About Kristina Wyatt

Kristina is an Elementary Education student at Baker College. Her love for children begins with her own four little ones: Roxie, Eden, Robbie, and Vanna. When she is not focused on her studies or spending time with her family, she loves photography, graphic design, and web development.

Fraction Story: Determining Importance

This lesson is part of a thematic unit on integrating literacy into mathematics.  The topic is fractions.

Title of Lesson

Fraction Story: Determining Importance

Course

Third Grade Math
Math: Fractions
Literacy: Determining Importance

Standard(s)

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.1           Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2           Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4           Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

Objectives

I can determine what information is important in text.

I can show and understand that fractions represent equal parts of a whole, where the top number is the part and the bottom number is the total number of parts in the whole.

I can recognize and write fractions and explain what they mean using words or models.

 

Materials

Pencils
Hilighters
Worksheets (included below)
Whiteboards/Markers
Reference for determining importance in math word problems

Essential Question(s):

How can we determine what information is important in a story problem?
How can we visualize a fraction?
How can we show what a fraction is without using numbers?
How can we show what a fraction represents?

Inclusion Activity

5-10 minutes

Discuss the following:
When we are reading a text, what is a detail?
What is a big idea?
How do we determine what is important in a text as we read?

This is the overviewing step.

The goal is to ensure students can recognize the difference between details and the big idea, or general understanding of the text.  Use previous concepts to discuss the importance of details: for example, how we use details to visualize what we are reading.

Allow students to offer their ideas via an open discussion and help cement a firm understanding of what to look for in “important details” in text.

Discuss with the students how, when it comes to story problems, important details are the ones that will help us answer the question.  Those are the details we need to find as we begin our activity.

 

Sequence of Activities

Give each student a worksheet.

Worksheet includes the following scenarios:

Determining Importance: Fraction Story Problems

  1. Captain Bob wanted to see the world! He decided to go on a long journey, sailing from one end of the earth to the other.  One sunny day, Captain Bob boarded a plane.  He traveled ¼ of the journey by plane.  Next, he boarded a boat.  He journeyed the rest of the way by boat.  What fraction of the journey does Captain Bob travel by boat?  Which mode of transportation was longer?

  2. Captain Bob had a lot of free time while on his boat! There are two things Captain Bob likes to do best: swim and watch TV.  Whilst on the boat, Captain Bob spent 3/8 of his free time watching TV.  Soon, he grew board watching all those shows.  He decided to swim, instead!  What fraction of Captain Bob’s free time did he spend swimming?  What did he spend more time doing?

  3. Captain Bob liked the food better on the plane than he did on the boat. For example, there were so many different kinds of drinks to choose from!  Captain Bob likes to blend his favorite kinds of juice.  His favorite drink has 2/5 orange juice.  He also adds cranberry juice.  What fraction of Captain Bob’s drink is cranberry juice?  What juice did his drink consist more of?

  4. Captain Bob didn’t want to be lonely on his journey. He decided to invite his friends along for the fun!  7/10 of his friends joined him on the plane.  The rest of his friends were afraid to fly, so they chose to take the boat.  What fraction of Captain Bob’s friends were on the boat?  Which mode of transportation had more friends?

  5. Captain Bob was pretty lazy during his journey. With all that spare time, he didn’t have much to do!  However, Captain Bob loves to sleep.  He spent 2/9 of his time sleeping on the plane.  What fraction did Captain Bob stay awake?  What did he do more: sleep or stay awake?

  1. Work together on problem #1. Read the story problem aloud, or have the student read it aloud.  Using a highlighter, have students suggest what they believe are important details in the story problem.  As the students make their suggestions, be sure to ask them if the idea they are highlighting helps them to solve the problem.  Also, discuss why certain details are not important to solving the problem. For example: the sky being blue does not help us determine any part of a fraction.
    Optional: print only one word problem per sheet or half sheet and distribute one per student.  That way, they cannot see their fellow students’ problems.

 

  1. Once you see the students are comfortable picking out important details, assign one question per student. The questions will have extra details that are not all pertinent to answering the question.  This is the overviewing step: students will want to read through their word problems, skimming for important words, sentences, and ideas.  Allow them time to work on them individually, highlighting the important details they believe will help them solve the problem.  Remind them as they work to think of what they already know (prior knowledge) to guide them in choosing the right details.
  2. Once the students feel as though they have thoroughly read and reviewed their word problems, have them highlight the ideas. Inform students to be prepared to explain why they chose those details: this is the self-assess step.
  3. One by one, students will share their word problems. The students will only share the details from their word problems that they found important.  They will not share the other details/sentences of the word problem.  Listening students will use their whiteboards and the information read to them to solve the problem on their own.  If the students cannot solve their problems, use the compare and revise stage to assess the interpretation of important details and revise as needed.  Students should openly discuss if there was enough information to solve the problem, what information was missing if they could not solve the problem, and etc.
    Important: where necessary, give students any missing information so that they may solve the problems to completion.

 

Instructional Strategies

Learning groups/cooperative learning
Group discussion/brainstorming

Assessment

Formative: Listening to students offer their understanding of the concepts.  Review responses on worksheets.

Summative:  Topic test

Differentiation

ELL: Provide full worksheets of all problems.

ELL: Allow students to verbalize their understanding, their important ideas, and/or the way they solve their problems.

ELL: Allow students to use the whiteboards to draw their understanding and/or show their problem-solving.

Summary, Integration, and Reflection

Discussing as a team what parts of each story problem were important and why.  It is also important to discuss which parts of the story problems were unnecessary to solving the problem, as in, which were unimportant details.

 

By |April 11th, 2019|3rd Grade, Math|

Fraction Story: Connecting to Text

This lesson is part of a thematic unit on integrating literacy into mathematics.  The topic is fractions.

Title of Lesson

Fraction Story: Connecting to Text

Course

Third Grade Math

Fractions

Standard(s)

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.1           Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2           Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4           Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

Objectives

I can: connect math concepts to something in my own life experience.

I can: connect math concepts to other match concepts I have learned or used before.

I can: connect math concepts to something that is occurring or has occurred in the world.

Materials

Device
YouTube: My Half Day read aloud
“Making Math Connections” worksheets (created by Kristina Wyatt, included below)
Pencils

Essential Question(s):

What text-to-self?  What is math-to-self?
What is text-to-text?  What is math-to-math?
What is text-to-world?  What is math-to-world?

Inclusion Activity

5-10 minutes

Prepare students for a conversion of the “text-to-_____” concept to “math-to-_____” concept.  Discuss what text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world means, respectively, and have each student provide an example.  This lesson relies on students’ prior knowledge of text-to-____ concepts.

Tell a short story (preferably containing fraction concepts for this lesson) or conduct a short read-aloud to encourage thinking.

Example:  Tell a story about grocery shopping and buying five out of the ten apples available in the produce section.  Elaborate as needed until students can produce “text-to-_____” examples of their own.

If students continue to struggle, model your own examples.

Once comfortable with the “text-to-_____” foundation, discuss how we can alter the strategy to be “math-to-_____” instead (using self/math/world).  Review the worksheet which gives definitions for “math-to-_____” connections.  Model examples of each from the same fraction story.

