This research paper aims at using a clinical field experience to identify and prioritize areas of general curriculum and accommodations of those students who have been found to have exceptionalities by integrating affective, social and life skills to meet their educational requirements within a school setting.
Identifying and Prioritizing Areas of General Curriculum and Accommodation for Students Found to have Exceptionalities
The first clinical field experience that I have conducted was in a classroom in a local district school and involved John, a k-8 student at Cartwright District School and who is male suffering from Autism. Due to this condition, John has been facing the problem of writing, and whenever his teacher asks him to write something, his mind automatically shuts down. I even noticed that his handwriting was challenging to follow and read and this significantly affected his performance in class. The second field experience involved Hannah, a k-12 student at Montevallo Elementary School. As later confirmed by her class teacher, I realized that Hannah was struggling to read most of the written materials on her own and she faced a lot of difficulties in completing most of the independent reading assignments.
Integrating Affective Skills with Academic Curricula for Exceptional Students
Affective skills mainly help in improving the emotions, attitudes, and values of the subjects in the effort of promoting their growth. Integrating effective skills such as valuing, responding and organizing was very important in facilitating the affective education of both Hannah and John. The strategy that I used to impact affection education on both Hannah and John was introducing a powerpoint presentation exercise in their respective classes whereby all the students were supported to work in pairs in discussing the topic about gender discrimination at the school setting. Each of the pairs was supposed to engage one another during the research and ensure that they received new information from one another, responded, valued it and organized the critical points before writing up a five minutes powerpoint presentation that would summarize the key findings. This practical education activity proved to be very beneficial to both Hannah and John as well as the rest of the students as it enables them to express their emotions, attitudes, and interest towards the various issues that they encounter.
Integrating Social Skills with Academic Curricula for Exceptional Students
With the help of the educators in the each of the schools involved, I discussed with the both John and Hannah on the importance of building social networks with the other students in the classroom since it would help in boosting their performance. Friends act as good sources of knowledge within the school setting. I engaged both Hannah and John with the rest of the students in their respective classes into some social activities such as reading and writing recipes in groups hence facilitate their interaction level with other students.
Integrating Life Skills with Academic Curricula for Exceptional Students
Life skills such as how to undertake functional reading, leisure and recreational skills, daily living skills, pre-vocational skills, and self-care are essential for students with development and learning disabilities. To facilitate the development of their life skills, I collaborated with individual class teachers of both Hannah and John into implementing a one-day check-in protocol that aimed at assessing whether these students were able to remember to timely undertake some functional living skills such as closing their desks before leaving the classroom, wash their hands after visiting the toilets and praying before taking day-break tea or meal. This activity significantly helped these students improve on these particular life skills which they would then extend to others such as community living and vocational competence.
Developing Instructional Content, Resources, and Strategies
Various instructional content and resources can be employed within the school setting to deal with the linguistic, cultural and gender differences that may be present amongst the students with exceptional needs. They include books on tapes and digital text that are gender sensitive and use content that reflect cultural plurality and easy to understand language by the diverse students with exceptionalities. One of the strategies to use while offering the instructional material includes altering the physical or social environment such as encouraging the students with exceptionalities to sit closer to the board to avoid distraction and ensuring a quiet environment for studying. Others include adjusting personal assistance, the learning process and teaching methods and materials used in such a way that meet the needs of the students.
Instructive Technology to be incorporated
An instructive technology assists educators in effectively engaging the students in the learning process and enhance their performance. The best instructive technology to use to cater for the needs of both Hannah and John among other students with exceptional needs is the interactive whiteboards which can be easily wiped and help in facilitating the teaching and presentation practices within the classroom. It allows the teacher to provide graphical and handwritten information to the students.
Assistive Technology to be incorporated
The assistive technology helps in enhancing the level of functioning of the students with or development and disability needs. The most efficient assistive technology to utilize when dealing with students with exceptionalities is the word processing software. This technology helps the students to manipulate the text and also apply basic formatting to a document hence enhancing their writing and reading abilities.
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