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Aug 4

As a special educator, I learned about ABC (antecedent conditions, behavior, consequences). When you describe a teacher anticipating what may happen, you recognize that a teacher who can determine what the triggers are that cause the impulsivity has a “leg up.” I believe that anticipation requires careful observation of a student within the classroom context. Then you can determine how to modify the antecedents. By doing so, you will short circuit the impulsive behavior. I have seen teachers successfully teach students to use a meta-cognitive checklist (sometimes with visuals).

profile_photo
Aug 3

I think posing problems and questioning students is the perfect way for teachers to reassure that they’re re students are learning. When they’re asked to show their evidence to prove their source is accurate, it shows that they’re not just answering questions to complete a task but that they’re critical thinkers as well.

profile_photo
Aug 3

I think managing impulsivity is certainly one of the toughest challenges when it comes to teaching students. Students often act before they think which forces teachers to come up with solutions beforehand in advanced. Because teachers can anticipate what might happen with certain students, they have to condition them to think a certain way before any conflicts arises

profile_photo
Aug 3

However, it was very small (about 200 kids) and teachers (including specials, paraprofessionals, special ed and intervention teachers, and counselors) collaborated across grades so they got to know kids over time. There was a lot of time for staff collaboration. They were very creative about scheduling and dividing classes for music, art and movement to allow for small group work and support.

Beyond that, I think the progressive curriculum and pedagogy was crucial for allowing this attention. The curriculum was emergent and inquiry-based. The center of every day was a 2 hour block of “work time” in which kids chose their activity area and developed their own projects and interests. Because students were directing their learning in so many ways, this allowed teachers to spend a lot of time observing. Literacy was woven through this work time as kids kept work time journals. There was a lot of focus on social-emotional growth, which yields big dividends as kids get older and are able to take more responsibility for their work. The school had an 80% opt-out rate from the standardized tests, which also freed teachers from having to “teach to the test” and there was a lot of buy-in to alternative assessments and a more holistic understanding of the child.

I think all of this helped. But it IS very challenging still to do all this with the large class sizes and small budgets of a public school. It’s really made possible by a teaching staff and parent body that is committed to the model. But for it to really scale system-wide, I do think it would require smaller class sizes and far more professional support than teachers usually receive. These are the kinds of schools rich families choose for their own children, but then they tell us that the rest of us needs skills-driven, test-driven, “no-excuses” schools. I agree that every child deserves this amount of attention and to be treated as an individual rather than a product to which we are expected to “add value”.

profile_photo
Aug 2

Many students I’ve either worked with or observed from a distance are severally effected by not having their father in their life. Sometimes theres often no male figure in their household or in their environment at all. This can certainly have an impact on a child’s behavior and who they choose to hang around.

profile_photo
Aug 2

This scenario reminds me of some of the students at the school where I currently work at. A lot of times students who might be struggling in the academic content areas such as English, Math, History, Social Studies, and Science for example usually excel in the arts. The art courses for some students might give them a mental brake or outlet from the other classes

profile_photo
Aug 2
on Jacob

I think this is a great call out. Jacob must learn to have organization skills immediately so this does not affect him negatively in school or in adulthood. I do think this relates to his forgetfulness and attention span mentioned earlier. Perhaps, giving him a to do list could help him be more organized.

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Aug 2
on Tiffany

But this can be really challenging when the demands begin to exceed that ability to compensate because it’s even more damaging to the sense of self.

profile_photo
Aug 2

Description of the child is very essential because teachers use observation to share updates on the child’s progress while also addressing any thoughts or questions from parents. It assists educators in better understanding why a child may exhibit challenging behaviors.

profile_photo
Aug 2
on Jacob

I would agree, that with children who have trouble with attention span it is best to give them only one task at a time to avoid them becoming distracted or lose train of thought in the process of a task

profile_photo
Aug 2
This is one of the important parts that I missed when I was a student. As a future teacher, the connection with my student’s parents is an important key in education. One thing that I want to work with my host teacher is that relationship and creating an environment to be able to let parents be able to talk with us about their child.
profile_photo
Aug 2
on George

This doesn’t follow the template of the descriptive review process and I think it really suffers as a result. It feels a little like someone is describing a file rather than a person. I’m not clear on why he doesn’t have an IEP. I’m also not clear why he’s already planned to go to a transfer school and whether there’s been full exploration of potential transfer schools. He’s a younger student for a transfer student and there are many places that are smaller and I imagine could provide more support. I’m thinking of places like Urban Academy, Arturo Schomburg Satellite, or City-as-School. All seem like a more appropriate option for a kid who shows strong interest in learning but needs more hands-on support – both academic and social-emotional. It’s hard not to read this and feel like the system has just kind of given up on him.

profile_photo
Aug 2

Is this a private school? How many children per class?