 

Sequence of Activities

Distribute the Making Math Connections Worksheet.

Either with individual devices or one central device, show the video My Half Day read aloud.  This is a fraction story with several examples of fractions throughout.

Since this lesson will be used for a small group, pause after each page to allow students to offer any “text-to-_____” examples they come across.  Have students share and record the examples in their worksheets (optional: if students are struggling, have them record all working examples.  If students are comfortable, have them record only their own).  Teacher: be sure to contribute your own  examples as well.

Continue through the story.  Once completed, replay the story one more time without pausing so students can write down any other examples they may have missed or need clarifying.

Instructional Strategies

Literacy strategy: connecting to text
Learning groups/cooperative learning
Group discussion/brainstorming

Assessment

Formative: Listening to students offer examples of connections during the inclusion activity as well as throughout the read-aloud.  Reviewing responses on worksheets.

Summative:  Topic test

Differentiation

Inclusion activity: teacher model examples or offer written examples.

Provide a script from the read-aloud.

Have students record all connections made on the worksheet, and not just their own.

ELL: Allow students to draw their connections or speak them into a recorder.

ELL: Provide advance notes, script, examples, etc. for them to review prior to the activity.

 

Summary, Integration, and Reflection

Students openly discuss the connections they made.  If connections did not meet the criteria, we discussed why/why not and, in some cases, adjusted them so that they did meet criteria.

Making Math Connections Worksheet
(created by Kristina Wyatt)making connections (Fractions)

 

 

By |April 11th, 2019|3rd Grade, Math|

Fraction Story: Vocabulary

This lesson is part of a thematic unit on integrating literacy into mathematics.  The topic is fractions.

Title of Lesson

Fraction Story: Vocabulary

Course

Third Grade Math

Fractions

Standard(s)

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.1           Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2           Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4           Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

Objectives

I can: show and understand that fractions represent equal parts of a whole, where the top number is the part and the bottom number is the total number of parts in the whole.

I can: recognize and write simple fractions and explain their components using words.

Materials

Device
Quizlet.com or flashcards
Headphones or ear plugs
Paper and pencil
Math textbook
Diagram printout

Essential Question(s):

What are different types of fractions?
How are fractions used in our daily lives?

Inclusion Activity

5-10 minutes

This is our first lesson, so begin the activity by telling the students: “We will be working together over the next several weeks.  Our mini lessons are going to revolve around fractions and writing a fraction story.  But first, I need your help!  I need you to teach me what you know about fractions.”

Provide the diagram I have created (attached below) for a visual that the students can write on.  Each vocabulary word is depicted, so that the students may label the diagram with the correct terms.  (Optional: provide a word bank if the students miss any of the terms depicted).

As they work through the diagram, have the students compile a vocabulary list of terms relating to fractions that will be inputted into digital flashcards.  Discuss terms and their definitions, what they look like, and how they are used.  Have a math textbook on hand (or use the teacher’s provided anchor chart) to reference, just in case.

Using a device such as a laptop to access quizlet.com, enter the terms as they come up with them, including their definitions.  Be sure to guide them when necessary, as your premade cards will be sure to differ from their definitions (you don’t want them to be too different, but it is expected and good that wording varies slightly.  This will encourage complex thinking for literacy).

Sequence of Activities

Prepare: Using Quizlet.com, prepare two sets of flashcards ahead of time.  You should have three rounds total, including the terms the students define on their own:

  • Definitions (with term as the answer)
  • Picture (with term as the answer)
  • Terms (with definition as the answer)

Also prepare a couple of tie-breaker cards that are number line questions (adapted to fit Mrs. Lang’s current lessons revolving around number lines).  Show a series of fractions on a number line with one highlighted to be guessed.

Be sure to have students turn in their diagrams momentarily before they start the game.

Activity (15-20 minutes): Divide into equal numbered teams.  Explain that the object of the game is to get as many flashcards correct.  The opposite team should wear headphones to make it fair (or ear plugs if headphones are not on hand).

Use a number line flashcard to choose who goes first (whoever raises their hand/gets it correct first).  Each team should then choose the order in which they’ll answer.  One student per turn gets to answer, in order.  Pace should be quick.  Teacher should keep tally of correct answers.

First round: Begin with the definition cards, where the definition is given and the students must guess the term.  Explain that the definitions may differ from what they’ve come up with, but the meaning should be the same – another way of describing the same term (literacy differentiation).  Once the round is complete,

Second round: Test using the term cards.  The students should be able to give a basic definition that does not have to match word-for-word with the given definition on the back of the cards.

Third round: Test using the picture cards.  For example: the numerator flashcard should have a fraction on the front with the numerator circled.  The students should identify that the answer is numerator.

If a tie-breaker is necessary, use the number line cards.

Optional: provide a prize or incentive for the winning team.  Or, for every correct answer (countable by your tally), give a piece of candy or one eraser from the dollar store bags of miniature erasers, etc.

Wrap-up (5 minutes):  Discuss with students the challenges of the game.  Was it difficult defining given terms?  What did they notice between my definitions and theirs?  Were there any words that stuck out to them and helps them to remember?  Which terms were the most difficult to remember?  Which method (of the three rounds) worked best for them?  (Compare and contrast the number right for each round).   Also, be sure to ask the students what they liked about the game and what they thought could be done differently.

Instructional Strategies

Learning groups/cooperative learning

Group discussion/brainstorming

Assessment

Formative: Guiding the students through the Inclusion Activity where they define the terms.  Observe responses (ensure that each student has a chance to define 1-2 terms, respectively).

Summative:  Topic test

Differentiation

Variation in the number of terms allows for struggling and/or advanced learners.

Omit more difficult rounds.

Adding multiple choice answers to the flashcards.

Allowing students to work together to come up with answers.

Summary, Integration, and Reflection

Discussing as a team what worked and what didn’t work is a great way to reflect on the activities.  Also, allowing students to make their own flashcards based on what you came up with together in the Inclusion Activity can and should be done, to be helpful for future lessons.

Vocabulary

Number line
Fraction (proper fraction)
Numerator
Denominator
Improper fraction
Whole number
Mixed fraction
Equivalent fraction
Unit fraction
Part
Share

fraction number line

By |April 11th, 2019|3rd Grade, Math|

Days, Weeks, and Months of the Year (1st grade lesson plan)

This History lesson is an ongoing study of the days, weeks, and months of a year.  Students will gain an understanding of how many days, weeks and months are in a year and what their respective names are.  This lesson can be conducted daily to achieve memorization, and includes a calendar for each student to track the days of the year.

Title of Lesson

Days, Weeks, and Months of the Year

Course

First Grade History

Living and Working Together in Families and Schools

Standard(s)

1 – H2.0.2            Use a calendar to distinguish among days, weeks, and months.

