Creating the Read Aloud Lesson Plan: Reflections

read aloud jpgAs we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?

If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?

What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?

How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?

How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?




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38 comments on “Creating the Read Aloud Lesson Plan: Reflections
  1. Coming from someone who is a math teacher I found that I learned a lot in this class as well as gained some confidence in an area that is not my expertise. I learned about the different levels of vocabulary and the importance of knowing how to teach each level. Explicitly teaching my student this vocabulary helped in my students understanding of the book. We worked on this lesson for 4 days and it seemed that each day we worked on it she would remember more and more from the last time. Each day we would go over the tier 2 and 3 vocabulary and by the fourth day she was able to retell the story in her own words and even used some of the vocab that we went over! Coming from a student that not only has a communication disorder, but who is many steps below grade level in the areas of reading and writing this was awesome to see. I also learned the importance of using texts that appeal to the childs interests. My student came in every day excited to see what we would be doing next with the book. She was excited to learn new things and having the student help you pick out which book to read can make all the difference.
    Something that surprised me during this lesson was the different things that my student picked up on and remembered. When looking at the tier 3 vocab words I was nervous that she would have a hard time understanding them since they were all fire fighter vocab words, some that I had never even heard of. My student proved me wrong when she was able to use those words in her retell of the story with the assistance of the vocab cards in front of her.
    When working with this student I saw how reading and writing all tie into my students communication disorder. Sounding out words for her is difficult because sometimes she does not say them correctly. I found that visuals for her to see what words meant helped so much. I had visual vocab cards for the tier 2 and 3 vocab that she has in front of her while I was reading the story to her. Any time we came across a word that had a vocab card she would automatically reference the card. From working with my student I can tell that she struggles in school, but her desire to succeed is so evident in the way she works so hard. She was constantly wanting to do better and learn more and it was really awesome to see.
    In this class we learned so much useful information that I will for sure be using in the future. For this specific lesson plan I learned that the pre reading can be one of the most important things in order to grab your students attention and hook them into the book. We want kids to be excited about learning and giving them a hook is important. I also learned about the importance of questioning at all levels of blooms taxonomy. Not only should this be done during the reading, but also afterwards when I am seeing what my student understood from the book. A read aloud can be a great activity, but it means more than just reading the book. The questions and comments you make throughout the text are what will assist in your students comprehension of the book. I never knew so much went into reading a story, but after seeing the end result and how successful my student was it made it clear that all of these steps and planning are so crucial especially for students with communication disorders.

  2. Creating my read aloud lesson plan has been quite a learning experience for me. I have really developed a deeper love for an opening connecting activity after going through my outdoor tent and camping activity with my student. To see my student so engaged and having fun while still listening to the language transformed what I thought an opening activity could be. They have always been a part of my lessons, but the success of this opening activity was just so phenomenal that I hope to have activities like this in my own classroom. I also saw how much going through the vocabulary helps a student. Not just the definition, but a kid friendly definition, an example beyond the story, and also a visual representation really help the student gain a better understanding of the vocabulary. I saw this as through the multiple times I worked with my student, she would try to use the vocabulary we worked on together to describe items. For example, I have one really large cup that she likes to drink out of. When asking for a drink during one of our work sessions, she asked “Can I have a drink from the humongous cup”? She smiled so big, as did I, as we saw her applying her knowledge.
    My student did a great job through all of her work sessions and during the read aloud session. What surprised me most is how much what we practiced together stuck with her. Her constantly trying to use the new vocabulary in multiple settings made me so proud as I could see the smile on her face as she looked at me for approval. I was excited that she had enjoyed the lesson and taken something from it.
    There are many strategies that can support and ELL students in read aloud lessons. Having books that are culturally relevant can allow a student gain confidence when learning new vocabulary. As they learn this new vocabulary, the student can create index cards with the vocabulary word, definition, their version of the definition, and a visual and put them on a ring so they can look at it later on. ELL students will also benefit from modeling from the teacher in seeing the learning process they are going to complete, as well as breaks, extra time, visuals, and graphic organizers. It is also important to preteach concepts that may be new to a student before hand, as well as pre teach vocabulary to aid in their comprehension.
    Many of these accommodations can support students with communication disorders as well, for example: visuals, index cards with definitions, graphic organizers, extra time, and breaks. Students with communication disorders would also benefit from a teacher modeling definitions with manipulatives. For example, during my lesson, my student was not grasping the meaning behind zigzag. I tried demonstrating it, drawing it, and riding her bike in a zigzag. But then I took a stick and drew a zigzag in the sand, and that’s when she was able to run on the line and develop an understanding of what a zigzag is.
    Without this class, I believe that my lesson plan would have been a lot different. It really helped me develop my preteaching activity, as well as preteach vocabulary so that my student really could apply that knowledge when reading the text later. Overall, what I have learned helped my lesson be more well rounded and supportive of the needs of my student.

  3. I have definitely learned a great deal of information, skills, strategies, and techniques throughout this semester but one thing that stands out to me the most is the instruction on the tried vocabulary. Prior to this, I understood that there were three tiers of vocabulary; however, I was still not 100% confident in my ability to identify and categorized words into the different tiers as well as my ability to determine the different tiers of words to teach throughout lessons. After this course, I feel so much more confident not only in my ability to distinguish between the three tiers of vocabulary but I also feel extremely confident to identify vocabulary words that I want to teach as well as how to incorporate these words into different lessons in a variety of ways. I also really love that throughout my time here at PC, I have learned so many new skills and strategies from my peers and professors that I can utilize in the classroom and keep as a resource in my tool belt.
    One thing that really surprised me during my lesson with my student was that he had a pretty good understanding of some of the vocabulary words that I introduced throughout the lesson as well as being familiar with the words even if he did not completely understand their meaning. It was evident that he had heard the vocabulary words before, which definitely helped and supported his understanding during this lesson. I was also surprised that my student did a fairly good job when it came to the retelling portion of the lesson. Although he did not incorporate or remember all of the facts and events from the story, he was able to remember and communicate a considerable amount to me during his retell.
    Since I have not had much experience working with or engaging ELLs in lessons, I am still learning a ton of new strategies and techniques to incorporate during lessons in order to support students’ understanding. For instance, I think it is so beneficial to incorporate a ton of visuals and to do so in any way possible. I also like to incorporate the student’s interests and name into the lesson. In addition to this, I have found that it can be very essential to first pre-teach the vocabulary to ELLs. Although my student was not an ELL, I would have translated the lesson into the student’s native language as well as providing the student with the vocabulary words on word cards in both english and his or her native language. Finally, other strategies that I have used throughout this lesson or have learned about include using videos, incorporate the “Think Aloud Model”, modeling and using graphic organizers, incorporating visuals such as paint chips cards, vocabulary notebooks, or charts, breaking the lesson up into smaller parts, etc.
    I have had to not only put in many supports for my student with a communication disorder for this lesson but I have had to do so when working with other students as well. In order to do so, I incorporated the student’s interests into the lesson to motivate and encourage him or her throughout the lesson. I have also identified what type of learner the student was and developed a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc. lesson accordingly. I have made sure to incorporate a significant amount of visuals such as graphic organizers, videos, and images or word cards. In addition to this, I have utilized the think about model, explicitly teaching vocabulary, using examples and non-examples, incorporating technology, music, movement, and acting words or meanings out, etc.
    This class has taught me a tremendous amount of information in regards to SLP, their roles and responsibilities, the services they provide, how a student is evaluate for and exited form speech services, different types of communication disorders, and also how to utilized the skills, strategies, and techniques that I have learned in order to create an effective lesson to support student’s understanding and comprehension. Prior to taking this course, I was not too familiar with communication disorders or the various types, their causes, classifications, or evidence based practices that can be used as an effective tool. After learning all of this information, I feel more confident in my ability as an educator to support a child with a communication disorder and provide them with the resources necessary in order to access the curriculum, engage in meaningful learning, and achieve academic success.

