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Transcript of Beliefs
Every Student Can
Whether it is with spoken, written, signing, symbols or movements, every student can communicate.
All Students Can
Students Need To Feel They Belong
Students Are Inquisitive
Every Student Can Succeed
Every Student Has A Voice!
Students Are Diverse
All Students Are Capable of Receiving and Giving Respect
"Inquiry is the dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement, and coming to know and understand the world"
Definition of Succeed :
1-to happen or terminate according to desire
2-to thrive, prosper, grow, or the like
3-to accomplish what is attempted or intended
All these definitions show that each student will have their own level of success and how it is measured. Success is as unique as the individual.
in social, physical and academic environments (with or without assistance adaptations or modifications)
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much"
By diverse I mean cultural. No two people are raised exactly the same which means that everybody has their own unique culture, beliefs and history.
''Respected adults engage in respect-full interactions in which respectful students can blossom."
A voice that is capable of expressing opinions, ideas and beliefs that are important to them. After all, one voice can make a difference!
Inquiry is "based on the belief that understanding is constructed in the process of people working together to solve the problems that arise in the course of shared activity. Organization of time, classroom resources, resolution of interpersonal disputes, planning of field trips, as well as curriculum-based activity, are all approached in the same open-ended and exploratory way in an inquiry-oriented classroom. A learning community dedicated to robust inquiry strives to foster intellectual habits of thought, meaning-making and discourse in all students, rich and poor, gifted and severely ordinary."
"People with high individual communication needs do not use formal methods of communication such as speech, writing or symbols. They communicate in their own unique way through their bodies, facial expressions, sounds, eye gaze or pointing."
"A balance is struck in culturally diverse schools when students realize that being different isn't a quality reserved for others, but rather a state that describes each one of them."
"The most important thing for people is belonging...All [they] need is to be accepted and [they] can go,[they] can take off, [they're] ok. Through a mental health promoting effect, belonging may provide a foundation for personal achievement."
"When adolescents have experiences where their voices are listened to and acted upon, they experience greater interest in involvement regarding future changes."
"Success is highly dependent upon identifying and understanding an individual’s strengths and needs, and providing appropriate support..."
(Beaudoin, 2011, p. 44)
"Respect is important because it contributes to a context of safety, openness, and reflection; this context is crucial for the brain to effectively process and encode academic material..."
(Beaudoin, 2011, p. 40)
"Participation means learning alongside others and collaborating with them in shared learning experiences. It requires active engagement with learning and having a say in how education is experienced. More deeply, it is about being [recognized], accepted and valued for oneself."
(Thurman, Jones, & Tarleton, 2005, p. 83)
(Bastock, Gladstone, & Martin, 2006, para. 4)
(Galileo Educational Network, 2013, para. 1)
(Government of Alberta, 2002, para. 1)
(Booth & Ainscow, 2002, p. 3)
(Helen Keller Quotes, n.d.)
(Lind, 2007, p. 377)
(Grainger, 2012, p. 257)
(Lind, 2007, p. 372)
Beliefs About Students
By Stephanie Kish
Communication is very important as it is how people interact. Many students I have worked with in the school district have had some form of communicating impairment. One year I was assisting in a grade four classroom for a student that could not speak. She was able to hear and comprehend spoken words but could not physically get the words out. At the beginning of the year she used grunts and sounds that mimicked speech for her audible form of communication as well as sign language. Many of the other students knew her so they were familiar with her form of interaction. The other students also learned some basic signs so they knew what she was saying to them. Within the first month of grade four we were able to access an electronic communication device that would speak for her. It was amazing to watch her communicating with her classmates in a way they could understand. It was also a form of communication that did not require translating- it was just her and her peers.
The Vantage Lite communication device that was used by the grade four student to communicate.
A really cool video of Obama signing thank you to a supporter who is deaf. (Neuroticy, 2012)
Things I can do to support COMMUNICATION:
1. I will need to be aware of any students that may have communication impairments. I can then research and learn the necessary skills needed to communicate efficiently with the student and educate the other members of the class (and school) how to as well.
2. I will also need to access the appropriate professionals for support of the student and myself. Professionals such as, the student’s family, speech therapists and occupational therapists that will be able to supply any augmented equipment or strategies to promote communication.
3. Utilizing support at the school like educational assistants and other teaching staff for information and support. Other colleagues may have had experience with a similar situation or may know the student and can provide information of what worked and what did not work.
For example: best place for student to sit in class, how to facilitate conversations, sign language, Board Maker and transliterating software.
