Crazy Cats Low SES Workshop

Dana Guthrie, Rebecca Jackson, Claire Jorgensen, Ashlin Lee

Universal Design for Learning: Designing Coherent Instruction

Goal: Understand how instruction planning can meet learning goals and foster student growth.

Characteristics: How do we identify students that associate with low SES?

  • A widened participation plan: Instead of stigmatizing students, move away from singling them out and aim for inclusion of all students by focusing on what methods of teaching work for all students because all students can benefit from what helps other students. UDL 8.3 foster collaboration and community.
  • Approachability and availability: A teacher can help these students best by being approachable to students by having a warm demeanor and willing to explain more explicitly. It is also helpful to be available when they need guidance or assistance on an assignment. UDL 1.1 customize the display of information.
  • Effective teaching: Building a rapport with students lets them know they are all important and creates an inclusive, safe environment for all students, including those that are associated with low SES. UDL 7.3 minimize threats and distractions.
  • High expectations: Letting students know that no matter their status or differences, you know that they are all capable of learning. Doing this with enthusiasm, passion and dedication can get students excited about the subject matter and makes it interesting. UDL 9.1 promote expectations and beliefs that optimize motivation.

Teaching students from low socioeconomic backgrounds: a brief guide for university teaching staff. Devlin and O’Shea. Higher Education Research Group (HERG), Deakin University. (2011). Retrieved on September 13, 2015. http://www.jcu.edu.au/learnandteach/public/groups/everyone/documents/information_about/jcu_093850.pdf

Barriers: What are they and what effect do they have?

  • Social: Students with low SES are "time poor" or they are less likely to get as much attention at home. For example, their parents work often, they may be working, or they may have a unique living situation where they are not getting the attention they need.
  • Behavioral: Many students from low SES families are consistently missing school, tardy, or sick and these can greatly effect a student's class behavior.
  • Physical: Students from low SES families may not have the money to buy expensive healthy foods, therefore a student may not have the best nutrition.
  • Linguistic: A child's early academic success may not have been stressed that much in their household or their parents did not have much time to work with them on language skills so they may be more behind that their classmates.

Effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: Practical advice for teaching staff. (2012). http://www.lowses.edu.au/assets/Practical%20Advice%20for%20Teaching%20Staff.pdf

Strengths: What are the advantages of diversity?

  • Use linguistic/cultural barriers as a strong foundation for teaching diversity in the classroom and creating a classroom where it's accepted and respected. Instead of feeling excluded, the students feel included and are more likely to be successful in the classroom, where they feel safe just being themselves. It's not a disadvantage anymore, but rather an advantage!
  • Students with low SES backgrounds should be thought of as a privilege to teach; an opportunity to create a positive impact, when there might not be much else positive in the student's life.
  • Challenging students- embrace the challenge and learn from it! It makes you a better teacher and builds upon your strengths, when you find ways to adapt to students and their needs.
  • Honoring student passion and interest, and focusing on the good of the student and what each student brings to class/contributes.
  • Developing healthy relationships with learners!

How to identify and maximize your unique talents and strengths as an educator, We are teachers, Cleaver. (2015). http://www.weareteachers.com/blogs/post/2015/04/03/teach-to-your-strengths

5 Ways to make your classroom student centered, Powell. December 24, (2013). http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2013/12/24/ctq_powell_strengths.html

Instructional Strategies: How to create a learning environment for students of low SES?


  • Create structured and well-managed classrooms: students of low SES may have to deal with a lot of stress; this could help reduce their anxiety.
  • An option for this could be to have an area on the board or a calendar so students know when all assignments are due (and what problems are on the homework) and when to expect tests and quizzes. UDL 6.3 Facilitate managing information and resources.
  • Use evidence-based practices: this will maximize their learning: activate prior knowledge, increase language skills, provide instruction in smaller chunks, provide rapid feedback.
  • An option here could be to define new or difficult words, such as new vocabulary or words with multiple meanings. UDL 2.1 Clarify vocabulary and symbols.
  • Motivate and encourage students: students of low SES are likely to have low self-esteem so providing positive feedback more often, extrinsic rewards, and incorporating their interests will more effectively motivate them so succeed.
  • An option here could be to show how the area of study could be used in a real-life situation or why it is important to them, connecting it to an area of interest for one or many of the students. UDL 7.2 Optimize relevance, value, and authenticity.

The IRIS center for training enhancements. (2012). Classroom diversity: An introduction to student differences. Retrieved on August 26, 2015 from http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/div/

References:

  • Characteristics: Rebecca Jackson
Teaching students from low socioeconomic backgrounds: a brief guide for university teaching staff. Devlin and O’Shea. Higher Education Research Group (HERG), Deakin University. (2011). Retrieved on September 13, 2015. http://www.jcu.edu.au/learnandteach/public/groups/everyone/documents/information_about/jcu_093850.pdf
  • Barriers: Ashlin Lee

Effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: Practical advice for teaching staff. (2012). http://www.lowses.edu.au/assets/Practical%20Advice%20for%20Teaching%20Staff.pdf

  • Strengths: Claire Jorgensen

How to identify and maximize your unique talents and strengths as an educator, We are teachers, Cleaver. (2015). http://www.weareteachers.com/blogs/post/2015/04/03/teach-to-your-strengths

5 Ways to make your classroom student centered, Powell. December 24, (2013). http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2013/12/24/ctq_powell_strengths.html

  • Resources: Ashlin Lee

ascd.org

http://www.lowses.edu.au

http://www.academia.edu/13751310/Effective_teaching_and_support_of_students_from_low_socioeconomic_status_backgrounds_Resources_for_Australian_higher_educationhttp://www.scilearn.com/blog/helping-low-ses-students-thrive

  • Instructional Strategies: Dana Guthrie

The IRIS center for training enhancements. (2012). Classroom diversity: An introduction to student differences. Retrieved on August 26, 2015 from http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/div/

  • References: Claire Jorgensen
  • Final Product: Rebecca Jackson
Smore, https://www.smore.com/14j27/edit