I chose this session at LW2012 ran by John Connor @bootleian as I teach quite a number of SEN classes given that in my school there is a larger than average number of students with SEN. This is my last post from LW2012, simply because it was the session that I took the most from, and new I would end up writing loads on reflection as I certainly took the most notes from this session.
First thing that was mentioned was that there is Teacher Agency (formerly TDA) funding for SEN training, up to £3000. I have only found information on funding for the training of HLTA’s, half of the costs of courses with a ceiling of £2,000 which is found here if you want to refer anyone to the page with the information. Applications for this particular funding close on the 17th May 2012.
- SEN students have a triad of impairment consisting of struggling social interaction, inflexibility and social communication.
- When teaching students with SEN, there is no need for too many words, use simple structures to begin with with.
- SEN students still need to make progress so continuous, repetitive low level activity does not take the students out of their comfort zone and therefore they aren’t making the progress that they should.
- Where possible, stick with cognates in the first instance so that it does not seem so scary to them.
- When having presented the vocabulary, present again but requiring simple ‘oui/non’ responses to say what the item of vocabulary is, or use whiteboards.
- If doing Sports for example, display two pictures of two sports when asking students to repeat the correct sport of the two, always finish with the actual sport so that it is the last one that they hear.
- To make this more difficult when the students are more confident, always expect them to state the first sport mentioned.
- Then ask, what is the sport? Seems slower but leaving less students behind rather than going straight in at level 4.
- J’aime and je n’aime pas on the board, say a sentence and students have to go across and match the sport to the opinion by pinning up the flash card or picture card.
- When leaning colours, use coloured cones, music plays – students near mentioned colour are out when the music stops and teacher has said a colour.
- Point to something of that colour, containing the mentioned colour to visually demonstrate with something other than a flashcard or .ppt slide.
- Boys can’t learn a modern language without dismantling a biro and getting ink all over their hands (how true is this!) Get some large nuts and bolts from the ELC and give one to the main offender whilst they have to pay attention. However, I am sure other students could be jealous at this point and all start dismantling pens?
- Speaking activities – ask the person to your left/right/behind/front, once you have asked 3/4 people, get up and ask someone else to stop people just ticking each others sheets when free to roam the classroom, this could be a good strategy for all classes from my experience!
- When learning parts of the body – first aid/CPR – what is actually going to be relevant, possibly 4/5 words from the whole list of body parts, don’t give the student a whole list of words as they could be intimidated straight away.
- Use inflatable alien to label body parts, using a post-it. Then if a mistake is made it can easily be lifted and placed elseswhere unlike if given a worksheet, the error is permenantly recorded…
- Voice changer to be ‘the alien’ practise saying the words found one here…
- Inflatable hammer/axe to bring in concept of ‘j’ai mal’ practise hitting students/hitting each other then student gets to say where they hurt.
- Help students to visualise bar charts (where they may result from a survey) using lego bricks where each colour could be a different answer. For colourblind students, could use different shaped bricks to represent the different categories.
I have to say, this was not everything from the session, just that in which I found the most relevant and useful to me at the time. The only limitations for me is that I teach my lower abilities in their own classrooms as they belong to a primary model which is exempt from the National Curriculum. To employ every idea that John had would be difficult, however, the certainly provided me with lots of inspiration and different ways to approach my SEN classes.
Please leave a comment and share any ideas that you use with your SEN classes that have been successful…