Saturday, September 22, 2012

SDAIE Strategy

In teaching, seemingly more so than in other professions, there is a high turnover for key words, phrases, and strategies.  It could be due to negative associations or ever-changing ideals in educational philosophy.  I was unfamiliar with SDAIE, or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English, until starting the credential program at CSUSM.  It is another name for sheltered instruction, which was something I had heard of, but in all honestly didn't know anything about.  At the heart of sheltered instruction and SDAIE is the focus on fostering English language learners' academic growth.

From our texts and lectures, I gather that most SDAIE strategies are considered not only beneficial for the English learners, but can also be successful techniques for students who speak English as their native language.  Think-pair-share, chunking, gallery walks, tea parties and group work are all examples that are considered to benefit all students.

I've tried very hard to come up with a few instances where I've observed a SDAIE strategy in use, but besides the activities we've participated in at CSUSM, I must be honest in saying that I haven't observed many of them used in a classroom so far.  For our math methods course, Professor Lawler had us observe a math class at High Tech High in San Marcos.  During the class, I suppose there was a form of Think-pair-share used.  The students thought to themselves about a specific math problem, then work together in a group of four, and finally shared their conclusions on a white board.  Other than that instance, I'd have to say most of my observations have been in more traditional classrooms where all the students faced forward and sat quietly as the teacher lectured.

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