Erika Leadholm Physical Education April 13, 2009 Observation 4 Background Information: I observed my practicum class during math in the classroom. There are 14 students in third grade. Dylan is a third grader who is dyslexic. Actually, the teachers are in the midst of working on his IEP. He is still undergoing exact testing, but the general consensus right now is that he is dyslexic. He has had trouble with reading and writing since kindergarten, but no specific diagnosis has been made until now. In this particular math class we were working on fractions by splitting up ?brownies? and sharing our strategies with the class. Goals of the lesson are to understand the meaning of fractions, how they come together to equal 1 whole, and being able to describe your strategy to others. General Lesson Outline: Warm-up Problem Student work time (independent) Share strategies with whole class (teacher calls on students to show their strategies on the board, then students explain them to the whole class) Hand out Math Notebooks Students work on assigned pages (independent/help from friends or teachers/group) Intermittent stops from teacher where a student shares a great strategy with the rest of the class. Dismissal Measurement of the Observed Child?s Success: There were honestly hardly any modifications made for this student. There were no modifications in lesson goals, learning environment, or materials. The only modification I saw was in teaching methods. Both myself and the classroom teacher went over to individually help Dylan. He would get confused by the math problems because the problem would say 25, but he would verbally say 52, which would mix up his mental math skills. He also writes numbers backwards, particularly his fives. I worked with him specifically on this task for several minutes. I would make a 5 and have him copy it. We did this several times: tracing, making new 5?s, and making a 5 without looking at an example. Dylan definitely struggled with the lesson goals. He basically understood the concept of fractions and how they fit together to equal one, but he had a lot of trouble describing his strategy to others. When writing down his strategy in his notebook, it was very difficult to follow his ideas. When describing them verbally he usually did better, but sometimes confused himself when he began saying the numbers backwards. ?You Make the Call?: I honestly don?t have a lot of experience in making adaptations for dyslexic children. I think there are a lot of things that could have been done to make this lesson more meaningful for the student. I would give this child a specific learning goal of improving the writing of his numbers?not backwards. I think this is a good goal that is feasible for the student to accomplish, but also very important for the rest of his math career. He can accomplish this goal while doing the same activity as the other students, but by focusing on this goal he is also really helping himself. Dylan often gets distracted easily by those around him. I would like to give him the option to sit in another area of the room where it is easier for him to focus. This isn?t a punishment. This just allows him to choose where he is able to work and focus best, and kids often know what works for them! This will give him power over his own learning. If he makes a poor choice and works somewhere that won?t allow him to focus, it is appropriate for the teacher to talk this choice over with him and choose another place to work that is more conducive to focusing. The biggest modification I see is with materials. I think it would be so helpful to have a booklet/paper with the standard letters and numbers written out. This way Dylan can look at the example numbers and letters to see the correct way to write them. He can trace them if he wants to get the movement into his hand and wrist. Eventually he will hopefully outgrow this booklet/chart, but right now I think it would help him tremendously. Comments: I wanted to observe him in a more active setting, but our physical education class was moved to a different time while I was at school, so I was unable to observe that. I often go out for recess with the students and find that Dylan feels most confident during active situations like recess and physical education. His dyslexia doesn?t seem to affect him as much during these times as it does during the core academic subjects.
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