Teaching resources

Teaching resources for the 2016 mentoring project

Yaniv's art tutor Marcel Baaijens talks about teaching disabled students.

This clip was part of a November 2010 presentation by John Mandelberg and Annick Janson at the Colloque Europeen Impact in Europe. Les Technologies d'assistance: Et alors? in Paris, France.

Alanna has a wide experience as a teacher, then as the manager of a special needs students at a New Zealand high school. She knows Yaniv well because she helped him achieve his dreams - by supporting him in following his passion and gift for the arts. She talked about how the five key competencies interact in this quest and surprise - it starts by teachers finding out what each student is passionate about. Engagement is the key to keeping - not just disabled students - excited about their learning and showing them how to take charge of their education and career. Listen below to the message she shares with teachers and parents based on her experience:

Key competencies are the capabilities people have, and need to develop, to live and learn today and in the future. The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five Key Competencies:

In the clip below, Mary Chamberlain, Ministry of Education, provides a brief description of the key competencies, explaining their importance for employment and personal well-being.

The resources we review on this page address the five Key Competencies outlined by the New Zealand curriculum: Thinking, Relating to others, Using language, symbols and texts, Managing self and Participating and contributing.

Through different eyes
This website features an innovatively designed Exemplar Wheel which contains three rings with multiple segments;the lower ring provides the 5 key competencies, middle ring lists the fields of education and the upper ring looks at the principles of teaching. Clicking on the preferred segments from the three rings will provide a list of teaching resource exemplars categorised as per levels of schooling ( primary, intermediate and secondary). Each exemplar contains a log, which can be printed out, detailing steps and measures used by the educator to  build the competency in the learner mentioned in the exemplar. These steps can be replicated in order to achieve the mentioned competency. 

Browse exemplars by school
Example of a student learning through shapes

Artful Thinking
The  Artful Thinking Program is designed to be used by the regular classroom teacher to help them incorporate works of visual art and music in their curriculum in ways that strengthen student thinking and learning.The goal of the Artful Thinking program is to help students develop thinking dispositions that support thoughtful learning – in the arts, and across school subjects. It has two broad goals:

(1) To help teachers create rich connections between works of art and curricular topics
(2) to help teachers use art as a force for developing students’ thinking dispositions.

The artful thinking webpage contains a list of routines that teachers can adopt while teaching that are fostered to inhibit the process of thinking in students.

The site has an excellent section with curriculum connections by theme. Each theme has a drop down menu with a list of topics that are related to the curriculum. Choosing a curriculum connection topic will provide a list of possible activities that be used in class to develop the thinking process in students. The below is a screenshot; to access it click on: http://www.pzartfulthinking.org/cc_intro3.php

The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) is composed of partners with expertise in disability, education, employment, and workforce development policy and practice. Youth and young adults with learning disabilities (LD), like their peers without disabilities, must acquire the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to maximize their ability to function independently on a day-to-day basis in our society. To be successful in any environment—academic and non-academic—youth need more than remediation and instructional interventions to master skills. Learning how to learn and engaging in lifelong learning are particularly important components of academic success and employment success, especially given the fast pace at which the nature of work is changing. All people, with and without disabilities, have both strengths and weaknesses. Educators can implement specific teaching strategies to help more students, including those with disabilities, develop these strategic learning skills. In addition to adopting inclusive teaching methods that reach all kinds of learners. educators can apply strategies in the classroom to help youth with LD identify their strengths and take control of their own learning. This website will provide teachers with practical techniques and lesson ideas to enhance students’ strategic learning skills.

Compensatory techniques or strategies are methods that youth and young adults with LD can use to capitalize on their strengths in a variety of settings, including the classroom and the workplace. One way to think of compensatory techniques is as tools that the student can use to self-accommodate his/her own disability. In fact, these techniques are effective for all youth, including students with cultural or language barriers. While some learners naturally develop compensatory strategies, others will need to be taught these strategies. For all youth, teachers can support and advance this process by incorporating strategic learning into lessons

Best Evidence
Best Evidence Synthesis (BES) programme collaborative knowledge building strategy designed to strengthen the evidence base that informs education policy and practice in New Zealand. Trustworthy evidence about what works and what makes a bigger difference in education. The touchstone of the programme is its focus on explaining and optimising influences on valued outcomes for diverse (all) learners. The series of BESs is designed to be a catalyst for systemic and ongoing improvement in education.

