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#16 Lesley Ann

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:42 PM

I'm updating my policy on Inclusion and SEND (Special Educational Needs Disability)

I intend to add to this excellent seminar:
  • practical solutions to use in your lesson plans for students with SEN
  • effective use of your TA
  • how to work out the reading age of worksheets/textbooks

History: is about ‘becoming curious, thinking critically, developing moral sensitivity and communicating effectively’; it’s important that these objectives apply to the planning for all learners, including those with SEN. For younger learners especially, an understanding of ‘time’ itself can be a particular issue and might be a focus for some additional support.

Inclusive classrooms: Ensuring understanding of concepts is at the heart of effective teaching and there are generic strategies to help with this:
• clear explanations, using an appropriate level of language
• concrete examples, linked to previous learning/familiar contexts
• VAK input (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic)
• learning by doing
• checking understanding – careful questioning, asking the student to explain to a classmate, applying learning to a different context
• being prepared to go over something a second/third/fourth time – perhaps with the support of a TA.

History is traditionally a subject which involves a fair amount of reading writing and this in itself is a major source of difficulty for many pupils. Teachers can reduce barriers to achievement by:
• checking the readability of textbooks; making sure that books to be used are up to date, with a clear layout. Make sure pupils know how to use the Contents page and index. SMOG
• reading out loud from a text book – or asking a TA to do this with particular groups (avoid ‘reading around the class’ as this may embarrass poorer readers)
• using visual material when possible
• displaying word banks around the room, changing them to match the current topics
• providing easy-to-use dictionaries
• always allowing for plenty of thinking/talking time before asking pupils to write
• using writing frames to help pupils structure their work
• teaching them how to use mind maps
• encouraging pupils to use predictive text software (with training from TA)
• introducing a range of recording methods, eg posters, video recordings, voice recordings
• using TAs to act as scribes.

Involving pupils in the evaluation of their own work, and each other’s is a valuable strategy to use in encouraging them to redraft and improve their work, showing them how to use criteria and develop critical skills. A useful model of formative assessment might be as follows:
• Teacher explains what the pupils need to do to achieve their objective, providing criteria and possibly showing them a good example of completed work.
• Pupils do the work.
• They discuss in groups/pairs whether they have met the criteria.
• Ideas shared among the class.
• Constructive suggestions made by class members to help individuals/groups improve their work.
• Improvements/additions made.
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#17 Lesley Ann

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:45 PM

Practical solutions to use in your lesson plans:

BESD; Behavioural, Emotional and Social difficulties including ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) and ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder).
Practical solutions:

• Listen to the students. Give them time to explain their misbehaviour.
• Handle misbehaviour quickly and calmly to minimise disruption. Don’t over-react.
• Move around the classroom, constantly scanning the class for misbehaviour.
• Avoid confrontation. Change the subject, defuse the situation, use humour and negotiate.
• Display classroom rules. Phrase the rules positively, refer to them regularly, be consistent. ‘Thank you for listening’ rather than ‘please listen’
• Condemn and criticise the misbehaviour and not the child
• Catch the pupil being good. Emphasise the positive.
• Reprimand pupils privately. Don’t humiliate them publicly.
• Reward good behaviour instantly with praise and encouragement, and ward stars, ticks and stickers.
• Gain pupils attention by stopping talking mid-sentence. Say something unexpected; say the pupil’s name, make a joke or say ‘look at me’, ‘listen’ or ‘excuse me’.
• Use non-verbal cues, raising eyebrows, frowning, being silent, making direct eye contact, moving near the pupil, using silence symbol cards, putting finger to lips, raising arm and waiting till class are quiet, or moving the pupil to the front of the class.
• Give the pupil a classroom responsibility.
• Ensure that lessons are well structured and appropriately differentiated, and that clear and concise instructions and explanations are given.
• Provide an opportunity for ‘time out’ or ‘cooling off’ e.g. use of computer.

ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder)
Practical solutions:
• Raise the pupil’s self-esteem by setting achievable tasks and giving them regular feedback about progress.
• Provide the pupil with a diary or tick list to remind them of what tasks need to be completed and by when.
• Keep instructions, routines and rules short, concise, clear and positive.
• Ask the pupil to repeat what you have asked them to do to check understanding.
• Sit the pupil near the front of the class away from the distractions of doors and windows.
• Present work in small, manageable steps and give breaks in between tasks.
• Give the pupil interesting, stimulating curriculum materials to sustain interest.
• Quickly remove a pupil experience a temper tantrum form the rest of the class. Talk calmly to them. Get them back on task as soon as possible.
• Do no let the pupil know they have upset you or made you angry. Appear cool and calm.
• Ensure pupil have recorded homework correctly.

