Learning Disabilities in the classroom

The following playlist of videos includes stories about students who struggle with reading disabilities and they share how they have been working on improving and growing from their struggles. Addressing disabilities in a classroom is difficult because disability constitutes a very wide spectrum and students can fall anywhere on that spectrum. No two students are completely similar in their abilities and disabilities, but despite this as teachers it is important to understand how such students struggle and how they thrive. Even if it takes getting to know each student individually, it still should be done because if there is something preventing a student from succeeding in the classroom, as teacher it is our job to remove that barrier. These videos include children of different ages, not just high school , but it is still  important to watch because it shows how students can go through struggles but still be able to come out strong from them; which is why this video can be used in any classroom at high school or middle school level.

Watch the playlist of videos that show how children with reading disabilities overcame their struggles.

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Breaking the Language Barrier

A huge barrier that tends to separate a student from their teacher is the language they speak. A student may not be a native English speaker and the teacher might not be versed in the native language of that students; this causes a barrier to go up that prevents communication between the student and the teacher. Communication is very important in the classroom, because it is how a teacher gets their message across and gauges students understanding and it is how a student conveys their understanding. The article below discusses the the five ways that teachers can improve the learning experience for ELLs. It isn’t enough just to make the classroom comfortable for students are identify as LGBTQ or for students suffering racism. It is important, especially in a high school classroom where these strategies could be implemented, to be aware of all student difficulties. So, if a students is an ELL, their achievement in the classroom must becomes a priority.

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Learn about it here!

Gender Equality in the Classroom

Along with awareness and acceptance, it is important to teach equality in the classroom as well. This resource is guide on a handful of various activities that enforce the importance and necessity of gender equity. Parallel to the previous resources presented, this file encourages people to participate in life feeing that people are made equal and this type of encouragement is important, in a 21st century classroom, in making students feel that no matter what they identify as they can achieve success and be perceived equally.Promoting equality is so crucial in the education process because it eliminates the idea that one person is more knowledgable or more deserving than another. These types of activities are necessary for all grade levels, but the ones presented below are best suited for any grade in high school.

 

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

This novel was written following the tragic attacks on 9/11. Written from the second person narrative of a Pakistani male, it addresses the important racial issues that many Middle Eastern, Pakistani, Indian, Punjabi, and other Southeast Asian people faced in the wake of the attacks. While it is important to acknowledge and understand the racism that African Americans faced and continue to face today, it is also important to do so with other races. By acknowledging the racism, in a classroom, that all races suffer, we as teachers are able to offer students with a progressive way of thinking. To prevent students from being stuck in one way of thinking, we are preventing them from acquiring knowledge and awareness to expand their thinking. Teaching this novel in a 12th grade classroom will not only allow students to understand racism on a much deeper level, but it will also allow students to open their minds and accept knowledge more easily.

 

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LGBTQ Awareness in the Classroom

One of our greatest accomplishments in this century can be described in one word: acceptance. Although we are still at the beginning of this road, this century and this generation has shown a greater willingness to accept and be open-minded. Being that this website aims to use the resources of the 21st century, teaching acceptance and awareness in the classroom parallels with this goal. The link provided below leads to a website that provides solutions and ideas on how to make a classroom more suitable for LGBTQ awareness. Nowadays children are more expressive in their orientations and identities and if we aren’t adapting our classrooms to the changes in society, then we are refusing to move forward and accept change.

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Visit the website here!

Barack Obama Lesson Plan

The election of Barack Obama has been described as a “historic”event being that he was the first African American president of this country. Breaking this racial barrier was a major step towards equality for our generation and achieving equality is something we still continue to strive for. This lesson centers around the relationship of Barack Obama’s election to the Civil Right’s movement, and why his election could be considered “historic”. This is important to include in a 21st century high school curriculum because it takes a pivotal moment from this century and connects it the a pivotal moment from our history, which allows students to learn the history using the present.

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Find this lesson plan here!

Podcast Assignment

For a curriculum that focuses on teaching the 21st century, an appropriate assignment would be to have students create their own podcast. Although some students might be uncomfortable with speaking on tape, the fact that it is just audio eliminates the nervousness that comes with standing in front of a classroom. Podcasts have become particularly popular in the past few years and they are an innovative way to make an assignment interactive. Based on the texts I have introduced in the previous posts and among the many other texts that students can read, there are numerous issues and topics that can be studied, researched and talked about in these podcasts. The idea for this came from a class I took in college and I enjoyed being able to pick my own topic and research and then have a conversation about it. It almost didn’t seem like an assignment. The rubric and assignment sheet that is attached was taken from the class I took in college.

 

Boyhood

This movie is the quintessential 21st century film that covers virtually every issue a child/teen/adult could face. It follows a young boy at about 6 years old up until he goes to college and it chronicles every year of his life in between. The actors in the movie are the same actors throughout and the movie was filmed over a course of twelve years which is what makes the movie so interesting. It allows the audience to grow with the characters and it makes the movie-viewing experience more valuable. And like the previous texts, because it was made so recently it is very relevant to students. The other texts dealt with issues that involved society, politics, and culture. This movie deals mostly with personal issues and familial issues; things that people deal with at home. These types of issues are important to discuss in the classroom because it allows the teacher to acknowledge the students and break down that fourth wall that stands in between. While I do think that some of these issues might be too intense for some students, if taught in a 12th grade classroom, it could benefit the classroom environment if the teacher can build that rapport with the students.

 

Hunger Games Curriculum

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a widely popular book series that was made into movies and gained great recognition nationally and worldwide. This unit plan I have attached is designed to teach this world-renowned book as a part of the ELA curriculum. It does not specify what grade it would be used for, but personally, I would teach this in an eleventh grade classroom. This unit plan comes from the LA County Office of Education, but I came across it while searching the internet for lesson plans on The Hunger Games. I believe this would work in a classroom because it uses a novel that is highly relevant to students today based on the societal and political issues that the plot is centered on. As stated on the cover page, it is a summer reading unit, so this means it would be a unit taught at the beginning of the school year, which serves as a great way to set the tone for the entire year.

 

 

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Hunger Games Curriculum Plan

The Circle by Dave Eggers

This book is a great option to teach in high school because it directly relates issues that this generation deals with today. Its a sort of pre-apocalyptic novel that occurs in the world of technology and chronicles the events of how technology and social media slowly takes over the world. It would be best taught in a twelfth grade classroom because there is a little bit of mature content and language used which is where it might put up a weak fight in front of a school board, but the lesson learned is valuable enough to overlook that. This book was released in 2012 and there are many political, social and cultural issues that arise in this novel that are relevant to students so learning this book could benefit students in understanding these issues. I know when I read this book it was very easy for me to become invested in the characters and the plot so I am confident that not only will students learn a great deal about society and government, but they will also be captivated by the story.

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