Clinical field experience b: identifying student challenges


When teaching mathematics to students with mild to moderate disabilities, special education teachers first will identify student challenges. Identifying these challenges is vital in addressing the specific needs to help students continue to flourish in their academics. There can be numerous areas in which students struggle in mathematics and identifying differentiation strategies to help lessen these struggles is vastly important.

Allocate at least 3 hours in the field to support this field experience.

With your mentor teacher, identify a student or small group of students with disabilities who would benefit from differentiation and engagement strategies during an upcoming math lesson or activity.

Part 1: Student Challenges

With the mentor teacher, observe the student or small group of students while they work on math problems in class. Identify areas where the student or students seem to struggle.

Areas of concern where students may struggle include (but are not limited to):

· Output difficulties

· Organizational difficulties

· Language difficulties

· Attention difficulties

· Visual spatial or ordering difficulties

· Difficulties with multiple tasks

After observing and noting concerns, discuss with the student/students whether the areas you identified were challenging for them. Continue to work with them with guided practice and support.

Discuss your findings with your mentor teacher. Offer intervention strategies you could implement to help the students learn the math concepts being taught. With your mentor teacher, decide on 1-2 strategies to further develop in Clinical Field Experience C and implement in Clinical Field Experience D.

Part 2: Reflection

After observing and talking with the students and your mentor, summarize and reflect upon your experiences in 250-500 words, including:

· Your initial conversation with the mentor teacher, identifying how the student or students were chosen.

· Areas where the students seem to struggle.

· Summarize the conversation between you and the students discussing the areas that seemed to challenge them. Were they in agreement with you, or did they feel that they did not struggle or did not need support? If so, how did you continue to support them?

· Strategies you suggested to the mentor teacher, his or her feedback, and what strategies the two of you ultimately decided you would implement (which may be the same or different from what you originally suggested).

· Explain how you will use your findings to further assist the students while working with them in this placement. This will also help prepare you for Clinical Field Experiences C and D, as well as your own future classroom engagements.

Use any remaining field experience hours to assist the teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.

APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.

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