearing impaired students but also to discuss with the entire class how language is communicated non-verbally. Using total communication can turn into an entire learning experience based not on a disability, but on the diverse ways that we communicate. In addition, total communication can be used in the classroom regardless of the hearing ability of students. American Sign Language (ASL) is a form of expression through the English language that students may be more comfortable with than writing or speaking. Total communication can be implemented to diﬀerential instruction and assessments.
can help all students read more ﬂuently. It can also assist students with reading deﬁcits to develop phonemic awareness skills for piecing together words (p. 301). To implement a whole-language approach to reading in my ELA classroom, I will have my students read authentic literature books while keeping personal journals. To further engage students in literacy and promote meaning, I will formulate tiered lessons using literature circles. To promote sound-symbol relationships, I will incorporate lessons that teach phonemic awareness and couple this topic with teaching diction and connotation as literary devices.
includes activities to provide instruction and practice in listening and using sounds in isolation, followed by the use of words in context and in a reading passage. Students learn that words are composed of individual sounds that can be combined and separated to create new words (p. 304). In the secondary ELA classroom, phonemic awareness can be taught using an inquiry-based model. First, I will implement listening activities that focus on similar words and phonemes, emphasizing like sounds. To have students analyze the relationships between parts of words and meaning in context, I will have them research a group of words and come up with the meanings of those words’ parts in addition to the number of sounds that make up the words. Students can also diagram words and research the history of phoneteics and how phonemic awareness came to be understood. These activities will raise awareness of how we read and will also stress the skills used to break down words into manageable and readable parts.
helps students to examine the structures of more complex words and break them into pronounceable syllables. Words examined by their parts, such as the preﬁx, suﬃx, syllables or smaller word parts (p. 305). A common unit in which students are required to know about syllables is when teaching Shakespearian sonnets. Before delving into Shakespeare, I would make sure to teach structural analysis. Similar to the phonemic awareness activity, I would provide a direct instruction lesson emphasizing the terms associated with structural analysis and how to distinguish between parts of words and how to ﬁnd syllables. I will implement the DISSECT strategy (discover the context of the word, isolate the word’s preﬁx, separate the word’s suﬃx, say the word’s stem, examine the word’s stem using rules of 3s and 2s and segment into pronounceable parts, check with another person to see if they agree, try ﬁnding the word in the dictionary). As an application activity for structural analysis, I will have students perform a structural analysis on every word in one line of a Shakespearian sonnet. This will equip them with the skills to inquire about unfamiliar words through using word parts and context.
requires students to sight read new passages multiple times. Rereading leads to ﬂuency, familiarity and comprehension. Students should be skilled in reading a below-grade-level passage before they are required to move on to more complex readings (p. 308). To promote repeated readings in the ELA classroom, I will have to do more than merely asking students to read a passage more than once on their own. A1er the ﬁrst reading, students should be formatively assessed to gauge their level of comprehension and understanding. Before moving onto a second reading, I will ﬁgure out what needs to be further emphasized about the text. I will then focus second readings on what was lacking from the ﬁrst readings. Before the second reading, I will have students make a checklist for themselves of what to look for. Students should also formulate their own questions about the text or come up with questions in peer groups. Placing an emphasis on meeting comprehension and understanding goals through repeated reading will give this strategy meaning and relevance, and will also help to improve overall reading ability.
such as vocabulary instruction and corrective feedback can help students gain conﬁdence in their reading skills will improve comprehension in reading (p. 310). To implement reinforcement strategies into my ELA classroom I will always precede a reading with vocabulary instruction. Vocabulary instruction “provides students with practice learning speciﬁc vocabulary words that will be encountered” (p. 310) in the text. Ensuring the comprehension of speciﬁc key words or unfamiliar words before moving onto attempting comprehension of the entire reading will boost overall comprehension while giving students a level of conﬁdence as they prepare to read an unfamiliar text. I will implement class discussion and provide examples regarding new vocabulary. Using this new vocabulary, I will also have students make predictions about the upcoming reading. This allows students to put their new vocabulary to work while making meaning for themselves. During out-loud reading, I will provide corrective feedback to students. Giving immediate feedback is important because it automatically increases comprehension by providing the correct meaning or pronunciation of a word or phrase. Students can move on without having lost comprehension in a previous sentence, therefore building new comprehension on previous correct comprehension. I will encourage the class not to attack a reader’s mistake, but rather to reinforce and encourage the correct reading of a passage.
