Most special educators are required to differentiate reading and writing instruction for students across different skill levels, often in the same classroom. Being experienced with a variety of differentiation strategies will make such instructional planning easier, and students are more likely to be successful. In a middle school or high school setting, it is particularly important that age and developmental level are addressed; students’ interests are often more aligned to their age and same-age peers, rather than their academic level.
Allocate 3 hours in the field to support this field experience.
Observe, interview, and collaborate with the mentor teacher, who currently teaches English language arts in a high school (Grades 9-12) inclusive, resource, or self-contained setting, during at least two different ELA lessons.
During your observations, make note of the following:
- Reading and writing strategies
- Strategies specific to adolescent students
- How instruction is differentiated to meet individual student needs
- Instructional methods
- Student groupings during instruction
- Informal assessments that are used
- Reading materials and genresIn 250-500 words, summarize and reflect upon your interview, observations, and instructional support. Discuss which methods and strategies best met the needs of the students. Explain how you will use your findings in your future professional practice.
- Use any remaining field experience hours to assist the teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.