Recounting her experience of teaching special educational needs SEN pupils overseas, Carol Allen explains how technology can provide life-changing benefits for pupils with disabilities, and why we should never neglect the resources available to us in Britain.
As featured in the March edition of our magazine.
Over the past few years, I have worked at many educational establishments in the United Kingdom and abroad. My area is communication and access to learning for all - from those with profound and multiple learning difficulties to those who are academic and able but have a specific or transitory learning barrier. Unsurprisingly, my work in other countries has brought me into contact with some strikingly different approaches and attitudes to special educational needs (SEN).
In Albania I came across a slow start to the provision of education for some children with disabilities. Historically, in this country, such children were put through the same system whatever their disability. This had been the case for a blind man whom I met. Intelligent, articulate and a wonderful singer, he carried his few possessions - a cassette tape player with two cassettes and his cigarettes - with him at all times, having no safe place to store them.
Schoolchildren possess growing, developing minds, ones which can often wander. Therefore, it’s important for teachers to know how to retain their attention. To discuss this further, Innovate my School regular Adam Lewis discusses how to ‘teach like a champion’.
For the following weeks, I am focussing on creating a strong classroom culture by adhering to the techniques advocated by Doug Lemov in his 'Teach Like a Champion' manual for teachers.When I posted on Twitter that I was starting this experiment, Doug kindly tweeted me asking for me to let him know which techniques I was going to focus on first.
Although I have been teaching my current classes for over a term, I still feel that some of them don't have the kind of classroom culture that I expect. Establishing this is vital for any relationships to exist and develop, so this is the first 'section' of the techniques that I will focus on.
Week 1 of my 'Teach Like a Champion' marginal gains experiment and I am concentrating on '100%' and 'Sweat the Details.
Thanks to compelling astronomy experts such as Professor Brian Cox, Sir Patrick Moore and Carl Sagan, study of the stars has often been a fascinating, entertaining practise. But how to best teach this subject in schools, and how do you make the most of such an interesting topic? Rachel Wintemberg, Marc Taras and Lindsey Tisch, teachers at William C. McGinnis School in Perth Amboy, New Jersey have been teaching astronomy using tools as diverse as iPads and toilet paper...
This is an interdisciplinary science, maths, art and technology lesson by Marc Taras, Lindsey Tisch and Rachel Wintemberg at William C. McGinnis School, Perth Amboy NJ. We used the following iPad apps and websites to investigate the solar system:
http://vitotechnology.com/star-walk.htmlFor this lesson, the website www.outerspaceuniverse.org gave our students the information they needed to create their own planets on the iPads, by answering the question:
We had each group pick a planet out of a hat. They then researched information on that planet using the iPad app Solar Walk (link above).
Credit to: This lesson was created by our team as part of a grant by the Geraldine R. Dodge foundation. Training on arts integration was given, as part of the grant, by the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.
Kids love graffiti, nowadays known as ‘urban art’. I am pretty useful at lettering and often my students ask me to teach them how to do it.
Graffiti has always been fashionable but has never been mainstream - there is something subversive and anarchistic about graffiti and some of the websites I will show you represent this side of urban art extremely well. Here are some of the websites I use with my students:
I know summer just started. You’re relaxing, reading the stack of books that collected on your nightstand, planting the flowers you were supposed to take care of in April, but, well, teaching came first.
Bookmark this page and when you’re ready to look at some teacherly resources, come back. I’ve collected 89 great resources to make your job easier - everything from grading rubrics, online quizzes, audio books, utilities, to puzzle creators and more.
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