  4. As I have started to put my lesson plan together and learning what we have been talking about in class, I have learned to emphasis vocabulary more. I think as we get into the higher grades we forget to emphasis vocabulary as much as we did in the lower grade levels. We also forget that it is just as if not more important than comprehension and analysis of the text. If a student does not have the vocabulary, than how can they comprehend the text and analyze it?

    As we are learning about ELL’s in class, I am learning new ways to support them. In the future I am going to try to include more exposure to vocab words because I did not realize how many times they needed to be exposed to a word to really learn in. I am also going to include more visuals around my classroom and in my teaching.

    Again, I am going to include more exposure to vocab words so they have a chance to really learn them. I am also going to use more strategies when learning these vocab words, so maybe acting words out, drawing a picture and or having students create their own definitions. Specifically with the student I am doing my lesson plan with, I am going to be tapping out and sounding out more words with him because he struggles with articulation.

    This class is so far the most helpful in exposing me to some basic things I did not know students can struggle with and with different accommodations I can provide. Before this class, for example, I did not know that students can struggle with articulation because they struggle with forming the letters in their mouth. I also feel know that I have a better wheel house of accommodations I can pull from to help students.

  5. Ones support and something we have covered in class that I have put in place for my student is an alternative assessment. To accommodate for his needs, I allowed my student an opportunity to draw a summary of the story at the conclusion of the lesson rather than write it.

  6. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?

    I found learning about vocabulary and building TIER 2 words into my lesson plan quite interesting in EDU 571. Realizing that putting in more emphasis for creating techniques to increase the student’s vocabulary comprehension prior to the read aloud kept my students attention span to last longer. In particular, my student’s attention span was very short and chunking the read aloud into parts with breaks in between made it easier for him to stay focused on the comprehension objective of my lesson.

    If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?

    The amount of time needed to help the student grasp the lesson objectives and sustaining his attention at the same time. After my second working session with the student, I needed to modify the lesson for summarizing and retelling into a more tactile activity. Simplifying the instruction with verbal and written sentence prompts to help the student express his ideas on paper needed to be implemented into my lesson. Providing short breaks in between activities to play a short game as an incentive to keep my student focused in the lesson plan unit helped out.

    What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?

    Its important for ELL students to understand the fundamentals of the English Language and improve on reading comprehension through learning the meaning of new vocabulary words. Using the countless teaching strategies learned in EDU 571 and ESL teachers at my school will help me know how to service ELL students in my own classroom. Supporting ELL’s would require various ways for pre-teaching new vocabulary words from the text. Providing ELL student’s, a chance to implement the word and reuse again in a different scenario or class assignment independently. Some strategies I would use in my own classroom for pre-teaching is role playing, visuals, bringing in the actual objects, video clips, and translating the words into the student’s native language. Providing student friendly definitions, examples of the words used in a different context, and engaging students in a fun activity are other strategies for introducing new words as well.

    How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?

    If I had a student with a communication disorder it would include using a multitude of strategies and more after taking EDU 571. Using a graphic organizer or visual mapping activity to help the students understand word relationships and meaning. Developing a word memory game using index cards to introduce new words and definitions. Incorporating music, movement, or role play to entice a student with limited expressive language skills.

    How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?

    Discovering the different techniques for asking higher level thinking questions taught in class made a huge difference in planning my comprehension questions for my lesson. I’ve learned a great deal of strategies and techniques to add into my personal “toolbox” from attending EDU 571. Truly enjoyed my five weeks in class this summer and always walked away with an abundant of resources and knowledge about each topic every single week! After taking EDU 571, I know it will help me become a stronger special educator and couldn’t be more grateful to be part of an amazing class experience!

  7. This semester has taught me many strategies to use with children with communication disorders. I read The Mighty Miss Malone for my read aloud to a fifth-grade student. The student enjoyed the pre activity of learning about the Great Depression. He enjoyed listening to the rap video describing that point in history. When it came time to the read aloud part of the lesson, he was very excited to listen because he appreciated the different kind of language used by the main character. He did not ask as many questions as I had hoped, but he was actively engaged. We only got through part of the writing portion but were able to start the graphic organizer and describe character traits of different family members.

    The part of the lesson that surprised me was the amount of higher level thinking questions that could be asked. If I were to incorporate this unit plan into my own classroom, I’d ask a lot of synthesis and evaluative type of questions because I believe it could be used for portfolio assessments. This would be a nice way to showcase to families what the students had learned. Providing these types of prompts and questions allows for multiple types of learners to collaborate and succeed.

    I believe it is critical to implement several supports for English language learners into all lessons. This particular unit plan offered several supports, including:
    – Visual supports for vocabulary terms
    – Think Alouds, examples, vocabulary chart
    – Song with subtitles to help understand larger concept of Great Depression
    – Checklist for narrative writing
    – Using gestures to comprehend vocabulary
    – Teacher model of graphic organizer
    I think the first support would be beneficial in any type of teaching because it allows for the student to connect the picture to the vocabulary/lesson. Additionally, I think incorporating a song into a lesson is a great way for students to digest content. In the past, I have used songs to teach quotations, conjunctions, and adverbs, among many others. In my experience the students apply the song to their assignment by singing it while they write.