such as illustrations, maps, diagrams, visual spatial displays, semantic feature analysis charts, mnemonic pictures, and other aids to accompany text materials can increase comprehension and also provide clarity for visual learners (p. 310). One activity that can add text enhancements to a passage is to have one student draw while another student reads aloud. The students should then switch so that each student has the opportunity to listen, read and create a text enhancement. This activity can be done using small whiteboards or paper and markers. The class can also create text enhancements as a group by using the SmartBoard or white board. Text enhancements can also include creating visual timelines based on a reading, visual character proﬁles, or even ﬂashcards created in sequence. A visual aid will always add to comprehension because it provides diﬀerentiation and gives students a choice in how they will make meaning from a text.
can always lead to increased comprehension and comfort with a text. Students who have anxiety over reading, have diﬃculty with jumping into reading, or who need a routine and plan before trying something new will all beneﬁt from activities that activate prior knowledge (p. 311). To help students start thinking about and become comfortable with a text, I will ask them the following: study the story’s title, examine pages for clue words, look for important words, look for hard words, describe the setting of the story, and answer whether the story was fact of ﬁction. Breaking down a text into these parts before attempting to understand it as a comprehensive whole can help students prepare for a closer readings. Also, I can brainstorm with students by introducing the main topic(s) of a reading and having them generate related ideas. In the ELA classroom, all students should always feel comfortable and not anxious when asked to read something new.
reading materials can promote thinking about new information which facilitates recall and comprehension. Summarizing and paraphrasing also helps students create self-generated questions, promoting metacognition (p. 312). In my ELA classroom, I will teach summarizing and paraphrasing by having students read a passage or short segment from a book, ask themselves who or what the passage is about, ask themselves what was happening in the passage, and make up a summary sentence in their own words using the answers to the previous questions. I will also provide guided notes for use before, during and a1er reading which will help students remember certain elements of summarizing and paraphrasing. Students should not have to focus on what to do while reading, but on reading itself. Therefore, I will provide clear and accessible directions and ideas for summarizing and paraphrasing. Another way that students can be prompted to paraphrase and summarize is through reading the paragraph, asking themselves what the paragraph is about, and putting the main idea and two details in their own words. Making personal meaning from a reading is a key step in paraphrasing and summarizing, and also in comprehension and metacognition.
includes understanding the purpose of the writing assignment, developing a plan that reﬂects the purpose, and planning the structure of the written product. Planning for writing can help students who struggle with writing by encouraging them to think before they delve into the task in an eﬀort to get it ﬁnished (p. 324). I will teach students to plan for writing by preceding every writing assignment with a prewrite. When I introduce a new writing task, I will have students pre-write in class. The class environment presents a non-threatening space without time constraints or mechanical standards. Students can get started on formulating their ideas before actually beginning to address a dra1 of their assignment. I can also collect these pre-writes to formatively assess how ready students are to continue with the planning process. In addition to the pre-write, I will have students put the assignment in their own words and create an outline. Making sense of the assignment is the ﬁrst step in successfully completing it, and outlining in various forms is a good way to begin the organization and synthesis of thoughts.
Writing can be diﬃcult for some students because they can become overwhelmed with handwriting, spelling, and punctuation. To help students overcome these obstacles, the teacher can allow dictation instead of writing, precue spelling of diﬃcult words, encourage students to ask for help, encourage invented spelling, encourage peer collaboration, encourage self-checking, and use technology p. 327). To adapt instructional strategies to overcome mechanical obstacles in writing in my secondary ELA classroom, I will give students many choices for writing in class. I will provide visual organizers for free writes and quick writes so that students can have the option to visually represent their thoughts through drawing or quick statements rather than writing in full sentences. During in-class group work, students can have the option of dictating their thoughts and ideas to another student to write down. These are a few ways to help students with writing anxiety in classroom activities. In order to encourage writing skills in middle school and high school, I would be sure to coach students through their anxieties to ultimate achieve the objective of actually writing. However, tiered activities can be utilized so that each student can achieve the same objective (writing) in diﬀerent ways.
through direct instruction can give all students a visual and tactile representation of new content. It also provides a simple example for students to follow. To implement eﬀective modeling in my secondary ELA classroom I will make sure to model critical thinking and analysis. In the ELA classroom it can be diﬃcult to model concrete ideas because a lot of ambiguity exists in English. Giving students examples of critical thinking processes and starting out on the more straightforward side will help me to reach all students through tangible examples. I will model these examples verbally and visually before moving onto guided practice.
2. Limiting Content through direct instruction will decrease complexity in new content. It will also provide added opportunities for students to practice new content in groups and independently. Limiting content is important in an inclusive classroom for keeping students focused and not overwhelmed. New content should be introduced in small batches and checking for understanding is essential whenever a teacher is introducing new content.
In order to limit content in my direct instruction lessons, I will focus on one small group of information per lesson, providing ample opportunity for questioning, modeling, guided practice and independent practice. For example, I will only introduce related literary devices in order to help students make connections between like pieces of new content. I will also use simple examples and build up to more complex examples. When introducing new content in the ELA classroom, students can o1en get lost in exceptions and complicated representations of concepts and skills in English. Words can get confusing as well as deﬁnitions. Introducing limited content will help my students build on their previous understandings and therefore have a more solid foundation for learning.
is the action of practice with teacher supervision and frequent checks for understanding. Guided practice enhances instruction for all students because it gives students a chance to practice new content at a pace that is comfortable for them while providing a safe space for questions and misunderstandings. Guided practice should be carefully monitored so that students do not develop incorrect understandings of new content. Therefore, checking for understanding is essential. In order to implement eﬀective guided practice into my ELA direct instruction lessons, I will always give students clear tasks to complete. I will also make sure to gauge student progress and give corrective feedback as clearly as possible. I will have students check each others’ work and teach new content to each other once they have mastered it in order to reinforce understandings. For example, I will have students put ideas and concepts in their own words and dictate or write their responses and interpretations of texts.
helps students become independent and ﬂuent in their understandings of new content. Independent practice in the direct instruction lesson can be used to close the lesson and to do a ﬁnal formative check for understanding. Independent practice should be clear and monitored by the teacher. To implement eﬀective independent practice in my ELA classroom, I will allow for ample time. O1entimes, students need more time than the teacher is willing to give, and independent practice can become confusing and cut oﬀ for the student who needs to think a little longer. Independent practice should also always be followed by an exit ticket that helps the teacher review and evaluate each students’ progress before moving on to new content. I will create tasks for all independent practice in which students will write, draw or dictate their level of understanding based on the objective.
via a direct instruction lesson is important before introducing more new content. Students should repeatedly practice new content in order to remember the meanings and applications of new facts, concepts and concrete ideas. The teacher can repeat new content by referring to new content in a bell ringer and checking for understanding before moving into another lesson. The direct instruction model makes it easy for teachers to repeat new content through the anticipatory set, guided practice, independent practice and closure. To repeat new content in my ELA classroom, I will always provide new examples of new content in order to repeat the content in context. I will also use eﬀective techniques to check for understanding such as thumbs up, exit tickets and other formative assessments. I will also give homework based on new content that has already been mastered so that students can further repeat new concepts.
means changing how students learn by changing the activities used to assist learning. It is important to keep objectives and standards the same while letting some students begin on lower-level activities and work up to the higher-level skills. All students should achieve the same thing by the end of the lesson, but in diﬀerent ways. Teachers can adapt process by putting the class into groups based on ability. A pre-assessment should be done to form these groups, and students should be grouped homogenously. All groups should achieve the same goals and objectives, but they may do this in a diﬀerent order or through diﬀerent activities. I will adapt process in my ELA classroom while implementing and teaching the writing process. For writing assignments, students can achieve the same goals through diﬀerent processes. In order to instruct all students on eﬀective writing skills and practices, I can homogeneously and heterogeneously group students and ask them to practice diﬀerent tasks. Students can then rotate activities in order to become ﬂuent in writing skills. I will also diﬀerentiate process wherever I can in order to appeal to all learning abilities and styles.
to students is an important aspect of diﬀerentiated instruction because they can know what is expected of them and what comes next. The teacher should state the purpose of the lesson, review the main ideas, and make clear transitions between lesson elements. It is also important to remind students of the lesson structure (134). In my ELA classroom, I will communicate lesson structure by always posting the lesson objectives with the agenda for each lesson. Students should always know what is to be expected of them when they enter the classroom, even if that plan might change throughout the lesson. I will also have students copy down the agenda so that they can refer to it directly throughout the time that they are in class. This can help students keep track of the pace of the lesson without needing to look back at the board. Also, while students are doing independent practice or group work, they can stay on task by referring to what they should be doing currently and what they should be doing next.
through diﬀerentiated instruction gives students choices as to how they can prove and convey their learning. Students should never be asked to conform to one learning style. Teachers can adapt product by giving students choices in how they demonstrate learning. In my ELA classroom I will adapt product by giving students the option to choose how they demonstrate learning. This can be done through writing, dictating, drawing, or creating something using multimedia. For an everyday exit activity, I will give students the option to write a response, give bullet points, draw a picture, complete a graphic organizer, or create their own guided notes. In other formative and summative assessments, students will also have choices that will reﬂect all learning modalities.
means that teachers should use questions that are directly related to the lesson. Questioning allows teachers to monitor students’ understanding of new content. Questioning can be helpful in inclusive classrooms to let the teacher know if all students understand the content being presented. When misunderstandings are evident through questions, teachers can adapt instruction in order to address learning needs more eﬀectively (p. 138-140). To use eﬀective questioning techniques in my ELA classroom, I will provide students with extra time to answer. I will also ask speciﬁc students to try and get an answer ready before I ask them to answer. I can also provide a list of questions to the class to have in front of them so that students can be ready to answer questions. This also gives students more time to formulate answers and to become conﬁdent in their responses. I will also ask for group responses to questions, such as thumbs up or thumbs down. This questioning technique increases participation without asking a student to be vocal.
