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Educational Planning and Assessment for Students with Special Needs

4260 words (17 pages) Essay in Teaching

08/02/20 Teaching Reference this

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Background of pre-service:

The student received a variety of services during his preschool years because he was overly active and slow learning to talk.  By the time he entered kindergarten, he improved gradually, and  succeeded in a kindergarten screening test. After that, he was placed in a mainstream class, and  direct services were discontinued. However, the student progressed adequately in level one and two. 

1)  Description of student

Nick, the student, is a boy in year 3. He has been chosen to participate by his teacher, Mrs Johnson. Even though this student enjoys reading picture books, he is facing difficulty in the school in many areas. Therefore, he seems to be falling behind and he is not having enough improvment.

List of the student’s difficult areas:

  • He was not able to learn the spelling list that his teacher assigned each week or write the simple book reports.
  • Nick seemed not able to read the class text on his own when his teacher required from the classroom more reading from textbooks and independent work.
  • Nick was having difficulty keeping up with the class. 
  • His speech was simpler as compared with his classmates.
  • Difficulty in paying attention and following the directions in the class. 
  • He cannot remember the directions the teacher gave for completing assignments. 

2) Identifying what student need to learn

For this assignment, the teacher asked me to assist Nick by looking in more detail at the areas of the curriculum he was struggling with.

Therefore, in this case study the student will learn the academic based skills of reading, writing and speech. Since Nick was not able to learn the spelling list that his teacher assigned each week and write the simple book report, I choose to work with him on English curriculum. 

Therefore, below displayed skills, reading and writing has been chosen for this program.

At the end of participating in this program the student will:

Understand that:

  • How to use sound–letter relationships and knowledge of spelling rules, compound words, prefixes, suffixes, morphemes and less common letter combinations (CELA1485)
  • Paragraphs are a key organizational feature of written texts (CELA1479)
  • Languages have different written and visual communication systems (CELA1475)
  • Verbs represent different processes, for example doing, thinking, saying, and relating and that these processes are anchored in time through tense (CELA1482)
  • A clause is a unit of grammar usually containing a subject and a verb and that these need to be in agreement (CELA1481)
  • How different types of texts vary in use of language choices, depending on their purpose and context (for example, tense and types of sentences (CELA1478)

Know that:

  • Spelling is important for learning to write.
  • Word contractions are a feature of informal language and that apostrophes of contraction are used to signal missing letters (CELA1480)
  •  The features of online texts that enhance navigation  (CELA1790)
  • The effect on audiences of techniques, for example shot size, vertical camera angle and layout in picture books, advertisements and film segments (CELA1483)
  • Extended and technical vocabulary and ways of expressing opinion including modal verbs and adverbs (CELA1484)

Able to do that

  • Read the class texts on his own.
  • Learn the spelling list for each week assignment.
  • Write the simple book report.

3) – Achievements outcomes

By the end of Year 3…. students understand how content can be organized by using different text structures depending on the purpose of the text…..They understand how language features, images and vocabulary choices are used for different effects.

They read texts that contain varied sentence structures, a range of punctuation conventions, and images that provide additional information. They identify literal and implied meaning connecting ideas in different parts of a text. They select information, ideas and events in texts that relate to their own life and to other texts. They listen to others’ views and respond appropriately (The Australia curriculum v6.0, English, Year 3, Achievement standards, 2014).

4) – Performance objectives

  • By the end of this program, the student will be able to write the spelling for 20 words from the list of each week assignment. He will write it independently with 90% accuracy.
  • By the end of this program, the student will be able to write the simple book report that teacher requested independently. This report will have at least two simple joined by a conjunction including words from previous spelling lists.
  • By the end of this program, the student will be able to read the class text on his own. He will do this with 100% accuracy.

5) – Types of knowledge

Knowledge can be divided into two types which are general knowledge and domain specific knowledge: general knowledge is transferable knowledge and it concludes long term memory, therefore, it can be used in different methods such as abilities to read at home, at school and for enjoying or to gain some knowledge (Woolfolk, 2010).

Nevertheless, specific domain knowledge is related to a topic; it could be domain specific whereas a perfection skill – until it becomes general knowledge; also, it might be considerable specifically on a small subject where there is no transferable knowledge (Woolfolk, 2010).

Knowledge can further more be divided into three categories: declarative, procedural and conditional (Woolfolk, 2010).

