On-Line Case Study Application: Larry (pg.89)

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On-Line Case Study Application: Larry (pg.89) by Mind Map: On-Line Case Study Application: Larry (pg.89)

1. I would also propose including an authentic assessment where we could collect data based on how Larry does in real life situation in which he can be engaged in an interactive way where he can get help from teachers and peers as he would in a real life situation. This would give insight into how adapted Larry is in the school environment and how well he does at problem solving with the resources he has.

2. Interpretation/Connection to the text (Special Education in Ontario Schools)

2.1. The decision of what to include in the assessment will have major impact on Larry because "for students deemed exceptional in some way, the path for assessment, while similar to that taken for all students, can be more complicated and far more influential in determining program and placement" (Bennett, Dworet, & Weber 2013) Thus, whatever the elementary school decides might greatly benefit or curtail the help Larry gets in his high school.

2.2. According to the Draft for Learning for all, K-12, an effective assessment is "one that reveals where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go, and how best to get there" (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2009, p.26)

2.3. After reading about Larry's case and analyzing his unique characteristics and abilities, there is little doubt that he is not an exceptional individual. Due to this fact, I would suggest that Larry be assessed for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), as he has many of the characteristics that are often seen with this exceptionality.

2.3.1. Bennett, Dworet, and Weber's text (2013) outlines three areas that are often considered when assessing an individual for ASD: "the degree of communication impairment, the degree of social impairment, and the degree of the child's repetitive interests and/or activities" (p. 181). Although it is not apparent that Larry has a social impairment, there was a period in his life when he became a mute. Larry also demonstrates obsessive characteristics, specifically when taking on new tasks. Larry's parents and teachers noted that the reason why he was doing poorly in math was because he was completely focused on writing his novel and was unable to shift his focus to anything else. It is also possible that Larry grew an obsession with the clarinet, which could explain how he became such an exceptional player in a small amount of time.

3. Teacher Perspective

3.1. significance of the issue/problem to me:

3.1.1. As a teacher I would be responsible for providing suggestion to the principal about what to include in the assessment "battery" or the pieces that make up a formal assessment (Bennet, Dworet, &Weber 2013).

3.1.2. Depending on what the principal decides to include in the assessment I would be responsible for providing my observations of Larry in the classroom, organizing his school work to show his progress, administering a teacher made test, partaking in interviews of Larry's achievements and progress.

3.2. How would I be feeling?

3.2.1. As a teacher, I would be concerned for the educational future of Larry. I would be concerned that his high school teacher's might not understand him resulting in an interrupted learning process.

3.2.2. I might be feeling anxious because my student would now be faced with the challenge of a new school environment. I would be afraid that Larry not get the proper treatment and support from his future teachers because of lack of understanding of his abilities and challenges. I would not want Larry's abilities and challenges to be underestimated.

3.2.3. I would be looking forward to coming up with suggestion on what to include in his confidential assessment to help set him up for success in his new school.

3.3. What strategies or approaches would you propose?

3.3.1. I Would propose setting up a formal assessment battery that includes interviews and informal commentary from Larry's parents and all the teachers who taught Larry because these are the adults that most directly associated with Larry for long periods of time. Their insight would be valuable for his new teachers to be informed of. The parents also know Larry's full history.

3.3.2. I would highly recommend including a portfolio assessment in the assessment battery that included his work through his elementary school years. I would include his extracurricular achievements in music and his work in the chess club that he began at school.

3.4. How would you respond or behave?

3.4.1. I would quickly respond to this issue but I might have to juggle other priorities such making sure Larry is learning the 8th grade curriculum before I begin to actively assist with his assessment.I would have to prioritize my time even more to accommodate this new demand of taking part of the assessment battery. I might

3.5. What might be your plan of action or proposed solution?

3.5.1. I would propose including a Formal Case study because it would include information from many sources.This type of assessment allows for many personnel who have worked with Larry, who might not be acquainted to be involved. The case study brings together a student's history, his current status, and needs. This would be the best way since the principal is trying to include 8 years worth of information from different personnel together from different teachers. It would also include past supplementary reports and assessment data. I would also propose including a Portfolio Assessment where Larry's work could be collected to show his development over his time in elementary with a focus on his last three years. Also it would allow to include Larry's struggles and successes over time.