This underscores the difference between the “haves” and the “have nots.” EVERY child deserves this amount of attention.

profile_photo
Aug 2

I think this is something that is very overlooked in a class setting and often underestimated. Understanding your students social skills, and whether their skills hinder or enhance their learning experience is important. I believe this will also help to create lessons that include more engagement to help the students learn to work collaboratively and engage with others as a part of their learning. Through observation, you can also attempt to understand why the student is able to or unable to build on relationships in class and ultimately work with parents to better support the students, with additional info.

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Aug 2

If we think about the “typical” IEP conference, 90 minutes is not unusual. Maybe what this protocol reminds us to consider is that all children may need the equivalent of an individualized education plan.

profile_photo
Aug 2

I agree with the idea that first educators need to know their students before trying to solve any problem. I observed that some teachers put a name on their students without knowing them, or why their behavior is like that. I believe in a restorative circle as a way to talk and to create that relationship with our students, educators, parents, where we give the possibility to our students to express themselves. In this way, we learn about their needs.

profile_photo
Aug 2

During most of my fieldwork observations I constantly saw the process teachers used actually providing a full descriptive review of each child. Each parent is given an individual narrative of their child interest and strengths as well as what need to be improved on. Teachers taking the time to build upon each individual characteristics of students they worked with and not a general blank report card.

profile_photo
Aug 2

I think being aware and recognizing the relationship that Ej has with both other children and adults is crucial and can have a significant impact in his learning. Constantly being overwhelmed can prevent a student from being able to focus and take in the new information that’s being taught.

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Aug 2

I believe making deep observations based on the students gestures and presence in the classroom can be helpful when trying to understand the student as a person. This may gave indications to the teacher on the students enthusiasm or look of, in the class, as well as their understanding or comfort in the particular setting. Body language can help one learn what is on the students mind that they are not verbally sharing.

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Aug 2

What good is the knowledge of what a particular concept means if it is not accompanied with the understanding of how to put it to use? This should shape our assessment practices in that our focus should be to see if the knowledge acquired is able to be applied effectively and if not, provide the support necessary.

profile_photo
Aug 2

I love how students who probably thought they would only be learning how to properly code and debug through Scratch were able to leave with much more than that. What we teach our students should not just serve one purpose or solely edify one area of their identity, but encompass many areas.

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Aug 2

Intially, computational thinking sounded a bit intimidating for me because I was not sure if I was going to be able to do so effectively paritally, because I was unaware of what it entailed. I had failed to realize that we all computational think as we engage in different activites. This motivates me to encourage my students to not limit themselves to what they might think before trying to acquire a new skill. While they may feel like they do not know how do it, it could be that they have already mastered it.

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Aug 2
on Jane

Just as high-stakes testing is an inaccurate measurement of our students, I think high-stakes evaluations of teachers inhibit the kind of vulnerability and openness that are central to this process—and are the basis for genuine growth.

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Aug 2
on Jane

I think this can make it challenging to understand when children have different learning needs or challenges. I also think it can make us tend to “just try harder” to get kids to understand what we “know works” because it worked for us. But just because it worked for us, or for other kids we’ve taught, doesn’t mean it will work for every student. Sometimes we have to let go of what “we know” and try to learn from the kids themselves. I see this as one of the greatest values of the descriptive review process. I think it leads naturally towards this kind of work. I really appreciate this teacher’s openness to self-reflection.

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Aug 2
on Jane

This could cause intense frustration because she doesn’t have the ability to fully express herself in those mediums. I think it would be important to find ways to continue stimulating her intellectual development and creating ways for her to continue developing her oral literacy skills while scaffolding her reading and writing to gradually catch up. I think a big danger is to “dumb down” material to the existing level of her reading and writing skills. This can cause disengagement and frustration. Instead, the challenge is to scaffold and find adaptations that can meet her at her intellectual level despite the lagging skills. Some ideas might be: using audio books (mentioned elsewhere as effective); a scribe or voice-to-text program; multimodal literacy projects and opportunities for using visual or other multimedia forms for demonstrating understanding; ample opportunity for classroom discussion in which Jane can use her strong vocabulary and verbal language students to be a leader amongst her peers.

profile_photo
Aug 2
on Amy

I think it’s important to both validate the parents’ observations and to not assume that there is something wrong with the home environment that is creating the challenging behavior. Equally important is to use this information to try to look beneath the good behavior to find the expectations or challenges that the child might be struggling with at school.

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