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The aim of this proposal is to demonstrate through an activity in Year 3 (age 7 to 8) based on learning fractions with Legos, how teaching and learning techniques in an identified mainstream classroom setting need to be adapted for a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This paper will also approach what possible effects of integration may be on the individual learner with ADHD and the classroom environment as a whole. The National Curriculum has developed national standards to provide guidelines for teaching mathematics in Year 3.
Students, at the end of this year, are expected to be able to recognise, identify, and write fractions of a distinct set of objects: unit fractions and non-unit fractions with small denominators. The national curriculum also expected from pupils by the end of Year 3 to be able to add and subtract fractions with the same denominator within one whole, (Department for Education, 2013). This paper will apply the evaluation from Part I Essay in ADHD to a practical context by addressing the national standards that the students from Year 3 should be taught in mathematics.
At the end of the lesson, the students from Year 3 should be able to demonstrate the expected learning and develop their mathematical knowledge by the representation of certain fractions with Lego bricks.
Before the main activity starts, it is necessary that the teacher provided a brief recap (10 minutes) of what students have already learned about fractions in previous lessons. The teacher will give some practical examples and encourage the students to give some too to ascertain their correctly understanding of the subject.
Once all general question have been resolved, it is time to explain the activity (5 minutes). Students will work in groups with some given pieces of Lego to enhance knowledge of fractions and the various ways the unit can be broken. They will also be practicing basic concepts of addition and subtraction of fractions with Lego bricks. The teacher should explain clearly and with examples how students are expected to work with their groups. Different cases will be further developed and similar to the exercises given in the groups. At this stage, students are expected to ask questions and doubts about both general queries and for the proposed activity. Depending on the number of children in the class, they will be divided into equal groups to work in communal tables around the classroom. Ideally, there should be no more than five children per group but this may vary. During the activity (25 minutes) they will be asked to use Lego bricks, already prepared in their group tables, to represent several fractions indicated all by the teacher on the blackboard. They will also be enquired to propose alternatives to build the same amounts in different ways, either through addition, subtraction of fractions with the Lego portions. The teacher should encourage them to play with new values that the group members may propose. The teacher should also rotate around the groups while students work to verify that the exercises are being solved correctly. Thus, such a formative lesson, the teacher should not interrupt the interaction between group members so everyone can help and learn from each other. However, if notable difficulties are observed, it will be recorded to resolve them at the end of this lesson or in a subsequent lesson. Evidence of knowledge may come from the Lego constructions or the students answering the teacher’s questions. At the end of the activity, the teacher will propose that each group established, at least, one question that might have arisen from the activity (10 minutes). These doubts will be resolved by the whole class together with help from the teacher, who will take the opportunity to give indications regarding the problems that may be found and recorded during the activity groups. Finally, the teacher will stress the fact that fractions are not only in math books but also in everyday life.
Theories underpinning my activity
My choice of activity underpins the pedagogical theory of Maria Montessori (1965) based on a child-centered and active learning approach. Montessori method gives children the freedom to explore and grow to their total potential while working with didactic materials in groups, within a prepared environment (Montessori and Johnstone, 1948). The recap made by the teacher at the beginning of the lesson serves as a preparation for the main activity. This process is suitable to support by giving practical examples correspond to the next fraction tasks, by encouraging the children to be active and understand the subject, in general, and have a great influence on the development of senses. According to their questions, the teacher will be able to observe and assure the children’s knowledge in order to prepare them before the proposed activity starts. The prepared environment makes learning materials and experiences available to children in an organised format, (Murray and Peyton, 2008). Montessori defined the concept that children are capable of educating themselves as ‘autoeducation’. Children that are actively involved in a prepared environment and who exercise freedom of choice educate themselves. Montessori teachers prepare classrooms environment so that children educate themselves, (Cossentino, 2009). The activity selected, based on learning fractions with Legos, will create an environment that enable children to be independent, active and free to explore materials of their own choosing. Montessori (1967) asserted that ‘it is necessary for the teacher to guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may be always ready to supply the desired help, but may never be the obstacle between the child and his experience’. Thus, in this activity, the teacher will not only facilitate the interaction between group members but will also observe children so as to support children’s learning. Montessori also underlined that the child aged eight and under learns significantly better through his senses and through action, that is, through hands on, manipulation -when building fractions with Lego bricks.
