Friday, September 20, 2013

Week Five of my Intern Year

This week, I made a few discoveries towards my research. I downloaded a few apps on my iPad to use in a different class from where I plan to implement my research. I had a Kindergarten student use the iPad to work on phonics. Within two days, my one student completed the entire unit, and once reviewing the endings (i.e. "-ap," "-an," etc.), I observed that what he learned was retained. I had him review the endings by utilizing magnet letters to build the same words. Every word I instructed him to build, he did correctly and pronounced the word correctly. The app is built to build/spell words, and gives the audio pronunciation for the child to hear. This seemed to work well, and the student enjoyed working on this application. I plan to use similar, but a different application and can't wait to see how this plays out in the classroom with different ability levels.

I also made progress with the transition plan I began implementing. Halfway through the week, I decided the student was ready to take the next step. From the beginning, the student was to go to the regular education room, move his name to hot lunch, or cold lunch, say hello, and leave. The next step we took was to sit in the seat he was assigned to, and complete an activity. He did very well with this step and left with no problem at all. My mentor teacher and I were very excited! Finally, I implemented a spelling lesson plan with my second grade students to practice using a variety of letters. For example, magnet letters, wipe off boards, bean bag letters, or paper cut letters. I had one student come up to me and ask me if we were going to do that activity again, and explained it was a lot of fun. I noticed that using hands-on activities with students with disabilities is a great way to help them learn/retain the information. I plan to create more creative lessons where they individually build, and repeat the spellings for them. I also created a lesson for the same students for mathematics. Instead of eating their snack, I used their snack to practice addition and subtraction. Once the student subtracted the correct number of snacks, they were allowed to eat them. This gave the students motivation to correctly spell in order to eat the snack. I'm having so much fun making creative hands-on activities, and while I can manipulate to make the lessons better, my first try typically works.

My last thing I want to reflect on is my first differentiated station lessons in the regular education class. Each station was designed around second grade CSOs and the Johnny Appleseed Unit. My students loved the stations and I even reflected after the first day, and adjusted two stations to meet their needs. Instead of plain worksheets for those two stations (we did the first day), I took those stations and created games with foam cut outs. I also incorporated a science station and they made apple cycle trees. The stations were fun, and the behavior was okay, but could be better. I wonder if going over correct behaviors as a class would help. I know second grade is just beginning to go over these correct behaviors, so it may take a while to adjust to.

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