Scene 2

As Michelle sat and listened to Joe's concerns, she had two ideas.

"First we need to find a way to help DeAnna connect the new information to something she already knows. Those are elaboration strategies. These would be things like phrases that link information, analogies, or developing a relationship between materials. Doing this will help the pressure on her memory to take everything in," suggested Michelle. "We can look at the math textbook together and get some ideas for that."

Click here to view the Elaboration Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.

Joe was relieved. "It would be really great if you could help me with that, because I'm not quite sure how I would do it."

"Then we could also use transformational strategies. Examples of this are using visual imagery or mnemonics. Again, I can help you come up with some options," encouraged Michelle.

Click here to view the Transformation Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.
Click here to view the Imagery Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.
Click here to view the Mnemonics Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.

Joe went to get the math textbook, and they sat and talked about possible options.

Then Joe remembered that DeAnna is also BD. "What do we do about the BD issue?" asked Joe.

Michelle considered the question for a moment. "If DeAnna is engaged in meaningful activities, she will do a better job staying on task. Let's figure out how to incorporate these strategies and see how she reacts. After we see what happens, we may need to alter our plans," she said.

They continued to work until Joe had to pick his students up from music class, and they both felt they were on their way to making some positive changes that would benefit the entire class, not just DeAnna.


  1. Reflect on some strategies that keep poorer performing, troubled students engaged while not boring the more academically gifted students in the class. What are some similarities you see between those strategies and the ones Joe is using here?
  2. Judge how AYP and NCLB change the way Joe prepares for the difficult task of teaching students long division.


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