Transcript Slide 1

Effective Pedagogical Practices
for Fragile Learners
California Educational Research Association
December 2011
Alicia Henderson, Ph.D.
Franklin-McKinley School District
Effective Pedagogical Practices for
Fragile Learners
 Robust “First Time Instruction”
1. Basic Skills Instruction
2. Subject-Area Considerations
3. Clarity in Communication
 Differentiation / Adaptations
Fragile Learners
 “Fragile Learners” include all students with
challenges that impact the learning of new
content and skills, including
English learners
Students with disabilities
Students living in poverty
At-risk students who remain in school but
have become disengaged for any number of
Fragile Learners
 Many fragile learners can be successful with
robust “first time instruction”
 Most Fragile learners can be successful with
robust “first time instruction” coupled with
appropriate differentiation and adaptations
 Some fragile learners have special needs that
require the support of experts
Robust “First Time Instruction” relies upon
Quality Core Instruction
 Rigor: alignment of curriculum, instruction &
 Frequent formative assessment: instructional decisions
are based on data about student learning
 Robust: employing UDL principles
 Relevance: consideration for prior knowledge
 Relationships: respectful & joyful
 Shared responsibility for learning: teacher & student
Robust “First Time Instruction”
Includes essential UDL components:
1. Basic Skills Instruction
2. Subject-Area Considerations
3. Clarity of Communication
Robust “First Time Instruction”
1. Basic Skills Instruction
 Teach preskills
 Select & sequence examples
 Decide rate of introduction of new skills
 Provide direct instruction
 Offer practice & review opportunities
Teach Preskills
(not always possible by core instruction teacher at secondary level)
 Preskills: basic skills necessary for
performing more complex tasks
 Assess students on relevant preskills
 Teach preskills to entire class or to
individual students
Select and Sequence Examples
 Focus on and prepare selection of examples
(aka: exemplars)
 Range of example selections should match
range of problems types to be used in
 Be aware that sequencing of examples has an
impact on learning
Rate of Skill Introduction
 Introduce new skills in small steps
 Teach skills at a rate slow enough to
ensure mastery
 Due to pacing guides and high-stakes testing,
it may be difficult to slow down
 Slowing down the rate may require
identification of essential skills to be
Direct Instruction, Practice,
and Review
 Fragile learners typically require more direct
 Indirect instruction is rarely sufficient
 Practice should follow direct instruction,
not act as a substitute for direct instruction
 Problems with retention is common,
spiral review assists to cement new learnings
Robust “First Time Instruction”
2. Subject-Area Considerations
 Set up the lesson
 Activate background knowledge
 Include conceptual supports for
 Frontload key vocabulary
Set Up the Lesson
 Determine depth of prior knowledge on topic
 May include a pre-test
 Bridge prior knowledge with new information
 Present 1-3 Big Ideas in lesson
 Explicitly state learning objectives
 Catch interest and give reason for engagement
 Prompt students to predict
Activate Background
(Prior) Knowledge
 New learnings are more likely when
facilitated with explicit connections to
background knowledge
 Plan lesson to relate new material to
information they already know
 Consider background knowledge of your
students (it may be different from your own)
Include Conceptual Supports
for Learning New Content
 Advance organizers
 Concept maps
 Study guides
 Graphic organizers
 PowerPoints w/ handouts
 Cornell notes
Frontload Key Vocabulary
 Identify key vocabulary / terms in lesson
 Introduce (1-5 per lesson) prior to teaching
new material
 Consider multiple representations of key
vocabulary: definition, part of speech,
visual image, synonyms, antonyms
Robust “First Time Instruction”
3. Clarity in Communication
 Use Language Intentionally
 Avoid “bird walks” that distract from
delivery of new content
 Use precise language to deliver content,
monitor use of pronouns and other
nonspecific terms
 Clarity in Written Communication
 Clarity in Oral Communication
Clarity: Written Communication
 Ensure all written material on whiteboards,
overheads, PowerPoints etc. is large enough &
legible enough for all students to read
 Utilize considerate text versions of adopted
curriculum when available
 Ensure written tests do not introduce
confounds to assessing learning of new content
(either by test format or language used)
Clarity: Oral Communication
 Project voice so all students can hear
 Enunciate clearly
 Support delivery of “signal” and monitor
 Utilize specific strategies
 Giving directions
 Asking questions
 Presenting subject matter
Giving Directions
 State command specifically
 Use concrete terms
 Give “bite size” directions
 Avoid long series of directions
 Demonstrate what you want them to do
 Use cue words for routine directions
Asking Questions
 Phrase questions clearly
 Ensure students know how to respond
 Balance high-level and low-level
questions (ala Bloom’s levels)
 Adapt questions to language and skill
level of class, and individual students
 Vary wait time based on the question
 Call on volunteers and nonvolunteers
Presenting Subject Matter
 Use clear and relevant language
 Explain how points relate to main topic
 Avoid vague or abstract terms that do not
directly relate to new content
 Use multiple modes (oral & written) to deliver
new content
 Include multiple representations of new
content (e.g., graphs, diagrams, pictures)
Example of
for a math
Differentiation & Adaptations
 Differentiated Instruction
 Flexible grouping
 Process, content, product
 Adaptations - Grid of 9
 Accommodations
 Modifications
Grid of 9
Support from Experts
 Reading specialist
 Speech pathologist
 Occupational therapist
 Psychologist
 Behavioral therapist
 Special education teacher