Objectives

I can: Identify the days, weeks, and months in a year. (Bloom’s: Understand, Repetition)

Materials

Yearly calendar that includes days, weeks, and months; calendar printout for each student (image attached below);

Songs (Youtube):
Days of the Week Song
Months of the Year Song

Essential Question(s):

How many days are in a week? (7)

How many weeks are in a year? (52)

How many months are in a year? (12)

Inclusion Activity

Watch the following videos in order of teaching:

How many days are in a week?
Days of the Week Song

How many months are in a year?
Months of the Year Song

Sequence of Activities

  1. Review these songs often: these can be reviewed daily for repetition and memorization.
  2. Show a large yearly calendar to the class and distribute printouts of the yearly calendar to each student. These should be kept in their daily folders (or something that they use every day).
  3. After the Days of the Week song, ask students how many days there are in a week.
    1. Have students count the days in a week, then recite (choral, led by teacher) the day names. As memorization progresses, students will recite on their own.
    2. Discuss the abbreviation of each day name (MTWTFSS) and, as a class, spell them out on their papers together.
  4. Have students count how many weeks are in a year. Each line is a week – teacher should lead the counting.
  5. View the Months of the Year song.
    1. Have students count how many months are in a year. Have students recite (choral, led by teacher) the month names.  As memorization progresses, students will recite on their own.
  6. Have students mark off each day on the calendar as the year progresses.
  7. Extension activity: each day when students mark off the day, write the date on the board to practice writing it correctly. Have students refer to the calendar for proper form and spelling.  As the year progresses, they will memorize the form and begin to tell the teacher what to write.  For example: Monday, January 2, 2017.
    1. Summative assessment: as the year progresses, students can write this date on their papers to apply their learning. Teacher can leave the date written on the board for reference.
  8. Extension activity: have students number the weeks (52) and months (12). On Mondays of each week, ask the students what number week and what number month we are in.

Instructional Strategies

Visual instruction (writing on whiteboard, viewing calendars)

Large group (teacher-class)

Assessment

Formative: Encourage all students to contribute to the discussion.  Choral recitation will ensure student memorization, and teacher can assess who is not participating in the choral recitation simply by viewing students’ participation.

Summative:  Students’ completion of marking their maps.  Students’ writing of the date on their worksheets throughout the day.

Differentiation

Students who struggle with these concepts or may require reminding of classroom rules might need reinforcement and reminding (such as those with IEPs or 504s).

If students are not memorizing, take time to work individually or have them work with partners.  They can practice singing, repeating line by line, the songs provided.

Teacher can lead the calendar markings so that students can watch what to do before they do it.  Other students may go ahead and do it on their own.

Summary, Integration, and Reflection

Daily integration of this activity will ensure memorization and understanding of the concept.  At the beginning of the year this should be teacher-led and conducted as a quick class activity.  By mid- to end-of-year, students should be able to do this individually without much reference.

yearly calendar

 

By |December 11th, 2017|1st Grade, History|

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Recognizing Delays, Implementing Adaptations, and Fostering Inclusion in the Classroom

Image credit: www.alumnus.msstate.edu

Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is used as an umbrella term to cover four disorders or range of disorders.  Included under the ASD umbrella are autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and childhood disintegrative disorder (Research Autism, 2016).  ASD is referred to as a “spectrum” because of the “wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD” (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, n.d.).  ASD can present differently from person to person and in a variety of ways.  While some diagnosed with ASD may show severe developmental delays, others may show average or above average intelligence and even giftedness.  However, ASD primarily displays as qualitative impairments in three areas: social interaction, communication, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior (Doorlag & Lewis, 2011).  There are a number of ways to consider these impairments in order to differentiate instruction, provide accommodations in the classroom, and aid in student success academically, socially, and communicatively.

Students with ASD often struggle socially.  Reciprocity in social interaction is challenging and may be difficult, confusing, or uncomfortable for ASD students.  This delay is often presented as a lack of joint attention, inability to comprehend social cues, poor or absence of eye contact, limited or lack of interaction with others, difficulty reading facial expressions and body language, and more.  Social interaction should be encouraged in the classroom and can be done so in several ways.  First and foremost, a full inclusion environment is highly beneficial and preferred for ASD students whenever and wherever possible.  Immersion in the classroom with neuro-typical peers offer ASD students the opportunity to gain influence as well as observe and participate in social structure.  Keeping the ASD student in a central location in the classroom is best, so as maintain social immersion as well as to prevent ASD students from distraction or deterring themselves from peer interaction (Doorlag & Lewis, 2011).  ASD students should be encouraged or placed in social situations or cooperative play.  Buddy systems offer motivation for ASD students to interact socially, but also the comfort of one-on-one interaction that is not too over-stimulating (Doorlag & Lewis, 2011).  Once an ASD student is comfortable interacting with one buddy, they may benefit from a social skills group.  Within a social skills group, ASD students may practice social skills with each other and with neuro-typical peers.  Both general and special educators can lead these groups and provide scaffolded language support, structure and predictability, multiple and varied learning opportunities, and more (Anderson & Anderson, n.d.).

Fostering social development varies widely depending on the maturity level and severity of delay of the ASD student.  Students may benefit from interactive games and activities that foster social give-and-take.  Simple tasks such as delivering and returning messages to/from the main office or leading a choral group in memorization tasks (alphabet, counting, etc.) are excellent examples of mutual interaction.  A game of bean bag toss – in which academic topics can also be adapted within the game – is effective in promoting socialization in that it provides “clear reinforcement of nuanced communication: children ask, usually through non-verbal cues, for the bean bag and are rewarded by having it tossed their way” (Integrity Inc, 2015).  Any turn-taking activities that require the sharing of space and materials engage students in social interaction.  Older students should be involved in group work and activities with well-defined roles and expectations.  To reinforce what has been learned, visual prompts in the form of videos, pictures, checklists, or prompt cards are a great way to remind ASD (and all) students of their new social skills.  All of these techniques teach ASD students a “script” for what’s “appropriate” in social behavior that they can memorize and follow as needed.

Communication delays are highly prevalent in ASD.  Some ASD students are non-verbal while others – such as those with Asperger’s syndrome – are less likely to exhibit language delays.  Still, communication and social interaction go hand-in-hand, and most ASD students would benefit from communication building activities.  Communication delays include “delays in spoken language, inability to initiate or sustain conversation, repetitive use of language (or echolalia), and lack of make-believe or imaginative play” (Doorlag & Lewis, 2011).  Delays in language may also include delayed responses – give these students the time to think and formulate responses without the stress of being rushed.  Echolalia is a great way to foster responses from ASD and all students as well: when posing a question, immediately model a response, such as (question) “What is your name?” (answer) “My name is Dan” (Doorlag & Lewis, 2011).  Educators should encourage the student to mimic phrasing and can even use the ASD student’s name in the example for extra direction.  Narration of actions is also a way to provide a lens for the student to see how communication works: narrate everything from what you are writing on the board to what the student is doing as you watch them work through a problem.  This way, much like the “script” that an ASD student might memorize from social learning, a more literal “script” can be learned for communication.  If a student is reluctant to attempt new or reciprocal speech, focus on the student’s interests.  Once these channels of interest are noted and open to discussion, the ASD student may feel comfortable or encouraged to begin a conversation on their own.

Nonverbal students also require communication building.  Although a student may be nonverbal, there is potential for that student to emerge upon language in some form.  Much like with social interaction, initial focus should be placed on nonverbal communication.  “Gestures and eye contact can build a foundation for language” and enables a student to communicate in some form (Dawson & Elder, n.d.).  Simplifying your language and narration will help to build a receptive language databank and may lead to expressive language.  Apps and devices are also available to give these students a means of communicating, from choosing pictures to associate with words to text-to-voice typing.

