Science and Social Studies

By: Wendi, Stephanie, Amanda, and Kathy

Welcome! Let's get ready to learn!

On a piece of scrap paper, please write your answer to the following analogy:
"Rain is to umbrella as teaching science and social studies is to _____________________."


Objective: By the end of this session, learners will be able to identify at least two specific challenges inherent to teaching science and social studies to learners with EEN, and at least two helpful ideas and/or resources for overcoming those challenges.

Challenges Specific to Teaching Science and Social Studies to Students with Exceptional Educational Needs

* Vocabulary
* Ideas
* Science: Complex Procedures/Math Knowledge
* Teachers' Expectations
* Textbooks
* Organizational Challenges
* Gaps in Continuum of Knowledge

Research Based Strategies For Science & Social Studies

· Scaffolding

o Supportive structure teachers create to help students accomplish a task they could not accomplish alone

o Keeps a task whole, while helping students to manage individual parts

o Can include questions & instructional talk

o Should provide enough support for students to succeed but not so much that teachers do all the work

· Collaborative Strategies and Skills

o Ex: Jigsaw

o Assign roles to encourage participation

o Not high stakes (won’t count for large percentage of grade)

o Benefits:

o Positive interdependence – success of each individual is tied to a group

o Individual accountability – students are individually assessed

o Social skills – learn to support each other as they learn in groups of 2-4

· Promote Literacy & Student Reasoning

o Pre-teach and review vocabulary

o Promote reflection and discussion

o Use open-ended projects that encourage students to develop practice-based literacy

o Have students develop questions for each unit (possibly co-teaching groups)

· Use Paraphrasing to Promote Comprehension

o Re-writing in their own words that maintains the original meaning (note taking, review, etc.)

o Reinforces reading skills such as identifying main idea and finding supporting details

o More difficult with scientific jargon

· Use a Variety of Print Materials

o Magazines, newspaper articles, and the internet in addition to a textbook

o More likely to include current events and real world applications

o Many newspapers and magazines offer free issues for students/teachers

· Expand Vocabulary Instruction

o Especially important in science instruction

o Pre-teach or re-teach vocabulary in small groups

o Meaning-based in addition to dictionary-based approaches

o Ex. Embedding targeted words in sentences for context, synonyms and antonyms, concept mapping

· Mind Mapping

o Recognize patterns among and between concepts

o See difference perspectives

o Less structures than other organizers (brainstorming encouraged)

o Hierarchy not an issue

o Can be used for note taking, or to determine what students might already know about a concept


Mind Map Example:

Best Practices For Inclusion:

Determine whether or not adaptations are necessary

Nine Step Process for planning and implementing adaptations

Best Practices for Including Students in Science Classrooms

· Science lessons should be hands-on

· Use activity-oriented approach

· Teachers should be facilitators of knowledge, rather than dispensers of knowledge;

· Cooperative groups should be implemented

· Make curricular and instructional adaptations when appropriate

· Utilize theme-based instruction

· Capitalize on "teachable" moments

· Encourage students to engage in problem-solving exercises

· Use effective assessment strategies

Adaptations that Can Be Used to Include students in Science and Social Studies:

· Vocabulary

o Simplify language

o preteach vocabulary

o use mnemonics

o use picture clues

o implement peer tutoring

o evaluate which vocabulary is essential

· Instructional Delivery:

o Modify rate and how material is presented,

o Include visual organizers

o Use overhead projector

o Present concrete examples

o Preteach prerequisite information

o Provide additional application activities

o Use a variety of instructional strategies

o Provide advanced organizers – use a one page unit organizer

o Use cooperative learning groups

o integrate other content areas into science

o shorten lessons

o provide structure

· Text

o Use graphic organizers and framed outlines

o Provide guided notes

o Use highlighting strategies for important vocabulary and key concepts

o Implement partner reading

o Provide tape recorded readings

o Use alternative reading material

· Instructional Aids:
Science - Provide multi-textured materials, concrete models, materials that are easily

manipulated, materials that can be taken apart and reassembled, manipulatives for linear measurement, materials that can be felt or heard when solutions are stirred or shaken

Social Studies - Maps, fact tables, guided notes, atlases, and spelling dictionaries, audio tapes, video tapes

· Assessment:

o Provide authentic and performance-based assessment that can be easily linked to scientific processes

o Allow for multiple opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills

o Implement portfolio assessment

o Teach test-taking skills and study techniques.

· Speak clearly and with ample volume and use visuals to emphasize speech.
· Reward Effort - Give praise and positive reinforcement for effort, not necessarily outcome