We’ll start your journey by talking about how students with special needs became a part of the mainstream. Then you will discuss the inclusive classroom as a home for these students, exploring how all your kids can benefit from an adaptive learning environment. You will examine how each child learns and what you can do to help him or her develop new strengths. You’ll gain a deeper understanding about building collaborative partnerships with the special educator and classroom aides.
Over the course of 12 lessons, you’ll discover creative, low-budget strategies for turning your inclusive classroom into a nurturing, supportive learning environment that helps every student. If you’re looking for the right way to get all your students excited about coming to school, this is the course for you!
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Have you ever wondered how you’re supposed to teach a simple lesson with so many different student needs to take into account? Welcome to the modern classroom! Today, every teacher works with up to six kids with special needs, and this can feel a bit overwhelming. In our first lesson, you’ll learn how your classroom came to be inclusive, what this environment looks like, and how it will benefit you and your students.
The Inclusive Classroom
A lot of teachers think the inclusive classroom looks much different from the room they teach in every day. But guess what? Your classroom is already inclusive! The adaptations you make to promote inclusion are ones that every student can benefit from—and they’re simple changes. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the décor, rules, and communication that make the inclusive classroom as effective as possible.
Who Are Your Students?
Just who are the special needs students in your room? Believe it or not, they’re not that different from you or me. These kids have some extra challenges, yes, but that just means they have even more opportunities to grow. Today, you’ll learn about the common learning disabilities, neurobiological disorders, and physical disabilities that we see in our students.
Managing Students in the Classroom
If I had a nickel for every time a teacher has asked me how to manage the classroom, I’d be rich! But in all seriousness, classroom management is about the right techniques at the right time. See, we want to give students the ownership over their own success, the structure to make good choices, and the motivation to keep them coming back for more. You’ll about these lifesaving management techniques in today’s lesson.
Finding Students’ Cognitive Strengths
We all know a little something about multiple intelligence theory and how it relates to the classroom, but do you understand how to help your kids identify their own smart parts and cognitive strengths? You will after today’s exciting lesson!
Using the Strength-Based Interview
Once you understand students’ cognitive strengths, it’s helpful to do a strength-based interview to help kids focus on the ways they learn best. Once you’ve got interview data, you can help students formulate appropriate goals and meaningful learning strategies. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but the results are impressive!
Modifying Your Lessons
Now that you know more about students’ strengths and how to turn them into goals and learning strategies, you need to stop and think about how you can help this process along. Making the right lesson modifications is the key to giving students equal access to learning opportunities. Today, we’ll follow a very interesting social studies lesson to see how technology and creativity can help us modify and adapt with ease.
Helping Students Overcome Common Obstacles
As we go through the year, it’s pretty common to see at least one or two students falling into common learning traps. In this lesson, we’re going to talk about learned helplessness, tunnel vision, and isolationist thinking, three obstacles to student success. As we discuss each trap, we’ll also discover ways to turn it into an opportunity so students can maximize their learning potential.
Recognizing Your Teaching Style
Well, we’ve already talked a lot about your classroom and your students, but we haven’t spent much time on you! Teachers are the glue that holds the classroom together, so today let’s spend some time talking about your own learning style and how it affects the classroom dynamic.
As you may know from experience, the inclusive classroom can’t function without productive collaboration—between you, your students, aides, volunteers, school support professionals, and the like. Today, you’ll learn the joys (and common pitfalls) of collaboration so that you can start every relationship on solid footing.
Working With Co-teachers
Along with collaboration comes co-teaching, where more than one teacher works to serve the needs of all students. While this can turn into a sticky situation or a fight for territory, there’s no need to make co-teaching adversarial! In fact, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the benefits of this very adaptable teaching style. Learn how to make this relationship work for you in this lesson.
Evaluating Your Effectiveness
We often get so busy teaching that we forget to stop and see how things are going. In this final lesson, we’ll talk about the best ways to reflect on our inclusive classrooms and their successes and shortcomings. As we discover what works and what doesn’t, we’ll also look at some simple solutions for overcoming common obstacles.
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