Contextual Information and Student Learning Adaptations

1. Student Learning Adaptations: Describe at least one example of a strategy to provide equitable opportunities, accommodations, or modifications you attempted for any student identified within each contextual characteristic.

At Northview, one student on the autism spectrum was having a difficult time learning recorder in my fast paced lessons. While other students were practicing or working with their partner, I tried to address her questions and give her guidance that she needed and wanted.

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At Wamego, while Mr. Richmond was rehearsing with a specific section, I tried to engaged some of the gifted students by asking them questions about the music. This kept them from talking to their neighbor and got them to think more critically about the music being rehearsed.

Student Characteristics:

1. Describe the developmental characteristics of students in your classroom. (Cognitive, Physical, Emotional, Social).

In both placements, students we're full of energy and very social. Rarely was there ever a completely silent classroom. Since I was working with students from the ages 11-13, I expected from students that they we're able to problem solve and at times think more abstractly. If I ever required higher order thinking skills in a lesson, students often rose to the occasion.

2. Highlight the prior knowledge and interests of students in your classroom.

At Northview, students had a good knowledge of basic rhythms, fingerings for the recorder, how to articulate, and motivation to earn their next level of belts. Students we're interested in recorder primarily because of the karate system in place, but I think the students found little meaning or value to learning recorder.

At Wamego Middle School, I was able to expect more because the students had already been in band for 2-3 years. Students had knew how to play their instrument and basic elements of music. These students mainly needed to increase their knowledge in ensemble playing skills and refine the technique on their individual instruments.

3. Describe the implications these characteristics have on planning and instruction. (e.g. What instructional strategies will you use to meet the unique learning needs of all your students?)

I definitely had to keep my lessons fast paced and engaging for students in both placements. I tried to have each step of my lesson planned out, so all transitions we're smooth to keep students engaged. I also incorporated some cooperative learning strategies since both groups displayed a high amount of social interaction. Students enjoyed discussions with their peers, but I had to be vigilant about keeping the students on subject.

Environmental Factors:

1. Describe district, school, and classroom environmental factors impacting the quality of education for all of your students.

In the Manhattan district, it seemed strange that I had a 6th grade general music class. Most districts stop at 5th grade and then students choose different paths such as choir or band. I think the 6th grade general music program could be very beneficial and fun for students, but in my placement it seemed that the expectations of 5th graders had been moved to the 6th graders (and so on for other grades). The students seemed a little behind in music than what they actually should be capable of.

In the Wamego Middle School District, I observed a close-knit community and higher expectations from students. Since it was a smaller school, I could sense the respect and rapport between the teacher and students, and how it motivated students to learn in the classroom.

2. Describe community and family environmental factors impacting the quality of education for all of your students.

At Northview, I observed a diverse range of students, and consequently, students we're at many different levels musically. Granted, this was a general music class where all students we're required to participate in music, but I could tell that this diversity tended to lower the expectations of the group. I think the classroom could have included more accommodations so that the students that we're gifted we're still challenged, but the students who we're struggling could still keep up.

At Wamego, I observed the opposite. Students seemed to be very similar in ability levels and consequently the teachers we're expected more. I'm not sure if this expectation was due to any community or family dynamics, but I do think it had something to do with the less diverse amount of students.

3. Describe the implications these factors have on planning and instruction. (What instructional strategies will you use to address the unique environmental factors impacting each student?)

In my lessons at Northview, I made sure to script my lessons, so that I thought through every step. I made sure that my instructions we're clear and concise for all students, and I tried to think of what questions students might ask.

At Wamego, I tried to plan lessons that we're more complex and would challenge students to think critically. I incorporated exercises that Mr. Richmond had not done in warm-ups, including breathing and balance exercises. This kept the pacing going and kept students engaged.

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Posted in Home Post Date 05/20/2019