    The supports mentioned above not only help with English language learners, but with students with communication disorders as well. For example, providing visuals, graphic organizers, and songs with subtitles helps a child with a communication disorder because it uses visuals to engage the child. Another strategy that I used with the child I worked with was providing chunked out directions. I was clear in my speech so that the child was able to comprehend what was expected.

    This semester I have learned a plethora of information regarding supports useful for children with communication disorders. I have never worked closely with the SLP or learned the importance of collaboration, but now I know that is a critical component in working with a child with a language impairment. One strategy that I learned to better develop was the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy to vary the levels of cognitive skills. Another technique that I learned in this class was to carefully analyze the text and search for Tier 2 and 3 words. I was able to pull out the most important words from the text and teach them in a way that made sense for the particular student I worked with. Using sentences from the text, as well as sentences that could relate to the student, helped my student better grasp the concept of the vocabulary words.

    The unit plan was a great way for me to better understand accommodations and modifications necessary for students with communication disorders. I found that the techniques learned in this class were transferrable in all content areas and useful in the development and implementation of the IEP process. Thank you for providing so many resources and personal experiences from your own teaching practice! I look forward to implementing some of them this upcoming school year.

  8. I have learned valuable information this semester from taking your class. Doing the lesson plan was a great opportunity to have on hand a lesson that incorporates accommodations and modifications for those who have language and communication disabilities. I have learned that creating a lesson using tier 2 and tier 3 words is helpful in instruction. I usually spend some time teaching vocabulary, however, I sometimes forget that there are those tier 2 words I assume most of my students know. When designing this lesson, I realized that the student I worked with did not know many of the words. I liked the way you had us graph the vocabulary words. It was helpful for my student to see the pictures of the words and looking at a sentence using the word beyond the story. This is especially helpful for students who have communication difficulties, including English language learners.

    Another aspect of the lesson I liked was developing the higher order thinking questions using Bloom’s Taxonomy. In my teaching, I often don’t realize that I may not be challenging my students to think critically. Many of the questions I ask during a lesson are the lower order thinking skills. By generating these questions beforehand, I am easily able to challenge my students, having them use abstract thinking in order to evaluate and analyze the content. When working with my student, I was able to get them to answer the question “are there other issues it takes courage to defend?” Although my student answered using little grade appropriate vocabulary, she was still able to be challenged to think about the theme of courage critically. She responded with when someone picks on your friend and you have to stand up for them you are showing courage. This then prompted a small discussion about bullying and how to defend yourself. During teaching, I sometimes have trouble thinking of these higher questions on the spot. Knowing to have them beforehand has shown me what amazing whole group discussions can come from it.

    Some strategies I had in my lesson for English language learners were to be able to write in their own language first, then translate. In doing this, I feel that they are not bothered by losing their thoughts before they get on paper. After they write in their own language, we can go back to translate it, paying close attention to the vocabulary words from the lesson.

    One part of my lesson requires students to list the characteristics of their chosen superhero. For those without communication disorders, the idea is to draw a superhero, then write what characteristics they have around the drawing. To accommodate the student with communication disorders, I provided them a list of characteristics with pictures and had the student point to or circle characteristics rather than write them.

    Overall, each class has taught me different strategies to use with students who have communication disorders. This class has been a valuable resource to me as a teacher and the lesson I created will be beneficial to me in the future.

  9. I have learned a great deal this semester about strategies I can use in the classroom to help students with communication disorders. The blogs provided me with great information about the role of a Speech and Language Pathologist, which I did not know much about. The blogs also provided me with great information about communication disorders, which I did not know much about either. I also learned a great deal about vocabulary. I learned about tier one, tier two and tier three vocabulary words and their importance in the classroom. This class has been extremely interesting and informative.

    One thing that surprised me during my lesson was how well the student I was working with comprehended the story. He was able to answer most of my questions without any help. I have worked with him before and found it very difficult due to a lack of effort but he really did a great job during my lesson.

    In my lesson, I provided many differentiation options for English Language Learners including extra time on assignments, bulleted responses, using graphic organizers to organize thoughts, and vocabulary lists to reference throughout the story and assignments pertaining to the story.

    In my lesson, I provided many differentiation options for Language learner disabilities including extra time on assignments, bulleted responses, using graphic organizers to organize thoughts, and vocabulary lists with page numbers to reference throughout the story and assignments pertaining to the story.

    I found it very helpful when we went over tier one, tier two and tier three vocabulary. I really knew nothing about the levels of vocabulary and really appreciate going over that during class. I also really enjoyed the lessons about the level of questions. I realized that I was asking very right there questions and I needed to be asking more in-depth questions.

  10. Throughout this semester I have learned quite a bit. During the creation of this assignment I learned a lot about my questioning and how the levels of the questions can be important. Through the various questions that I created through Bloom’s taxonomy, I saw how those matter. While implementing the lesson, I found how the building questions can help see where the child is. In my lesson in particular, I found the child had difficulty after the knowledge level questions. This was something that I would have followed up on in the school environment. I was surprised at the difficulty the child had. I was also surprised at the difficulty that I had creating questions. I constantly found myself wording, rewording, and rewording some more. Only to find that during the actual lesson itself, I reworded my questions once again. I think that through this process I learned a lot about effective questioning and how it can influence learning and responses.

    Some of the strategies that I incorporated into my lesson revolved around technology. For ELL students technology can be an incredible support. One of the aids would be the use of Google R&W. Some others were providing them with sentence starters, questions in advance, vocabulary in advance, and translation of text.

    In order to best serve the child with communication disorders I found it necessary to put in a few other modifications. Some of these were, articulate speech with full enunciation, questions in advance, facing the class when speaking, simple directions through multiple forms, and using objects/pictures if possible. Through these modifications I was hoping that I would be able to reach the majority of students as well as the student/s with the communication disorder.

    Many of the things that were incorporated in my lesson were things that I took from class. I found some of the technology and tangible ideas particularly useful. Class was particularly useful for the building of the questioning process. Furthermore, I also found that class was helpful with putting together accommodations that were tailored to the needs of the students (ELL and Communication Disabled).

  11. When I started the language sample I used pen and paper to record what myself and Caiden. When doing so I made my student uncomfortable even though he knew me. Usually Caiden is very talkative and I was surprised by how quiet he was. The next time I did the language sample I made sure to record the re tell. This was also easier when going to record Caiden’s answers. I made sure that Caiden did not know I was recording him and he was very talkative and cooperative.

    After the first langue assessment Caiden got comfortable working with me. I was surprised by how willingly Caiden wanted to work with me and looked forward to our time together. I think starting the lesson with the Jurassic Park movie clips really helped gain interest in the lesson. Caiden loved the first hands on activity where we excavated the animals from the pool of sand. He even asked if he could bring a friend over next time because it was so much fun.

