Laura is a blind student in my class.
While not at school, Laura likes to listen to music. She even plays the violin beautifully! Her role model is Helen Keller. She is very inspired by how Helen did not let her impairment get in her way!! Laura hopes that she is like that. :)
Creating a Connection
- Always have an eye out for her, she would be an easy target for bullying.
- In addition, she can get frustrated very easily because tasks that are easy for some students are going to be harder for Laura.
- Create special times for just me and her to bond. Take advantage of opportunities such as a walk to recess, for example.
- Really, really make an effort to try to feel how she feels. Ask her what she thinks might help me know the feeling she feels all the time living blind
Student to Student Relationships
- From the get go, make sure the class knows that Laura is just like all of us. Do this by modeling this attitude. Don't treat her any different than the rest of the students (with some leeway, of course). This will show the students that they do not have to be afraid to talk to her or ask her questions about being blind--she is a kid just like the rest of my students! And she needs friends, too!
- Take advantage of any teaching opportunities.
- Have fun with the class, including Laura. Play games, converse, etc.
- Go on a field trip to somewhere where Laura can participate. Like a musical, she will be able to hear the music just like the rest of the students
| || |
Some quotes from Helen Keller that back up my ideas about creating a community of leaners, which will benefit Laura as well as all the students in my classroom.
- Be positive--all the time, even when you feel negative inside.
- Model how you want her to react to different scenarios. Know that she, along with all of your students, is always watching you and noticing everything you do or say.
- Describe everything to her, since she cannot see you doing something, narrate it all--even when it feels silly.
- She has a good sense of sound and so really run with that-- talk to her a lot about all the noises and sounds. She will strive in this area because she can hear everything.
Ways that I can adapt my teaching style to fit Laura's needs.
- Keep everything where it always is so that Laura can find it easily.
- Teach the same as you would be narrate a little more, like what exactly you are writing on the board so that she can know what is important like the other children.
- If something can be touched, encourage that so that her senses can be satisfied.
- Keep a strict schedule of when you have time with the student that needs assistance, Laura for this instance, so that she knows that if you are explaining something and she does not understand, you will come talk to her in a little bit.
The website above does an excellent job of including what to do in certain subject areas for students that are blind or visually impaired.
- Assess Laura just like the rest of the students, ask her questions to find out her understanding level.
- Technology will be super helpful in this area because a blind student can listen. So there is so many different technologies available for visually impaired students.
- Laura can use audio assessments and then be able to choose her answers using that same sort of program.
- She may need more time than other students to prepare for a big exam, so make sure to give her plenty of notice. That will avoid her getting too stressed about it. This will also give you time to make sure you have prepared a way for her to take the exam.
- As far as general understanding of concepts, assessing Laura should be pretty similar to the rest of the students.
Modifications for the Rest of My Students
Ways I would have to change this is:
- Always have a smile on my face.
- Come to class ready to teach with equal enthusiasm each day, even if I don't feel equally enthused every day.
- Describing what I'm doing will help all of my students and not just Laura because some of my students may be more auditory learners as opposed to visual.
- Same goes for having them feel things that could help my sensory learners.
In addition, small changes I would make to each section would include:
- I believe it is extremely important to create a personal connection with each of my students-- that is going to help them trust me to teach them what I think they need to learn. So, I would not have to modify that much of that particular section.
- The same could be said for building student to student connections. Not only do my students need to feel comfortable around Laura, they also need to feel comfortable around each other. By doing this I will be creating a great community of learners that are going to help each other out based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. In addition, the more comfortable the students are with each other, the less fear their is in the classroom. This will be so important because students will feel free to ask any questions they might have and make any comments they might have about any discussions we might have.
- My teaching style I created for Laura is also going to assist my other students. Staying on schedule and keeping everything organized is going to create a culture of learning and routine which will help the students know that they are there to learn.
- Assessing will not have to change much either, except I will not have to have as many accommodations as I will need for Laura's needs.