Activity Barriers for ADHD child
After the research made in Part I Essay in ADHD, it is evident to assert that children with ADHD are characterised by poor sustained attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Children’s academic success is usually conditioned on their capacity to attend to tasks, teacher and classroom expectations with minimum disturbance. Such skill permits a student to receive the necessary knowledge, complete assignments and engage in classroom activities and discussions (Gut et al., 2012). When a child displays behaviours related with ADHD, consequences may involve challenges with academics and with forming relationships with their peers if appropriate instructional methodologies and interventions are not implemented. Therefore, during the proposed activity, it is reasonable to assume that a child with ADHD could find more attention barriers than their peers in the implementation of the exercises, which might make significantly more difficult their participation. As it is being said before (Part I Essay in ADHD), children with ADHD without a minimum of motivation, tend to lose any purpose in their work. They might not show excessive activity or fidgeting but instead can daydream, seem lethargic or anxious, and do not complete their academic work. It is expected that without any apparent motivation in the proposed activity, the child with ADHD will not feel involved enough and so, this will get him feel excluded and left behind. It is commonly known that any child that gets bored or lost, and feels left out subsequently tends to become unfriendly and annoy others. In a group activity where the teacher cannot focus all the attention on the specified child, and the child is not receiving frequent reinforcement or is not under very strict control, shifting to a hyperactive behaviour again and possibly affecting the classroom environment as a whole, (e. g. Inappropriate use of Lego bricks not letting other group members made used of them to finish the activity). The teacher now facing severest consequences could lose the class control.
Adaptation of the activity
In order to address the identified limitations fro the ADHD child, the activity should be modified. Make exercise a competition to generate motivation and thus more effort and interest in children at the time of the exercise. For example, give five minutes to represent three fractions with Legos. Offer points/stickers as rewards both the successes and by doubts or questions that may help the class to stay active and constant participation. This will make the teacher can also test the effectiveness of exercise during this and resolve any doubts they may have at the time they arise. In addition, tests will be given subsequently with a certain time and not all at once. The teacher should appoint group captains giving more responsibility and ownership to the child with ADHD. Define the role of the captain or manager should Encourage group colleagues to speak in a moderate tone, giving the opportunity to participate in establishing all shifts and ensure that no traps and rules of the game are respected, because the hits have been done with traps they will not be rewarded. The concept of respect for self, others and the environment—guides the Montessori method. The captain also will be responsible for streamlining the group’s time and yet, if a conflict arises in the group of ADHD children show that you can work in a group with the participation of all and properly putting any sample the other groups where there is no conflict emerged. Deliver leaves with examples of representation of fractions, the rules of the game and master functions so that everything is clear. If conflicts is unavoidable, before reaching full motivation of children with ADHD, stop the game, assess the results, errors think the group is making and let the captains propose general changes in the game or group plan. This alienate the child from total failure. By teaching that although mistakes, if they are identified and change, improvement is inevitable.
This paper has outlined a series of instructional strategies for inclusive education in a child with ADHD through an activity. However, it should be emphasised again that these modifications of the activity are also highly useful for all children. The three main components of a successful strategy for educating children with ADHD are academic instruction, behavioral interventions, and classroom accommodations. By incorporating techniques from these three areas into their everyday instructional and classroom management practices, teachers will be empowered to improve both the academic performance and the behavior of their students with ADHD. In doing so, teachers will create an enhanced learning environment for all students.
When selecting and implementing successful instructional strategies and practices, it is imperative to understand the characteristics of the child, including those pertaining to disabilities or diagnoses. This knowledge will be useful in the evaluation and implementation of successful practices, which are often the same practices that benefit students without ADHD. The inclusion measures will be given generally without distinction note. Both the ADHD as the rest of the class will be active and continuous motivation. Without excessive role for ADHD noticed. However, with a good balance by the teacher, where the role of the child with ADHD is not excessive, the activity will execute a total success where children learn while having fun.
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