    I started with the strategy making connections. I used prior knowledge when asking Caiden questions about dinosaurs and what he already knew.Then I used making connections many times during the lesson. First, I used the videos to connect a main stream movie with the book we are reading. I also used the stop and think strategy during the reading portion and the hands on activity. For example when we excavated the chocolate chips from the cookie dig site I made sure to have Caiden (and his friend) stop and think about why we were doing each part of the activity. I had them think about what a real dig site would look like. Then I had them stop and think about what interments they would use to extract the chocolate chips. We talked about why it is important to be gentle to not break the fossil chips. I had them stop and think about why it would be important to be gentle when digging out a real fossil.

    For English Language Learners I would read the story out loud and use vocabulary on flashcards in English, their native language and with pictures to help students understand the story. By showing visuals like the movie clips and other visuals it will help re enforce the big picture. For assessments I would implement verbal answers where I write down the answers. I would also have students draw pictures to answer questions or show understanding.

    For student’s with communication disorders I would use all the ELL strategies as well as make sure I use many visuals to show the main idea. Visuals are very important for students with communication disorders. I also used hands on activities to re enforce ideas from the lesson.

    There were so many things that I learned during this class. One of things that I will take with me is the use of questions. I need to make sure that I vary my questions and give time for students to answer them. I will use Blooms Taxonomy to help me when planning a lesson. I also learning many pre reading, reading and post reading strategies. I am going to use Braidy (modified for high school) and I am going to use the rope and wooden ball activity where they have to describe on object, person, or thing.

    • This is an excellent review. In looking at the 2nd lesson plan I can see that you had more complicated responses from your student.

  12. When it came time to deliver the lesson plan I had created, I am very pleased with how it went. My student was engaged with me and was really able to think deep about the key understanding and meaning of the lesson and book. It was great to see this student connect with the novel because he says he has felt like an outcast before like Auggie felt in Wonder. It really surprised me to see him as engaged as he was and having meaningful conversations with me throughout the three sections of the lesson. There are supports within the lesson for students with language disabilities such as a vocab review sheet that is filled out with the teacher and visual supports for each word. There is also a lot of practice of oral discussion with prompting and guidance from the teacher. I also used a video to help with the language disability aspect. Visuals are so key in lessons for students with communication disorders. For ELL these strategies would work as well. Also the limited number of pages I used would be great for ELL also because it is not overwhelming. I feel like my pre reading section and my after reading section are stronger than my during reading and I can thank class time for this. I was very prepared to have strong before and after reading sections. I wasn’t as confident with the during reading section just because it was such a short reading there wasn’t much to do with it while reading. I was able to pose questions and engage with the student in conversation about what is being read whether it be comprehension or vocabulary.

  13. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?

    I have learned a lot about speech and language. Students with speech and language problems need immediate attention and the faster you try and fix it the more successful you will be. Along with this, creating engaging activities with pre, during, and post reading activities to make sure students are engaged in the material and understand it before moving forward.

    If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?

    One thing that surprised me about my lesson is that my student was very engaged in the material. I was a little concerned that she would not be excited to do the assignment, but she ended up loving it and wanting to read more of the book after the fact.

    What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?
    Unique strategies include creating graphic organizers to help break down the material, using Venn diagrams, vocabulary cards are extremely helpful as well, along with a word wall. Word walls in the classroom give students visual aids and help to understand the concept of the word overtime, rather than just once. Along with this, making sure students have visuals so even if they have a hard time with english, they can see a picture and hopefully it will help.

    How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?
    Children with communication disorders need a lot of prompting as well as visual aids. By creating visual aids such as vocabulary cards or a word wall, students will try and understand the concept more. Along with this, giving students a longer time to process the information and answer can be helpful, and creating small groups to facilitate learning.

    How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?
    In class gave a lot of great strategies to use with students pre, during, and post reading. With this, also creating questions that follow blooms taxonomy to make sure the child has a clear concept of the book.

  14. As we worked on our read aloud lesson plans throughout the semester I learned the importance of planning out my questions ahead of time. Bloom Taxonomy allowed me to create better, higher quality questions. I had also never gone through a text and looked for tier 2 and tier 3 vocabularies in order to focus my instruction on these words. Also I really enjoyed learning some new pre-reading strategies that I was able to utilize in my own lesson.

    What surprised me about this lesson was how much my student was able to comprehend about the book A Pocket for Corduroy, I worked with a student who reads at a level C and did a read aloud lesson with a level K book. He was able to identify the main characters, the setting, the problem in the story and the resolution.

    For children that are ELL learners I would have allowed them to do a verbal retelling of the story. I would have allowed them to watch the video A pocket for Corduroy and provided them a copy of the book in their native language if possible. They sell a Spanish version of a Pocket for Corduroy.

    I had to put in many supports for the student I worked with a communication disorder. I had him to glue in pictures to answer questions about the text he read. In the before reading activity we watched a video on what a Laundromat is and it was explained by someone he is, we completed a Boardmaker activity on sorting items based on where they go: laundry, kitchen or toy chest and worked on a color sorting activity. He also answered questions on what a Laundromat is using pictures as well. Communicating through pictures and words was a huge part of my lesson planning, as the student I worked with is unable to write.

    Learning new pre-reading strategies and learning about Boardmarker really helped with the development of my lesson. Previous to this class I did not know what Boardmaker was and it was an integral part of my lesson. I also did not know as many pre-reading strategies that would work well for students with communication disorders.

  15. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?
    As I was creating the lesson plan, it helped me understand how many before reading and during reading strategies I can add to a lesson to enhance a student’s understanding of the text. I chose to pick the “making connections” comprehension strategy for the during reading strategy because sometimes students think just because a book is in a completing different setting than what they are used to, that it has no impact on their lives. My goal was to show them that events happen all over the world that they can definitely relate to. I also thought it was helpful to think of the different strategies, accommodations, and the materials a student with a speech or language disorder would need to have access to in order to understand the content. I liked the organizer where we had to write different parts of the text and what we would say to the student to facilitate a discussion. This made me think of how I would scaffold their reading comprehension and how I could help them make connections to the text, themselves, and the world.
    If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?
    What surprised me is how much the student learned from the before reading activity. She was able to get a better understanding of the differences between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras. In addition, I taught her a lot about the difference between a monarchy and a republic. I was surprised to see how much she didn’t know about our goervnment.
    What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?
    I employed the following strategies for ELL students:
    -Maps of Afghanistan – help visualize the setting of the story
    -Vocabulary cards – vocabulary comes with a picture; students can use these cards for their retell
    -Make a word wall of some tier-three words seen throughout the chapter (include pictures)
    -Writing Graphic Organizer

