When I arrived on the campus of Southern University where the C - Field Experience introduction. E. L. T program is housed I observed the routines and skills the students had acquired. Everyone knew their role and followed the classroom’s expectations. The C. E. L. T program is an extension of the Caddo Parish School Board Special Education Department. After graduation from high school, students transition to this program which is housed on the campus of a local university. The field experience was completed between the dates of Thursday, February 14- Friday, February 15, 2013.
I completed ten hours of field experience in this classroom setting assisting the teacher in differentiated instruction and reinforcement. The class was comprised of students with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and emotional/behavior disabilities, all of which received instruction in one setting. The objective for the two days of instruction was to identify and use concepts of money and read from a menu utilizing appropriate social skills on an outing. Students were asked to determine a specific amount of money for a purchase.
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Each student was given a worksheet that was fashioned after a personal shopping list. I assisted the teacher by helping each student individually add the total amount for items on their list. While some excelled in this area, it became very apparent that not every student had mastered this skill. The students that did not complete the assignment as quickly as others readily became restless. Constant reinforcement was needed to help the students remain on task. The second day of instruction was received in the classroom and at a local bowling alley.
Students were to read a menu. Some students did not posess adequate reading skills required to read the menu. They received help from the teacher and other students and were encouraged to examine the pictures included in the menu. I assisted in passing the students menus, creating a mock set up of a restaurant, table, play money, and calculator. Students were given senarios which included holding small conversations, passing table items, and general table etiqutee skills. Bowling alley day as filled with excitement.
The teacher and I treated every event as a teachable moment from counting money when playing games to correctly addressing peers and others. Students received the challenge of placing food and beverage orders based upon the amount of money they had. Students were assisted in counting money and determining the cost and change to be returned. As the day progressed we encouraged the students to utilize appropriate social skills, good manners, and etiquette throughout the eating experience.
We used informal asssessment throughout lesson and asked questions throughout the outing to gage student knowledge. We utilized a checklist to assess student knowledge base. The day was ended by students engaging in group discussion regarding what had taken place on the outing. This process has help me to better understand differentiated instruction. Although students were given the same objective, the method at which the lesson was taught required individualization.