A Friday workshop for the tutors held on October 9th, 2020 was run by a gentleman named Mr. Patrick who visited us from Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center.  Please see the report below.

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The workshop started at 1pm, at which time Mr. Augustino welcomed all the attendees.  He introduced Mr. Patrick, a visitor from the students’ organization at KCMC, and also welcomed the facilitator of the session, Miss Belina, to start the presentation.  The facilitator began by explaining how she was going to present the topic called Different Teaching Methods.

After that, the facilitator provided questions to the tutors and they formed groups to start discussing and one member from each group had to present the ideas they shared in the group.  A sample question was “What methods do tutors use in teaching slow learners?”

The facilitators, Belina and Patrick, then started the presentation by summarizing the answers that the tutors shared during the discussion.  Belina continued to explain in depth about strategies teachers use to help kids who learn and think differently.  She mentioned six strategies using this Understood.org article as a reference.  They include wait time, multisensory instruction, modeling, graphic organizers, one-on-one and small group instruction, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies.

The tutors asked a lot of questions concerning different challenges they face when teaching children and the facilitator had to answer all the questions.  For example, they wanted to know how to help a child who forgets easily and the facilitator provided information about how to support learning retention.

After that, Mr. Patrick explained more about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and he gave recommendations about how to help a child with ADHD such as the child should be exposed to areas without noise, seated in front of the class, and given work to do at home.

The tutors agreed to give more homework to the children because it will help them to understand earlier and reinforce what they learned in school.  They also agreed to teach the students according to the strategies they were given in this workshop.  They should not give up on children who learn slowly but rather encourage them and motivate them to learn.  And, Mr. Patrick should come back to present on methods to use to help children who need medical care and behavioral modification.

Below, please find Mr. Patrick and Miss Belina’s presentation notes culled from the Understood.org article:

STRATEGIES TEACHERS MAY USE TO HELP KIDS WHO LEARN AND THINK DIFFERENTLY:

  1. Wait Time

“Wait time” (or “think time”) is a three- to seven- second pause after a teacher says something or asks a question.  Instead of calling on the first student who raises her hand, the teacher will stop and wait.

This strategy can help with the following issues:

  • Slow processing speed: For kids who process slowly, it may feel as though a teacher’s questions come at rapid-fire speed. “Wait time” allows kids to understand what the teacher asked and to think of a response.
  • ADHD: Kids with ADHD can benefit from wait time for the same reason. They have more time to think instead of calling out the first answer that comes to mind.
  1. Multisensory Instruction

Multisensory instruction is a way of teaching that engages more than one sense at a time.  A teacher might help kids learn information using touch, movement, sight, and hearing.

This way of teaching can help with these issues:

  • Dyslexia: Many programs for struggling readers use multisensory strategies. Teachers might have students use their fingers to tap out each sound in a word, for example.  Or students might draw a word in the air using their arm.
  • Dyscalculia: Multisensory instruction is helpful in math, too. Teachers often use hands-on tools like blocks and drawings.  These tools help kids to “see” math concepts.  Adding 2 + 2 is more concrete when you combine four blocks in front of you.  You may hear teachers refer to these tools as manipulatives.
  • Dysgraphia: Teachers also use multisensory instruction for handwriting struggles. For instance, students use the sense of touch when they write on “bumpy” paper.
  • ADHD: Multisensory instruction can help with different ADHD symptoms. That’s especially true if the technique involves movement.  Being able to move can help kids burn excess energy.  Movement can also help kids focus and retain new information.
  1. Modeling

Most kids don’t learn simply by being told what to do.  Teachers use a strategy called “I Do, We Do, You Do” to model a skill.  The teacher will show how to do something (“I do”) such as how to do a math problem.  Next, she will invite kids to do a problem with her (“we do”).  Then, kids will try a math problem on their own (“you do”).

This strategy can help with these issues:

  • All learning and thinking differences: When used correctly, “I Do, We Do, You Do” can benefit all learners. That’s because a teacher can provide support during each phase.  However, teachers must know what support to provide.  They also need to know when students understand a concept well enough to work on their own.  Think of it like riding a bike: the teacher needs to know when to take off the training wheels.
  1. Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are visual tools.  They show information or the connection between ideas.  They also help kids organize what they’ve learned or what they have to do.  Teachers use these tools to “scaffold,” or provide support around, the learning process for struggling learners.  (It’s the same idea as when workers put up scaffolding to help construct a building.)

There are many different kinds of graphic organizers, such as Venn diagrams and flow charts.  They can be especially helpful with these issues:

  • Dyscalculia: In math, graphic organizers can help kids break down math problems into steps. Kids can also use them to learn or review math concepts.
  • Dysgraphia: Teachers often use graphic organizers when they teach writing. Graphic organizers help kids plan their ideas and writing.  Some also provide write-on lines to help kids space their words.
  • Executive functioning issues: Kids with weak executive skills can use these tools to organize information and plan their work. Graphic organizers can help kids condense their thoughts into short statements.  This is useful for kids who often struggle to find the most important idea when taking notes.
  1. One-on-One and Small Group Instruction

One strategy that teachers use is to vary the size of the group they teach.  Some lessons are taught to the whole class.  Others are better for a small group of students or one student.  Learning in a small group or one-on-one can be very helpful to kids with learning and thinking differences.

Some kids are placed in small groups because of their IEPs or an intervention.  But that’s not always the case.  Teachers often meet with small groups or one student as a way to differentiate instruction.  This means that they tailor the lesson to the needs of the student.

This strategy helps with:

  • Dyslexia: Students with dyslexia frequently meet in small group settings for reading. In the general classroom, teachers often work with a small group of kids at the same reading level or to focus on a specific skill.  They might also meet because kids have a common interest in a book.
  • Dyscalculia: For kids with dyscalculia, teachers gather one or more students to practice skills that some students (but not the whole class) need extra help with.
  • Dysgraphia: In many classrooms, teachers hold “writing conferences.” They meet with students one-on-one to talk about their progress with what they’re writing.  For students with dysgraphia, a teacher can use this opportunity to check in and focus on specific skills for that student.
  • ADHD and executive functioning issues: This type of instruction often takes place in settings with fewer distractions. The teacher can also help students stay on task and learn skills like self-monitoring.
  • Slow processing speed: Teachers can adjust the pace of instruction to give students the time they need to take in and respond to information. In these groups, teachers can focus on the priorities of the lesson so students have the time to grasp the most important concepts.  Being in a focused setting may also help decrease the anxiety students feel in whole-class lessons.
  1. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Strategies

UDL is a type of teaching that gives all students flexible ways to learn and succeed.  UDL strategies allow kids to access materials engage with them and show what they know in different ways.

There are many examples of how these strategies help kids who learn and think differently.

  • ADHD: UDL allows students to work in flexible learning environments. For students who struggle with inattention and distractibility, a teacher might allow a student to work in a quiet space away from the class.  Or the student may want to wear ear buds or headphones.
  • Executive functioning issues: Following directions can be tough for kids with executive functioning issues. One UDL strategy is to give directions in more than one format.  For instance, a teacher might give directions out loud and write them on the board.
  • Dyslexia: When teachers follow UDL principles, they present information in many different ways. For instance, instead of telling students they must read a book, they would be invited to listen to an audio-book.  This removes a barrier for students who struggle with reading.
  • Dysgraphia: One UDL strategy is to give assignment choices. Kids with dysgraphia may struggle to show how much they know about history by writing an essay.  But they may shine when delivering a presentation or acting out a historical skit.
  • To learn more about any of these teaching strategies, talk with your child’s teacher. Ask which strategies they use, whether they are evidence-based and how you might use them at home.