    How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?
    I employed the following strategies for my student with a communication disorder:
    -Maps of Afghanistan – help visualize the setting of the story
    -Vocabulary cards – vocabulary comes with a picture; students can use these cards for their retell
    -For the culminating writing task, students can brainstorm their ideas with a peer. They can also proofread their writing with a partner.
    -Speak-to-text processor for students who cannot write
    -Writing Graphic Organizer
    -Make a comic strip or story board instead of writing (depending on the disability)
    How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?
    I enjoyed the lesson on the before reading activities. It helped me brainstorm different strategies that I could add in my lesson. I also learned how to teach tier two vocabulary. I thought a teacher always taught tier three vocabulary, not tier two. I liked the ongoing vocabulary slide show. I will definitely use this in my class. One cannot simply teach a vocabulary word and then expect the students to know it 2 weeks later. They always need to practice new vocabulary words and be exposed to them as often as possible.

  16. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?
    Throughout this semester, I have learned many different aspects to a read aloud lesson. Having never written a lesson plan for one before, it was a challenge not having an English background. By practicing how to figure out tier 1,2, and 3 vocabulary in class, I was able to pick the 5 words that I thought was most important to the text and that the student may not know. Also, exploring pre-reading strategies as a class has helped see ones that I can use with my book but also the resources out there that can be used with a variety of book. I would have never thought to use a youtube video as a pre-reading strategy before this class.

    If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?
    I was surprised by two thing. When first teaching the vocabulary, the student knew three out of the five vocabulary words which was surprising as I thought they were challenging myself. Second, the student gave a very accurate story retell after only working with the book for the time she was with me that was spaced out over a week.

    What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?
    One strategy was for the ELL student to be able to do a verbal or written story retell based on what they feel more comfortable with.

    How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?
    The supports I needed to put in would be redirection as my student was easily distracted by the people around her as we were in a library and to check to see if she was focusing on the read aloud throughout the lesson.

    How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?
    Focusing on tier 2 vocabulary and pre-reading strategies were key to the success of developing the lesson plan. Those were the two areas along with the culminating writing task that were a gray area for me. As those were the basis to the whole lesson I felt more comfortable writing the lesson with this background knowledge.

  17. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?
    Creating this lesson plan has helped me realize that planning out questions ahead of time is worth the time. Forming questions beforehand helps create better questions across the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This makes for a better lesson overall. I also learned that when you are creating a lesson for a person with an IEP it is important to refer back to their IEP goals frequently. This helps to make sure you are helping the child work towards meeting their goals when teaching your lesson plans. Lastly, I learned how important the pre-lesson is for a child with a communication disorder. Jumping right into a read aloud does not set up a student to meet the objectives. The pre-lesson really sets the stage and scaffolds them towards success.

    If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?
    I was surprised to find that the pre-lesson served as a hook for the book. I had not anticipated this but introducing my student to the content of the book and teaching some vocabulary words got her excited to read the book during our next lesson.

    What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?
    I planned the following strategies for ELL students that may be taught this lesson plan:
    Use slide-show with visuals for every tier 2 and 3 vocabulary word. Refer back to visuals when reading the new words in the book.
    Provide audio version of book to listen to ahead of time.
    Print out questions that will be asked.
    Translate key words in the questions into native language if possible.
    Emphasize pictures that depict the sentences in the book.

    How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?
    I used a slide-show with visuals for every tier 2 and 3 vocabulary word. When teaching these words I had her act out many of them or showed her a physical representation of the word. Throughout the read aloud I referred back to these visuals when reading the new words in the book. I blended and chunked sounds of new words that my student did not know how to say. Before doing the post-reading activity I re-read main parts of the book to the student.

    How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?
    Learning pre-reading strategies helped me to decide what activities to do in order to introduce the book. Learning how to teach tier 2 vocabulary also helped me to develop my vocabulary slide show and plan out my definitions for each word.

  18. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?

    I’ve learned a great deal this semester about different techniques I can use in the classroom to help students with communication disorders. I feel like it was very helpful to do these blogs and readings because they offer so much insight into SLP, which I did not know much about, and also communication disorders. I have learned the importance of realizing which words are tier 1 words, tier 2 words, and tier 3 words. To be honest I did not give words much thought and feel like I have taken for granted the fact that I know and understand so many words. I just found that information to really be eye opening.

    If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?
    I was surprised by how well my student actually listened to me reading out loud. He listened really well and was actually able to give me some answers to the questions. I didn’t think he was actually listening most of the time because his ADHD has him all over the place. He even became really focused on certain pieces I read out loud, minor details that showed me he was listening.

    What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?
    In my lesson plan I put in video clips for ELL students to help them visualize the chapter. The first video is to help the students get the background knowledge they need to understand the chapter I picked and the other clip is used to show visually how Scout reacted to Boo Radley in the chapter to give them a good visual for what we read. I think this will really help them.

    How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?
    I had to do a lot of redirection and probing to get the student to answer questions and complete activities. Because my student has Autism, he was not really good at a back and forth discussion of what we read. He just gave me matter of fact answers and took things very literally as I read, so at times I did have to explain things to him.

    How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?
    I found it really helpful to practice the pre-reading activities and the tier two words activity. I didn’t even consider that vocabulary is at different levels, which may sound silly, but to be honest I never gave much thought to vocabulary. I found that activity to be very helpful because of that. I also loved playing the game with the picture cards that we had to guess what was on our heads. This activity was eye opening in terms of how sometimes context clues are no help in figure out the meaning of a word. It made me see things from my students perspective. I had that in mind as I was looking through my chapter.

    • Excellent response and it was very helpful to me in looking at the course and modifying it to meet the student’s needs

  19. You supplied us with many examples and ideas for implementing a read aloud to many different learners. I tried to take a little of many strategies in order to reach my student the best I could. She is ELL but her english is very good at least compared to what I thought it was going to be. However there were many surprises when it come to the last day of my lesson. I really thought she knew the whole story and in some ways she did. She had many lines memorized and knew her vocal words like the back of her hand but big picture things or other (mostly tier 3 words) she didn’t understand and so when she was retelling she lost meaning. The fluency of her speaking was so accurate while we were doing the lessons that I didn’t realize she didn’t understand big picture concepts. The higher level blooms taxonomy questions went right over her head and she’d try to change the subject. I realized that I should have spent more time breaking the story into something she could relate to and helping her feel how the animals in the story felt. I learned so many vocabulary strategies that I will definitely be using in my room next year! Thanks so much for making this a useful project not just something to fill time!

