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our changing schools

The above video clip, "Our Changing Schools" causes viewers to consider how our nation’s schools have changed in several ways.  Schools across the country now include students who have diverse needs, such as EBD, autism, and learning disabilities, to name a few.  To meet the needs of such students, teachers consider students’ abilities and needs when crafting lessons.  Additionally, teachers incorporate UDL techniques and research based interventions.  These changes in our schools show that education is a growing and changing profession.  What else can teachers do to provide today’s students with an appropriate and enjoyable educational experience? 

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Comment by Sarah J Dodson on December 8, 2012 at 4:02pm

There are so many things a teacher can do to provide students with an appropriate and enjoyable educational experience. It is important to keep in mind all students learn differently. Some students might be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. Therefore, when planning lessons be sure to keep in mind the different ways you will present the concepts being taught. Manipulatives are a great way to get students engaged in learning. 

Comment by Alyson Thorp on September 25, 2012 at 4:02pm

Wonderful idea Courtney!  Including various manipulatives reminds me of UDL (Universal Design for Learning).  Incorporating multiple ways to represent the learning material and including several ways for students to be engaged helps to make school fun for all students.  I also think UDL helps students who have learning needs, such as autism, have more independence and take on an active role in school.  For example, I observed a student with autism use PECS when responding to questions asked during class.  Have you used PECS?  Are you familiar with UDL?

Comment by Courtney Gray on September 25, 2012 at 12:08am

Any way to include tactile, visual, or the other learning styles in to every lesson will make an enjoyable lesson for all in the classroom. Also if you are having fun, the kids have no choice but to have fun themselves (:

Comment by Alyson Thorp on September 24, 2012 at 10:29pm

Excellent tips Megan!  My favorite tip is to incorporate the Arts in the classroom.  I plan to include reader’s theatre in the classroom.  Participating in reader’s theatre was one of my favorite activities when I was a student.  Reader’s theatre helps students to develop their comprehension skills, reading fluency, vocabulary, and social skills.  Most importantly, students are actively participating in school.  The class is not sitting at their desks passively reading.  Will you include reader’s theatre in your classroom?  Do you think teachers should attend workshops to learn about other ways to incorporate the Arts in the classroom? 

Comment by Megan Dodson on September 24, 2012 at 8:15pm
Here are some ideas as to how teachers can provide today's students with an appropriate and enjoyable educational experience: teachers should keep in mind how the learning environment should look. Ideally, a teacher would want the students' learning environment to be safe/healthy and one that has high challenges but is low in stress. With that being said, teachers should display key topics, keywords,and concepts around the classroom. When teaching new material, it should be constant and opportunities of varied exposure to the material in order to encourage quicker and deeper learning. Teachers can bring in the Arts to the classroom to make learning much more engaging. For example, Music can be used to improve recall. It is crucial to incorporate a range of teaching strategies within planning in order to reach all students' needs. Last but not least, it is important to display students' work around the classroom and hallways so that they can share what they have learned and their sense of accomplishments.

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