Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SPED class: Week 14

Remember when I said that last week was the last week of this class? Well I lied. It's this week. 
Not really much to say about this week. The main thing that we did was work on a case study about a potentially learning challenged child. The main points/objectives for the week were:

  • A sensitivity to the needs of and compassion for those with special needs.
  • A multidisciplinary view of exceptionality, cultural differences, individual and family dynamics, poverty, and abuse
To just sum up my experience in this class I'd just like to say that it was not easy. There were many days when I felt confused with the set-up of the computer software and due dates in the beginning. Overall though the general layout made more sense to me once I got used to it. The group that I got assigned to work with was really good and very beneficial to my learning. My only real beef with this class was that we did a lot of case studies. I do not feel that that was very beneficial to me. I would personally like to have seen more assignments that would teach us about special education, the history of it, and primarily how to teach for it. We had a little bit of that, mostly from the textbook, but I just wish the class was more focused on that. It felt more like it was a giant court case study. I wish there were opportunities to work with children with disabilities.To actually get out in the field and to see how to teach them. I guess mostly it's just trial and error.  

Anyhow, overall an ok class. Online has never been my favorite and it probably never will. Face to face interaction will over trump the latter. Thank you to those 5 people from my class that may or may not be reading this blog post! It's been a pleasure letting you know what I've learned:)

I hope each and every one of you has a very merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a happy New Year!! 

Catch ya on the flip side;P

Saturday, December 10, 2016

SPED class: Week 12

Well hello there! Welcome to the LAST week of SPED 310 blogging! What a wild ride we've had fellow bloggers and readers, am I right?! Well here it is, for the FINAL time:

Spiritual reminder:

"There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do. And so I accepted gladly, knowing that God would provide." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ("The Why of Priesthood Service," general conference, April 2012)

Course objectives for this week:

  1. A sensitivity to the needs of and compassion for those with special needs.
  2. A multidisciplinary view of exceptionality, cultural differences, individual and family dynamics, poverty, and abuse.
I also completed my last simulation report too! This last one was on speech impediments.

Fluency Disorder Simulation (Stuttering):
The two tasks that I decided to do for this activity were: 

  • While stuttering order a book or request help or something else you need with a live person at a help desk or at a service counter.
  • While stuttering ask for help at a store.... and then ask the clerk/sales person 1-2 questions about the item you are shopping for
As you can maybe imagine I received a couple of looks when I stuttered a whole lot. However, I received a lot fewer then I expected. People seemed to be very understanding and even patient of me taking longer to say something. Stuttering is a more common occurrence then other handicaps I feel. I stutter quite a bit already whenever I am anxious or when I am trying to express something with a great level of emotion and my mind gets ahead of my lips and tongue. This simulation was a little easier for me to do because I already do it a little without encouragement. I did the tasks above without much difficulty. I asked for help finding a book, saying my /b/ for about 3 seconds before I said the actual word. I felt more frustration within myself when I felt like I could not adequately express what I was trying to say to someone. When I stutter in real life the same thing occurs. Sometimes I feel the words on the tip of my tongue but I just can't voice them. I have to pause just to let my brain and vocal chords keep in track. It's a bummer really, stuttering. Quite a few people in my family have it too. They have it worse then myself. My father has it especially bad, always has since he was a kid. My grandfather has a very noticeable lisp, which I used to have when I was younger as well. My younger brother couldn't say his r's properly when he was little. My brother went to speech therapy to correct that issue. As for me, I just mostly grew out of it. 
This experience has taught me to learn better patience when speaking with someone. It also helped me to see how patient others are to speech impediments. Way to go society!

Because this is my last post (for this class/forever) I want to wish everyone Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a Happy New Year! Hope this next year brings you all of the love and happiness that you all rightfully deserve:)

xoxo Hayley

SPED class: Week 11

Hidy-ho neighbor!

Welcome to yet another week of SPED 310! I'm going to focus mainly on the two simulations that I did last week (because I'm late in this blog post I actually mean the week of November 28 through December 2, so the week before this past week that we're finishing up today). Also, sorry for the lateness of this blog post:) 

First things first, here are the main topics that we focused on in lesson 12:

  • A sensitivity to the needs of and compassion for those with special needs.
  • A multidisciplinary view of exceptionality, cultural differences, individual and family dynamics, poverty, and abuse.
And the overall lesson focus was:

"There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do. And so I accepted gladly, knowing that God would provide." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ("The Why of Priesthood Service," general conference, April 2012).
Well, now to the simulations, IE, "putting ourselves in the other guys shoes":

