katherine zagotsis
Highly Accomplished Teacher. AAC Communication Partner & Advocate. Mum of one. Accidental Leader. Reflectionist, Mentor and life-long learner.

Engaging Now! 7.4

Demonstrating 4.5

Performance and Development 2017

August 6, 2017 | Focus Areas: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 0 COMMENTS


Literacy & Numeracy lesson

My perspective

My 3 independent learners had worked quickly through their work trays and were now all engaging themselves, either on the swing or playing with a toy. (Had offered J. a break as he appeared anxious). Felt frustrated at this while being observed as usually I have more students working at the same time. One student was having a therapy session in another room, so I was left to work 1:1 with two of my students who are notoriously difficult to engage. Had just finished working with C. when D. brought ‘Eating time’ visual to me and signed food. “Good asking, but you’ll need to wait.” (Signed ‘Wait.’ ). Moved away from me, but then came back and started to have a tantrum. Held up ‘Move away’ and ‘I want to be left alone please’ visuals to him. Continued to make frustrated noise and then hit me on the arm. SSO intervened and moved him out of the room. Did a check of where students were in the classroom. SSO brought J. back to complete his work, where he made an anxious sound and his body moved, verbally reassured him.

Attempted to work with D. first, who I could see was still unsettled and so I changed my expectations. He rolled and squeezed Theraputty, then threaded four beads onto string. D. independently put both tasks in the finished tray as he completed them. Left the table after a very short space of time, then selected magnetic board activity which he tried to do at same table. Directed him to another table where he played well for quite some time. He then started peeling off stickers and threw activity across the room. I then set up tasks for next student at the table and used ‘Check your schedule’ visual to direct L. to come and work with me. He showed an interest in sensory letters (new activity), so I followed his lead and allowed him to do this first. He pressed various letters into the sand and I typed them on ProloQuo as he did so. Engaged well for 5 minutes and then threw the tray into the air, resulting in most of the sand landing on the floor and on my stool. Got him to pick some of it up. Brushed my stool off and directed L. to the teacher-directed table. (SSO came and swept it up). Encouraged to engage with Theraputty, which he did for a short time, but then started to mouth it, so finished early. Hand over hand assistance to type his name on iPad and then got him to write it in his book independently. Corrected pencil grip and L. made lots of independent marks on the page “Oh, good writing your name! This is how I would write it…” Wrote his name in pen underneath. (Was questioning whether my literacy strategy was correct at this point, was using theory from last year’s T&D). Pointed to finished tray and he placed book there. “Great job, you’re finished.”

Did a classroom check and saw T. alone at the door. (Had returned from therapy room. Site has agreed that children are to either use this room or the child’s classroom so that there is always a line of sight be a teacher to meet the duty of care). Looked out window and saw his therapist chatting, so immediately let him in and directed him to desk. Completed teacher-directed tasks with him, where he kept looking at my face. Moved behind him so that he could focus better on his task. While sitting with T, D. was trying to get my attention by making the same noise and tapping me on the arm. I ignored him initially and then told him to pack up. SSO got him to apologise for earlier behaviour soon after. Finished both tasks with T. and therapist told me what she’d observed in the session. SSO then set class up for eating and line manager left.

Line manager’s perspective/written feedback
Teacher Feedback Sheet, shared with permission
  • Calm, organised, patient, reflective on what self is doing/what students are doing.
  • Tasks differentiated, allowing breaks, monitoring needs of students.
  • All students participated in the session.
  • Used iPad throughout lesson.
  • Structured Teaching content different/expectations different for each student.
  • Activities structured, different strategies used for each student
  • Assisted/discussed with OT/Speech Therapists
  • Used Visual Timetables, Visual aids and ProloQuo
  • Managed challenging behaviour by redirecting J. and D.
  • Praised students and engaged with them.
  • Classroom was calm and quiet.
  • Incorporating lots of different activities.
  • SSO knew what to do when finished with set task.

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