GALION — Several Galion City Schools staff members earned the great privilege to present at the 12th annual OCALICON conference in Columbus in November. The conference is put on by OCALI, the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence.
Kindergarten teacher Tina Crim and fifth-grade teachers Jenny Reagan, Sue Stark and Christine Smith delivered their presentations at the nation’s premier autism conference where thousands of participants from across the nation and around the world come together to learn, and share research, best practices, and resources to support people with autism spectrum disorder, sensory disabilities, and low-incidence disabilities.
Crim presented “Change Your Mindset, Change Your Outcome Using the UDL Framework for Elementary Learners.”
“I am participating in my second year of Closing the Gap through State Support Team 7. I was observed last year teaching in my room and was then asked to share some of the strategies I was using at OCALICON,” said Crim. “I focused on strategies that meet the needs of all students and meet many areas of the UDL (universal design for learning) framework. This is important for me as this framework is instrumental in my daily instruction.”
Hersession utilized video clips, actual materials used within instruction, and discussion to demonstrate the classroom activities and the effect on student learning.
Reagan, Stark and Smith presented “UDL, Galion Intermediate Style: Flexible Environment, Learning at My Own Pace… Success!” Reagan said State Support Team 7 was integral in their participation.
“Barb Gentille-Green from our State Support Team 7 approached us in the Spring of 2018 about presenting because we are excited about the good things we are seeing in our classrooms that are helping students be successful.”
The fifth-grade team has been using the UDL framework for the past four years. They began with making their learning environment accessible and more engaging by incorporating flexible seating. Then they changed their instruction to an individualized approach, with clear goals established for mastery and multiple paths toward that mastery. They have gradually replaced all traditional classroom furniture with flexible seating. During their presentation, they shared the methods that have brought exceptional student success.
All four teachers said they were grateful for the experience to share their methods.
“We would like to thank our administrators for sending us to professional development to learn about these methods. We also want to thank Barb Gentille-Green [at State Support Team 7] for providing such great PD so we could implement these changes,” Reagan said.