  20. I was very confident going into this lesson that the student that I worked with would enjoy the read-aloud process. The student that I chose to work with is a twin that I have known for almost his entire life. He has a language disability but has come so far in making progress. I am not surprised that this student took an interest in hearing this book, but am surprised that he immediately understood the overall message or lesson that the story taught. I believe that this has to do with the pre-activity I chose to do which involved making connections. I believe that making connections and relating concepts to real-life experiences is crucial for students with special needs. After we discussed a similar experience that he had, he was able to make connections to the story and therefore understand the overall message, which is something that he often misses.

  21. During this semester I have learned a great deal about read aloud lesson plans. I feel I have gained more knowledge than ever before on this topic. I have learned to always remember Gardner’s Multiple intelligence Theory. Not everyone is an audio learner; you need to reach every kind of learner. Use visuals, music, hands on activities, etc… Whatever it takes to reach each child’s learning ability. It is also very important to engage the reader and really pull them into the story. Teach them the importance of the text and make sure each child understands the important aspects within the story (characters, plot, setting, etc…).
    One thing that surprised me about the lesson was how difficult it is to do a retell with a child with Apraxia, and at such a young age. Though the child I worked with showed he understood who the characters were and the setting within the story, there was no definite way to prove he understood the story itself. He was able to sequence the story through pictures/images, but not having the verbal aspect made it much harder to teach and understand.
    For my ELL students, I will not only use the definition of the vocabulary from the book, I will generalize it to everyday life. I will bring in real life/relatable examples of the items used in the story (winter clothing items) so they can hear, see, and tough the item. These hands on approaches will help make the connection needed for the story. I will connect parts of the story with real world personal experiences that they can relate to. I will ask questions such as, “What do you wear in the winter”? and “have you ever been laughed at or teased, if so how did it make you feel”? These will make connections to better understand the story. I will also provide more hands on items/activities to teach the vocabulary, the characters, etc…
    During my lesson I have had to put supports in for my child with communication disorder. I have used a pecs book and visual images of the characters, plot, setting, and vocabulary. I had to provide a visual for everything due to the child having Apraxia and having his receptive learning overpower his expressive due to his diagnosis. This is the only way he can communicate at this point.
    Some things I learned in class that helped me greatly are the discussions we had about Autism and children with sensory issues. I have become more aware of those red flags/signs and finding ways to work with and/or around them to meet the child’s needs. By showing us Brady the doll, I was able to think more outside of the box and to my child’s learning level/ability to introduce the important parts of the story. I struggled a little with the elicit aspect of the lesson so this helped me greatly.

    • Excellent response, I know that you have needed to put in a great deal of modifications to your lesson to meet the needs of your student.

  22. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans as we go through the semester, what have you learned?

    One thing I learned was how to appropriately choose tier two words. I wasn’t aware there were even tiers so it was helpful to differentiate them for this lesson plan. Another thing I learned was how to differentiate the lesson for the ELL learner I worked with. I was in ESL myself but that was so long ago; it was interesting to see the different techniques that can be utilized to make accommodations and various ways to scaffold instruction to help with understanding.

    If you have begun the lesson with students what has surprised you?

    What surprised me was that he was really into the story. I just chose one since it was for multi-cultural purposes but we went into some details where he made text-to-self connections in helping his own family out.

    What are some of the unique strategies that you have in place for the children that are English Language Learners?

    The book I chose has many visuals that is tied to the vocabulary; some of them were emphasized for their multi-meanings so that there is a better understanding of the words in relation to the text. There was also visual support with the trade map so we could take a look at the route the family had taken on their journey. The lesson was also broken down into three different days so as not to overwhelm the child with information, and helping with better scaffolding of instruction.

    How have you needed to put in supports for the child with communication disorders?

    When I first started teaching, I always thought repeating myself with anything in class was ridiculous. Now I certainly see that is necessary for them to hear it once or twice more in case it was missed the first time. These directions have also been placed on the board in different instances in case they needed that reminder again. With computers in my classroom it is also helpful for them to use these resources to take some time to type out their responses instead of feeling shunned by other classmates because of their disorder.

    How has what we covered in class assisted you in the development of the lesson plan?

    The topic of lexile level certainly was new to me and helped gauge the idea of what certain books fall into which range of levels. I think seeing examples of previously completed lesson plans also helped me write mine so I can get an idea of what was expected for the final product. Online resources also helped with the questioning techniques.

  23. The lesson plan has been a great experience. It has been a project that I have enjoyed greatly. One of the most helpful aspects of this course, that has helped me with both my lesson plan and will help my future teaching, has been the vocabulary study. For the first time in my career, I feel that I finally understand the different tiers of vocabulary which has made my vocabulary choices much more meaningful. This will greatly impact my teaching as now I feel that I can understand the focus behind what words should be taught explicitly and what should be part of our daily language. In addition, this will help me identify if any of my students are struggling with the language of a text.
    The student I have been working with has taught me quite a bit about my own teaching. She has been successful using tangible objects to identify the vocabulary in the story. (For example, we have used actual hummus when talking about this tier 3 word from the story). By placing the word next to the object she has been about to independently identify the word over the past couple weeks.
    Overall, the experience has really helped me in my vocabulary instruction, but also has allowed me to expand my views on communication and what I can do as a classroom teacher to carry over speech and language services in the classroom by integrating different opportunities for learning.

  24. As we have been working on our read aloud lesson plans I have learned a lot. This project has really forced me to think about the importance of vocabulary. I think most of the time I focus primarily on tier 3 vocabulary (academic language) not realizing that most students are missing the basic understanding of certain concepts because they are getting stuck on the tier 2 words. Even if I do not end up writing Literacy Lesson Plans, I think it is an extremely valuable skill to be able to identify meaningful words outside of the academic ones.

    I was surprised, but not surprised that my student was able to pronounce all of the words, but not fully understand them (even when trying to use context clues). When doing the story retell, he did not use the tier 2 vocabulary, but he did use synonyms of the words. When asked to use a tier 2 word he was able to pick the correct word. His mom was really proud with what he was able to remember. Although he was not able to get the key concept, he was able to tell me minor details of the story that many people overlook.