Receptive language, or what a child understands, is just as important as expressive language, or what a child can say or express.  Some ASD students may understand literal speech but have trouble decoding what is indirectly implied.  Idioms and hypothetical language may prove difficult for some ASD students to comprehend.  Clear and concise language is always best.  For example, asking students to “please put your workbooks away, push in your chairs, and line up at the door” is better than a conversational, meandering monologue such as “It looks nice out today, students!  When you are done with your workbooks, maybe we will go outside.  Line up after you put your workbooks away, but only if you’re finished with your work.”  You can see how the first set of instructions is less confusing that the second.

Finally, restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior are often indicative of ASD.  This behavior may include “preoccupation with an interest, compulsive adherence to a routine, motor mannerisms, and occupations with parts of objects” (Dawson & Elder, n.d.).  Though by definition these are classified as impairments, some of these tendencies can be advantageous or even helpful to ASD students.  Preoccupation of interests can be used to influence students; for example, if a student fixates on the topic of trains, they can be asked to expand on that topic for a writing assignment.  Compulsive adherence to a routine, if viewed positively, can be a sign of good instruction- and rule-following.  If a student reacts negatively to disruption or to diversion of a routine, set a visual timer that the student can control themselves (upon request of the teacher).  Give the student the role or task of transition scheduler where he is responsible for keeping track of transitions, provided the schedule is clearly written and accessible; this also aids the student in fortifying transition strategies which can often be a struggle for those on the spectrum.

Motor mannerisms, or stimming, should not be viewed negatively unless the student is causing themselves harm.  Instead, stimming can be an involuntary means of regulating sensory overload.  Some students may stim if upset or overwhelmed while others may stim from excitement or boredom.  Stimming is often viewed by ASD individuals as a means of creating output to release the overwhelming sensory input they experience.  Thus, stimming should not be discouraged unless absolutely necessary, as it is often a way for students to comfort themselves.  If peers find the ASD student’s stimming distracting or unusual, use this as an opportunity to educate your ASD student’s peers on autism and sensory processing.  Foster awareness and acceptance among them, and subsequently, you may help to evade potential bullying and exclusion.  Often, ASD students are viewed as “different” by their peers, so it is especially important for educators to help promote peer relationships and understanding.

With all of the techniques listed above, it is absolutely crucial to take note of overstimulation in ASD students.  An ASD student may easily become overwhelmed or stressed and may need to be allowed to cope or, in some cases, be helped to cope.  Allowing the student a break from activities, a chance to get out of their seats or time for stimming allows them to work through the sensory overload.  If a student is overly sensitive or overstimulated to sounds, adaptations can be made such as socks or pads on chair legs to prevent scraping or noise cancelling headphones to help with concentration.  If a student is under-sensitive, remove objects that are distracting or suggest compression or weighted clothing/vests for the student.

Understanding autism, differentiating instruction, implementing classroom strategies and adaptations, and fostering awareness among peers is essential to creating a full inclusion classroom for ASD students.  Countless resources are available for educators, parents, and students alike in the education of ASD and ASD awareness.  Websites such as ResearchAutism.org and NationalAutismAssociation.org provide programs, materials, and a central hub for educators, parents, and those affected by ASD alike.

 

 

References

Autism Speaks (n.d.). About Autism. Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/documents/family-services/social_skills_groups.pdf

Dawson, G., & Elder, L. (n.d.). Seven ways to help your nonverbal child speak. Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2013/03/19/seven-ways-help-your-nonverbal-child-speak

Doorlag, D.H., & Lewis, R.B. (2011). Teaching students with special needs in general education classrooms: student value edition (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Integrity Inc (2015, July 21). Seven ways to increase social skills in children with autism. Retrieved from https://www.integrityinc.org/7-ways-to-increase-social-skills-in-children-with-autism/

Lowry, L. (n.d.). Helping your child cope with his sensory needs. Retrieved from http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Articles/Helping-Your-Child-Cope-with-his-Sensory-Needs.aspx

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (n.d.). Autism Spectrum Disorder fact sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-Fact-Sheet

Research Autism (2016, January 22). Types of Autism. Retrieved from http://researchautism.net/autism/types-of-autism

Sussman, F. (2012). More Than Words: A Parent’s Guide to Building Interaction and Language Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Social Communication Difficulties. Toronto: The Hanen Centre.

By |May 23rd, 2017|Essays, The Exceptional Learner|

The Effects of Poverty on Child Development

Poverty in the United States has evolved, thus gaining a more broad definition beyond simple economic terms.  Poverty includes not only financial measurement, but the lacking of material assets and resources, physical and mental health, information and education, and capabilities such as social belonging and cultural identity (Engle & Black, 2008).  Poverty affects the ability for parents to prepare their children for adulthood, which is a transition made easier when more resources are available.  Among the low-, mid-, and high-socioeconomic groups, a marked difference in development has been noted among adolescents with detriment placed upon those in poverty.  Consequently, a more appropriate term for poverty would be “capability deprivation,” which is a debility that affects children, adolescent development, language acquisition, the home environment, mental health, and parenting efficacy, capacity, and health.  Poverty is a debilitating issue for many children and families in the United States with evident effects upon education, language development, and the adolescent brain.

Poverty’s Effects on Family and Education

The U.S. education system has battled poverty’s influence for decades.  According to a 2013 survey by the National Center for Education Statistics, 51% of public school students were considered low-income, and public schools in 40 states were comprised of 40% or more low-income students (Slade, 2015).  More than 50% of children in rural areas and 37% of children in urban areas live in families whose income were 200% below the federal poverty threshold (Vernon-Feagans, Garrett-Peters, Willoughby, Mills-Koonce, & The Family Life Project Key Investigators, 2012).  The number of children living in low-income families is staggering, but the consequences of poverty overwhelmingly point to detrimental development in adolescents.  Low- socioeconomic families are more likely to experience economic insecurity and household instability, and long-term poverty has significantly higher effects on children’s outcomes than short-term poverty.  Although the term “poverty” refers to more than just lack of money, studies have shown that a family’s monetary value affects children in all adolescent stages.  In early childhood, money makes the most difference to cognitive outcomes, while in later childhood and adolescence, money makes more difference to social and behavior outcomes (Cooper & Stewart, 2013).  Thus, the influence of poverty has the potential to span a child’s entire school career.

School readiness is built upon a child’s cognitive development.  In as early as the second year of life, the documented effects of poverty have proven to cause the most influential and longest lasting of consequences.  These risks influence adolescent school readiness which includes a broad list of developmental skills that allows a child to effectively learn in a school setting.  Academic skills, motor skills, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, social skills, communication skills, attention, and the general motivation to learn are evaluative facets of school readiness.  Consequently, each of these skills is influenced by poverty.  Nurturing these skills come from several sources, such as parental involvement, home environment, and availability of resources.  Children in low- socioeconomic households often do not receive these sources: typically, they spend less time outdoors and more time in front of the television, are less likely to participate in after school activities, receive less cognitive stimulation and challenging input, have less access to computers, libraries, museums, and other learning resources, and generally lack enrichment.  Consequently, children from low- socioeconomic families prove to have lower cognitive and academic performance and more behavioral problems due to a lack of stimulating behaviors and home experiences.  The level of education and academic performance for parents is also important regardless of socioeconomic status.  Parents who are more highly educated may have better or more access to financial and educational resources, thus protecting their children from the repercussions of poverty.

