Addressing Learners' Individual Needs

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    • 00:00

      MICHAEL WEINGARDEN: The goal hereis, I want to give you guys a quiz on this stuff,so my hope is that if we can practice this a little bit,that you'll do better on that quiz.The important thing about interacting with studentsis understanding what each of them needs,and giving them that. [Michael Weingarden, Mathematics,Newbury Park High School, Newbury Park, CA]So some students need to be pushed a little harder.

    • 00:22

      MICHAEL WEINGARDEN [continued]: Some people maybe do need a little humor.Some people you need to lighten up on,and you need to know when to give them some space.

    • 00:29

      LEILA MADANI: Patience goes along with behavior.[Leila Madani, Physics, Sleepy Hollow High School,Sleepy Hollow, NY] You have to have patience for, you know,some kids just learn differently.Some kids have different types of attention spans.And some kids, you know, learn it very quickly,and some kids don't.And it doesn't mean that they can't learn,it just means that you need to maybe hit

    • 00:50

      LEILA MADANI [continued]: a greater variety of ways.That's what I want to get at.Can you see her hair is accelerating?Will Nina's hair accelerate?I don't know, I see a couple fuzzies over here.So, rubbing leads to this weird static electricity.Or you need to find another way of engaging them.Or you just need to spend more time with them.

    • 01:12

      KAREN DAVIS: We usually, about six weeks into school,we meet with each and every family.[Karen Davis, 1st grade teacher, La Mariposa Elementary School,Camarillo, CA] Anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes at a time,sometimes longer, depending on the child And the situation.And we send out a questionnaire to the parents askingthem to come with their goals, their expectations

    • 01:33

      KAREN DAVIS [continued]: for the school year, their goals for their child,if their child has any medical needs or emotional needsthat we need to be aware of.And then we sit down and we talk with them.It's not during a grading period.We've only been in school six weeks,and we're still developing an understanding of the child

    • 01:54

      KAREN DAVIS [continued]: and getting to know them.And meeting with the parents reallyestablishes that home-schooled connection.And allows us to build the curriculumand differentiate whatever it is the childneeds for their particular language or maybe a learning

    • 02:16

      KAREN DAVIS [continued]: disability.Maybe it's just a slow learner.Or maybe a gifted child that needs to be challenged.When I find that there are kids whotend to push the workload off on other kids--you know, because that always happens.You have kids who hate group work,because they're the ones that end up doing everything.I have also taken them, and I put them in groups accordingto grade accomplishment.

    • 02:36

      KAREN DAVIS [continued]: So, for example-- and I'll never forget doing this-- onetime I put all of my top grades together, six of them,and then I went down from there, and I did say.So I had my kids who are a little bit of the lower end whowere all together in a group.And they all kind of sat there, and they looked at each other,and they knew they were the ones that normally wouldpass the buck to somebody else.They all had to step up.

    • 02:56

      KAREN DAVIS [continued]: They had to pick it up, because the assignment had to get done.And it was really an enlightening thing for meas a teacher, because I wasn't surehow that was going to work.To watch them rise to the challenge of, oh, someone'sgot to take responsibility.And then to note, within the group, who actually didtake responsibility.

    • 03:13

      KAREN DAVIS: Here on our campus we actuallyhave three county programs for childrenthat are severely emotionally and physically handicapped.And we also have two special ed classes,where the children are moderately disabled.And so our children are exposed to all kinds of diversity

    • 03:33

      KAREN DAVIS [continued]: with physical and emotional states.And so we have the parents come in and talk about that.We were even-- last month we had a abilities awareness assembly.And the children got to experience-- they put sockson their hands and they got to try and put puzzlestogether, and string Fruit Loops onto a string.

    • 03:55

      KAREN DAVIS [continued]: They got to practice in a wheelchair, or on crutches.They put blindfolds on, and tried to do things blindfolded.So they were able to see what all of these differentabilities or disabilities, and theywere able to experience those.

    • 04:10

      MICHAEL WEINGARDEN: In most classes,there's a wide disparity in performance levelsbetween students.But in this class, some of the students are very low.They don't know how to add or subtract.They don't know their multiplication tables.And so a lot of interesting techniques need to be used.And in fact, it really forces you

    • 04:31

      MICHAEL WEINGARDEN [continued]: as a teacher to think a lot, because you get to a pointwhere you say to yourself, how can Ibreak this concept down and make it any simpler than it alreadyis?And I think that has helped me in teachingall my other classes.Now, once I get to the point whereI know how to explain this concept,I can then help out kids who are havinga problem in other classes.Another thing about this class is that a lot of the kids

    • 04:53

      MICHAEL WEINGARDEN [continued]: are restless, and maybe not very mature.And so they don't really know order.They don't know how to behave in a classroom setting.So, some of the work that needs to be done socialization.And one of my friends here, at the school,told me that her technique for dealingwith kids that were like this, that needed remediation,

    • 05:15

      MICHAEL WEINGARDEN [continued]: was to really focus on behavior and learningthe rules the first few weeks, more so than on academic focus.And so that's one of the things I try to do,is let the kids know what the rules are,let them know where the boundaries are,and I try to be pretty stern about notcrossing the boundaries.At the same time, I feel it's important to choose my battles.

    • 05:38

      MICHAEL WEINGARDEN [continued]: So sometimes I will let the kids havea little-- I'll let them have some line,and let them tire themselves out,and then I'll reel them back in when I feel it's appropriate.

Addressing Learners' Individual Needs

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Abstract

Three teachers discuss strategies for addressing the needs of individual students. They suggest involving parents, establishing processes and boundaries, and challenging students to establish new behavior patterns.

Addressing Learners' Individual Needs

Three teachers discuss strategies for addressing the needs of individual students. They suggest involving parents, establishing processes and boundaries, and challenging students to establish new behavior patterns.

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