Saturday, November 1, 2014

Reflection on my course thus far

These last couple of weeks have been concentrated on technology for special needs students.  After having completed all of my assignments and reflecting on what we have looked at this far in the course, I have come to the conclusion that I still don't like to differentiate for a few students when I have far more students who are not officially identified or have parents who didn't want to "label" their child in my classroom.  Don't take it as that I don't want to help anyone, but more along the lines of I want to help everyone become successful.  It is far more difficult to differentiate for a few than to do it for everyone. My way of accommodating is to give every student the same piece of technology and it is up to them how they choose to use it.  Instead of using smart ideas with some, I use it with all students as they will all benefit from the structure.  If I need to give extra time to one student as mentioned in his IEP, why can't I give extra time to others as well since I have to stay in for recess anyway! I just don't like seeing non identified students struggling because their parents don't want them to be labelled.  Struggling is struggling no matter how you call it.  

I have seen some great new programs that I have had a bit of time to test out thanks to having taken this course.  I cannot say that all this is new to me as I try and keep up with the ongoing technology changes (especially with google drive! STOP changing it!) but at least this course is designed to have you choose things at your comfort level which helps me be able to look at programs that I have never had the time to look at until now.  
It is obvious from the discussion had in the discussion forums that we are all here to further engage our students and through that our commitment is definitely apparent (Standard of practice #1 Members are dedicated in their care and commitment to students.) and that we strive to further our own knowledge with the direction the world is turning (Standard of practice #2 Members recognize that a commitment to ongoing professional learning is integral to effective practice and to student learning).
What I would love to do, is be more in depth with some newer programs and maybe even tackle how we approach paperless classrooms in the math world as it seems as though there is not much mentioned about paperless math in the world.  What does it look like? Who has successfully gone through a year without using paper for math concepts like Geometry and Data management?
These are just some things on my mind at the moment now that I have a couple more minutes not clouded by report cards!