In addition to the effects of poverty on adolescence, the family as a whole is also affected.  Impoverished families typically reside in low-income communities which in turn lack in resources, particularly in the area of physical and mental health.  With a rising average of learning disabilities and mental health disabilities, the need for physical and mental health availability is dire.  Insufficient healthcare causes disadvantages for low- socioeconomic families to receive intervention for learning and mental disabilities.  Insufficient education results in the inability for low-income families to recognize and comprehend potential issues within the early stages of mental health problems.  Parents who do not have the information to effectively recognize a child’s struggle(s) often fail to seek intervention.  Furthermore, health providers in low-income communities may not maintain updated information or opinion, resulting in lowest level practice, due to obliviousness of existing clinical trials or other interventionist resources.  Low-income communities typically have a shortage of mental health providers which translates to insufficient or nonexistent availability of care for mental or learning disorders.  Resources that are accessible within the community may be inflexible in terms of availability, delivery, or the qualifying factors that mandate a family’s ability to access said resources.

Undoubtedly, low- socioeconomic families experience an array of obstacles, and the children in these families tend to be deeply and negatively impacted.  Yet as research shows, the children and communities who are most in need have the least availability of intervention and support.  A child’s home life, emotional well-being, education, and more are directly affected by poverty.  Fortunately, government implementation of preschool programs such as Head Start has filled the gap for many communities.  Geared toward low-income communities and at-risk children, these programs provide assessments and intervention for learning, development, and language delays and disabilities.

Poverty’s Effects on Language

Humans have the innate capacity that makes language acquisition inevitable.  This capacity is why psychologist Erika Hoff believes that all normal children in normal environments learn to talk.  The success of the child’s language acquisition and the extent to which a child masters language, however, depends upon environmental supports, among many things.  Evidently, poverty substantially influences both environment and language acquisition variability.

A family’s socioeconomic status is indicative of a child’s cognitive ability and literacy, as parent-child relations and conversations are crucial for a child’s language development.  A child’s linguistic environment depends upon the language used by its parent or caregiver.  The aforementioned importance on the parental education level comes into play, as limited education reduces a parent’s ability to provide a stimulating environment for their children.  Young children in low-income families are less likely to be read to, with fewer than half of low-income parents reading to their preschoolers on a daily basis.  Comparatively, 61% of families above the poverty line read to their young children daily (Engle & Black, 2008).  The simple act of reading to a child contributes to their comprehension skills and phonemic awareness, which builds the foundation for all facets of language acquisition, vocabulary building, and reading.

Although the ability to acquire language is innate in human beings, the ability to read is not inherent in the human brain.  Reading must be learned, and every skill that supports the ability to read must be taught.  These skills include phonological awareness, fluency, phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary (Jensen, 2009).  The variety, quality, and quantity of language that parents use with their children are also subjective to socioeconomic status.  In one study in which two year old children were evaluated over the course of one week, children from low- socioeconomic families heard less words and less variety of words than their high- socioeconomic counterparts (Hoff, 2006).  The children in the high- socioeconomic group had college-educated mothers who reliably talked more with their children, utilized a fuller vocabulary, and more frequently replied or questioned their children, interactively.  The results of this study showed that children from low- socioeconomic families heard only 62,000 words on average per week compared to children in middle- and high- socioeconomic families who heard 125,000 and 215,000 words, respectively (Hoff, 2006).  The study’s results offered insight into the beneficial qualities of increased attention and focus provided by more highly educated parents.  These qualities are often lacking among low-income parents.

A child’s ability to build a comprehensive vocabulary continues to rely upon parental involvement beyond the second year of life’s stage of emerging language.  In another study, a group of three year olds were evaluated in terms of their vocabulary growth patterns.  Children of middle- to high- socioeconomic families were adding words to their vocabularies “at twice the rate of children in low-socioeconomic families” and the patterns of slow vocabulary growth “correlated with a slower cognitive pattern by the time children turn three” (Jensen, 2009).  Yet another study evaluated the depth of vocabulary among three year olds.  The study determined that socioeconomic status accounted for a 36% variance in vocabulary in terms of word variety, as well as a marked difference in size of vocabulary, ability to produce complex and spontaneous utterances, and quality of productive and receptive syntax.  The study also determined that the average child from a low- socioeconomic family had a 500 word vocabulary by age three, whereas the average child from a high- socioeconomic family had a 1000 word vocabulary (Jensen, 2009).  As they enter school, children are projected to know 13,000 words and to have been exposed to five million words.  However, children from low- socioeconomic families do not typically meet this average.

A vocabulary that is lacking in depth and diversity are often due to the parent’s inability to partake in thoughtful and interactive conversations with their children.  Children in poverty are exposed to a more limited range of language capabilities because their parents or caregivers also have limited vocabularies and language capabilities.  Many facets of child development is linked with language usage, and a parent’s ability to positively and effectively nurture their child may be compromised by poverty.  A low- socioeconomic parent tends to use simpler sentence structure and is often dominated by commands “rather than by explanations and elaboration with an increase in the percentage of negative comments made” (Engle & Black, 2008).  Stress inevitably produced by the effects of poverty negatively impacts a parent’s emotional well-being and consequently impacts their children.  This outcome interferes with the quality of interactions between parent and child, particularly with language, thus limiting a child’s linguistic environment.  It is apparent that a parent’s literacy, ability to use complex and diverse language, and emotional availability is essential to a child’s language development.

Poverty’s Effects on the Adolescent Brain

A child’s language development, and development as a whole, is an astounding process.  The innate ability of language acquisition and the language systems of the brain have been studied to produce a better understanding of how language works.  Unfortunately, poverty has proven to be detrimental to language development, but also, brain development as well.

The developing adolescent brain has crucial needs in order to grow and mature healthily.  These needs include, but are not limited to, strong parental bonds, consistent love and support, safe and stable environments, reciprocated emotional interactions, and enrichment through personalized complex activities.  If these needs are not met, deficits hinder the production of new brain cells and the neural circuitry in children’s brains, which damages emotional and social development (Jensen, 2009).  Emotional dysfunction, a lack of emotional regulation, and a narrow range of appropriate emotional responses, and stress are consequences of these deficits.    When these needs are not met, a child experiences stressors that also affect their developing brains.  Children in low- socioeconomic families are at a higher risk of experiencing neglect, abuse, familial violence, disruption, and separation.  Stress affects the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, which are the areas in the brain responsible for learning, cognition, creativity, and working memory.  Stress also shrinks neurons in the brain’s frontal lobes which is an area in which judgment, planning, and impulsivity function (Jensen, 2009).  These impacts result in a reduction in learning capacity.