4. Student Perspective

4.1. Significance of the issue/problem to me.

4.2. In the classroom, I felt bored and tired of the daily routines. I got distracted and I often focused on something completely different. When I was in Kindergarten and Grade 1, reading and writing were not exciting for me. It took me some time to find the joy in English and after the summer break going into Grade 2, I found my passion for Language Arts and excelled above my classmates. This trend continued every year as I began growing up and moving through elementary school. I often found mundane daily tasks to be boring so I began acting out. I felt like my talents were being wasted on assignments and routines that didn’t challenge me at all! This frustration caused me to do things that weren’t productive, like not talking to my teachers or family. Luckily, Grade 4 was a turning point for me! I found music and put all my energy into it. I made wonderful progress and excelled, just as I had done with reading and writing. Doing something I was passionate about and working to meet high expectations really helped me. I felt the same in Grade 5 when I was able to share my love of sports with the class was something. I really looked forward to it and sharing it with my peers allowed me to be an active member of my classroom community. From all these ups and downs in school, I learned that I needed to be challenged in a constructive way. I had to learn to love something and I needed the support of my teacher and family when pursuing it. When I wasn’t given high expectations or support, I would act out. This was a really big problem in my life and I am grateful to have found ways to channel my talents productively.

4.2.1. How would I be feeling?

4.2.2. I always felt different from the rest of the class and aware of my abilities. I also felt restless when my skills were not being given an outlet or a spotlight. When I had the opportunity to take my passion and develop it, either in a class or a club, I developed a sense of wholeness and peace. When I had an outlet, I didn’t have to act out, like I did when I was younger. I was so happy to be challenged. I felt my needs and skills were better understood and appreciated. Moving into high school after this year, I am a little apprehensive that my needs will not initially be met again. Moving into a new school is difficult enough and the fear that my abilities will not be given the necessary attention and outlet is a little scary.

4.2.3. What strategies/approaches would you propose?

4.2.4. As mentioned, I would like to be given the opportunity to pursue my passions in a productive way. Starting a club is a really great example. I would like to investigate other areas and skills that may satisfy my ongoing thirst for knowledge and skill development. It would be wonderful if I was given time to work on my chosen skill every day. This plan would also include dedicating time in the day to bringing me up to grade level in other subject areas. This would also be beneficial because the new material I learn could expose me to topics that may become a new passion! How would you respond or behave? I would respond positively and be more productive on a daily basis. Due to this increased sense of productivity, I would have positive energy to put into other assignments in Math or Language Arts, for example. I would definitely feel a deep sense of satisfaction because I had a way to express my interests. I would feel good about the working relationship I would have with my teacher and principal. I would also have less behavioural outbursts as a result of the new plan that incorporates working on my own projects as well as class material. What might be your plan of action or proposed solution? My plan of action would be to honor the plan that we agreed on and work hard in both my project and structured assigned classes. I would continue my personal growth and share my passions with my fellow students. While there is a proposed confidential assessment for my entrance into secondary school, I feel this will be beneficial because my new school will be aware of my unique needs and can work to put all the necessary supports in place. Addressing my needs during the transition will allow for a seamless switch of environments and generally a more positive experience for me, my peers and my teachers.

5. Parents Perspective

5.1. Significance of the Issue/Problem to me

5.1.1. As Larry's parent, being unable to identify the best way to help and support him is very challenging. Although I know that he is very capable of accomplishing exceptional things, it is difficult to feel as if I do not know who my son is. Due to the fact that he is constantly demonstrating new characteristics (some of which contradict previous characteristics), I feel almost useless when it comes to helping him adjust. I am worried about his upcoming transition into high school because I am not sure that he will receive the same support as he did in elementary school. I realize that his unpredictability is challenging, and in this new environment, I am unsure what to expect. Although it upsets me, I realize that all I can do at this moment is support Larry as best as I can and continue to work with the principal and his current teachers in order to contribute to his assessment.

5.2. How would I be feeling?

5.2.1. Being Larry's parent would no doubt be a challenge. Although it is not always the case, many students who are identified as having an exceptionality are provided with the necessary tools in order to help them succeed. However, due to the fact that Larry's behavior is so unpredictable, it is difficult to properly assess him. As Larry's parent, I feel almost useless. I feel as if no matter what I do, I am not helping him. I also do not feel confident even when I notice that things I am doing are helping him. The reason for this is because I feel that something that is helping him right now may hinder him in the near future. There is no way for me to predict how things are going to unravel for Larry, and as his parent, this terrifies me. I feel as if I am unable to give him the support that he deserves, and that I need to ensure that I am constantly adapting so that I can keep up with his changes.

5.3. How would I respond or behave?

5.3.1. If I were in this situation I might pay close attention to Larry's everyday behavior. Although his behavior has been noted as being unpredictable, it seems as if there were some consistencies throughout the years. Paying close attention to what he is currently experiencing would help me develop ideas to assist him. I would also want to work closely with the principal of the school and Larry's teachers because they are spending just as much time with him as I am. It is also possible that the way Larry behaves at home is different than how he behaves at school. Taking note of these differences could help with the assessment process. Additionally, because Larry seems to have a wide range of skills, I would attempt to introduce Larry to new concepts and activities and assist him with splitting his time so that he can learn to multitask more adequately. Although he seems to put a lot of effort into the things that he does, it is important to communicate to him that time management is a handy skill to learn so that we can effectively shift our focus when necessary.

