SPE-226 Educating the Exceptional Learner Benchmark Assignment: Teaching for Exceptionalities Braydon Smith
Grand Canyon University: SPE226
15 November 2013
This paper reflects on the teacher candidate’s observations of the student “Junior” and the various accommodations that were made for him in various classroom settings. It also discusses different accommodations that could be made in general education classes and special education classes. The paper discusses the need for high school students to be self-advocating or self-determining and learning to make decisions on his or her own. SPE-226 Educating the Exceptional Learner Benchmark Assignment: Teaching for Exceptionalities Students with exceptionalities are a breed all their own. Each student has individual strengths, weaknesses, and individualized education programs/plans (IEPs) tailored to those needs. There are many resources, accommodations, and settings for these students to help ensure their academic success. One particular student, herein called “Junior,” is a mixed bag of interesting. Junior’s cognitive abilities are on par with his classmates. However, he needs help with reading, writing, and other social and behavioral skills. He likes to engage in discussion, enjoys music, and is diligent in his work. Observing him, his teachers, and other various special education classrooms has given valuable information to increase my teaching strategies.
Inclusive Math Class
Junior’s first period class is Algebra 1-2. It is an inclusive class and is co-taught by Meinen and Geigas. Meinen, the special education teacher, is there to help students and provide assistance services to Geigas’s teaching. However, all of Geigas’s classes have some form of inclusion. Consequently, Geigas’s teaching strategies differ from regular education teaching strategies in order to appeal both to the inclusive students and regular students. For instance, Geigas uses different colored pens for different the different steps of a problem when he is teaching and doing problems with the class. He is also willing to create copies of the class worksheet for any student who needs it, not just special education students. The accommodations for Junior’s quiz were highlighting the directions for him and writing the different formulas, like point-slope form and the equation for finding the slope of a line, on his paper for easier access. Highlighting the directions for Junior’s quiz was successful. He knew what was expected of him, and what he needed to accomplish with the quiz. He did not need to have the directions read to him or explained to him. In addition, writing the formulas on his paper helped keep him on track. He only needed help with one graphing question, which could be a difficult question for any student. Because Junior only missed two questions due to minor mistakes, I believe the accommodations were very successful and do not need to be changed. Furthermore, I would review the minor mistakes with Junior, have him explain where he went wrong, and give him half-credit since he had the major concepts correct.
Many other technologies or other instructional supports exist that could enhance the learning for Junior and his classmates. In the math classroom, there are white boards and a document scanner. The document scanner is what Geigas and Meinen use to do the problems together with the students. Two major benefits to having the document scanner are having a hard copy of what work was done in class and being able to go back if necessary. If the class were only using the white board, each problem would have to be erased in order to move on to the next problem. If a student needed to go back, this would create a lot of wasted time redoing work that was previously done. Another good technology tool that students could use is Khan Academy, a website with videos and exercises to help anyone learn skills and concepts at their own pace (Khan Academy,...
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