Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Inclusion (Christina Walag)

Dear Christina,
As a second grade mainstream teacher, please tell us how this classroom environment compares to a general education class. What obstacles/challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them? How do you differentiate your instruction with such a wide variety of learners?
Dear Brooke~
I have been a mainstream teacher for most of my teaching career and I love it! How does my classroom compare to a general education class? I can only imagine… Through collegial conversations, there seems to be a wide diversity of learners in all classrooms…and many students with special needs that have not been identified yet.
Since the county has implemented Full Inclusion, we haven’t worked out the challenges of having students with more significant needs. Many of these students have never been in a large classroom setting. We are still trying to figure out how to fully meet their needs! However, in a collaborative effort with my awesome teaching partners, Lauren Werch and Lauren Morgan, we have learned how to think out of the box ! Here is a sample of some specific strategies we use in our classrooms:
« Technology
« Intervention Groups
« Behavior Plans
« Lots of Positive Reinforcement
« Flexibility
« A Sense of Humor
How do I differentiate instruction with such a variety of learners? I use a lot of peer support, repetition, positive feedback, small groups, and some students are given more time to complete assignments. I bet you didn’t know that often an ESE student is the one who gives support to a regular education student…What better way to build a child’s self-esteem!


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