In a PD I attended recently we were discussing students with learning disabilities and some of the many accommodations we can make for them in the classroom. We were asked to do a quick exercise. I wanted to share it with you because it was an eye-opener for me! A great takeaway, definitely something that will have a positive impact on my teaching.
It's quick! I promise! All you need is a piece of paper and pencil!
Follow the directions in the picture below.
WOW! I couldn't believe how hard it was to write. I only got through 13 words and I obviously didn't understand any of it! I'm sure that you thought of a particular student you have in your classroom or had previously. Imagine feeling like this all day at school! No wonder our struggling kiddos get frustrated!
So what can we do to ease their frustration? There is no magic fix, but we can do a lot of things to help our students be successful in the classroom.
This is one of the reasons why it's SO important to differentiate. I believe that if a student can show or explain to me that they know something, than they have met the objective. I focus a lot on conferring and discussions so it is easy to implement this style of assessment. I feel that this eases the frustration of the students in my classroom who have trouble putting their thoughts on paper.
What kind of accommodations are in place in your classroom? How do you differentiate your lessons and assessments so that all students have access to the curriculum?