[nobe-l] Student Teaching

vparadiso92 at gmail.com vparadiso92 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 23:54:12 UTC 2016

Hi Tara,

First off, congratulations! Although student teaching is often challenging, it's a great way to gain experience. My first student teaching placement was also with the younger grades. I worked specifically with kindergarten through second grade students. I understand what you mean, and I am glad that you reached out for advice in these areas. Something that I found that helped a lot with small children was an emphasis on verbal strategies. Since students are often learning how to read and write at this point, it would not be a bad idea to ask them to spell what they have written on paper. This sounds simple but it goes a long way. For example, if students are still learning how to spell words or recognize their own handwriting, start by using short words and have the children recite them back. This is a great way for them to learn the words as well. You will know who is picking up on useful literacy strategies by listening and observing. Children tend to learn very fast. You will find that quite a bit I am sure. For example, you will learn which students are able to blend sounds together. You will learn which students are able to decode. Simply by spending time with them. As you get to know the students, you'll learn their strengths and weaknesses.

Also, do not be afraid of pictures!!! Although you may not be able to see them, these are wonderful tools for the children. Just become familiar with the images and use them with the students. Have them describe them to you. Or use them as a reference if you are trying to make a point. For instants, if you are teaching a student what a triangle is, use the picture until they are able to differentiate shapes from one another by identifying them visually. Make sure you label the pictures so you know what they are and what the students are looking at. Especially when teaching math, this will help you quite a bit. This is also a great way for your cited colleagues to understand that you are able to use these visual aids effectively.

 Although you may not be able to scan your math book, are you a braille user? Often times some materials will be available in braille at libraries or through the grapevine. I did not think this would be the case for me, but I was able to find a book used in my classroom through a colleague. It took some research but it worked.

As far as emergency strategies such as fire drill procedures, Address this immediately. This was one mistake that I made during my first experience. I did not do this right away at my first placement and I felt very clumsy and in the way during these procedures. You want to make sure that you are safe and as prepared as possible. Explain to your cooperating teacher  that the student  come first. Hence, you would like to develop a plan for these kinds of incidents. There is nothing wrong with requesting assistance if you feel that you need it with small children. It is more important that you are included, and a part of the team in a way that is safe. The individuals that you are working with will respect you more for addressing these things, often times because they will be too uncomfortable to bring them up.

Lastly, I did work with younger special education students. What I found was that patience and flexibility went and extremely long way. You will not always get desirable responses. Remember that many of these children struggle with basic skills, and are still learning very basic things around them. As a result, start small. I found that building strategies worked well with this population. Try to make as many moments teaching moments. Remember that you may not see progress right away either but that does not mean that it is not on the way. I can personally speak to this. I currently teach special education science on the high school level. I see all kinds of disabilities on a daily basis, and just as the students are learning about my blindness, I make it my business to learn about them. Not everything will work with a given student, but be excited and flexible and give each challenge your best shot. You will be great!!!

Please reach out if you have anymore questions,


Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 14, 2016, at 4:51 PM, Tara Abella via NOBE-L <nobe-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hello all,
> Today I received my student teaching placement for the spring semester. I will spend eight weeks in a first grade classroom and eight weeks in an elementary special-education classroom. I am a little unsure of how I am going to teach subjects such as hand writing and informally monitor student progress since many of them cannot read what they have written. Also, how do I go about obtaining textbooks when so much of what children at this age learn is shown in pictures. I do not believe I would be able to scan the math textbook in particular. Finally, if you have any experience working with first grade or elementary students with special needs, and you have any advice for things such as classroom management or how to handle things such as fire drills or field trips that would be greatly appreciated. 
> Thanks so much,
> Tara Abella
> Sent from my iPhone
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