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Multi-sensory teaching

 

“If a child is not learning in the way you teach, change your teaching strategy and teach the child in the way he learns!”

Multisensory techniques are frequently used for children with learning differences. Multi-sensory teaching techniques and strategies stimulate learning by engaging students on multiple levels. They encourage students to use some or all their senses to:

  • Gather information about a task
  • Link information to ideas they already know and understand
  • Perceive the logic involved in solving problems
  • Learn problem solving tasks
  • Tap into nonverbal reasoning skills
  • Understand relationships between concepts
  • Store information and store it for later recall

The images above were used in a specialised setting with children who had ASD. They were really engaged with the crafts activity and loved the idea of using shaving foam to dye their eggs. The boys who I used it with loved touching and feeling the shaving foam, as they were Autistic, they would have loved the texture and the feel of it. It was a great way to teach them about the different colours and what happens when you mix colours together. A very messy but meaningful activity!

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Devising a seating plan

During my placement, I created a setting plan. The plan was based on mixed ability to enable the boys to support one and other. The plan had to be carefully worked out to ensure that the boys will work well together. Additional needs also had to be considered such as those who needed support, the child with dyslexia and the children with glasses. I am glad to have been able to experience designing and implementing a new seating plan so that I know what to do come September!

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Teaching PE

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When I was asked to teach PE, I was hit with nerves and excitement! Teaching PE to a class of year 4, sporty boys was nerve-wrecking. However, after meeting with the Sports Teacher, he devised a plan for me to follow and went through the lesson. I felt much better and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The lesson went well overall and I used mixed ability as a form of differentiation and support. Some of the children played tennis professionally so it wouldn’t have been fair to pair all of them together. I learnt that when teaching PE, modelling is KEY. For example, I had to demonstrate the ‘shake hands’ motion for when holding a bat. Through reflecting on this, and as evident in my evaluation, it was quite tricky to project my voice over 30 excited boys and a hall. So, it is important to always have a whistle!! It was also quite hard to cram everything in in the space of 30 minutes so I definitely think an hour would have been more beneficial. Despite this, my confidence has definitely developed when teaching PE and I cant wait to teach it again as an NQT (with a whistle!). Also, during the lesson, a child cut his eye and had to go to first aid. I followed school policy and send him to the office to receive treatment and provided the parents with a ‘bump on the head’ letter.

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Hagrid’s Potion Prices!

During my final practice, the boys were OBSESSED with Harry Potter. So, I decided to implement a potion price list when teaching money. The children were really engaged with this and loved the idea of it having a real-life, comical context. I was also praised for this resource by the Year 5 teacher who was observing the other classroom. However, the HA resource contained a typing error and included a fraction that couldn’t be divided equally. This caused a bit of chaos and disruption so next time, it is so important to check home-made worksheets for any errors. Also, it is crucial to keep your subject knowledge up to date! Perhaps if I had done so, there wouldn’t have been an error. Nevertheless, the children were so engaged and motivated by the theme of the lesson that they all got on to complete the extension challenge cards. These resources were effectively differentiated and I would definitely use them again (once I’ve corrected the typo that is!). I have attached the differentiated sheets.

Hagrid_s Potion Price List SquaresHagrid_s Potion Price List Triangles

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Using Vocabulary Maps to support low attaining children in English

1 18During my final placement, I differentiated in many different ways. One of these ways were through resources. When engaging with writing, I would always ensure that the children had prompts on their tables, whether this was in the form of vocabulary maps, images or both. The children used the image above when writing a descriptive piece based on Narnia – what’s behind the door? After assessing their prior knowledge, I discovered that the low attaining children specifically struggled to use sentence openers and adverbs in their writing. Therefore, I implemented these into the vocabulary map for the children to use as prompts. This resource proved to be extremely beneficial for the low attaining children and the child who had Dyslexia. However, although it is a good starting point, you have to be mindful about children over-relying on the vocabulary and not thinking of any independently. Next time, I would only implement vocab banks during the planning process and encourage independence during the writing. This will enable me to assess more accurately.

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‘I Matter Code’

During my time in a specialised setting, I was provided with an ‘I Matter’ code which was the school’s safeguarding policy. It enabled those that aren’t familiar with SEN/D settings to gather an idea of what each child is entitled to. For example, choices. It also mentions ‘Give me time to respond’ as not all children will be communicative. This is where the rules differ from being in a mainstream school. Although you will give children time to respond, it will come much more naturally whereas in specialised settings, this right is explicit. It enables professionals to know how to keep children safe, whilst addressing a wide range of needs. For example, ‘always let me know what will happen next’ may be specifically important when teaching a child with autism who finds changes difficulty. However, a child with ADHD may not need to know what happens next. Therefore, although these needs are equally important, some children will require one more than others. This is a crucial policy to implement as people (like me) who had never been in a SEN/D school may overlook these basic needs so it is important to ensure that they know how to make each child feel safe.

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