Another system within the brain that is affected by poverty-induced stress is the left perisylvian system which controls language learning.  The left perisylvian system encompasses the semantic, syntactic, and phonological variables of language learning and is the foundation for reading, pronunciation, spelling, and writing skills (Jensen, 2009).  To further examine the effects of socioeconomic status on the perisylvian system, a study was conducted to test the language skills of a diverse set of first grade students.  The study found a 30% variance among the students with the low- socioeconomic students being negatively impacted.  The study considered the scientific evidence of a longer course of maturation within the perisylvian region of the brain, producing a longer period of development within the language system.  This extended period results in a higher susceptibility to environmental influences upon language development.  As research and studies have determined, the environment in which a child prospers is entirely indicative of a child’s developmental success, particularly with language.  Children subjected to impoverished standards often do not thrive as well as children in high- socioeconomic families and environments.

Conclusion

Poverty has an insurmountable impact on child development.  Impoverished children experience a lack of resources within their communities.  Impoverished parents are ill-equipped and oftentimes unable to fulfill a child’s developmental needs.  Adolescent language acquisition is hindered in the low-income household, and even the adolescent brain suffers from inadequate and inappropriate influence.  The effects of poverty have been linked to excessive student absences within the school system and increase the likelihood of school dropouts among students.  Poverty and poverty-induced stressors walk hand-in-hand with impaired attention, concentration, cognition, creativity, memory, social skills, comprehension, vocabulary, and numerous other facets of the developing adolescent brain.  Understanding the realities of poverty’s impact on education, language development, and the adolescent brain may lead to further support and enhancement strategies of children in need.

 

References

Cooper, K., and Stewart, K. (2013, October 22). Does Money Affect Children’s Outcomes? JRF. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/does-money-affect-children%E2%80%99s-outcomes

Dashiff, C., DiMicco, W., Myers, B. and Sheppard, K. (2009), Poverty and Adolescent Mental Health. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 22: 23–32. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6171.2008.00166.x

Engle, P. L. and Black, M. M. (2008), The Effect of Poverty on Child Development and Educational Outcomes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136: 243–256. doi: 10.1196/annals.1425.023

Hoff, E. (2003), The Specificity of Environmental Influence: Socioeconomic Status Affects Early Vocabulary Development Via Maternal Speech. Child Development, 74: 1368–1378. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00612

Hoff, E. (2006, January 25). How social contexts support and shape language development. Developmental Review, 26(1), 55-88. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2005.11.002

Jensen, E. (2009, November). Chapter 2: How poverty affects behavior and academic performance. Teaching with poverty in mind: What being poor does to kids’ brains and what schools can do about it. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Perkins, S.C., Finegood, E.D., Swain, J.E. (2013). Poverty and language development: Roles of parenting and stress. Innovations in clinical neuroscience. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2013 Apr; 10(4): 10–19.

Roseberry-McKibbin, C. (2012, July 28). The impact of poverty and homelessness on children’s oral and literate language: practical implications for service delivery. ASHA Schools Conference. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/Poverty-Homelessness-Childrens-Oral-Literate-Language.pdf

Slade, S. (2015, July 24). Poverty Affects Education–And Our Systems Perpetuate It. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-slade/poverty-affects-education_b_7861778.html

Talbot, Margaret (2015, January 12). The Talking Cure. The New Yorker: Annals of Education. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/12/talking-cure

Vernon-Feagans, L., Garrett-Peters, P., Willoughby, M., Mills-Koonce, R., & The Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2012). Chaos, Poverty, and Parenting: Predictors of Early Language Development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(3), 339–351. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.11.001

Wasik, B.A., Bond, M.A., and Hindman, A. (2006). The effects of a language and literacy intervention on Head Start children and teachers. American Psychological Association, 06: 0022-0663. doi:  0.1037/0022-0663.98.1.63

Image Source

By |June 7th, 2016|Child Development, Essays|

Phonological Case Study

The author of the case study is Sophie Latanowski, who is a speech and language therapist.  The case study is entitled “Speech therapy case study of a 3-year-old girl with a developmental speech sound delay.”  The case study was written April 21, 2012.  There is no date associated to when the study was conducted.

In the case study, the child showed signs of speech sound disorder, and more specifically, phonological disorder.  Phonological disorder, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), usually involves errors such as substituting sounds made in the back of the mouth like “k” and “g” for sounds made in the front of the mouth like “t” and “d.”  The child in the case study, however, had this issue reversed.  She had trouble making the “t” and “d” sounds and instead replaced them with “k” and “g” sounds, so “letter” becomes “lekker.”  Also, the child showed difficulties with other early developing sounds such as with the “f” sound, produced with a long flow of air which was, in the child’s case, cut short and instead producing the “p” sound (“fish” was “pish”).

The supporting points of the case study were that the processes in which the child was having difficulty were uncommon and not typically found in developing speech.  The processes were outside the “normal error” for the age of three.  As a result of that assessment, the child was directed to speech therapy.  In speech therapy, a step plan of sorts was used to help the child develop correct production of the aforementioned speech sounds and processes.  First, focus was placed on auditory bombardment where the child was provided with opportunities to hear the correct pronunciation of the speech sounds.  She was also given picture cards with cued articulation for the sounds, as well as tasks to discriminate between a target sound and what she typically replaced that sound with to ensure she could tell them apart (Sidney, 2012, April 21).  Then, therapy focused on production in which diagrams and games used to help the child practice producing her new, correct sounds.  Practice with producing these sounds evolved from isolated sounds, to the sounds combined with a vowel, then variations between sounds at the beginning, end, and middle of a word.  Finally, the speech sounds were used in sentences.  Ultimately the child showed progress and success via weekly sessions.

Speech sound and phonological disorders may manifest itself in the classroom in a variety of ways.  Children may show an inability to produce the correct sounds in language learning, such as learning the alphabet in a preschool setting or learning “sight” or “snap” words in kindergarten, first, and second grades.  Sometimes speech may be partly or completely incomprehensible.  Often a parent may assume their child is “babbling” beyond the typical age but can still understand the child, whereas people outside of the immediate family may not be able to understand the child’s babbling somewhat or at all.  For school aged children, academic problems in spelling and reading may also be indicative of a phonological disorder, as children may not be able to discern correct sound-to-letter associations when producing, writing, or reading words.  Another possible red flag may be a child who is “less willing to participate or play in classroom activities” due to sounding different from their peers and finding themselves frustrated and/or ridiculed as a result (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, n.d.).

As a teacher, the first step I would take is to coordinate with the school’s speech-language pathologist to develop an IEP for the child.  Of course, effort to intervene the issue should also take place within the classroom in addition to any speech and language services.  Within the classroom, it is important to build upon the pathologist’s teachings of how to place the tongue, form the lips, and so on by giving the student ample opportunity to practice and use those skills.  These practices may include repetition of difficult sounds and emphasis on contrasts between phonemes.  It is important to take note of the phonological context, coarticulation, and assimilation of the sounds the child is struggling with in order to discern whether the child has a deep-rooted cause to her disorder that may need other, more diligent therapy.  These steps are important in recognizing the need for therapy, assessing and determining the severity of a disorder, providing the therapy, and assessing the child’s progress.

