What materials and equipment are currently available in the environment?
Gabrielle’s ELA class has a SMARTboard and a set of laptops.
What is the physical arrangement? Furniture? Location in building? Time of day?
Each class is set up differently; in my classroom the students are grouped in pairs. In almost all of the classrooms, the desk and the chairs are adjoined. The school day is from 8:00 to 2:50. Each period is 48 minutes long. The children’s schedule changes daily.
Are there special concerns?
For scheduling purposes a number of resource room students have been placed into this homeroom section. However the behavior of the other students in the class was not taken into consideration. The behavior of Gabrielle’s class is a concern that has been brought to the attention of the administration multiple times. Their behavior is very destructive and is jeopardizing the students in that class’s ability to perform.
The Environment (2)
What is the instructional arrangement? i.e. groups, lecture, activities?
In my classroom the desks are arranged in pairs. Usually the students will work with their partner; occasionally they will work with another group. When writing, these partners change to accommodate students’ levels of completion. Typically the class runs workshop style, with a whole group activity then a small group activity followed by another whole group activity.
What is the class governance, rules, tolerance for noise and movement?
The class rules are set up as a dictionary. The three words in the class dictionary are discipline, honesty and respect. In addition to these classroom rules, the students are required to follow all school rules.
What supports are available to the student?
Gabrielle gets pulled out for resource room five times a week and goes to speech therapy. She also goes for counseling.
What resources are available to the people supporting the student?
In-house Professional Development is provided for all staff members. Special education teachers attend special meetings that specifically deal with issues that pertain to their students. These meetings often deal with IEP compliance, etc.
What activities take place in the environment?
In Gabrielle’s ELA classroom there are two main activities that take place. The first being the development and practice of reading skills. The second is the development and practice of writing skills. Both of these together are necessary for everyday life.
What activities support the student's curriculum?
Specific activities that would support Gabrielle’s learning would be an afterschool tutoring program and a Saturday tutoring program. In addition, the students in our school have access to computer programs such as Acuity and Achieve 3000.
What are the critical elements of the activities?
Gabrielle would benefit from the tutoring programs because she excels in small group settings. She would also benefit from the computer programs because the target your specific weaknesses and work to strengthen them.
The Tasks (2)
How might the activities be modified to accommodate the student's special needs?
Gabrielle requires that you model the lesson prior to her completing the task. She also requires that you use a task analysis approach in order to make a task more manageable which enables her to work more independently. She is also given extended time to complete her assignments, if this is deemed necessary.
How might technology support the student's active participation in those activities?
Gabrielle is a visual learner, by utilizing a SMARTboard, or any other similar visual devise you are teaching to her strength. This would enable her to better understand the material that is being presented to her. It can be used as a reinforcement tool for whatever you are teaching.
What no tech, low tech, and high tech options should be considered when developing a system for a student with these needs and abilities doing these tasks in these environments?
No Tech – Gabrielle should be in a class that utilizes hands on activities.
High Tech – Gabrielle benefits from being able to use the visual and tactile aspects of the SMARTboard, however; her low self-esteem makes it difficult for her to want to participate in these activities in a regular classroom setting.
What strategies might be used to invite increased student performance?
Active strategies taught in resource room and speech therapy can be used by Gabrielle to increase her performance in her general classroom environment.
How might these tools be tried out with the student in the customary environments in which they will be used?
Both the speech therapist and the resource room teacher can accompany Gabrielle to her general education class on a trial basis, to assess how well she is utilizing the skills which they have taught.