I conducted my visit at Trigg Elementary School. I visited Ms. Valerie Green’s self- contained pre-kindergarten classroom. This class consisted of eight students with varying ranges of disabilities. There are four girls and four boys in this class. I really enjoyed my visit in this classroom. The students were all engaged in the lesson. They were all on different levels, but accommodations were made to make sure they were understanding what was being taught. These special education students were very enthusiastic about learning and immediately welcomed me into their classroom.
The accommodations that were made included large print material for visually impaired students and synthesizers for the hearing impaired. I observed that these students did not allow their disabilities to interfere with their education. They were excellent students despite their disabilities. If I taught this lesson again, I would probably do it differently. Since my lesson was geared toward Angel, I would have loved to provide accommodations and modifications the other students in the class. I would have provided the visually impaired students with very large pictures of the animals.
I would then have allowed them to orally describe the characteristics of the animals. I would also have placed them in small groups. They would have presented a group project on different kinds of animals. I would also have invited someone from Wildlife and Fisheries to speak to the class about different kinds of animals and their habitats. I would have endangered and extinct animals to the students. They students would have been permitted to ask questions about how animals become endangered. They would also have been allowed to ask which animals would be safe to have as pets?
Other accommodations/modifications the regular classroom teacher might make are to provide the visual and hearing impaired students with other materials such as computers with large screens, books written in Braille, and sign language. All of the accommodations and modifications will make learning easier and more enjoyable for these students. Books on tape will be acceptable for visually impaired students. Students with mobility problems can be provided with wheelchairs. Ramps can also be built for them to make it easier to get into and out of the building.
They can be transported to and from school by a bus that is equipped with a wheelchair lift. Special education teachers can provide students with sign language, an interpreter for Ell students, assistance from caregivers, and also materials that can strengthen the motor skills of these young students. They can be allowed to work puzzles, practice lacing and tying shoes with a toy shoe, and practice forming letters in a sandbox. For young students who are unable to form letters, they can be allowed to trace letters and also write them in the air.
Teachers can also write the letters for them and allow them to hold the pencil so that they can see feel how to make the letters. Students can also be allowed to form letters and words by using items such as beans, cotton balls, and even small strips of paper. They can form their numbers using these objects also. Allowing students to participate in hands-on learning activities will increase their interest and keep them actively involved in the lesson. Special education can also purchase materials and supplies that will benefit their students.
For instance, peg boards, puppets, and large alphabets will greatly benefit these students. Many special education teachers are provided with funds so that they can order supplies and materials that are especially designed for their students. These materials and supplies make learning easier for these students and also keeps them actively involved. Other items that can be order for students with disabilities are large screen televisions, readers and scribers, and tape recorders. Visually impaired students will greatly benefit from tape recorders because they can listen to lessons on tape.
Teachers can even record themselves reading their favorite stories or books on tape. The students really enjoy listening to their teacher’s voice on tape. It motivates them and makes learning fun for them. Speech impaired students can be provided with speech services. These services can be provided directly from the school’s speech therapist. They can receive individualized or small group instruction on how to correctly form their sounds and words. This can assist them in speaking more clearly. There are a variety of accommodations and modifications that may be made by service specialists.
Some of these accommodations and modifications can include assistance from the school nurse. For those students who require medication, the school nurse can be allowed to administer medications to these students. In cases of the nurse’s absence, the classroom teacher can be trained on how to effectively administer the medication, also. For those students who require counseling, the school district’s counselor is available. Students can receive counseling if they have emotional disabilities, have experienced the loss of a loved one, or even if they experience anger management issues.
However, before counseling services can be provided, the parents must grant their permission. Providing students with counseling services without the parents’ consent could possibly later cause legal problems. Students can also receive assistance from the inclusion teacher. For those special education students who are not in self-contained classrooms, an inclusion teacher is available. This teacher provides small group and one-on-one instruction for those students who require it. This teacher works closely with the regular classroom teacher to provide these students with the extra assistance they need in order to succeed.
They are sometimes provided with extra homework from the inclusion teacher so that they can fully understand the objectives that are being taught. The inclusion also contacts the parents of these students on a regular basis. She explains to the parents the IEP that is being for their children. She also keeps parents informed about the progress of their students. Meetings are held periodically for parents, regular education teacher, and the special education teacher. These meetings are conducted so that parents are informed about the progress of their students.
They are also told what they can do to assist their children. They are then permitted to ask questions and sign their child’s IEP. There is also a parent liaison available at the Trigg Elementary School campus. She operates the parent center. This center has materials the parents can check out to assist their child with homework and class work. There are even computers for parents and students to use if necessary. There is an abundance of material available for students with disabilities. These materials are available for any parent who wishes to use them.
The parent liaison can even refer parents to other facilities that have educational materials that can assist their child. These facilities include the local library and also the parent centers at the other schools in the district. The parent liaison also provides the students with needed items such as school supplies, uniforms, coats, and other articles. There is a free clothes give away held each month. Parents are welcomed to come to the school and pick up free clothing items for their children. Tutoring is also provided for special education students.
The tutor provides extra assistance to those students who require it. They are provided with extra assistance in math, reading, and language arts. Students are pulled from their classrooms and tutored 30 minutes. They are provided with small group and one-on-one instruction. This allows them to receive the extra attention they need in order to be successful. At Trigg Elementary School, there are an abundance of services that are available that can assist students with learning disabilities be successful.