The idea of inquiry intrigues me. I myself have not had much experience with the inquiry model of teaching but am fortunate enough to work at a school that has it as one of its goals. When I think of inquiry I think of asking questions and finding the answers. Not just questions that the teacher gives you but questions that are your own. Isn’t it true that when we discover something for ourselves it seems to stick in our memory better? Last month the grade fours were starting their unit on the Rocky Mountains. Before the teacher said anything she had the students write down three questions or things that they would like to learn about the mountains. The students struggled at first wanting more guidance, the concept of being able to formulate a question of their own was foreign to them. Once they started conversing with the other students they had the most spectacular questions. For example-What did the mountains look like when the dinosaurs were alive? Did the animals that live there today live there thousands of years ago? When and how the mountains were made or were they always there? These are just a few of the questions the students came up with once they started. It was funny because after they completed the task they wanted to learn the answers for their questions.
Things I can do to support INQUIRY:
1. I will need to learn more about inquiry in the classroom by taking workshops and courses to increase my understanding of how to provide an inquisitive learning environment.
2. Allow the students to explore more with the material being taught by creating an environment that is accepting of discussion. Have the students share their unique experiences and former knowledge of the information. As a teacher I will need to remember that students will have individual questions about a subject that they can discover with my guidance.
3. Utilize the Alberta Education website and Galileo Education Network for classroom strategies and lessons that will promote inquiry in my students.
Just for interest the Galileo Educational Network's website-
One of the activities I do with the grade one students is 'Hook Words'. On Monday the students get five to seven new words that they are to practice reading at home during the week. On Friday they read me the words off of the Hook Word sheet and get fish crackers for every word they get correct. Every week there is this one student that does not get any crackers because he cannot read the words. He is always disappointed but keeps trying by shouting out random words he knows and after he says “that’s ok”. This student loves to sing, is a very visual learner and needs to move while working. Last week I signed the words with him as we reviewed the written words. Every day he and I would practice the hook words using both sign and written form. When Friday came around I called him over to read the words and he looked at the hook word list and started saying random words. My heart broke! It then dawned on me how visual he was so I wrote the words on a white board all mixed up; no list. I told him to read me the words however he wanted then erase it. He ended up getting five out of seven fish that day by reading them in the order that worked for him and he even signed as he read. After he was done he ran over to the teacher to show her and said "I did the best! I have fish!"
Things I can do to promote SUCCESS:
1. I will need to get to know my students and their individual learning needs. By understanding that every student will learn differently I can adapt assignments and activities to meet these unique learning styles. I can also use Multiple Intelligence Surveys with the learners to aquire specific learning styles.
2. Collaborate with other staff members about strategies that work with the students in order for the student to get efficient teaching in all of his/her classes.
3. Be flexible and willing to adapt my classroom in order for my students learning styles to be met. If I have to move desks, bring in exercise balls or let the students move around it will be o.k. I have to remember that my students will not be the same as me and they will need different things to be successful as well as different ideas on what success is.
4. Stay up to date with technology that can assist students. For example the websites 2Learn.ca and Spelling City.
Students with physical disabilities can provide a challenge in activities such as Phys. Ed. There was a middle school student with cerebral palsy who was in a fully inclusive setting. The core subjects were easy to adapt and she was able to participate completely with her peers. It was the option classes that provided difficulty. It did not help that her wheel chair was too small for her so she could not maneuver herself. She relied on others for all of her transportation. During gym class the assistant would move her around so she was partaking in the activities but it just was not the same as being in control of her own movements. Thanks to the physical therapist that came to the school to provide support, the student was fitted for a new chair as well as a walker. The day the student received the walker she went to her gym class and did the running activity without any adult support. I have never seen a person smile that big before! The best part was when the gym teacher said to her “I am going to get you in next time in dodge ball” and she replied “well, I will run away" – and now she could!
A link to the story of Team Hoyt. A very motivational video that demonstrates everyone is able to participate regardless of limitations.
Things I can do to support PARTICIPATION:
1. Collaborate with the student, family, school staff and other professionals to ensure that students are able to participate in the school activities.
2. Modify course material and environment so inclusion is possible. For example: Gait Trainers, walkers, skate skis, change game rules to accommodate students with special needs.
3. Provide assistance and support when needed so student is able to take part. Push a wheelchair or grab their hands and run the bases with them if that what it takes.
This is the walking device (also known as a Gait Trainer) the student used to participate in her phys. ed class.
I was fortunate to assist in a grade six classroom one year. As much as I hate to say the next sentence it is necessary for the story. It was a rough class. At the beginning of the year the students were fine, maybe out of fear of being in a middle school for the first time. This calm period lasted not even a month before chaos broke out. About ten of the students did not feel it necessary to do any work or follow school rules. These particular students would bully the others that were trying. A few of the students that were being pressured to misbehave finally did. The teachers also gave up on this class and stopped trying to help them. They did not belong because they were trouble and they knew it. By the end of the year majority of the class was out of control and they did not seem to care. The next year I transferred schools and so did three boys from my other school. After a month I asked them how they liked the new school. They all said they really liked it that it was better to come to school now. When I asked them why, one of them replied "I feel like the people here want me here. I actually like coming to school now and I even do my work!" Everyday when I pass him in the hall he is smiling and laughing. Both schools have very similar social/economic dynamics it is just the difference of the students feeling that they are important-that they belong.
