Shoptalk: Coming Out Of Their Shells

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

In Highland Park, Ill., teacher Beverly Grabow's students also recognized those familiar names. But many, she says, did not know that Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo were also real people, brilliant artists who lived long, long ago. So Grabow, a teacher of learning disabled students at two elementary schools--Braeside and Sherwood-- turned to turtle power to drive home a lesson in basic research.

Grabow made line drawings of the turtles suitable for coloring, then photocopied them. She offered to give them out to her students, on one condition. "It was an easy assignment,'' she says. "Go to an encyclopedia and come back and write a report-- five to 10 sentences--telling me about one of these artists. For my students, it was exciting to find out that these were real people.''

And at least two of these reports turned up information that meant quite a lot to a learning disabled child.

"One of my students, a 5th grader, found out that Leonardo wrote his notes in mirror writing,'' she says. "That was very interesting to this child, because when he was in 1st grade, he wrote backwards, too. Today, we don't know how dyslexic Leonardo was, but we think he was. And a girl, also in 5th grade, found out that Michelangelo didn't get along with other students. In fact, somebody broke his nose as a child. This girl also doesn't get along well with other kids. That was so exciting for her.''

rabow followed up by displaying many of the turtle sketches colored by her students, which was also a source of pride. "They learned that research can be part of their LD experiences,'' she says. "And later, when they have to do a research paper in 6th or 7th grade, it won't be such a scary thing.''

Vol. 02, Issue 06, Page 1-24

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >