Friday, June 10, 2011

Assistive Technology and My Group Presentation

Group Presentation:
My group was the first group to go. I felt like we were a little unprepared because we were not all on the same page of who was doing what when it came to the project. I really enjoyed facilitating the small group activity though. It was really great to hear the opinions of other English majors on how to teach a tough subject, like Poetry. I honestly wish we could do this more often! My group had a lot of great ideas and I think the whole class really understood Chapter 5 because of it. In our groups we were able to work through the chapter headings and realize how differentiation can come in to play even before you start presenting. Pre-assessment is one thing that I know I have not done so well in the past and this chapter really helped me understand how important it can be. Furthermore, it helped me to realize that I could create groups according to readiness (which previously I had just randomly selected my groups). This also re-itterates how important it is to KNOW YOUR STUDENTS so that you can appropriately place them in groups.

I also started to work on my paper that will be due in two Mondays. It was suggested to us that we could use the same lesson plan for the next two assignments. Although this might be 'easier', I feel like it would be better for ME if I did two DIFFERENT lessons so that when I go in to teaching I KNOW I have two very good lessons to teach. Therefore, I think I've signed myself up for some extra work in order to have two very useful lessons for my upcoming practicum.

Assistive Technology:

My Aunt is highly autistic and is non-verbal. This class really helped me to see how much she missed out on because of the lack of technology that was available to her when she was in school. Being able to link today's presentation with my Aunt in mind really helped me to see how important Assistive Technology is. Recently I saw a video about a non-verbal Autistic girl who learned to use a computer in order to speak. This is something I have recently brought up to my Granny to try to see if she can introduce this technology to my Aunt. Today, I was able to see how students who have physical disabilities could benefit from the use of switches.

Today's class also applied to Jimmy in a big way. I wish that Jimmy had been given a switch to push that would make a light appear so that I knew he had a question or an answer. Often, his EA would have to raise his hand for Jimmy but I think giving him a switch would have made it easier for him to participate. At first I thought a switch that made a sound would work but I could see how this could be embarrassing and distracting to other students. However, a light would be less obvious to other classmates but would be obvious enough for me so that I could call on him.

Today's lesson was all about learning how important it is for students to be able to take part in everyday activities in class, as well as, be independent and I think this would have been something Jimmy would have liked to be able to do for himself.

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