principles “involve developing materials or the environment to improve accessibility for all students” (p. 132). There are many universal design strategies for learning such as equitable use, simple and intuitive use, ﬂexibility in use, minimize errors, minimize physical eﬀort, and using multiple options for language, symbols, and expression. To implement universal design in my classroom, I will create activities that are accessible to all students. I will not assume that all students can accomplish a task based on physical or emotional ability. I will provide opportunities for students to read out loud, read silently, and to listen to audio versions of texts. Providing choice in how students create understandings is an important element of universal design and diﬀerentiated instruction.
is an important way to create inclusion in the classroom surrounding assessment. Students can take practice tests to prepare for a test (p. 276-277), but they should also be taught skills that will help them to practice content. In my ELA classroom, I will begin teaching test-taking skills by performing a learning styles inventory on my students. I will teach them about the importance of realizing one’s learning style, and how this awareness can help them in their studying. I will then provide some examples of how students can study if they are a visual learner, a tactile learner, or an auditory learner. These examples include creating a list-sortlabel, graphic organizers, or recording themselves reading about content or reading it out loud. Throughout studying and test-taking, students should apply their knowledge to something tangible. I will also eliminate timed tests so as to create comfort among all students, whether they need extra time for a test or not. I will encourage asking questions throughout the test and will give many practice activities similar to the test.
can help students know exactly what is required of them. Teachers can modify test formats or use speciﬁc recommended formats. Teachers can also read directions out loud and/or display test directions in the front of the room (p. 276). In my ELA classroom, I will modify tests by providing typed rather than handwritten tests for clarity, space items to reduce confusion, and adjust the reading level of some items when reading is not being tested. I can also make diﬀerent versions of tests with diﬀerent types of questions and students can choose which test they take based on the question types. This can be useful when teaching mainly facts and content rather than skills.
means to set a behavioral objective for the end of the instructional unit, set up the materials and provide the opportunity for the student to perform on the test. Speciﬁc tasks can be placed at stations around the room, and students can move through tasks without observing other students’ performance. Performance assessments can be graded with clear rubrics including criteria for diﬀerent levels of performance. Performance assessments give students another option to display their learning. Performance assessments can also be adapted for diﬀerent student needs depending on the activity (p. 283-285). To implement performance assessment in my ELA classroom, I would have students identify parts of a text, qualities of writing, or steps in a process by drawing or creating their response with various materials such as paper, markers, pipe cleaners, list-sort-label items, and other creative hands-on materials.
ask students to show their learning in a way that they choose rather than testing students in a way that they cannot convey their learning. Authentic assessments provide students with choice while still holding all students accountable for the same learning. I will use authentic assessments in my ELA classroom as much as possible to provide choice and comfort in assessing student learning. I like the idea of creating nine small assignments on a tictac-toe board and asking students to pick three in a row. This is a good way to ensure that all students are showing the same learning but in diﬀerent ways. I will also give three or four choices in all assessments while keeping the rubric and the objectives constant for each assessment so that students are achieving the same learning but in a way that they choose. Authentic assessments also give students ownership of their learning and let them do something that they may be more invested in than a straight multiple choice test.
– in using portfolios for assessment, “students and teachers collect and organize relevant products to document performance and progress in diﬀerent areas of academic and behavioral functioning” (p. 285). Student portfolios can be tailored and adapted in so many ways. Students can put together a portfolio based on research, writing, steps to a project, or a culmination of work done over a long period of time. To implement portfolio assessments in my ELA classroom, I will primarily use them for writing assignments. A strategy that I will implement with portfolio assessments is to let students choose which parts of their portfolio they would like me to assess. I will also have them do peer assessments to add in the portfolio with their writing pieces. Portfolios are eﬀective in the ELA classroom because students can choose their strongest pieces while also including all work to show progress. Grades do not rest on one piece, but on the culmination of many pieces and longterm work.
Promoting Inclusion with Classroom Peers: pages 178, 180-183, 189 Teaching Study Skills: pages 250, 257-259, 261, 266-267 Teaching Students with Higher-Incidence Disabilities: pages 59, 60, 64 Teaching Students with Lower-Incidence Disabilities: pages 87, 88, 92, 93, 97 Teaching Literacy and ELA in an Inclusive Classroom: pages 301, 304, 305, 308, 310, 311, 312, 324, 327 Strategies for Direct Instruction: classroom notes and handouts Strategies for Diﬀerentiated Instruction: classroom notes and handouts, pages 132, 134, 138-140 Strategies for Assessment: classroom notes and handouts, pages 276-277, 283-285
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