Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Group Project

First Class:
Today's class seemed to lay down the foundations for the course. While working in my group, it was interesting to hear other people's great ideas for our presentation on Friday. One of my group members suggested we apply what we have learned in the chapter to our specific content areas. We have decided to group our classmates in to their subject areas and allow them to pick a PLO to work with in order to go through a process which keeps readiness in mind. This allows us to apply what we have read and, hopefully, remember it more readily. In the last year, I have finally realized that I learn best from watching and doing and that I have a difficult time listening. I also find it easier to listen to someone who is explaining something specifically to me then listening to instructions given to the entire class. This is something that differentiated learning is all about-- recognizing that all students do not learn in the same way and making sure you incorporate different kinds of teaching in to EACH and EVERY lesson.

One thing I learned today is that you do not just have to differentiate the actual 'stuff' but you can differentiate how students get access to the stuff. Another thing I really liked about Chapter 5 was the helpful and USEFUL tips they supplied. I can't wait to do our presentation and be able to apply some of these helpful hints to my subject area. The application is really where I feel I will learn the most.

School Funding:
I was really surprised to hear how much money schools get per student and for ESL students and Aboriginal students. All I hear is about schools needing more funding but I feel like the amount is a fair amount. I understand that schools need money to run certain programs etc, but it just seems like a lot of money. Where does the money go? It makes sense that many of it might go to hiring extra help like speech therapists, special assessments  and EAs. The more we discussed it in class, the more the funding issues began to make sense to me so I can see how some people might argue that schools are getting enough funding, however, if they analyze the costs and needs they can see that there is still a big deficit in funding of Canadian schools.

People with Disabilities:

I was terribly saddened to hear how many persons with disabilities do not have jobs or income. This makes me think that one of the things that need to change is the way the WORLD thinks about people with disabilities. The movie we watched highlighted how hard it is for able and willing people to get jobs (I can understand how this could be that much more difficult now with the current economy issues). Unfortunately, these people apply and apply for jobs and are over looked because the interviewer only sees their handicap instead of their unique perspective. That is the way I want to teach my students, to learn about the unique perspectives these people can bring to a job place. In my grade 9 class we read the book "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" which is about a teenager with Aspergers. My students LOVED the unique perspective this main character had and they really enjoyed reading the book. This shows me that students have the interest to learn about different disabilities and are also able to pinpoint the unique perspectives these people may have.

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