Table one- Recommended types of knowledge related with all three performance objectives:

General Knowledge

Specific domain knowledge

Declarative

  • Spelling is very important to write the words
  • Rules in using the spelling
  • Know the letters list
  • Every word is built by the letters

Procedural

  • How to write words by using the pen
  • How to read words
  • How to write a simple sentence.

Conditional

  • Why we learn the spelling of words
  • Why we write a report
  • When we should write the report

This key knowledge has been written dependently on the performance objective that has been chosen. This knowledge is important skill and it will be practicing on it until it becomes managed. Moreover, it requests from student to explain this knowledge by writing and reading independently.

Nevertheless, writing and reading by using table one skills is considered a specific- domain knowledge for the student, and it aims to make it a general knowledge.

6) – List of background knowledge

Table two has the list of the background knowledge requirements for the student. The requirements generated from Australian scope and sequence of curriculum (2014) (what they able to do in the end of year 2).

Table – two

Understand

  • how similar texts share characteristics by identifying text structures and language features

Know

  • How to make connections between texts by comparing content.
  • Identify literal and implied meaning, main ideas and supporting details.

Be able to

  • Accurately spell familiar words and attempt to spell less familiar words
  • Read some unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Read texts that contain varied sentence structures
  •  legibly write unjoined upper- and lower-case letters.

7). Pre-assessment activity

The pre-assessment was designed in order to provide an accurate assessment of the student’s present level of performance. This program requires that data be collected on the student’s current level of knowledge and his abilities, specifically in learning the spelling list and writing it.

Moreover, in this test, it is valuable to compare the past and present. It is important to assess whether the student is able to recognize the differences among letters and write a simple book report.

Before doing the assessment, a conversation with the student should be conducted to introduce the examiner, establish rapport, and explain why he was chosen to participate in this assignment. It is highly recommended that in any assessment, the student should feel comfortable and safe with his examiners (Tomlinson, 2001).

A computer will be used in this assessment to assist the student with typing the writing test independently using the computer keyboard. Working on a computer is one of his rights, and it is important to let the student know that students are allowed to use computers in classes and for tests and examinations (Mark Le Messurier, 2006).

In this assessment, a pre-teacher will be invited to assist the student to have a positive experience. Additionally, the student might assume that we are there as a result of his failing; therefore, the invited pre-teacher can reassure the student that he is doing perfect work. These strategies should be used to make any assessment a positive experience for students (Westwood, 1997).

The assessment will be conducted in another class separate from the student’s classmates. Additionally, for this assessment, the student will first be provided with instructions, which will be repeated twice to ensure that he understands them.

Next, the sheet will be given to the student. Then, the pre-teacher will read the questions for the student to ensure that the student understands all questions. When he has answered each question, the teacher will ask him to move to the next section after a short break.

Additional Question 1

A description will be provided in regard to how assessment adaptations could be applied to our pre-assessment tasks, thus allowing the assessment to be adapted for use with students with four possible different disabilities: dysgraphia, dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.

First, if Nick had dysgraphia

Instead of using a pen or pencil, a computer will be used in this assessment because it would have the potential to assist and stimulate the student to write the test using the computer keyboard. According to Mark Le Messurier (2006), working on computers is one of the student’s rights, and it is important to let the student know that students are allowed to use computers in class and on tests and examinations.

Furthermore, the student will be given extra time for this assessment because he may need more time to write the test independently and without stress. According to Regina G. Richards (1999), some students have difficulties writing; as a result, they spend more time writing than other students when they take written tests. Therefore, providing the student with an extra break will help him to feel more relaxed during the test, which will in turn allow him to give the task more attention.

Moreover, information will be collected on the student’s current level of knowledge and abilities, specifically in learning spelling words and how to write them. Students with dysgraphia face difficulty in other areas, such as “difficulty with spelling and written expression, as well as dyslexia and, in some cases, oral language problems” (International Dyslexia Association, 2009).

Part of the assessment will be conducted in the student’s classroom with his classmates, and part of it will take place in another room away from his classmates. This assessment should be conducted twice a month for one to two hours to achieve the goals.

Second, if Nick had dyslexia

For this assessment, the environment is one of the key factors; therefore, the assessment will be done in a different class away from the student’s classmates in order to prevent any disturbances. Furthermore, more light will be used in this room to assist the student in reading texts. It is important to ensure a suitable place for dyslexic students to work, including sufficient lighting and a table or desk (Teacher Strategy for Dyslexics, 2006).