Visual Impairment SimulationThe mask that I chose to wear, or I guess the one that was available, was the mask that looked as if it had a fog over it, to simulate problems with the lens (i.e., astigmatism) – causes loss of visual acuity. I felt totally lost most the time. I could not make out any actual faces, just blobs of color that I knew was a person. Unless they were directly in front of me I could not tell what they were wearing or how their hair might be styled. From far away all I saw were masses of moving color. Lights looked like unfocused, glowing orbs and details became impossible to notice. It was like I was walking through a fog. I definitely did not enjoy it. I felt confused when someone was talking, trying to put a blurry face to a name and wondering if maybe they were giving me funny, confused looks too. I can see how this impairment would be an issue in daily life, as well as in the classroom. Our visual perception of the world is a big factor on how we make relationships and help us to solve problems. I can only imagine how complete blindness must set you back a few years in your social growth and cognitive development. Overall though, I found this a very rewarding experience. It helped me to relate more to the difficulties that individuals with this handicap might go through and what I, as teacher, can do to help these students who might have this issue. 

Learning Disability SimulationFor this assignment I chose to do two separate tasks with my "learning disability". 
  • Order a book or request help or something else you need with a live person at help desk or at a service counter.
  • Ask for help at the library. Repeat back part of the directions for help to ensure clarification
When I was doing both tasks the rules were to not use words with an /l/ or an /n/ in it. This task was EXTREMELY difficult. I had to pause and think before I even spoke to word my questions correctly. At first I felt like I had a speech impediment. SO many words have l's and n's in them!
So for the first task I asked for help to find the MC. (I felt like it was safer then asking where the Manwaring Center was per both words have an "n" in them). I simply asked, "Where is the MC?" no l's or n's in sight! Ok, so maybe that was too easy, haha! So I decided to ask for help to find a notebook at the bookstore. I went up to the clerks desk and said, "Hi! Where are the books that you take...(then I paused because no matter what word I thought of it had an /n/ in it). I made the motion of taking notes on my hand. The clerk caught the hint and said, "take notes?" I nodded and said yes. I continued by attempting to describe it, "It has curvy hooks that keep it together. What's that..?" The clerk looked at me like I was an idiot, haha, it wasn't the best experience. I did the motion of a spiral to give the description of a spiral bound notebook. She caught on again, "A spiral notebook?" "Yes", I exclaimed. Then she pointed me in the direction of where they were. I couldn't even say "thanks you because it had an /n/ in it! So to further on my embarrassment I said "merci"! Hahaha! But man, it was kinda funny. I feel though that if I actually had a learning disability, where I just could not find the words, that I would not feel the same towards the situation. The same goes for people who have English as their second language. It must be hard for them to communicate with solely English speaking people.
I had a similar situation for the second scenario as well. I got a lot of weird looks and confusion when I tried to articulate what it was that I was trying to say. This experience made me really appreciate no having this challenge in my life.

I learned quite a bit from doing these simulations. My eyes have more so been open to the difficulties and challenges that occur with these handicaps.

Until next week!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

SPED class: Week 10

This past week was Thanksgiving week. Huzzah! 
I ate SOOOO much food. It was probably the best thing ever:)

Here are the main points that I learned this week:

  1. A sensitivity to the needs of and compassion for those with special needs.
  2. A multidisciplinary view of exceptionality, cultural differences, individual and family dynamics, poverty, and abuse.

Going off of that we learned a lot about reading strategies this week. I found it quite helpful. Here's just a few of the strategies that I learned that I found the most helpful:

  • Teaching independent learning strategies
    • Select successful strategies
      1. Decide whether individual, small or large-group problem
      2. Assess current strategy usage
        • Begins with an assessment of how well your students can currently perform a skill
      3. Clarify expectations
        • Has the potential of empowering your students because they enable them to learn and succeed in and out of school on their own, without getting too much help from others
      4. Demonstrate strategy use
        • Carefully explain the process
        • Present both positive and negative examples
        • Ask frequent questions to monitor student understanding
      5. Encourage students to memorize strategy steps
      6. Provide guided and independent practice 
      7. Administer post-tests
        • If more than 20% still need extra help--->small/large group

Hope you have a WONDERFUL week!! The semester/year is almost done! Hang in there!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

SPED class: Week 9

Welp, here it is. The creme de la creme. The most perfect of perfect of perfect. The greatest blog post EVERRRR!!!! 

Ok, just kidding. This is just another post on what I have learned this past week in my special education class. For your viewing pleasure:

  • Characteristics
    • Social relationships
    • Communication
    • Students interests
    • Student stress
    • Learning needs and rate
    • Maintenance of learned skills
    • Generalization of learning
  • Instructional supports
    • Responding to behavior
    • Fostering social interactions 
    • Communicating with students
    • Match expectations to instruction
    • Collaborate with families
    • Enlist natural support systems
    • Access assistive technology

  • Accommodations when teaching subject-area content
    • Organizing content
    • Activating background knowledge
    • Teaching terms and concepts
    • Communicating clearly
  • Accommodations with special needs in basic skills instruction
    • Teaching preskills 
    • Selecting and sequencing
    • Rate of instruction of new skills
    • Providing direct instruction and opportunities for practice and review
That's allllllll folks!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

SPED class: Week 8

Bonjour people of cyberspace!