The steps for detecting a phonological disorder in a child, as well as the therapy used on the child in the case study, both entail phonology in reading methods with a learning view.  The basic phonology teaching sequence can be applied to a phonological disorder.  First, phonological and phonemic awareness should be taught.  This is “the ability to identify the phonemes in a word and manipulate them in various ways, such as adding a phoneme, deleting a phoneme, or substituting one phoneme for another” (Freeman, 2014).  Emphasizing the correct usage of phonemes was crucial in the case study child’s therapy.

 

References

Freeman, D. E., & Freeman, Y. S. (2014). Essential linguistics: What teachers need to know to teach ESL, reading, spelling, grammar (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Phonological disorder (n.d.). Encyclopedia of mental disorders. Retrieved from http://www.minddisorders.com/Ob-Ps/Phonological-disorder.html

Sidney, S. (2012, April 21). Speech therapy case study. Children’s Therapies. Retrieved from http://www.childrenstherapies.co.uk/speech-therapy-case-study

Image Source

By |May 10th, 2016|case study, Child Development, Essays|

Flip, Turn, or Slide and Congruence (3rd grade lesson plan)

This lesson begins to teach students the geometric concepts of flip, turn, slide, and congruence.  Students will learn the accompanying vocabulary and  demonstrate the concepts using hands-on learning and graphing.

Title of Lesson

Flip, Turn, or Slide and Congruence

Course

Grade 3 Geometry

Standards

3.G.A.1           Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals).  Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of those subcategories.

Student Learning Goal(s)

  • Students will know the following vocabulary: triangle, congruent, symmetry, transformation, slide or translation, flip or reflection, turn or rotation, pre-image, image.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the above vocabulary and construct each independently.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Remember previous geometrical concepts that apply to this lesson (e.g. quadrilateral,
rhombus, rectangle, square, and others).
Understand new vocabulary and concepts.
Apply vocabulary and concepts in the activity.
Create diagrams of the vocabulary proposed.

Assessment

Formative assessment: following the teacher’s demonstration using an overhead projector and pentominoes (or other shape/geometric materials) to demonstrate the vocabulary, students will attempt to mimic what they have learned and form their own diagrams and recordings.  Teacher will check for understanding.
Summative assessment: following the lesson and subsequent days of practice, an evaluative test would be administered.  An evaluative test can range from (a) simple testing or quizzes with work shown, or (b) via a geometry journal project where students will create a reference book defining and diagraming the vocabulary.

Procedures/Lesson Sequence

  1.  Discuss each term with the students as a class.  Each student will record the term and definition (one per page) in their geometry journal.
  2. Check prior knowledge: use overhead magnetic pentominoes to have students demonstrate their knowledge of the terms.
  3. Conduct hands-on activity: provide students with individual sets of pentominoes and graph paper (optional).  Students will practice translations, reflections, and rotations.
    1. Provide a list of steps students must follow to produce each diagram.  For example, problem #1 would state: from point A, show 2 slides and 2 flips across the graph paper.  Students will then trace the starting point (pre-image) as well as their ending point (image).  These pages of graph paper should be included in their geometry journal.
  4. Closing: Have students share and describe how they found their answers.

Materials

Graphing paper, pentominoes (or other shape/geometric materials), overhead projector, pencils, journal or folder designated for geometry terms.

Technology

An overhead projector is required to demonstrate the vocabulary using pentominoes or other overhead shape/geometric materials.  This technology engages students as it gives a real-time, hands-on example of the vocabulary being discussed.  Students may also be asked to use the projector and pentominoes themselves when called upon to demonstrate their learning.

Adaptations

  • Pre-teach all vocabulary and concepts.
  • Provide study guides and worksheets to provide references and foster memorization.
  • Write vocabulary and definitions on the board so that students may easily transcribe without error into their journals.
  • Use visuals via the overhead for visual cognition.
  • Use simple terms in association with difficult vocabulary (i.e. “slide” for translation, “flip” for reflection, and “turn” for rotation).
  • Have students repeat directions for the steps, and provide substantial pause between steps while vocalizing.
  • Write steps on the board and have students transcribe them into their journals.
  • Have students use pentominoes so as to easily visualize the steps.
  • Have students use graphing paper to produce precise diagrams.
  • Circulate the room and provide assistance or thinking points with students if they struggle.
  • Instruct students to raise their hands and ask questions if they find themselves “stuck.”
  • Have students work with buddies to produce their diagrams, then copy into their own respective journals.
  • If students have difficulty writing, provide print-outs of the steps for students to cut and paste into their journals (graph paper also aids in writing legibly).

 

Image credit: ExcelMathMike

By |March 14th, 2016|3rd Grade, Geometry, Lesson Plans, Math|

The “Feel” of Music (kindergarten lesson plan)

This lesson incorporates music and art concepts to explore the “feel” of music.

Lesson Title

The “Feel” of Music

Course

Kindergarten interdisciplinary lesson plan for Music and Art

Materials

  • Medium to play music, such as computer, boombox, etc.
  • Various songs of different types (slow, fast, upbeat, sad, etc.) preferably from different cultures/genres
  • Crayons of many different colors for each student to use
  • Large piece of paper that can be divided/folded into parts

Objectives

The students will

  • Listen to different songs and recognize contrasting expressions, emotions, sounds, etc.
  • Identify expressions and emotions that they feel the songs represent.
  • Translate the expressions and emotions into terms of art, such as color, line, etc.
  • Describe their personal reactions to the musical selections and how they referenced those reactions in their artwork.

Standard(s)

Music:

ART.M.I.K.11             Recognize contrasting expressions of music.

ART.M.III.K.3            Describe the music performed and presented in kindergarten by moving, drawing, or through other appropriate responses.

ART.M.III.K.4            Introduce music vocabulary emphasizing opposites; i.e. fast and slow, loud and soft

ART.M.III.K.7            Identify and support personal reactions to a musical selection.

ART.M.IV.K.1            Identify and describe distinguishing characteristics of starkly contrasting styles.

ART.M.V.K.2             Observe and identify cross-curricular connections with the kindergarten curriculum

Art:

ART.VA.I.K.2             Work with materials and tools safely with environmental awareness.

ART.VA.I.K.3             Explore the elements of art through playful sensory experiences.

ART.VA.I.K.4             Prepare, complete, and sign finished artwork.

ART.VA.II.K.2           Use a variety of lines, colors, and basic geometric shapes and patterns to creatively express feelings and personal experiences.

ART.VA.II.K.5           Express thoughts and ideas through the creation of artwork.

ART.VA.III.K.2          Recognize that art can be created for self-expression or fun.

ART.VA.III.K.3          Describe the sensory qualities in a work of art.

ART.VA.V.K.3           Identify how pattern, shape, rhythm, and movement are used throughout the arts.

ART.VA.V.K.4           Explore connections between the visual arts and other curriculum.

Anticipatory Set

5 minutes

Open discussion with students about music:

  • Do you like listening to music?  Why or why not?
  • How do they feel when they listen to music?
  • Does it make them want to dance or sing?
  • Do they feel the same feelings with every song they hear, or do they feel differently about different songs?
  • If you could color or draw how you feel when you listen to a song, what would it look like?

