Psychology Applied to Teaching
, Tenth Edition
| Classroom Activities
Chapter 6: Accommodating Student Variability
Activity 1: Student Variability Assumptions
Activity 2: PL101-476 Think Sheet
Title: Student Variability Assumptions
Instructional Strategy: Critical Thinking
This activity is designed to help students become aware of what they know and do not know about mental retardation, learning disabilities, and emotional disturbances.
- Identify what students know and do not know about mental retardation, learning disabilities, and emotional disturbances.
- Engage in a discussion on what students ought to know about mental retardation, learning disabilities, and emotional disturbances.
Write down on a piece of paper some stereotypes regarding students with mental retardation, learning disabilities, and emotional disturbances that can serve as barriers to being a successful classroom teacher. Determine the validity of these stereotypes and compile a list of the most relevant characteristics of these students and their implications for education. Brainstorm a list of resources that are available to teachers who wish to address these characteristics. Share your stereotypes and conclusions with the class. Identify where these stereotypes came from, and the extent to which they are valid based on the information in the textbook. Discuss relevance for education.
- Following the above activity, create a table with columns titled "mental retardation," "learning disabilities" and "emotional disturbances." Work in pairs and write down: (1) accurate characteristics of each of the above, and (2) what instructional strategies would benefit students diagnosed with the above conditions.
- Instead of using paper lists, brainstorm the stereotypes as a class on the board. Take this brainstormed list and anonymously rank these from 1 as the least to 10 as the most influential characteristic on a piece of paper. Discuss the rankings and ways to address these characteristics.
- Phillips 66 method: Form groups of six for six minutes at the start or end of class and conduct a discussion focusing on how to accommodate students with different special education classifications. After six minutes, stop discussing and share some of the points made in the groups to the class.
Title: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Think Sheet
Instructional Strategy: Critical Thinking/Cooperative Learning
This activity is designed to help students become aware of the impact of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in everyday classroom teaching.
- Develop an understanding of how IDEA can impact students' future teaching.
- Engage in a discussion on what students ought to know about IDEA.
Jigsaw. Divide into five groups. The instructor will randomly assign each group to one of the following five questions. Each group is expected to prepare a detailed and meaningful response to their question. Students should then form new groups that contain at least one student from each of the original five groups and share their responses.
- Explain why IDEA was created.
- Explain how IDEA impacts classroom teachers.
- How would you use IDEA in your future teaching to help benefit your students?
- What do you think could happen if you ignored IDEA as a future teacher?
- What are the benefits and limitations of IDEA?
- Work in pairs to answer at least three of the five questions.
- In each group create three to four concerns or questions that you feel are most pressing as a future teacher. Share with the class and discuss solutions.
- Reverse Brainstorming: Brainstorm all the ways that IDEA will not have an impact in your future classroom. Then look at the list of possibilities and discuss how it will affect you.
- Bring a special education teacher or other professional into your classroom or try e-mail, real-time chatting on the web, or a telephone conference. Have him or her discuss the impact of IDEA as well as other special education rulings and laws. Encourage your visitor to share some interesting stories. Be sure to ask your guest plenty of questions.