3 Years of Texas Active Learning
Mary Scott in Texas: May 31, 2007
My statewide group of education specialists at the 20 service centers have been conducting a project of the past few years around Active Learning. We created 60 teams and provided them with the Functional Scheme Assessment and the FEILA Curriculum. They were asked to identify targeted students, do the FSA for gross and fine motor skills, and begin using the curriculum. WE also brought them all together for 3 days in January 2004 to hear Lilli Nielson present on Active Learning. Many of these teams, with the support of their service centers began purchasing active learning equipment (from LilliWorks).
We continued to support these teams with tele-conferences on active learning over the next couple years. We brought in Patty Obzrut from Penrickton School in Michigan and she did a full day tele-conference for our teams. Many of our teams shared their success and methods with others in their regions through in-service trainings that they did or participated in. Many service centers conducted various trainings to support this approach.
We have just concluded this project and I wanted to share some of the data and success stories with you both. As with projects of this sort, we have lost teams and students along the way. Many of these students changed classroom, teachers changed, some students passed away, so our numbers in the project have declined dramatically. Hope you find this information helpful in your continuing work support Active Learning materials. Please find the data and notes attached.
Mary Scott ESC
Statewide Leadership Function:
Three Low Incidence Disabilities
Education Service Center
1905 Leary Lane
Victoria, Texas 77901
Jan from Harlingen: Here is our data. I know it doesn’t look like the kids progressed much, but they did! And the others in their class. WOW!
Brenda from Tyler: I think knowing about Active Learning and Cognitive Routines has helped our school tremendously to come up with some very creative TAKS-ALT activities.
Bonnie from San Antonio: I just wanted to thank you for all you did and are doing to get Active Learning into our classrooms and to students across the state. What a huge job, and you have done this so well. I have learned a LOT and will continue using Active Learning strategies throughout my educating career!
Tish at TSBVI: Our targeted student has VI, AU and SI labels and has made nice progress this year in his social/emotional skills. That has been the strongest area of growth for most of the students in the active learning classrooms. Thanks for all the assistance your project has given our school over the years.
Pat from TSBVI: The training provided by the 3 A’s Project has made a huge impact on our programming for our students with visual and multiple impairments who are functioning below developmental levels of 3 – 24 months. Our teachers have worked hard to integrate Active Learning with their previous model, based on the work of Jan van Dijk, Barbara Miles, and Millie Smith. It’s been a challenging but successful endeavor.
Debbie from Amarillo: This has been an invaluable training experience! I was doing some of the activities and strategies that we have covered but wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. The training we have received validated things I have been doing for years. Our students are showing progress and we are so excited.
Gloria from Fort Bend: Just to let you know. My district has bought into the sensory learning materials for all severe profound students in the district. They will be getting training for all VI, OT, PT, and facilitators in the district. I am really excited that this is happening. It’s taken me two years to get people to look at it and see the benefits.
Gloria from Fort Bend: I wish you could see this little guy. He had over 100 marks on his Little Room recording sheet today. He is making purposeful movement. His teacher and nurse told me that they had been really skeptical about what I had asked them to do (no talking, no rattling of the toys) but like real troopers they listened and did and are SO impressed with what he is doing. They told me today that they really believe what I told them and that he is doing things they had thought he would never do. I just did a CVI Scale on him and compared to this time last year, it is short of amazing. Tim from McAllen: My targeted student is doing much of the same things as before except she is doing them more often and more intensely (she kicks her legs to turn toward the music while in the hopsa dress and turns her head back and forth towards the speaker when she is in between two people having a conversation). She really isn’t doing anything new, but more remarkable she has not regressed. Betty from Humble: I can’t resist bragging about a student. He entered my classroom 2 years ago and did not crawl, stand, or bear weight. Over Christmas break his Mom called me to report that he was walking all over the house. We had seen some of these first steps. He began crawling in our Eggplant swing and walked to the office with the attendance folder daily, first with a walker and then with holding an adult hand. The secret is definitely – EVERYDAY, several times. He has been and continues to one of my best teachers of Active Learning. Thanks, for all you encouragement.