    Some strategies I have put in place for English Language Learners are:

    1. Give English Language Learners a copy of the highlighted text for each night. Highlighted words will focus on the key words, Tier 2 words. This will allow students to identify the more difficult words and look at a friendly definition at the bottom of the page to help comprehend the reading.
    2. After reading Night One of “The Number Devil,” the teacher can play the animation of Robert’s dream from YouTube. This will provide the English Language Learners with a visual of Robert’s dream that they will be able to connect with the text.
    3. When completing their Dream Journal, provide ELL students with sentence starters.
    – Robert’s dream was about…
    – One thing Robert learned in his dream from night ___ was …
    The Number Devil taught Robert about…

    Some strategies I have put in place for Communication disorders are:

    1. After reading Night One of “The Number Devil,” the teacher can play the animation of Robert’s dream from YouTube. This will provide students with a visual of Robert’s dream that they will be able to connect with the text.
    2. Students with a language disability can be paired with a student without a disability. They can work together to read a given chapter and take notes that will help them complete their Dream Journal Activity.
    3. Provide students with extra time, as needed, to complete the Dream Journal Activity.
    Provide students with a detailed time line of when specific parts of the activity are due, especially if the teacher decides to read the entire book and requires the students complete a Dream Journal Activity for each night.

    What we did in class did help, but I think because I kept changing my student and book I felt over-whelmed. It might be easier for future students to spend one class working in groups and doing a practice Literacy Plan for a short book. I know we went over the vocabulary part many time, but it was very helpful. I think my brain has to get use to analyzing words instead of numbers. I am excited to incorporate more vocabulary into my math lessons.

  25. I have really gained a great deal of information and strategies throughout this course. It has given me insight on what students with communication disorders experience on a daily basis. From autism to hearing impairments I have truly never stopped to think about what it really looks like to have a communication disorder and what it means in the real world. As Prof. Rakovic had mentioned in our last class it would have been great to visit a classroom all together and reflect on everything we observed in our visits with these children.

    After taking this class and learning everything we have I feel that I now look at all the students in my class with a different view. I feel as though I have mentally slowed down my thinking process to take in all their experiences, especially when communicating. Come September I will be working with Pre-K students and I am very excited to ‘dissect’ a book with them looking at those tier 2 and tier 3 words. Prior to taking this class I would think that these words were “too hard” for them to learn, but I feel pretty good about the strategies we’ve learned and how to reach diverse learners and engage them. I have always felt that reading helps develop language, but quite honestly when reading a book about fire I would most likely only introduced words that were based around the main idea (i.e. firetruck, firemen, ladder, fire, etc.). I wouldn’t think to introduce the challenging vocabulary in the book with children so young.

    When working with ELL’s in my classroom, I have mostly only encountered families who speak Spanish so it has been quite easy for me to translate or use visuals. In the future I hope to work at the high school level and I now know what key contacts to have when working with various ELL’s. One strong concept we have learned when working with kids with any communication disorder is to never ‘dumb down’ our curriculum to better suit their difficulty, we must find another strategy of teaching difficult content to them. Not to say to expect just as much as another, more able child, but don’t assume the child can’t learn something.

    Working with the student I for my lesson plan I have really noticed where and why he has difficulty communicating, whereas before I would just go off of whatever his speech therapist had communicated to me. He actually seems interested in learning the tier 2 vocabulary, although he doesn’t quite comprehend them completely yet, I’d be interested to see how much my students progress in a given about of time if I continue to introduce these meaningful vocabulary to them. Just the fact that he got excited when re-reading the book and he heard those few words blows me away. Personally, I wish this class was longer to go into greater detail and observation with each of our topics and working with our students.

  26. This course has clearly and concisely explained the difference of all three tiers which helped me a great deal. I now understand that students need to be fluent with tier two words, hence the need for explicit instruction.

    Thus far no surprises with the lessons. I am very happy that I started immediately with the tier 2 words that was very helpful with the lesson.
    Strategies for ELL
    • Text in their language
    • Chromebook with document translator, dictionary which will also help in two ways define the word and then have it dictated to them if needed
    • Chunking text
    • Graphic organizers
    • Mini lessons, small group work, one to one instruction
    • Text is on cd to enhance lesson if needed, alone or whole class
    • Post its to monitor overall comprehension

    Communicative disorder
    • Using figurative language as a Tier 2 word to ensure that important elements of the texts are not “lost.”
    • Text is on cd to enhance lesson if needed, alone or whole class
    • Post its to monitor overall comprehension and to do check ins about figurative language
    • Chunking text
    • Graphic organizers
    • Mini lessons, small group work, one to one instruction

    I still have concerns about selecting Tier Two in a Secondary Collaborative Setting. When you have a mix of grade reading levels in a tenth grade class how do you select tier 2 words that are challenging for all? Choose Tier 2 words for different students thus individualizing further?

    • Usually using the worksheet you will be able to have a core group of words that will assist all. The thought process is that you are expanding the vocabulary of all. Some students may need more vocabulary words along with those that you chose for the group. So a different thought process instead of restricting the number of vocabulary words introduced you are actually increasing the number of words directly taught thus hopefully closing the vocabulary gap.

  27. Reading aloud plays a crucial role in language development. Reading aloud to students allows the teacher to model fluent and expressive reading, build listening and comprehension skills, explicitly teach vocabulary, actively engage the students throughout the text, and provide opportunities to make connections within the story. Regardless of the grade level that you teach, planning a motivating and meaningful read-aloud lesson at the student’s instructional level will enable the teacher to facilitate the reading process in a purposeful way.

    When I was selecting the text for my read-aloud lesson, I searched for a story that presents cultural diversity context. After selecting my text, I asked myself, “Will my students enjoy listening and participate while I read the story?” “Will my text provide opportunities for higher level thinking?” “Do my students have the necessary background knowledge?” “Are the illustrations in the text support the key understanding of the lesson?” “Will the students be able to retell the story in proper sequence with many details about characters, events, and storylines?” “What concepts and specific vocabulary will I select to explicitly teach at the student’s instructional level?” After completing the “Selecting and Priming Text Tool” provided in class, evaluating my text selection and questions, I was able to select an appropriate text for all my students in my classroom.

    While developing the lesson plan, I evaluated how I am going to explicitly teach the Tier II vocabulary words to my students effectively. I have learned throughout the semester, how to select Tier II vocabulary words in the text, how to plan a lesson effectively and how to explicitly teach Tier II vocabulary words to all my students. I found the “Instructional Guide for General Academic Vocabulary” chart provided in class was very helpful and enabled me to determine what Tier II words to explicitly instruct to my students.

    As I developed my lesson plan, the strategies I included for my students who are English Language Learners and students with communication disorders are very similar. Giving basic introduction to the story content before reading the story will enable to focus on the main ideas. Providing hands-on learning experiences will enable the student to communicate their ideas and thoughts effectively. Providing an activity to retell the story using visuals and story prompts will enable the students participate. Reading a modified text which will include the Tier II words will enable the students to focus on the main concepts. Provide modified word meanings for Tier II vocabulary words. For example, while reading the story The Mitten, I will say “A bear lumbered (walked slowly) by.” Acting out vocabulary words will enable my students to learn vocabulary in a meaningful and purposeful way. I found implementing these strategies will not only benefit my students with language impairments and disorders, these strategies will support and benefit ALL my students who may be struggling with the context of the story, comprehension skills, vocabulary development, and expressing their thoughts .

