Sponsored by the Southern Illinois Professional Development Center - part of the Illinois Community College Board Service Center Network

Monday, April 13, 2015

Northern SLN Group Completes Training

Congratulations to the following for completing their SLN training last Friday at Waubonsee Community College.

Annette Barker - Waubonsee
Carolyn Markel - Moraine Valley
Sally Guy - Elgin
Dwayne Daniel - Safer Foundation
Heather Martin - Waubonsee
Alice Daniels - Rock Valley
Mandy Dwyer - Joliet
Kerry McCloskey - Waubonsee
Ginger McBride - Shawnee
Cathy Kramer - Waubonsee
Judy McGregor - Waubonsee
Luz Garfias - Waubonsee
Beth Maleski - Waubonsee
Tara Schwab - Waubonsee

Thanks to the above for making a difference in their students’ lives via increasing their knowledge and expertise by becoming credentialed Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Student Partnering Ideas for Understanding and Confidence

Thanks to Linda Zacchea from Waubonsee Community College and a participant in the northern SLN group for her enriching ideas.
Reading - I have students choose two characters from a story and write a letter from one to the other. They need to delve a little bit deeper into both the characters and their involvement in the story to be able to effectively do this.  

I also like to use the think/pair/share strategy when covering a new topic.  First you have individuals come up with some ideas and jot them down, then partners talk, then either one or both partners shares with the whole class. I think that students gain confidence in their ideas when they first have time to think to themselves, then talk about it  to one person, rather than the large group.

Thanks, Linda, and thanks for inspiring your students! These ideas are also great for enhancing post-secondary and work skills. Boosting our students critical thinking skills and confidence levels is a fantastic contribution to their future success.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Congratulations to Newly Credentialed Resource Specialists

Thanks to the following individuals for making a difference in their students’ lives via increasing their knowledge and expertise by becoming credentialed Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists. 

Christine Decker - Parkland College

Melissa Koke - Spoon River College

Janet Young - Spoon River College

Nancy Young - Lewis and Clark Community College

Linda Zacchea - Waubonsee Community College


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Word Warrior of the Week

Thanks to Nancy Young of Lewis and Clark Community College and a current member of the Central SLN group for her Reading/Writing strategy!

Brainstorm/discuss what they think this article or story might be about based on the title/picture.
Read the story aloud together.
Stop from time to time to check the brainstorming answers.
Confirm or debunk what they thought the article or story was going to be about.
Have the students go back over the material and come up with a vocabulary list (Always have a backup list)
Bounce the vocabulary words around the room to allow each student to use it properly in a sentence.
Begin the word war. This is where the students challenge each other to come up with grammatically correct sentences using multiple words. The student that uses the most vocabulary words in one sentence is the "Word warrior of the week".
Go back to the article/story and have the student do some analyzing and summarizing.
Identify descriptive areas and paint a verbal picture of what that looks like, so the student can "see" it in their mind.
Relate the article or story to the real world if at all possible.

Thanks, Nancy, for this fun, interactive, and real world reality check strategy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Members of the SLN Team Making a Difference!

Tara Schwab and Heather Martin of Waubonsee Community College share ideas on incorporating college and career readiness into the Language Arts curriculum at the IACEA conference in Springfield. They did a fantastic job!
Venise Haynes from South Suburban College has great strategies for teaching multi-level, multi-languge classes. Thanks, Venise, for spreading your knowledge with the field at IACEA last week.
Sally Guy and Richard Wince of Elgin Community College are pros at addressing learning styles as they develop thematic core curriculum. Their session delivered a wealth of knowledge from years of experience teaching.
Not pictured, but also providing great expertise was Alice Daniels of Rock Valley College who presented with Amanda Smith on Crossing the Bridge to ICAPS/Accelerating Opportunity and Jessica Parrent of Illinois Eastern Community College who shared her master's level knowledge on mental health in the classroom.

Thanks to all for helping us learn from each other!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adapt this "Read and Say" Strategy for Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Readers!

Thanks to Mandy Paquette of Joliet Junior College for this reading strategy.

"Some of my best results and student input have come from the simplest strategy, called Read and Say. Just as it says, the teacher and students collaboratively read a text (usually aloud, with partner reading), and then use sentence starters to say something about what they're read. Sentence starters include: "I wonder... This reminds me of... I was surprised that... I am confused about... I think this means... I learned that..." You really do get the best answers from students, and it works extremely well for students who love being verbal instead of in writing."

Although this strategy is successful for beginning students, the concept can be adapted for more advanced readers to teach critical thinking skills and college reading aptitudes.

Mandy is Literacy Support Specialist for volunteer tutors in the JJC district area and a participant in the northern group for the Institute to Credential Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Use Your Classroom as a Teaching Tool

Dwayne Daniel from Safer Foundation shares the following: I have used a variety of ideas and strategies to ensure that my students were getting math such as using the entire classroom itself including the floor, walls and ceiling to provide an understanding of measurements. Some of my students had difficulties with fractions, decimals and proportions. The floor tiles of our classrooms are usually a certain size such as 12 inches by 12 inches or 16" x 16" and their familiarity with this can translate to our math lesson. Painting a wall for some students helps them understand how much paint is needed to cover the walls of a rectangular room. For example, a room that has 9 feet ceiling height by 15 feet width needs a certain amount of gallons and the gallon can of paint tells us how much area this one gallon will cover. This uses your fractions, basic arithmetic and geometry as well as measurements. Be sure to give them a measuring tape for this hands-on assignment because they’ll enjoy learning this way. 

In addition, the walls can be used to covers fractions and proportions for your visual and interactive students. Don’t’ focus on what we do not have in the classroom, but what we CAN USE to deliver the quality services our students deserve and need to BEST LEARN. So, look around the room and use it as a tool for your assignments. 
Thanks Dwayne for sharing some tools from your educator tool belt! Dwayne is a current participant in the Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists Institute in the northern portion of Illinois.