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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Group Work Using Vocabulary Puzzles from Gregg Beglau of Kankakee Community College

"In teaching new vocabulary, after exposure to the definition through explicit instruction, groups of students compete by putting together jigsaw puzzles of the definitions. Each group receives 10 envelopes containing the identical pieces necessary for building a sentence that describes the vocabulary definition. They work together with a small group standing around a table to compete against the other groups.

This exercise takes into account social-group, tactile, kinesthetic, and visual expressive learners."
Thanks Gregg, for sharing your exciting learning activity!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Words of Inspiration from Susan Cunningham from Rend Lake

Special Learning Needs Institute participant Susan Cunningham, Disability Services/Title III Activity Director from Rend Lake College shares the following experience and insight.

"I tutor a student in math. In this one-to-one situation, I have started structuring and modeling the task. I demonstrate a skill by telling her about it and creating a clear written example. I then, on the same page, have her do a very similar example using the pattern in the demonstration and describing what she is doing.  At this point, if she was able to describe the process, I ask for feedback on how confident she feels with the skill.  If she feels ready to work on her own, I give her the example page to use as she works.  If she is unsure, I do another problem, modeling and describing the process.  The student then does another problem and we reassess.

The feedback from the student has been extremely positive.  She seems to understand the material more quickly.  She feels the 'notes' from our session are already a helpful study aid. The most positive outcome is she has requested additional tutoring time.
What is interesting is this approach actually takes me less time.  While I have to be conscious of organizing the task in a clear manager, the access to these notes has made the student more independent and improved her confidence level.  Re-teaching is not necessary nearly as often."
Thanks Susan!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Thanks to Michael Matos from Albany Park Community Center and a current participant in the Special Learning Needs Institute for sharing the following. When assisting students, Michael uses guiding questions and the framework for SMART student learning goals:

1. What do we observe in the examples of student work? What patterns do we notice?
2. What can we infer about our students' strengths and challenges?
3. Which challenge shall we address?

Thanks for sharing these guiding questions as we work through assisting our students individually as equal partners and co-investigators in their learning!