SPLD Dyslexia and for all pupils with literacy difficulties
Practical solutions:

• Break down tasks, information, instructions into smaller parts.
• Use comic sans or century gothic font in work sheets or displays.
• Ensure that differentiated work matches reading level and is age appropriate (SMOG test)
• Display key words/subject vocabulary on classroom walls, and provide word banks.
• Provide photocopied notes, and highlight or underline key words and phrases in the text.
• Allow alternative methods or recording e.g. computer, lap top, net book, verbal response, graphical representation, scribe.
• Give extra time for completing written tasks at home and in class.
• Provide support for writing e.g. writing frames, line guides, grids, flow diagrams, mind maps, spider diagrams, model/demonstrate.
• Write homework down for pupils and repeat instructions.
• Make use of rhymes, acronyms or visual methods to aid memory.
• Mark work on content rather than on spelling.
• Modify assignments which make allowances for their learning difficulty.
• Group reading in smaller groups with discussion of text.
• Give bullet point summary notes given to aid revision.

Practical solutions to improve mathematical skills:

• Dates on prompt cards, timeline on display.
• Give a timeline with dates on in chronological order.
• When working out centuries head number columns, Thousands, Hundreds, Tens, Units.
• Allow the pupil to use their own method of calculation if it produces the correct answer consistently.
• Breakdown the maths problems into smaller steps.
• Use arrows to help the pupil know which direction to perform the calculation whether it be on a excel database (e.g. do a screenshot example on a worksheet with arrows for database or graph)
• Model the calculation and give this to the pupil.
• Allow the student to use support materials e.g. calculator.

Practical solutions:

• Break down tasks and instructions into smaller parts.
• Pair a dyspraxic pupil with a more coordinated supportive peer in practical activities.
• Use pictures, symbols, modelling and demonstration.
• Repeat instructions.
• Write homework down for the pupil.
• Praise effort and attainment however small.
• Provide additional time during practical tasks.
• Cut out shapes for pupils beforehand.
• Encourage the pupil to self-correct their own work or behaviour.
• Use colour coding for left and right.

Practical solutions:

• Ensure that you obtain the pupil’s full attention in the lesson.
• Break down tasks into smaller steps and stages.
• Give the pupil time to think before they answer a question.
• Maintain pupil attention by using expressions like ‘keep looking’.
• Never comment on their failure to do a task. Show the pupil how to do the task.
• Explain instructions clearly and repeat them.
• Provide relatively easy tasks to ensure successful completion at first.
• Start the next activity straight away after the pupil has been successful.
• Position the pupil in an area of the classroom with few distractions.
• Use a variety of teaching approaches and activities throughout the lesson to maintain interest.
• If the pupil becomes restless or agitated, offer an alternative activity, e.g. use of the computer, alternative task.

Asperger Syndrome
Practical solutions:

• Break down tasks and instructions into smaller parts.
• Sequence activities.
• Identify the main idea in new information – big picture.
• Use prompts to enable the pupil to commence tasks.
• Check that the pupil understands what they have to do.
• Give one instruction at a time.
• Introduce choice in tasks gradually to develop decision-making skills.
• Show the pupil what is expected by demonstration.
• Use visual or pictorial cues to make a task clear and aid understanding.
• Be calm, positive and consistent with the pupil.
• Identify the pupil’s interests and likes and incorporate these into curriculum activities
• Introduce any change gradually to the pupil.
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#18 Lesley Ann

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:47 PM

Making the most of TA support in the history lessons

Make sure that the TA:
• is familiar with the lesson plan/scheme of work, with aims and objectives (provide answer sheets for difficult work)
• has copies of text books used
• understands his/her role and objectives in each specific lesson

Before the lesson, a TA could:
• undertake preparatory work with pupils, eg reading a chapter to be studied;
• introducing new vocabulary
• check the suitability of resources for a particular student, prepare activity sheets, writing frames, etc.
• help with preparation for the lesson, for example photocopying enlarged resources for visually impaired students.

At the beginning of the lesson the TA could:
• support a group of students by asking leading questions, giving encouragement, drawing in reticent students
• distribute resources
• record individuals’ contributions to Q&A session
• monitor behaviour.

During the main part of the lesson the TA could:
• team teach – e.g. carry out a role play
• act as a scribe
• annotate on the OHP while the teacher manages contributions
• ask leading questions to develop an argument
• offer an alternative for students to respond to
• pre-empt any problems
• encourage, support and re-direct reading, discussion
• remind students of the time available to complete a task
• help students to check their work
• observe who is struggling or off-task and who has finished early
• prepare for the plenary by asking students what they have learned and how they have learned it
• complete a focused observation on a specific individual.

Towards the end of the lesson the TA could:
• prompt students to supply answers
• repeat/reword the teacher’s question discreetly
• note down any homework for the student.

After the lesson the TA could:
• provide feedback on students’ performance and behaviour
• help the teacher evaluate the lesson/ plan and prepare the next lesson
• record the support given
• plan how to go over difficult material again with students to ensure understanding.