  28. This lesson plan really forced me to focus on vocabulary words and how to successfully introduce and utilize them. I learned a lot about tier words. When implementing my lesson, I was surprised at how interested she found the story and seemed genuinely interested in the vocabulary. I’d be interested to know if she will use any of these words in the near future.

    This book has great illustrations that would be helpful to ELL students. I would use a vocabulary sheet with pictures to review with an ELL student before reading the story and focus more on making connections prior to reading.

    The child I worked with was very bright, but when she’d get excited, she’d talk quickly and be harder to understand. I would ask questions to clarify what she was saying instead of just saying “what” or making her repeat the same thing.

    The in class instruction on tier words was very helpful to me. I have written lesson plans before but this has more of a focus on vocab. I liked the resources we were introduced to in order to level the books and I have signed up for Scholastic.

    The importance of finding the right book was reiterated and I had to scrap the first book I chose. It was helpful to listen to other classmates questions and what they have been working on with their students. Also, some of my stress was alleviated by finding others have encountered similar problems as I had and that we could just explain it in our lesson.

  29. As we went through this semester, I changed my ideas for my project a few times. I started with the idea of working with an older student with autism. I realized early that it would be easier to work with a family friend who’s son has speech and language issues and is on the spectrum but has had very early interventions. His mom has mentioned to me that he has trouble counting, so with this knowledge I changed my book from Sir Cumference to a book called Math Potatoes- Mind Stretching Brain Food- a book all about counting! This book is neat because it is a series of short stories with visuals that allow the child to count the objects in the picture. To gear this towards a math lesson, I will bring hand held objects to the student as well. For example, the first story is about counting numbers on a deck of cards and has the picture on the page, but I’ll bring a deck of cards as well. It’s also nice that it is a series of short stories, so I can pick a few and take the vocabulary out of them, but also focus on the math and counting. The visuals and the hand helds would also be helpful to an ELL, because they are taking the story right out of the book.

    I learned a lot this semester and there has been a lot that has helped me with this project and think about my own teaching. As I mentioned in an earlier post, as a secondary geometry teacher I had been focused on teaching the tier 3 academic words and really having my students know those. I’ve learned that it is more important to focus on those tier 2 vocab words that will carry my students throughout the year. As for the development of the lesson plan- everything about child development has helped me with this lesson plan. As a secondary teacher I’ve never made lesson plans for a group of 5 year olds, so it has given me an interesting perspective, especially because if these students don’t learn the language skills before they get to high school, their writing will also suffer and that may be why. I’ll be beginning my lesson over the weekend with my student, but when I took the language sample I was surprised at how much language there really was. I’ll be more aware this time when I do the retell so that my student doesn’t list anything from the story, and actually talks about it.

  30. I agree that one of the biggest things writing this lesson plan has given me the opportunity to practice is balancing tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary instruction in a way that has the biggest benefit for the student. Sometimes tier 3 words have to be taught, but writing close reading or read aloud lessons has helped me practice recognizing when to simply annotate tier 3 and move on to more tier 2 vocabulary strategies that will expose the students multiple times to words that they will likely see across contexts.

    One of the biggest things that has surprised me so far working with my student on our book is how much the pictures help my student better understand the book. She is severely language delayed, and I was worried going into the lesson that the concepts in the book would be more than she could handle with her limited language, but she has been using great coping strategies by using context that I have given her, with the pictures, to grasp the challenging pieces and concepts quite well.

    It has also been interesting for me, throughout this class, to note how similar many of the strategies are for teaching students with limited language, and teaching students who are ELLs. The biggest difference for an ELL seems to really be how developed their literacy in their L1 is. For a student whose overall literacy (in L1 and L2) is limited, the strategies might actually be the same as for a student with overall limited language. If a student has a well developed L1, their phonemic awareness is likely more well-developed, so those strategies could be implemented to help them transfer that knowledge to their L2. For deaf students, the strategies are very similar because phonemic awareness plays less of a role in language and literacy development. This information and the strategies around working with students with limited language has help best for me with my student. I use lots of pictures, visuals, and graphic organizers for her. She is profoundly deaf so phonemic awareness is of little use. I have also benefited from some of the information on pragmatic language, as that is also a weakness for my student. She struggles to see, and therefore recognize and process, visual cues, so I have tried to work some of that into my lesson so that she can further practice this part of her language as well.

  31. I would like to start off this blog by stating that I learned a lot of important things from this course by creating this lesson plan. I enjoyed the entire process from beginning to finish because we were able to pick a book of our own choice for our lesson plan, and I chose a book that I will incorporate into my classroom. I picked a book called Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne, which discussed in detail what ancient Pompeii was like before the eruption that destroyed the city. The premise of the story was that two children went back in time to find an ancient scroll, before it was lost forever to history. At first I was apprehensive because I could not tell the difference between tier two and tier three vocabulary words, but based on our class lectures and activities, I was able to figure it out. I have to admit that as a teacher I have always placed an emphasis on teaching tier three vocabulary words, which are the academic/content words that my students need to learn in order to understand the curriculum. However, by taking this course and creating this lesson plan, I now realize how important it is to teach tier two words to all of my students; including students with Communication Disorders, ELL students, and all students, as a matter of fact. This new knowledge that I gained from this course has opened my eyes. I will now be much more careful when I teach from my social studies textbook, because I now know that many students may not be mastering the curriculum, because they are stuck with the tier two vocabulary words that a lot of people including myself had wrongly assumed that my students had already knew. I will go through each section of the textbook and pick out tier two and tier three vocabulary words and instruct my students on these words as a pre-reading strategy. Furthermore, I will have my students read the first section of their social studies textbook and have them make a list of words that they find confusing. By looking over all of my students lists I can then determine which words I need to instruct to my students. I implemented accommodations and modifications into my lesson plan for students with Communication Disorders and ELL students, such as, allowing my students extra time to respond to a prompt that I created for the chapter from the story. Furthermore, I allowed the students to bullet their responses to the prompt, if they are having difficulty with the writing process. In my lesson plan I included the page numbers where the students can find the tier two words and I encouraged my students to create their own list of words that they found difficult, so that I could look over the list, and teach those words to the students. I feel that I learned a great deal from the lectures and class activities from this course and I now have an understanding of how important vocabulary is when teaching students.

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