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First Year Teacher - Inclusion Class - Deaf Student
Old 07-22-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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I'm a first year teacher and just took a position as a 2nd grade classroom teacher in an inclusion class with a deaf student. I have a few questions and would love some feedback!

1. Is there a list of absolutely necessary items I need to purchase to kick my year off?

2. Tips for teaching an inclusion class, including tips for effectively instructing a deaf student.

3. Any really great learning center ideas? My host teacher during student teaching didn't offer learning centers at all, but I'm really interested in implementing them in my classroom.

4. When do you start setting up your classroom?

Any guidance would be GREATLY appreciated!


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first year
Old 07-22-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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I had the same situation a couple years ago! I assume your hearing impaired student will have an interpreter? Ours do. I treated him no differently than my other students-he was pulled out for spec ed, and though he needed it for reading I found he did not need it for math-so I kept him during our math time. My biggest struggle with him was that he wanted special privileges because of his disability! I had to be firm with him! Make sure you try to speak directly to that student and also I learned some basic sign language to help out.

Necessary items? some great music-like African or World playground... on stressful days I would turn it and we would dance around the room for a few minutes, just to let loose and laugh! Otherwise you will do fine-what others need may not be what you need!

We use Treasures for our reading curriculum, my workstations are: word work, vocabulary, punctuation station, sentence building, research, poetry, listening, 5 signal words, pocket chart, and library. I try to focus my centers on what we are studying... I only put 2 kids in each center at a time and they are approx. 30 minutes each! Check out Debbie Diller's literacy workstations book!

Our first day is August 24th so I will start working in my room around August 3rd or so. I have been there some already!

If you need/want anymore info let me know! Best of luck to you-and don't worry! You are jumping in headfirst (which I did) and it made me a stronger teacher! You will do great!
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On the deaf student...
Old 07-23-2011, 04:18 AM
 
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I have two friends who are interpreters and work in the schools.

Their number 1 complaint is that they aren't allowed to "help" - they are strict about simply interpreting. Often their student may not understand something and ask them, but they can't explain. They've explained to me that deaf interpretation is not a one-to-one correspondence, it involves quite a bit of "interpreting" and assigning meaning to words on the interpreters part.

So, if I were you - I'd make a conscious effort to ask the student, through the interpreter if he/she understands. Perhaps even something non-attention grabbing like a little "help" sign he/she could place on their desk as a visual clue to you that they need more explanation.

Also, I'd talk to the student, not the interpreter. That's just an issue of respect.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:14 AM
 
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Yeah, my hearing impaired student will have an interpreter. So, that will be a huge help.

And I love your idea about playing music and just dancing around! haha. I'm a firm believer that you've gotta let the kids shake out their bad day sometimes.

I'm just so nervous! I just got the job this week, and school starts on the 12th. I've got a few orientations, and then inservice days over the next couple of weeks. I'm actually out of town to visit with my step-daughter (a trip I had planned for weeks now) so I can't get to my classroom. I'll be returning next Friday, but I just hope I still have enough time to get my room together!
What exactly do you find yourself doing to prepare your room?
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:16 AM
 
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Oh, and I LOVE the idea for the "help" sign. I hadn't even considered that. I'm going to grab one or make one today!

And thanks for the perspective of the interpreter, that was very helpful.


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Old 07-23-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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I'm so glad that you posted! I will have TWO hearing impaired students next year; only one of them "qualifies" for an interpreter. So I'm thinking the one without an interpreter doesn't need one? Anyway, I had thought the 1st grade teachers would split them up, but I get them both. So...those of you who have had hearing impaired kiddies in your classroom ...how much would you use the interpreter for the second child? How would you handle that? BTW, I understand they are both quite a handful as far as classroom behavior. They will both be expected to follow our self-management guidelines. TIA!
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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I wonder if the first grade teachers put your hearing impaired students together so that the interpreter could assist both of them when necessary
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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As a Deaf person, and Teacher of the Deaf, I first want to suggest not labeling or referring to your Deaf or HOH students as "hearing impaired" it's a very offensive term.

I don't quite understand why one child is qualified for an interpreter and the other isn't....especially seeing as the interpreter is going to be in the room anyway. Does your school district have an itinerent teacher of the deaf that bounces around from school to school servicing/tutoring deaf students?

The interpreter is there to facilitate information, this person needs to be sitting right next to you when you are addressing the class as a whole. So everyone will be looking at him/her anyway and it really shouldn't be an issue.

I worked as an ASL aide in a 2nd grade classroom for two Deaf/HOH students once and we had an interpreter. He was basically treated like an aide in the room (he wasn't a certified interpreter BUT he was working on his Masters in Deaf Ed, like I was at the time). One of the student exhibited "behaviors" which led the teacher to saying to me that she "wasn't going to allow their disabilities to screw up the rest of the class." A big no-no.

Don't treat them differently, but don't ignore the fact that they are Deaf and you can't talk to them like you can a hearing child. You have to make eye-contact, you cannot cover your mouth when you speak to them, and don't treat them like they are disabled. The only thing they can't do is hear. If they were two non-English speaking students, fresh in from a different country you wouldn't treat them as though there was something wrong with them.

As far as what you need, it's good you have someone in the room who knows ASL and if this person is competent, they will be able to give you a lot of ideas and support.

All videos in class, should be captioned. You can have the interpreter interpret it regardless.

As PSLachey said---when you want to talk to the students, don't talk to the interpreter. Just look directly at the students and talk normally. The interpreter will position him/herself appropriately and interpret.