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#19 Lesley Ann

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:00 PM

Find the reading age of a textbook or worksheet

1. Select a text

2. Count 10 sentences

3. Count number or words which have three or more syllables (polysyllabic words)

4. Multiply this by 3

5. Choose the number closest to your answer:

1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100, 121, 144, 169

6. Find the square root of the number you chose in point 5 from the list below.

1 = 1
4 = 2
9 = 3
16 = 4
25 = 5
36 = 6
49 = 7
64 = 8
81 = 9
100 = 10
121 = 11
144 = 12
169 = 13

7. Add 8 to this

8. You have the readability age

The lower the readability level the easier something is to read and understand.
The readablilty level under about 10 will be able to be understood by most people

I have a website that tests worksheets reading age...but I'll add that in the morning.
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#20 Lesley Ann

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 03:59 PM

copy and paste worksheet text into a SMOG calculator here:


SMOG means = Simplified Measure of Gobbledygook (readability test)

and a leaflet on creating readable materials here:
readability booklet
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#21 JohnP


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Posted 31 March 2010 - 05:44 PM

Lesley Ann - thanks very much for some very useful pointers and some helpful tips.The section on 'special needs' is invaluable as I've not seen an easier digested form such as yours before. Thanks very much.

#22 JohnDClare


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Posted 31 March 2010 - 06:51 PM

This is fab Lesley Ann - it needed updating.
JohnP is correct - there is some really good advice here.

As a member of SMT constantly observing lessons for:
  • Challenge
  • Differentiation
  • AFL
  • Relationships
  • Progress and Achievement
I have to say that the area most poorly done is always differentiation.
Nowadays it is getting lost into 'personalisation', but for me it is the ability to present the lesson to the class in such a way that all the 30 individuals get the most out of it.
To that extent, it stretches from producing differentiated materials to a single word of help whispered in a pupil's ear - it is sensitively tuned to the different pupils' needs.

But most teachers I observe simply teach 'the class'.

#23 Lesley Ann

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 04:01 PM

I am pleased you find the information useful. :D

Following on from the differentiation advice posted above I have now wrote generic IEP (Individual Education Plan) for SEN students.
Download the attachment file. Photocopy the sheets. Slice them to A5 size (unless the EBD/ADHD one which is A4) and write the name of the child onto the sheet and attach the IEP to the lesson plan. You could also add the reading age. Then tick/cross where appropriate the SEN provision that has been provided for that particular student. You now have an instant differentiated IEP to supplement your lesson plan.

The mini IEPs cover:
• SPLD Dyslexia
• Literacy difficulties for Moderate learning difficulties
• Dyscalculia
• Autism
• Asperger Syndrome

I have also added a place for other for staff to make extra suggestions.

I would hope this would show inspectors differentiation in lesson planning and being put into action.

My next plan is to write one for GnT students.

Attached Files

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#24 Elle


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Posted 13 May 2010 - 07:31 PM

Just to add my little bit to this. At the moment I have a mixed ability yr 7 class who are very mixed. They range from a lovely little girl who can barely read and write, various EAL students and then half a dozen very able students (pushing level 6). When they initially arrived in my room in September I just sat them boy girl and left it at that. After a while I realised that this was not helping, so I rearranged the seating plan. Luckily my room is arranged in two horseshoes. The low ability students are in the front horseshoe so I can make sure they all get the differentiated worksheets, and I can spot when they are in difficulties, and the more able work on the outer horseshoe much more independently. It worked so well I have done it with the majority of my KS3 classes.

ETA - thanks for the above Lesley.

Edited by Elle, 13 May 2010 - 07:31 PM.

You're scared of mice and spiders, but oh-so-much greater is your fear that one day the two species will cross-breed to form an all-powerful race of mice-spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.


#25 JohnP


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Posted 14 May 2010 - 09:22 PM

Lesley - once more, thank you very much for this. I'm grappling with transforming my departments approach to inclusion and these will be invaluable. Thanks.

#26 Lesley Ann

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:19 PM

Lesley - once more, thank you very much for this. I'm grappling with transforming my departments approach to inclusion and these will be invaluable. Thanks.

John I'm really pleased you like them. I've got them printed out, names written on and placed in the class files to show inspectors inclusion in action.
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#27 Jayne


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Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:24 PM

Superb stuff, thank you very much :flowers:

#28 Lesley Ann

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 09:14 PM

Ofsted SEND review that was published today (14 Sept) I have produced a word document that highlights outstanding to good SEND practice in teaching and learning. I have copied onto a word document tips on outstanding/good SEND learning and highlighted or commented in capitals important areas from the report. Also included things to avoid in the section when learning is least successful. I summarised this lengthy 94 page document to only 4 pages that could be particularly useful for day to day teaching & learning planning for SEND students.

Also I have sourced some advice from a website for planning for EAL students in history (it is Key Stage 1 & 2 advice) but it can be adapted for Secondary school. www.naldic.org.uk/ITTSEAL2/teaching/EALandHistoryKS1and2.cfm

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