ILP for Bradley Harris
Description of Bradley's needs:
- Bradley Harris, 'Brad' is a seventeen year old senior who, throughout his educational life, has highly excelled across almost every single academic subject, and most of the extra-curricular activities he has engaged in during his school life. In both elementary and middle school, he was tested by a number of professionals and found to have an incredibly high IQ and capacity to learn. This has lead Bradley to taking part in a number of advanced classes and much higher level work than his peers. As of now, Bradley has also taken part in a number of sports at his father’s request and is on both the varsity football and wrestling team. Bradley is also quite accomplished at the violin which he began playing at the age of 7. Despite all of these activities though, Bradley has become increasingly bored in all of his educational activities. A major issue over the last few semesters has been the lack of communication between teachers, and an increasingly apathetic attitude Brad has shown towards his schoolwork due to outside peer influences and some isolated incidents with teachers.
- As such, Bradley’s parents and teachers came together to create an Individual Learning Plan to meet Bradley’s educational and extracurricular needs. Much of what has been written throughout this plan has been at the request of Bradley himself and his teachers attempts to keep him updated with any revisions or changes to the ILP as they occur. Currently the main goal is to come up with more challenging traditional and authentic assessments that cover material across all classes Bradley is currently taking and, supplement and offer alternative assessments when needed. These were all created by Bradley's teachers and attempt to appeal to Bradley’s love of sports and music if possible while retaining the core content that must be covered.
Ways to build teacher-student connections
- One of the primary ways we as teachers can keep Bradley engaged in class is by continuing to teach him as an incredibly gifted student and in an incredibly intuitive manner, gearing much of his curriculum to meet his particular needs as a student. We know that Bradley is gifted so we will teach him as such and make sure to continue to promote this and encourage Bradley so he knows that he can perform at his needs and not so much at the teacher's needs.
- Engaging him as a student in downtime and continuing to learn about his current interests and extracurricular activities, allowing us as teachers to continue to be willing to engage with his teachers and be open about any issues and any lack of engagement that he may or may not be experiencing in any of his classes.
- All of Bradley’s teachers should keep in regular communication with one another to guarantee that no confusing communication or misunderstandings about projects and other work that is happening between Bradley and his teachers. Solidifying a concrete web between teachers and keeping Bradley’s continuing education as the priority above those of the teacher will continue to help Bradley understand what his needs as a student are and his learning ability is a gift.
Ways for building student-student connections
- Bradley has a relatively robust social life and a few friends within his extracurricular activities so one of our main goals is to keep him engaged with other students within the classroom. One of the methods that has been adopted is allowing Bradley to act as a teaching assistant during class, provided he is able to get all of his assigned class work done. Bradley has shown interest in becoming a teacher throughout the last two semesters, so he has taken kindly to the idea.
- As with all students, but especially one with such a bright mind and a tendency to give into stress and disinterest in the classroom, teachers should make sure that Bradley is told in a way that is not disruptive or that promotes favoritism of his ability as a student and his intellectual abilities. Bradley responds well to this type of encouragement, and it often helps him want to finish the work he needs to do. As such, Bradley's teachers also notice an increase in his willingness to work in groups and on group projects when he feels appreciated in his classes.
- Another way to help with Bradley's student-student connections is to have him tutor students outside of the classroom. Since Bradley is the president of a club that involves counseling students for their own personal problems, Bradley has offered any help to students who need it involving classes as well. This will create more of a student-student connection by helping his fellow students out not only educationally but personally. Since Bradley is being tutored in his own way, he will be more in tune to how these different students need to learn.
Ways of Being Able to Motivate Bradley
- Continuing to encourage Bradley to try new extracurricular activities, as he is capable of succeeding in most things he has tried out for, encouraging him to join clubs that pertain to his other interests, such as debate club, philosophy club, drama,and other athletic teams will help increase his socialization with peers and allow him to find new school activities he would not have tried himself.
- Since Bradley feels that these subjects bore and frustrate him, especially mathematics, Bradley needs to feel that his intelligence is a use to the teacher and students. Not by showing him any sort of favoritism but by encouraging him to help others. Since Bradley may or may not be farther ahead than most students in his classes, Bradley can feel needed by helping others with their classwork as well. When Bradley feels needed and that his talents are of use to others, this will continue to give him the motivation in his classes as well.
- Bradley needs to be given extra time as well before, during, and after class. By doing this, it will keep us teachers on the right track for bettering his learning abilities. Also, by giving Bradley extra time and tutoring, this will make Bradley feel involved and feel that all of us teachers want Bradley to succeed. This will continue to motivate Bradley in his education.
Teaching Methods Specifically for this Student
- One type of teaching method that can be used for Bradley is called Spaced learning. This involves giving Bradley a lesson on a certain topic and teaching it to him for a certain amount of time and then letting Bradley do something else he is interested in, like playing violin, for another amount of time. This will help Bradley absorb more information as he is doing an activity that would be relaxing to him.
- Another option would be to give him Flexible Fridays. Flexible Fridays is instead of continuing with old methods, teachers can help Bradley be focused on studying for subjects that he may not be succeeding in. Since math is Bradley's subject that is frustrating to him, you would let Bradley focus on math that whole day instead of roaming through different subjects.
- To help Bradley, teachers need to have the right information to be able to improve Bradley's academic experience through out high school. Bradley needs to let all of the teachers know what he would want to do and then have Bradley reflect on this. Encouraging Bradley to show why and how he wants to do things in his own way will help the teacher's understand and grow to Bradley's needs as a highly gifted student.
Ways of Being Able to Assess Bradley
- Giving Bradley pre-assessments will help Bradley get to know the material even if he may or may not already know it. When Bradley sees what kind of material may be getting covered in his classes, he can communicate and let the teachers know what specifically he needs to focus on and in what areas. Even with Bradley being so gifted, giving him instructions and activities is still a meaningful way to assess Bradley accurately.
- By creating assessments for Bradley, one can adapt to Bradly's style of learning. By doing this, Bradley can grasp the material presented effectively, use his creativity, and feel more accomplished. When presenting Bradley with this options, teachers can see exactly what types of projects he likes and what he excels in. By doing this, you are creating alternative assessments for Bradley.
- Since the teachers know that math is Bradley's most average subject, they have come up with integrating Bradley's love and knowledge about various sports and music to help improve his mathematical skills by relating certain aspects of math towards these two hobbies. By doing this, we are able to access in what ways might be more effective in Bradley's way of understanding this subject.
Modifications for creating a plan that would apply to any students within any classroom
- Teacher/Teacher communication about individual students can easily be applied to any student in any classroom, this would guarantee that all teachers are aware of individual student's current workload and projects and allow for the possibility of cross-class work and projects.
- Using the idea of allowing individual students to act as temporary teaching assistants in class is also applicable to several classrooms, it would allow students who have already completed their own work an opportunity to help students who are required to help while the teacher is busy with another student or dealing with any number of scenarios.
- All students get bored. It's the teacher's own responsibility to find out why/what about the class and it's material has lead to the student not enjoying it. Motivating students through modifications or lessons or helping students find methods of study that work for them and encouraging their individual success should be top priority.
- Allowing students to have a greater level of input in what they would like to do and discussing how/why/when they plan on doing it would help give students a greater sense of independence but also allow for a more diverse and engaged classroom. This would also allow students who are stuck in a comfort zone with classes the opportunity to step outside of it and create something new.
- Every assessment aspect listed above can be easily modified and applied to any student, adjusting the difficulty of a test to challenge a student but also meet there intellectual level over being a cut-and-paste of past information would not only make traditional assessment less of a horrifying experience for students but also one where learning may honestly occur.