During my time assisting a grade seven class I noticed something very interesting. In every core subject the students were well behaved and attempted to do some work but in one class. Every time we went to math they were animals! It was shocking every day at how different these students were from the other classes to this one class. I started to observe more of what was going on in the individual classrooms to see if I could figure it out. What I soon realized was that grade seven students expected respect. They wanted to be treated fairly and did not like it when they thought they were not. In their math class the teacher talked to the students like they were in elementary still. The expectations in that particular class were lower than the students' other classes. They may not have liked doing the work but these students wanted to be treated like they could. By not getting respect they did not give respect back. Yet in the classes they felt respected they did put in effort, they tried and did not misbehave.
Many, many years ago I worked in a pre-kindergarten class and had the opportunity to get to know the family of the boy in this video. Again I am at the same school as them and was able to see the power of a student’s voice first hand. The student's mom sent this to me when she emailed me the link to the video- “ [this is his] response to the ladies coming into his class and giving a talk about low functioning autism which doesn’t fit him at all. He wrote the script with my help editing and read it off of cue cards. If you teach a child they can…they will” (S. Fokema, personal communication, January 14, 2013).
Diversity is becoming one of the greatest challenges in the classroom. Not only are we teaching to culturally different students but students who have lives we could not even imagine. My grade seven class last year had six students from different nationalities. This same class also had students that lived in poverty. Students that did not have food at the house for breakfast or lunch. Two of the students missed over half of the year because they had to stay home to babysit their siblings. One other student also missed over half the school year because of hockey. These situations are not what I am familiar with or even agree with but it is what the students’ lives are like. This is the cultural diversity we are teaching to now. By knowing and understanding each person’s culture I was able to communicate better with them. I knew what was important in their lives and what wasn’t. It made everybody in the class more empathetic towards differences. That grade seven class stuck up for each other and provided support when needed. It was pretty amazing.
1. By making the classroom ours - students and teacher. Creating a positive and friendly atmosphere that promotes inclusion.
2. Getting to know the students by doing mini interviews where the students ask each other the questions. That way everybody in the class gets to know each other’s interests and likes. Another similar project is ‘My Story’ posters that are hung up where others can read them.
3. Even as simple as saying good morning or letting the students know that they are important to the school. One way of demonstrating importance is having the students partake in a project that benefits the community and school - picking up garbage in the schoolyard, making Christmas cards for the community.
Things I can do to support BELONGING:
A 'My Story' poster that I did for the school I work at.
Diversity: Street Dance for Change
1. Educate the students about diversity that we are all unique in our backgrounds and cultures. I could do this by using the ‘My Story’ posters or having the students share some of their families beliefs with the class.
2. Have equipment available to assist students that do not speak english. For example: an iPad or laptop that can translate. Accessing agencies like the C.A.R.E (Central Alberta Refugee Effort) for support between the families and school.
3. Try to have the class participate in volunteer positions in the community such as the food bank or Operation Christmas Child. To promote diversity within the school itself have the classes buddy up with older or younger grades.
4. Do not enforce my customs, beliefs and values onto the students. As a teacher I need to be aware of what my values, beliefs and customs are and not pass judgement. I am not there to judge, I am there to support. I will need to be aware of agencies in the community that my families can access as well as groups within the school like breakfast club.
Things I can do to support DIVERSITY:
Treat the students with respect by:
- making eye contact (if students are little -kindergarten, grade one crouch down).
- be prepared for class and on time
- apologize if needed (I am not perfect and make mistakes)
- model respect with parents and other staff
- listen attentively
- ask questions
- get to know the students - likes, dislikes, families
- support and encourage
- have expectations and provide support to reach them
- be open minded
- tell the truth
- enforce school rules and be consistent
- expect respect in return (When a student is being rude to me I often tell them that I am not rude to them so I expect them to treat me the same way. So yes if I am being disrespectful to them they have the right to be that way to me!)
Things I can do to support RESPECT:
Thing I can do to support students' VOICES:
Final de thé
Please click on the link below to see the video
1. Create an environment that encourages conversation and expression of ideas. For example: activities such as class discussions or debates.
2. I could have little ‘edcamp' classes with the students. The students would then have to prepare and teach things that they already know to other students that choose those specific items to learn about.
3. Collaborate with the students. Have open discussions that promote inquiry and emotion. Allow the students to explore and learn about issues they feel strongly about.
More information about edcamp:
Photo by Steph Kish
(Liberator Pty Ltd, n.d.)
Photo by Steph Kish
Information about C.A.R.E
(Hoyt & Hoyt, 2012)
(Galileo Educational Network, 2013)
There is also a PDF version of the references attached to the same webpage as this prezi.