Additionally, Nick’s responses will be digitally recorded, and instructions will be read aloud for him and repeated if necessary. Repeating instructions for students can assist students to be aware of them, understand them, and follow them (Teacher Strategy for Dyslexics, 2006).

Moreover, extra time will be provided for the student to read the texts during the assessment in order to get more accurate results, and he will be given an extra break. Giving students extra time in testing situations is one of the strategies that can assist students who have this learning challenge (Teacher Strategy for Dyslexics, 2006). In addition, a weekly  one-hour assessment will be conducted to gather more information.

The reading texts will be typed specifically for the student in large-sized font and with extra space between the lines. Also, key words and the instructions will be highlighted. The teacher can help the student by identifying the important instructions (Teacher Strategy for Dyslexics, 2006). 

Third, if Nick had an auditory processing disorder 

The assessment will be conducted in a calm, quiet location in order to reduce the noise level; this will assist Nick in being able to hear more clearly. Students with auditory processing disorders should be seated away from any disturbances in the classroom; sitting away fromwindows and doors or any noise like a pencil sharpener is preferred (Children Families Learning, 2003).

In this assessment, the test instructions will be explained using sign language to be sure he understands the requirements of this test. It is recommended that sign language be used with students who have auditory processing disorders (North Western University, 2013).

Before beginning the assessment, information about the student should be collected to assess how well he is able to recognize the vocabulary list. Also, the assessment will be conducted once a week for two hours, and for each hour, an assessment from the co-teacher will be applied.

Additionally, Nick will be encouraged to take the test independently in order to increase his responses. His responses will be digitally recorded, and instructions will be read aloud and repeated if needed.

Fourth, if Nick had autism spectrum disorder

Recording the response in this assessment is important; therefore, digital recording will be prepared and used to record the student’s responses. In this assessment, technology should be used to record students’ responses, such as digital photography, and audio and video recording (Queensland Government, 2005).

During the assessment, the student will be given extra break time. Planning for breaks during the day provides an opportunity to reduce students’ stress; the student might use a break time to visit another classroom or a support person (Queensland Government, 2005).

Examples for the assessment will be used in order to guide Nick during this test. Using a sample of assessment materials can stimulate and motivate students with ASD during assessment tasks (Queensland Government, 2005).

Another teacher will be invited in order to obtain accurate assessment results. Using co-teaching strategies, volunteers and peers can contribute to making the assessment more useful (Queensland Government, 2005). 

Before conducting this assessment, there will be a conversation with Nick to explain to him the reason for the assessment and the process. Students with ASD should be made aware of the assessment targets, and their cooperation should be enlisted; this will be supported by using a daily visual schedule in our work (Amaze Fulfilling Life’s Potential, 2011).

Additional Question 2

This was a very useful and helpful experience in the Educational Planning and Assessment for Students with Special Needs class. The program was conducted for seven weeks and was divided into workshops and lectures. It covered many areas, and I received many benefits from it.

In EDUC9307, I learned that:

  • The behaviorism theory and the cognitivism theory can be applied by teachers in their strategies with students. To illustrate, teachers can manage students by using reward and punishment techniques, and they can increase and improve their students’ learning by using strategies such as graphic organization for information and daily review quizzes.
  • The class environment is very important for students, especially for those who have disabilities. Therefore, whatever can hinder students from learning should be controlled or managed. For example, we learned that reducing noise in classes, such as shutting off air conditioning, can be very helpful for students who have difficulty hearing.
  • Strategies for motivation and encouragement should be used with students who do not actively participate in class. For instance, requesting that students discuss topics in a small group or with a partner is one strategy that stimulates them to participate. Also, non-verbal responses, such as holding up cards or raising their hands to answer a yes or no question, are very useful for students who are shy.
  • Teachers can help students with disabilities by using technology such as computers and iPads to assist and support their learning processes. Furthermore, teachers can use many different strategies learned in this course to help them teach students with special needs in the educational environment.
  • Doing the assessment for teaching practice is very important to understand how to help students with special needs succeed in class. Additionally, the processes of the assessment were learned as well as how they can be applied with students. For example, knowing how to write specific measureable, achievable, and realistic objectives, as well as how to evaluate and re-evaluate performance objectives in a timely manner are key factors to achieving the assessment’s targets.

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