Mrs. Bauer, Math
In our math class, we work with whole group, small group, partners and one on one. Students with ALP’s (advanced learning programs) are pulled once a week to work on Sunshine Math and Enrichment activities that go along with our current curriculum. All students are given an opportunity to complete Tic-Tac-Toe choices that go along with each math unit. Choices are created with multiple intelligences and learning styles in mind. At the beginning of each unit, students take a pre-test. Anyone that gets 100% on that pre-test is able to do a Curriculum Contract for the unit which allows them to work on alternative assignments during my usual lessons. These alternate assignments include choosing some work from their regular math journal as well as completing a Webquest which delves deeper into the concepts we are learning in that unit.
Science and Social Studies:
During these classes, students often have a choice in how they would like to complete final projects. For instance, at the end of the year students will be choosing extension activities that go along with their state reports. During our ecosystems unit in science, students will use their creativity and problem solving skills to create their own ecosystems with living and non-living things that will need to be adapted to their chosen environment.
During grammar and spelling, students are chosen each day to “be the teacher.” The chosen student leads the class discussion on our Daily Language Instruction. During spelling, students are given a choice of spelling Tic-Tac-Toe activities that will help them learn their given spelling words each week. The spelling class is broken down into a traditional group and a challenge group that are flexible throughout the year.
Ms. Haller, Literacy
In 4th grade Literacy, students are given the opportunity to self-direct many aspects of their learning to connect with and complement our district curriculum. For example:
In reading, students are flexibly grouped based on their reading level as well as specific reading needs. In addition, students use rubrics for reading comprehension letters that allow for choice in what and how they respond to literature of all genres. Once all genres are explored, students are given an opportunity to choose which genre they would like to write about. Students will also explore passion learning projects throughout the year that allow them to investigate topics of their choice. Through technology, students are given the opportunity to read and write about topics of their choice, as well as experiences we have as a class (such as Ameritowne Bitstrips comics, for example…) Students will also work in Literature Circles, using shared chapter book reading as an opportunity to collaboratively explore their reading, taking on responsibilities with their circle that enhance their cognitive and creative abilities. Our interdisciplinary unit on Renewable Energy is yet another opportunity for students to share their love of learning and knowledge through kinesthetic, creative and cognitive avenues. Students “mentor” authors and poets throughout the year, recommending books through book commercials and through their actual creation of work imitating the author or poet.
In writing, students are given the opportunity to use an experiential journal with a menu of choice of activities/writing topics. The journal is a creative release for students as they complete their assignments for the day. Students will create feature articles and poetry books in the fall months that encompass a menu of choice activities of the creative realm, demonstrating their learning in a variety of ways. Through our research unit in the spring, students will be using a “choice” menu once their note taking and summary of their topic is completed, demonstrating their learning in more “hands on” ways. Students will write their own fictional stories in the spring, which will be included in a class book.
During our skills block, students “play the teacher”, using our technology to interactively correct grammar and spelling work. Students will also use a Tic Tac Toe menu to choose a method of study for the mastery of spelling words.
Ms. Harrell, DHH
I teach fourth and fifth grade students with a hearing loss. My students are flexibly grouped throughout the day to allow for differentiated instruction at their individual levels. I accompany several students into Ms. Gravelle’s 4/5 classroom for daily reading and writing instruction. Ms. Gravelle and I plan instruction together. Having an additional teacher during the literacy block allows us to have additional reading groups at different reading levels. It also allows us to provide additional one-on-one reading and writing conferences. I am able to support my students with hearing loss by frequently checking for understanding and re-teaching vocabulary and concepts that are unclear. My homeroom students that need additional literacy support are able to receive this instruction in Mrs. Newman’s classroom.
My students are grouped into three classrooms for math instruction! Some students are in the traditional math class without support from a teacher of the deaf, some students are in a traditional math class with extra support from Mrs. Newman, and some students are in my specialized math classroom. I differentiate instruction by providing extra opportunities for review and practice daily and adjusting the pace of the curriculum. I also teach a reading intervention class that provides instruction for students who need additional phonics support.