Small Group Discussion Notes
* What management strategy has worked best in your classroom or program?
Make attendance mandatory (prison).
Make phone calls. They are more effective than letters.
Place students in the appropriate level-
suggest using assessments, such as Degrees of Reading, TABE locator.
b. Have a drop in study hall. Each student has a learning log including a personal check list of skills/tasks leading to the GED test.
c. Control excessive talking by giving more work.
Curricular Materials and Strategies-
* What teaching materials have worked best in your classroom?
a. Modumath, Contemporary Number Power Series-Mathdrills.com, Passskey, Steck-Vaughn Lifetime Library, ACE Read-pro, Corrections Learning Network both videos and packets, Read 180, Marshall/ABE online reading program, Homonym Work to learn vocabulary, Groundwork for Vocabulary series, News for You, Critical Thinking Skills booklet, Lifetime Computer Program, Newspaper-NY Times quiz online, Jamestown Press and 6-Way paragraphs, miscellaneous reading materials.
b. There is a need for a preGED leveled series or book for social/critical thinking skills that is less overwhelming than the Steck-Vaughn materials.
* What teaching strategies work best for you?
Have a sense of humor to put students at ease.
Encourage peer tutoring, and use volunteers.
Respect the psychological and social needs of your students, and teach them to treat each other with respect.
Be flexible and vary your means of delivery-books, videos, computer, group work, etc.
Involve students in planning; use PEP's.
Use pre-reading activities to assess prior knowledge; don't assume what they do or don't know.
Read aloud to and with students; model verbalization.
Write essays on small slips of paper or note cards; this is less intimidating.
Do current events daily.
Use math flash cards for the facts.
Play math bingo.
Keep a math log to track skills.
Quiz after each packet/module to show progress.
* What is the biggest challenge you will face next year?
a. Twice a week classes is too little a time for students with limited educational background.
b. How do we motivate students who do not want to be there?
c. How do we help students understand and accept the long-term effort?
d. We need more meaningful, accurate, and appropriate assessment tools.
* How do you plan to address these concerns?
a. Support students by showing them their progress, pointing out their potential, which they may not have recognized.
b. Stress their responsibility in the process.
c. Set goals with them and revisit these goals.
d. "Hook" them with things of interest and rewards.
e. Vary the types of assessments used -portfolios, check lists, short quizzes, etc.
* Has anyone successfully addressed these challenges?
Use public relations success stories, pictures, recording GED attainment, graduation, citizenship, job promotion, college entrance.
Local and State Support-
* What do you need from your program to successfully address your challenges?
a. Financial support for materials, technology, etc.
b. Time for team collaboration and planning
c. Daycare and transportation for students
d. Incentives for students, such as gas cards
* What do you need from the ABE state office?
a. More advertisement to reach the 350,000 Minnesotans without high school equivalency
b. ABE TV ad to make the public aware of our important mission
c. ABE booth at the State Fair
a. How to do a combination of distance and onsite classes?
b. Distance learning alone is not a good fit for our students, but could be a good supplement.
Large Group Discussion Summary
a. offer drop in study hall
b. provide transportation and/or day care assistance
c. send follow up letters to encourage consistent attendance
d. can allow retest with TABE (possible level changes) in classroom or with computer at discretion of teacher
e. acknowledgement of potential discipline issues and possible proactive strategies
a. Marshall ABE reading program
b. Use of a math unit/objective checklist as a guide with independent math courses or traditionally led classes
c. Use of various media
d. Jamestown Press series dealing with critical reading
e. Use math flashcards, dividing cards into categories such as “easy”, “I don’t now”, etc.
f. Use of games such a “Mathblasters” and/or “Gamequarium”
g. Implement more computer instruction
h. Use Contemporary Math curriculum (main book)
i. Use corrections learning network
j. Encourage “Lifetime Learning”
Challenges and Successes-
a. Challenge- students with limited educational backgrounds often have a long way to go
b. Challenge- working with a wide range of academic levels
c. Challenge- making assessments meaningful and determining needs
d. Success- providing positive public relations for students who have met goals
e. Success/Challenge- providing motivation for students- “hook them”
a. Make adult education commercials
b. Staff an adult education booth at big events such as the Minnesota State Fair
c. Ask k-12 teachers to share information and promote the existence and quality of adult education programs
d. Staff booths and provide food, conversation, and personal contacts
e. Promote adult education at k-12 “back to school nights”
f. Provide money/rewards (gas cards, food?)for good attendance
a. Distance learning- ABE concerns
b. Possible combination of distance and face-to-face learning to ensure success
c. Implementation of “in home learning”