In this video retired TVI Susan LoFranco speaks about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Transcript of video
I'm Susan LoFranco, a recently retired Teacher of the Visually Impaired. For the past eight years, I've been working with children who were blind and visually impaired, either in a classroom setting, or in a Resource Room. A few years before that, I was working with children who had learning disabilities, and I think when I first heard "Common Core," I was....overwhelmed. And it wasn't ever fully explained when it was initially rolled out. And now I'm seeing how it's really just trying to challenge students to stretch their abilities and get them to fully appreciate, and understand, what's being taught -- instead of just having rote skills. To have them truly understand what tessellation is, or how it's applied in every day (like in quilt making -- which is a lesson I just decided to start working on) is interesting!
Everyday Application of Learning
I think it's more interesting for the student also, when they get to see an every day application to what they're learning. I'm really just developing it now, but I realized a quilt is a perfect example of tesselation. Because you're rotating, and you're translating, all of the geometric patterns numerous times. I may even have them make a little quilt themselves, with materials -- have the students cut out triangles, cut out all different geometric shapes, and put them together. It's a lesson in the making, but I think it has a lot of potential. I think some of these things are adaptable even to -- or *useful*, not even adaptable, but *useful* -- to a full classroom setting, where you may have kids who have disabilities, and you may not.
Incorporating Different Modalities
Also what I think it does -- well, that lesson in particular -- would hit upon different learning modalities. So, if a kid is more of a kinesthetic learner, it might help him to understand it a little bit better. A lot of group thinking together. A lot of working together to come up with a solution. Having the student bring their ideas to the table. "How can we solve this problem?" And asking the student to be more involved in their learning, and understanding, and getting to the solution...Not just by *us* helping lead them to the solution. I shouldn't have to worry that if I'm moving my student, my child, from School A to School B, that he's now going to have deficits because they're not all elarning the same thing.
Working Together to Create Positive Outcomes
I think it's important that *I* get some feedback, though, for these lessons, so that I can see where there might be holes in them. Where I can make it better for a classroom, or even for just a one-on-one situation. Throughout our whole careers, that's part of the building of our craft. If they're enjoying what they're doing, if they're investigating something, and they're really involved in it, it's the best outcome we could have.