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Real Teachers, Real Tools: Lesson Design to Differentiate and Accomodate

I attended the Real Teachers, Real Tools: Lesson Design to Differentiate and Accommodate workshop. The goal for this workshop was to practice utilizing a variety of devices and applications to design and implement instruction to meet accommodations for special education students mainstreamed in a school’s general population.

The workshop was based around an equation: Content knowledge + Creativity= Effective Instruction for Exceptional Student Education. I thought this was fantastic how they included creativity into the equation since this is how student’s learning is really shown. When we allow them to be creative, we allow them to explore endless possibilities!

We were first exposed to a few iPad applications such as Nearpod, and Explain Everything which I have found to be common, likable apps though many people. These apps allow teachers and students to create presentations that can contain quiz’s, polls, videos, images, drawing boards, and web content. I think these apps are easily usable with their interactive whiteboards and recordable presentations.

We were then broken into groups. Each group was to to design a lesson using an app just learned that targeted a special education student. My group’s student was Angel. Here is Angel’s description:

  • Autistic with Aspergers
  • Her hobby/ interest is taking pictures
  • Accomadations:
    • needs to be paired with someone,
    • directions that are few words
    • visual cues
    • teacher model

Our lesson was based on a 4th grade mathematics standard to classify special quadrilaterals into parallelograms or trapezoids. We designed the lesson using the Nearpod. We recorded a presentation where we showed how to take a picture of objects around the room and drag the pictures into the T- Chart. The T-Chart was labeled either “Parallelograms” or “Trapezoids.” It was very easy to create this chart using the shapes options. There are also options to type in the text or to write it. The recorded presentation is great in the way that any student can replay anything at anytime and see the teacher model at first hand. The presentations can also be saved. The student, Angel, would then pair up with a buddy and go around the room to take pictures of the shapes she sees.This allows her to learn the math standard while doing something she enjoys- taking pictures.

These apps are also fantastic for students to create their own presentation whether independently or with a group. It is great knowing that we can reach out to all students and accommodate their needs, hobbies/ interests through these simple apps! 

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