The BES exemplars focus on how to make a much bigger difference in education. They highlight the potential for disciplined innovation to accelerate systemic improvement in areas of need in schooling.Five new BES exemplars have been prepared in partnership with teachers, researchers and professionals who have led outstanding teaching in New Zealand.  Each exemplar has been selected because it illuminates highly effective teaching approaches that accelerate progress for diverse (all) learners in areas where improvement is needed. They exemplify the eleven dimensions of quality teaching using examples that come from across the curriculum and are relevant to primary, intermediate, and secondary levels of schooling

Learning Disabilities OnLine
Learning Disabilities OnLine seeks to help children and adults reach their full potential by providing accurate and up-to-date information and advice about learning disabilities and ADHD. The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, monthly columns by noted experts, first person essays, children’s writing and artwork, a comprehensive resource guide, very active forum

Example 1
This article looks at six basic principles associated with making knowledge construction more meaningful and robust and examples of specific instructional techniques particularly appropriate for use in inclusive classroom settings are provided. These techniques focus on teaching big ideas, promoting elaboration, relating to real-world contexts, and integrating thinking skills and strategies into the curriculum.

Example 2
Whether in a general, special ed, or inclusive classroom, teaching is a challenge. Handling 30 different kids with individual needs—and varying attention spans—can confound even the best teachers. One way teachers can help their students with LD is to create a well-managed, structured classroom environment. This section of LDOnline contains a variety of articles to help teachers do everything from arrange furniture to manage behavior issues.

Teaching differentiation
With classrooms exhibiting increasing diversity among learners, it’s no wonder that teachers feel a growing need to hone their strategies for differentiating instruction. This series of articles, which balance theory, research, and practice, address a variety of topics within differentiation through text, graphics, and video. Areas of focus include developing assignments that address the needs of all learners; using technology to differentiate instruction; managing behavior in the inclusive classroom; instructional strategies specific to the needs of deaf learners, gifted learners, and autistic learners; and more.[from the learnnc website]. Below is a screenshot of its contents, click here to get to the Learn NC website.

Special connections Site
The special connections website was developed for educators engaged in the meaningful inclusion of students with special needs in the general education curriculum. This site contains teaching strategies that educators can adopt to help engage students who have difficulty learning. Each strategy provides case studies and teacher tools. Some of the material has been removed from this site however teachers are advised to have a look around as this site contains a lot of efficient resources.

Video self modelling
This scenario describes the essence of a simple and short process of using video self modelling (VSM) to help a student gain proficiency with reading fluency and comprehension.

ClassWide Peer Tutoring
ClassWide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) is a time tested, research proven, effective program that enhances the acquisition of academic skills. The traditional CWPT program is a systematic and fun instructional strategy that actively engages an entire classroom of students at the same time. This procedure is based on reciprocal peer tutoring and group reinforcement to accelerate the process of learning and practicing basic academic skills. This article looks at how teachers can use CWPT to their advantage along with case studies and teacher tools.

Artsonline website
Artsonline is a New Zealand Ministry of Education website providing teaching resources to art  educators. Educators can choose activities as per the year of education of the student and each activity looks at the learning outcome and steps needed to be taken to achieve them. Click here to choose a year and on the following examples about self-portrait and painting to get a feel for these teaching units.

The Visible Thinking site contains a compilation ofresources aimed at helping students develop creative thinking without a separate ‘thinking skills' course or fixed lessons. Visible Thinking is a broad and flexible framework for enriching classroom learning in the content areas and fostering students' intellectual development at the same time.

Creative hunt is an activity that  makes thinking visible by helping students to find the creative thinking behind ordinary things -- doorknobs, pencils, newspapers, toys. It is a good way to awaken students to the creativity in ordinary objects around them It can also be applied to more important things and more abstract things, like forms of government or hospitals or schools. The routine helps students to appreciate creativity and be more alert to creative opportunities.

More Examples

The IRIS centre 
The IRIS centre is dedicated to improving education outcomes for all children, especially those with disabilities birth through age twenty-one. IRIS resources and materials are primarily designed for use by college and university faculty, professional development providers, and practicing educators. This article discusses discuss of the issues related to classroom behavior management, ADHD, and communication with parents with the help of scenarios. The site has a section that categories the different types of disabilities and explain how teachers can modify their teaching strategies to help students with disabilities in an inclusive classroom setting. Teachers have deemed it very helpful and well written and can be used by teachers to understand the disabilities better. See for instance a case study on applying learning strategies to beginning Algebra and a case study on behaviour management for a student with ADHD. 

Another perspective of interest is the IHC Learning Better Together document.  

Describing Best Practice Assessment for special needs students
When adapting the Standard Course of Study to the needs of special needs or academically gifted learners, one of the core questions to ask about a learning objective is what the implications of this objective in real life. This NZCER article analyses academic situations yielding rich, rigorous, challenging learning.