5.4. What strategies or approaches would I propose?

5.4.1. In order to help Larry, I would consider using a timer to assist him with tasks. I have had experience with students who have difficulty transitioning from topic to topic or activity to activity where providing them with a timer and giving them a set time to work on a certain task has helped them. The timer acts as not only a reminder, but also provides the student with a more structured learning environment to work on. Communicating to Larry that he has a certain period of time to work on a task could help him with shifting his focus so that he does not forget about his other responsibilities when focusing in on a specific one. As for Larry's behavioral unpredictability, my best approach would be to ensure that I am as adaptable as possible. Due to the fact that it would be difficult to identify a method that would help him in many different situations, it is my responsibility as his parent to ensure that I am able to change and adapt just like he is. I would also make it my responsibility to get as involved as possible in the tasks that Larry is completing. Witnessing him in the process of doing something could help me understand why he is doing what he is doing.

5.5. What might my plan of action or proposed solution be?

5.5.1. I would suggest completing a formal case study which would include all of the different teachers that have taught Larry and the principal. The reason for this is because a joint conversation regarding Larry's behavior would be the best way to identify how to help him best. Each individual has almost experienced a different Larry and would have insightful information that could contribute to developing a plan for him. As his parent, I would also want to consult a professional that could assess Larry for an exceptionality. If he is identified as having an exceptionality, it may be more likely that he will receive additional support in high school. Most importantly, I would take the time to learn more about what interests Larry. Given his age, his interests and behaviors are constantly changing. Being more involved in what Larry is interested in could provide me with information about his decisions. Additionally, I would propose that each individual that works with Larry demonstrates a patient attitude. Although he may not communicate it, he could be just as confused about what he is experiencing and therefore needs support. It is important that a positive and encouraging environment is created for Larry so that he can excel to the best of his abilities.

6. summary issue/problem:

6.1. Larry is a grade 8 student who will be transitioning into high school next year. He has attended the same school since kindergarten and has become very familiar with the principal and other teaching staff. Larry has earned the reputation of an unpredictable student because his developmental trajectory has been full of surprises. He was behind academically in grade one, above grade level in grade two, and then mysteriously stopped speaking in grade three. Nevertheless, he started speaking again and excelled in clarinet playing and successfully started a chess club at his school.The principal of the elementary school would like Larry to take a confidential assessment before he goes to high school so that his new teachers can be aware of his challenges and his strengths. He previously took a standardized achievement test that showed he was at grade level in language but well behind in math. However, his teacher's noted he was absorbed in writing a novel when math was being taught. With strong support from Larry's parents, the principal is now asking the teaching staff to suggest to him what kind of information such an assessment should include and how it should be obtained.

6.2. Larry's principal wants to decide what type of assessment Larry should go through, taking into account the opinions of the teachers who have worked with Larry.


7. Interpretation/Connection to the Course

7.1. Larry's capabilities and challenges may not be reflected in some types of assessment, such as the standardized achievement test that showed Larry was behind in math based on his grade level, but could not have taken into account that he was engrossed in writing a novel.

7.2. The best assessment will include evaluation of how Larry learns best. Information on how he learns best will enable differentiated instruction (DI) because it will reveal how that student learns best and will help the teacher understand how to teach that child in the context of a larger classroom. Assessing how he learns best will help his future high school teachers to set Larry up for success.

7.3. In session 4, we discussed how we can support each individual and unique learner. Our notes clarified that assessments should be designed to target a specific skill in order to provide specific information. As teachers we need to know when to assess, why we should assess, who should be assessing, what can we use to assess, and what can we find out. Each of these overall categories could be used to help with assessing Larry. It is important for teachers to ensure that they are applying different assessment strategies for each individual student because of how unique they are. These slides provide a great checklist to organize the assessment process. This could help with assisting Larry because of his unique characteristics. Although his unpredictability would cause difficulties in the assessment process, having different options to pursue could help with adapting to what Larry is experiencing.

7.4. Differentiation in the classroom is important for Larry because his abilities stand out from his classmates and he seems to have well-developed capabilities in several areas. Many of Larry’s characteristic indicate giftedness, which is important for deciding on the specific instructional opportunities that may benefit him. Larry has considerable energy and is goal oriented in his learning, however, he is also inattentive and unwilling to listen when the subject matter isn’t of interest to him. Renzulli’s Enrichment Triad Model is especially applicable to this case. As a student, Larry displayed evidence of all three components of the model, above average ability, creativity and task commitment. The pedagogy associated with this model encourages educators to create unique opportunities for gifted students. These opportunities should allow for creative expression of their unique talents and application of their interests into the subject matter. This strategy would be useful for Larry because he requires both individualized instruction and assessment to thrive in the classroom setting.