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Provide Opportunities to Practice with Supports

Page history last edited by Mallory Burton 12 years, 6 months ago


Providing Opportunities to Practice with Supports is a UDL strategy presented in Chapter 6 of Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age. 


Key Concepts:

1.  Students need to over-learn many skills to the point of automaticity

2.  Teachers can break down the skills into simpler parts

3.  Teachers can scaffold one part of the skill to help the student focus on another



What is most important for students to get from me while I am physically present in the class with them?

--Jonathan Bergmann & Aaron Sams



Sample Lesson

Two high school chemistry teachers from Colorado have discovered how to maximize the time their students have to practice with support and are also able to differentiate instruction, a daunting tast at the high school level.  Instead of posting a sample lesson and going over that in the online session, I  asked teams to watch this 20 minute video prior to the online meeting so we could get the most out of our online time together by discussing it.  Traditionally, high school students hear a lecture during class time and complete problem sets as homework.  These teachers have turned the traditional lecture/homework paradigm on its head and now use Educational Vodcasting to support Mastery Learning.  Their students watch lectures for homework as a vodcast and have the class time to work on the problem sets with both teachers.  Here's a link to the video below.  These guys are presenting the keynote at the Touch 'n Go conference in Cowichan in August 2010!!





Think-Pair-Share online  (done in our online meeting with private messaging!)

What was your favourite "big idea" from this presentation?

How is their approach compatible with UDL principles?

How is their approach incompatible?


Teaching Strategies/Activities/Resources

Students are often on their own when they are doing homework.  When students are stuck on their homework, it's helpful to have a website such as Math6 Spy Guys (thanks to Rae for this great find!) where they can go for help.  This website has engaging interactive lessons and practice, instructions for parents including suggestions for applying math concepts in home activities, and printable activities.   

Some schools sponsor after-school homework clubs where students can receive help and work for a choice of rewards.  Dweeber is a website that provides tools for students to work on homework together online.

  Manipulatives and models provide great support for our kinesthetic learners.  In the hierarchy of retention represented on a Learning Pyramid, reading and hearing are lowest, seeing a demo and discussing are better, and doing/teaching are best. 

Dictionaries are helpful supports for many subject areas.  These can be commercially-produced paper or electronic dictionaries, personal dictionaries students can add to, dictionaries embedded in software, or online dictionaries.  This Diigo list includes visual dictionaries, video dictionaries, visual thesauri, rhyming dictionaries, pronunciation dictionaries, and translators.

Supports that help students work independently can be posted around the room.  Many teachers use word walls to display special topic lists and/or high frequency words students may need in their writing.  Clicker5 software has a built-in word bank and the authoring capability allows you to create specialty text and/or picture word banks to assist student writing. 

Graphic organizers provide excellent scaffolding.  However, students must be taught to use graphic organizers in order to use them effectively.  If you are introducing a new graphic organizer, use familiar content and have your students practice several times with the organizer before adding unfamiliar content.  Choose graphic organizers that you can "fade" because they are still simple enough to reproduce from memory, e.g. during a provincial exam!  Karen Hume suggests teachers introduce 3 or 4 new graphic organizers for each grade level but at the end of 12 years of schooling, students should have quite a repertoire.
In order to use their time efficiently and work independently, students need to learn to manage their time and projects.  Checklists, cue cards, and bookmarks can be used to remind students of steps in a process or provide suggestions for planning or reviewing their work.  KidTools provides a set of downloadable cards and graphic organizers that students can use to create working plans and break projects down into manageable chunks.  Strategy Tools provides help for older students to get organized, study and pass tests, and complete projects.  
Students can provide support for each other when working in pairs or groups.  Students can take on different roles in the group depending on their interests, strengths, or areas in which they need further practice.   The Reciprocal Teaching Method uses peer coaches to teach reading comprehension strategies.  At this site, you can download scripts for the peer coaches and printable bookmarks which remind students to use 5 comprehension strategies.  Interactive Instructional Strategies such as Think-Pair-Share and Cooperative Learning are powerful techniques that help students assume more responsibility for their learning. 

Pictures and symbols can be used as supports for reading and writing.  As you type in a Clicker5 word-processing document, pictures or symbols appear above the words.  Attainment has created a literacy-based math program  designed to teach geometry and algebra to students with cognitive difficulties.  All of the reading materials used in the program contain picture support.  They have also recently developed a Science program with picture support.

We often ask kids to do drill and practice activities without exploring the "bigger questions" that might provide the motivation for that drill and practice (such as why we need to learn particular math skills).  We also underestimate the number of repetitions and amount of time required to learn vocabulary and memorize facts.  Teachers have traditionally used drill and practice for overlearning of skills such as touch typing or content such as math or geography facts. 

Abacus Flickr CC photo by ansik

When choosing computer games, make sure they actually match your learning goals.  Online computer games such as the geography games at Sheppard Software provide many opportunities for students to work independently on engaging, self-correcting drill and practice.  On the Spelling City site, students can enter their spelling words and Spelling City generates sentences using the words, games to practice the words, and a self-correcting spelling test.  At Free Rice, socially-conscious students can donate rice as they practice.



Related Features of Word 

Add picture support to Word with Clip Art or Images.
Add supports to Word documents with Voice Comments.
Add supports to Word documents with Text Comments.
  Word's spell-checker provides immediate feedback...no more waiting 2 weeks until your paper is graded to see if you spelled a word wrong.  The grammar checker is sometimes incorrect and should be used cautiously.


Related Features of Kurzweil

  Kurzweil's talking spell-checker provides spelling support.
  Kurzweil has text to speech support for reading and for word processing.
The Word Prediction features assists with writing.
  You can create custom vocabulary lists for use with word prediction or for vocabulary support as "floating lists".
  The new v.11 for Windows includes brainstorming and outlining features.


Related Features of the SMARTBoard 

  When you are finished teaching a lesson, you can leave it on the SB or make the NB file available on other computers so students can continue to practice.  You can record demonstrations such as solving a math problem that students can use for reference during independent practice.
  There are a large number of customizable self-checking flash games included in the NB software.
  The NB software includes templates such as those used for printing and handwriting practice.  


Related pages: 

Scaffolding Student Access to Printed and Digital Text  

Scaffolding Student Writing



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