Introduction / Direct Instruction

5 minutes

  • Instruct the children to fold their sheets of paper in as many parts as you have musical selections (i.e. 6 songs, fold the paper to make 6 sections, divided by fold lines).
  • (Transition) “Let’s listen to this first song. As you listen, think about how it makes you feel.  Then, I would like you to color or draw in the first square what you think this song sounds like, or how it makes you feel.  You can draw anything, and it can be any color, as long as you can explain what you drew and how it relates to the music.”
  • Play an excerpt from the first song. Allow the students time to think, then draw.  If further direction is needed, reiterate: “Listen first, then think, and lastly, draw.”

Checking for Understanding

2 minutes

At the end of the first excerpt, select a few students to describe their artwork. Ask: “How did the song make you feel?  What colors did you choose and why?  Did you draw any objects or people, or is it just color?”  You may also use this opportunity to define “abstract art.”  This discussion is to ensure comprehension of what is expected of the students before moving on.

Direct Instruction/Guided Practice/Assessment of Learning

10-15 minutes

Continue with the rest of the musical selections. Discuss each as needed.  Take time to notice differentiation between students’ reactions, i.e. “This song made Suzie feel sad, but it also made Andrew feel tired.  Why do you think that is?” or “Suzie feels sad, so she used the color blue.  Andrew felt tired, so he used the color black.  Why do you think that is?”  Have students explain their reasoning.

Lesson Close

Select a quieter song to use for transition, and relate the components of the song to the students’ expression. “Listen to the softness and quietness of this song.  Let’s be just as quiet as we put away our things and move on to the next lesson.”

 

By |March 7th, 2016|Arts, Kindergarten, Music|

Underhand Throw (1st grade lesson plan)

Physical Education unit consisting of three coordinating lesson plans

 

Lesson Plan Title

Underhand Throw – Demonstration and Bowling

Course

1st grade Physical Education

Total Class Time

30 minutes

Objective(s) the students will be able to:

  • Throw underhand at a target within their personal space.
  • Step with opposition, bring arm back, and release the ball underhanded in front of them.
  • Practice spatial awareness and ball control.

Standard(s)

Demonstrate Level 2 performance in: spatial awareness, effort, underhand throw

Equipment Needed

  • CD player and music
  • Bowling pins
  • Bowling balls

Warm-up

5 minutes (use this time to set up equipment)

  • Students will jog around the track while the music plays.
  • Students will swing their arms with purpose as they run, focusing on the rhythmic swinging that will later on mirror the swing of the underhand throw.
  • When the music stops, students will line up on the track sideline.

Lesson introduction/details, cues, etc.

5 minutes

  • “I will go over the cues for throwing the ball underhand at the target.”
  • Demonstrate the proper stance for standing in the “ready to throw” position, opposite the target.  Demonstrate swinging the arm way back, stepping with the opposite foot, then releasing the bean bag out in front.

 

Skill/Activity Practice

15 minutes

  • Divide the students into five groups.  Create five “lanes” with bowling pins at one end.
  • Students will each take a turn in their groups to underhand throw the bowling ball.  They get two throws each turn (like with actual bowling).
  • One student should be at the opposite end to pick up pins and return the ball – ball must be returned also with underhand throw.
  • Students must practice spatial awareness and ball control due to the ability of the balls to go astray.

Closing

5 minutes

Reiterate the demonstration of the appropriate stance for underhand throwing and controlling the ball.  Have students return equipment to the equipment area.

 


 

Lesson Plan Title

Underhand Throw – Throw the Yard

Course

1st grade Physical Education

Total Class Time

30 minutes

Objective(s) the students will be able to:

  • Throw underhand at a target within their personal space.
  • Step with opposition, bring arm back, and release the ball underhanded in front of them.
  • Practice spatial awareness.

Standard(s)

Demonstrate Level 2 performance in: spatial awareness, effort, underhand throw

Equipment Needed

  • CD player and music
  • Several bean bags (the more the better!)
  • 4 hula hoops

Warm-up

5 minutes (use this time to set up equipment)

  • Students will jog around the track while the music plays.
  • Students will swing their arms with purpose as they run, focusing on the rhythmic swinging that will later on mirror the swing of the underhand throw.
  • When the music stops, students will line up on the track sideline.

 

Lesson introduction/details, cues, etc.

5 minutes

  • “Let’s review how to underhand throw.”  Demonstrate.
  • Discuss the rules for “Throw the Yard” game.  Students will be underhand throwing bean bags into other teams’ “yards.”  If they see a bean bag on the ground in their “yard,” they may pick it up and throw it into the neighbor’s yard (hula hoop).

 

Skill/Activity Practice

15 minutes

  • Divide the students into four groups; also, divide the gym floor into four quadrants.  Each quadrant will have one hula hoop at its center.
  • Students will be underhand throwing into their neighbors’ yards.  They must get their bean bags into the other teams’ hula hoops without leaving their own yard.  The goal is to have the least number of bean bags in their own hula hoops.
  • They cannot take bean bags out of the hula hoops that other teams have successfully thrown into their hula hoops.  They cannot overhand throw or purposefully hit another player.  These violations will call for removal from the game.

 

Closing

5 minutes

Reiterate the demonstration of the appropriate stance for underhand throwing and controlling the ball.  Have students return equipment to equipment area.

 


 

Lesson Plan Title

Underhand Throw – Hopscotch

Course

1st grade Physical Education

Total Class Time

30 minutes

Objective(s) the students will be able to:

  • Throw underhand at a target within their personal space.
  • Step with opposition, bring arm back, and release the ball underhanded in front of them.
  • Practice spatial awareness, balance, and the locomotor skill of hopping.

Standard(s)

Demonstrate Level 2 performance in: spatial awareness, effort, underhand throw

Equipment Needed

  • CD player and music
  • Chalk
  • 25 bean bags (one per child)

Preparation

Do this activity on a nice day where you can take students outside to the black top.  Pre-draw several hopscotch courses.

Warm-up

5 minutes (use this time to set up equipment)

  • Students will jog around the track while the music plays.
  • Students will swing their arms with purpose as they run, focusing on the rhythmic swinging that will later on mirror the swing of the underhand throw.
  • When the music stops, students will line up on the track sideline.

Lesson introduction/details, cues, etc.

5 minutes

  • “Let’s review how to underhand throw.”  Demonstrate.
  • Take the students outside and discuss the rules of hopscotch.  Demonstrate how to carefully aim and underhand throw to get the “spot” you want on the hopscotch course.

Skill/Activity Practice

15 minutes

  • Divide the students into four hopscotch teams.  Each team will have their own hopscotch course.  Each student will have their own bean bag to underhand throw on their hopscotch course.
  • Students will throw their bean bags on the course, one by one, in an underhand throw.  The spot on the course that the bean bag lands on, the student must not hop on that spot.  They will hop on one foot through the course, then upon returning, attempt to pick up their bean bag (and then may hop on that spot).

Closing

5 minutes

Reiterate the demonstration of the appropriate stance for underhand throwing and controlling the ball.  Have students return equipment to equipment area.

 

Image credit: OPHEA

By |February 18th, 2016|1st Grade, Physical Education|
Load More Posts