This past week was one for the books. Not because of this class however. It was pretty interesting in different regards. But that story is for another time and another place. Here's the lovely bullet pointed summary of what I learned:

    • As future teachers we will sometimes see students who come from very diverse backgrounds. 
    • We need to remember that every student is special and is worth the love and care that our Heavenly Father would show them. 
  • Brain Plasticity--->the ability to mold the brain
    • Supply elements to a child's brain when they are young to help with brain plasticity
    •  Can increase...
      • Academic Performance
      • Economic opportunity
      • Health
      • Resiliency
      • Capacity to navigate life
  • 1/3 of the worlds children never reach their full potential
  • Children that are stimulated in their brain from a younger age show better educational, emotional and social growth. 
  • Negative stress on the brain that restricts brain development:
    • Toxic Stress--no buffer for stress, continuous high level of stress
    • Positive Stress--supportive relationship, social network helps them fail well and built up resilience 
    • Extraordinary Stress--tolerable stress (if love is provided) 
    • SWIFT--advances equity and excellence for ALL through the promotion of five core domain areas to support grade level academic and social learning:
      • Family and community partnership
      • Inclusive education framework
      • Inclusive policy structure and practice 
      • Muti-tiered systems of support
      • Administrative learning


Monday, November 7, 2016

SPED class: Week 7

Hello fellow educators!

Welcome to week 7 of SPED310!! WOOOO!!

Here's what I learned this past week. Sorry for the smaller quantity of it. This past week was H-E-double hockey sticks. Stress was coming at me from every angle. Oh joy...anyway, here's what I learned, for your viewing pleasure:

  • INCLUDE strategy
    • Universal design
      • A compatible design for everyone in the classroom, including for those children with special needs.
    • Differentiated design
      • A variety of teaching and learning strategies that are necessary to meet the range of needs evident in any given classroom
    • Steps for INCLUDE strategy:
      1. Identify classroom demands
      2. Note students learning strengths and needs
      3. Check for potential areas of student success
      4. Look for potential problem areas
      5. Use information to brainstorm ways to differentiate instruction
      6. Differentiate instruction
      7. Evaluate student progress
Some questions that I wondered about were:

  • "How can you group all of your students for instruction in inclusive classrooms?"
  • "How is an inclusive classroom managed?"
  • "How can you evaluate instructional materials for inclusive classrooms?"
Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

SPED class: Week 6

Goooooooooood afternoon bloggers!

This week in the always exciting Special Education class of mine we learned about addressing special education students needs in the classroom. Some of the main points I gathered from the reading were:
  • Tests
    • psychological tests
    • individually administered tests
    • group administered tests
    • alternate assessments
    • high-stakes achievement tests
    • standardized achievement tests
    • curriculum-based assessment
  • Curriculum placement--involves deciding at what level to begin instruction for students
Response to intervention-->Multi-disciplinary team meeting-->Assessment-->Multi-disciplinary meeting-->IEP meeting

As always we try to focus on Christ-like love in this class and what the Savior would do in all of these situations. God, the eternal father, is the ultimate judge of us. 

Thanks for ya' time folks!
Have a splendid week:)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

SPED class: Week 5

Hello again everyone!

So this week I read a lot about collaboration and inclusion.
Collaboration is incredibly important to future teachers. As we continue on in our educational pursuits, it is important to always make connections with other people in the community. Collaborating with your fellow teachers really helps to create a better base for the students. When the teachers collaborate together they share their ideas and opinions with each other to better compile their thoughts. This in turn will help the students because the teachers can better prepare together on how to teach their students

I also did a simulation this week where I had to use a wheelchair for two and a half hours. I had to perform many tasks while in the chair. Some of the experiences that I had to do was that I had to push myself up and down a hill, use the bathroom, and make my way around without assistance. It was all very challenging. It took a lot of arm strength for sure, that was the first thing I noticed. Also, getting into the bathroom stall was nearly impossible. There is a small lift in the ground when you try to get through the door that I literally had to pull myself in through. The same thing was in front of another door that I had to cross through. It was terribly difficult to get through them in a wheelchair. Using the bathroom was also impossible. I could hardly transfer myself from the chair to the toilet. I don't know how it is done but it definitely takes a skill. Getting up the hill was equally as difficult. Using the elevator was easy though. 

What I got from this experience was using a wheelchair is difficult and now I can only slightly relate to just some of the daily struggles that come with this handicap. It was definitely an eye opener.

Until next time class! 


Saturday, October 15, 2016

SPED class: Week 4

Hello and good day readers! Welcome to week 4!