Educational interpreters and interpreters in general (speaking specifically to ASL interpreters) are supposed to be "ghosts". Interpreters generally have no knowledge of teaching, so why would you want this person doing more in the classroom than what they know how? If your students have behaviors, I would look into having an ASL-using aide in the classroom---preferrably a Deaf person.

Find out if the kids wearing hearing aids or have an FM System. Sit them at the front of the class, and make sure you check in with them. If you can, see about getting the hollow tennis balls for the bottom of chairs and tables to reduce noise.

As far as teaching a Deaf child in an inclusive setting...my experience working in a public school with Deaf children---it's not easy and I found it very undesirable. I worked in a very upscale public school and the teachers and aides always asked me if their behaviors (running around, making twilling noises for no apparent reason, etc) were because they were Deaf. It's not. Those kinds of behaviors are an indication of something else.

I would suggest though looking into the works of Robert Hoffmeister, Ben Bahan, Ted and Sam Supalla, Frank Turk, Todd Czubek, Marlon Kuntze, Kristin DiPerri (excellent resource for teaching materials designed specifically for deaf students), Goldwyn-Meadows, I could go on and on. But if you do a google/google scholar search for these people, especially Hoffmeister who established and runs the Deaf Ed Masters program at BU, you'll learn a lot.

There's also a lot of childrens books about deafness and explaining deafness to kids that aren't too bad. A lot of people might recomment "Reading Milestones" because it was designed for deaf students, but it's crap. I wouldn't invest a great amount of time in it.

If you have spelling tests (I'm sure you will) encourage the kids to fingerspell their words to help remember spelling. I did that growing up (still do) and my spelling is pretty good.

Also keep an eye out on literature or research that says "sign language" and not "American Sign Language"---there is a difference.

Sorry, not at all trying to come off rude or on a high horse. I've just gone through all of this in my own experience as a student and on my path to becoming a teacher.

Hope this helps
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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Oh Dr. Susan Rose from the University of Minnesota is another great resource. I'm participating in a 6 day literacy conference for Deaf educators and she was one of our speakers---I learned a ton about setting up reading and writing assessment binders for my students and how to more accurately evaluate their levels.

You can also google Sue Livingston (Rethinking the Education of Deaf Students), Peter V. Paul, Donald Moores, Kluwin and Stewert.

Progress monitoring is huge, and especially important with Deaf students. Cloze has been proven to be ineffective with Deaf students, Maze passages have been proven to be more accurate. When doing assessments with the student, make them pick one language (assuming they talk as well as sign) and stick with it. Do not change communication modes because it will screw up results.

Remember, Deaf students are visual learners. Even if they wear hearing aids, CI's, or FM Systems---these do not make spoken language clearer to the student, it just makes things louder and if there's chatter or background noise, well then they don't do much at all. My second graders wouldn't even notice when their hearing aid batteries died.

A note for working with the interpreter---young children are likely not to know how to appropriately use the interpreter. The National Association of the Deaf and Kendall Demonstration Elementary School have curriculums that include proper usage of interpreters--for students and teachers, you can find it online and is worth reading.

Cleary School for the Deaf in Long Island also has something similar.

Last edited by deafink; 08-27-2011 at 04:24 PM.. Reason: more resources to suggest
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ASL Class.
Old 08-29-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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As a Deaf person who was unfortuntely mainstreamed, and now a Teacher of the Deaf, the #1 best piece of advice I can give you is to find your local Deaf school or Deaf organization/association and take an ASL class. Otherwise, you will never truly understand what's going on with these kids and why they "act" the way they do.


My second piece of advice is to remember that Deaf people are visual learners and no amount of hearing aids, CI's, "lip reading", is going to help. Hearing aids make things louder, not clearer.

I worked as an ASL aide in a 2nd grade classroom when I was finishing grad school and my class had two Deaf students, and an interpreter. Our interpreter was also finishing his Masters in Deaf Ed, so using him as a second aide when he didn't need to interpret was okay. But in general, interpreters are supposed to be "ghosts". You don't ask them for their opinion on the child, you don't ask talk to them when you want to talk to the child. You talk to the child and the interpreter will position themself appropriately. Interpreters facilitate communication, that's it.

The interpreter in your class is there for one student, but really this person is going to be standing next to you whenever you speak---so everyone will see them, and the second child can take advantage of this and it's okay. I'd love to know the reason why one child was approved for an interpreter and the other wasn't.

Also look into whether or not your district has an Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf, this is a ToD who bounces around from school to school providing services/tutoring to Deaf students. This is not the same as an inclusion facilitator or special ed teacher, this person is specially and only for Deaf children. Inclusion facilitators/special ed teachers usually have little experience with Deaf children.

See if your school (really, their IEP's should call for it anyway) can get those hollow tennis-balls to put on the bottoms of chairs and tables to reduce noise.

I can give you names of people to google, if you like. There's a lot of good articles/books out there that can be very useful for hearing people with no experience teaching Deaf students.
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Deaf student
Old 08-29-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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I have a deaf child in my classroom this year. She has a full time interpreter. During the second week of school I had the two of them deliver fingerspelling alphabet cards to all of the third graders in our school. A coteacher also enlisted a retired school teacher who is also a sign language aficianado come and teach all of the classes basic signs to communicate with the deaf child as well as signs that she used in her classroom for classroom management.(Ex. sit, stand, line up, wait,etc.) We have a computer program that can translate a typed version of our reading stories, spelling list, letters, etc. into sign language. It is taking a lot of extra time to get the stories typed up. I'm thinking of asking parent volunteers to help with the typing. The deaf student is overwhelmed that so much is centered around her. She really feels like she is something special. She is teaching us a lot. During class discussions I generally let her interpreter know when she has a question coming up so that she will be prepared to answer when called on.
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