This week our focus was on special education law! 
I want to focus primarily on the history of special education however because it was just the most interesting part of this week's lesson. Here are the brief main points that I gathered:

  • Before 1800--->1950
    • Special needs cases were a sort of Agrarian society
    • People were locked up at home if the were mentally ill
    • Placed in poor houses or abandoned on the streets sometimes
    • Towns would even cart the disabled to neighboring towns to get rid of them. 
  • Rise of institutions
    • Separation into groups
      • Blind & deaf training schools--->Created to train or correct or "cure" problems with mentally handicapped people
    • Asylums
      • Was seen as a level of protection from others who might do them harm or be overly critical of them, as well as for others to be safe from them as well
    • Deinstitutionalized
      • Driven by law suits
      • Care for & process of how varied from state to state
      • Sometimes people after leaving the institutions were placed in group homes
      • Some stayed in shelters and community facilities
      • Many were left out on the streets and eventually became homeless

Here are just some of the many points that I gathered from this week. Hopefully you learned something new:)
Have a splendid week!! Stay sane!!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

SPED class: Week 3

Helloooooooo people of cyber space and beyond!!

Welcome to another week of my thoughts on special education! Exciting stuff right?! I know.

This past week I learned about IEP's or 'Individualized Education Program'. It's a written statement of the educational program best designed to meet a child's individual needs. We read specifically on IEP's for everyone and the benefits of it. Every child who receives special education services MUST have an IEP. IEP's have multiple team members and contributors who work together to create the best program for the students to achieve maximum benefits and learning from the program. These team members include:

  • Parents
  • General education teacher
  • Administrator
  • Special education team 
  • School psychologist
 IEP's also include many different aspects to help to meet the needs of the child such as: 

  • Related services
  • Goals
  • Child's strengths
  • Child's needs
  • Child's present level of performance
I also learned more about special needs education/schooling. I learned that for most of history, public schools were allowed to exclude students with special needs from their classrooms. Some were even sent to centralized institutions depending on the severity of their mental illness. There were quite a few that had little to no access to education outside of the home. Luckily, during the 1960's, federal legislature began to finally protect the educational rights of children. Special needs education also links to the I.D.E.A (Individuals with disabilities education improvement act) as well as F.A.P.E (Free appropriate public education).

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

SPED class: Week 2

Hello and welcome to week two of my special education learning experience!

This week we read chapter one of the book entitled, Including Students with Special Needs: A Classroom Guide for Classroom Teachers. In the first chapter of this book it really focused on what special education was and the different components that comprise it such as specially designed instruction, or SDI for one. The book spoke that SDI is tailored to meet the individual needs of the student with a disability. The student is closely monitored and their progress is documented to see if they can be eligible for SDI.

The other two components of special education are related services, or assistance beyond academic instruction that enables students to benefit from special education, and supplementary aids and services, or a broad array of supports that enable students with disabilities to participate in general education, extracurricular activities, and other school settings so that they can be educated with peers who do not have disabilities.

The underlying theme that I received from this reading was very impactful to me. As I read this chapter I noticed that besides talking about all the ways that we can help and to teach those with special needs, it is more important to treat them equally. I feel like a lot of times we treat those who have a disability differently than others who could be deemed as "fully functioning". Relating to religion here for a moment I feel that we need to come see these elect individuals as chosen sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. So many times when I meet these individuals I feel such a contentment emanate from them. They just ooze innocence and a lack of corruption. I feel that as current or future parents we need to learn to see these children (and adults) as something more then just a person with an illness. We need to look past the imperfections and to see the inner child of God. We need to have more Christ-like love and respect towards those different from us.

See ya!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

SPED class: Week 1

Hellooooo fellow bloggers and blog lovers!

So, I am starting a new class that requires me to post weekly entries on what I have learned. The class is a special education class and focuses on these exceptional students.

This past week I watched a few conference talks that spoke on loving everyone as God’s children no matter their handicap. The talks focused on acceptance and love. I loved these talks! The main points that I gathered from these talks were:

  • Afflictions can come to anyone
  • Never ridicule
  •  Perceptions and assumptions can ruin chances
  • Mortal life is temporary and, measured against eternity, infinitesimally
  • Always have hope for the lost; those who are different, weary, and have strayed
  • Treat everyone with respect and honor

A quote that really hit me from the talks was, “Sometimes those who start out the slowest end up going the furthest.” This quote really hit me because sometimes things in life don’t happen when you want them too. Sometimes road blocks get in the way and block you or someone you love with a huge struggle or barrier, but even if things in your life don’t go according to plan, there can still be joy in the journey. Even if your car breaks down and you have to walk the path, making it feel achingly slow, you’ll still get there. Even with a disability slowing you down, whether physical or mental, you can still make a life for yourself and end up going further then you ever could have imagined.

I hope everyone has a great week!!