Teachers share the importance of setting up the environment in such a manner that the school day runs smoothly for all students, especially when including students with special needs. Teachers share strategies that have been helpful to them in establishing an environment in which all students can be independent and successful in the general education class. These strategies include establishing consistent morning routines, positive behavior supports, classroom organization, and the use of visual cues.
Teachers discuss the importance of consistent morning routines and share routines that they have identified as helpful in getting the day off to a positive start for all students in inclusive classroom settings. Specific activities that students engage in from the moment they enter the classroom including taking attendance, making lunch choices, and getting started on school work are just a few of the techniques these teacher utilize to encourage a proactively organized learning environment for all students. Teachers share how they have created systems that enable all students, especially those with special learning needs to proceed through the morning routine independently.
Positive Behavior Support
Teachers discuss the importance of establishing classroom and student expectations for structured and unstructured settings students encounter throughout the school day. Teachers share and demonstrate various techniques that they use to set expectations for student work, student voice level, homework, resource management, and how to ask for help. Methods for enabling the student with special needs to be successful in the general education class are highlighted.
Importance of Visuals for Students with Special Needs
The importance of using visuals in the classroom is discussed and teachers share how they have used visuals to enable all students to be successful. Some of these methods include using visuals to cue all students regarding expectations concerning behavior as well as expectations for completed work. Teachers demonstrate how they have used visuals to label their classrooms enabling all students to work independently and successfully within inclusive classrooms.
Teachers share classroom organization tips that include establishing routines and arranging materials to help them structure their classrooms. Tips include how to use visual cues and a token reward system to encourage positive student behavior. A classroom organization system that involves the creation of “neighborhoods”, “offices”, and other ideas to create a cooperative learning environment within the classroom are demonstrated and explained.
Students who qualify for special education and related services are those students who have a diagnosis of a disability and have demonstrated that this disability interferes with their learning general education curriculum with their same age peers without these supports. General and special education teachers have become more familiar with differentiated instruction to meet the needs of today’s learners in their classrooms, including those with disabilities. This section of videos will provide the viewer with ideas that are currently being implemented to support teachers and students in today’s inclusive classrooms.
Challenges for Inclusion and Co-Teaching
These two teachers discuss the challenges of co-teaching a group of first grade students, including those with autism. A special education teacher and general education teacher share how their co-teaching approach has worked for them in an inclusive classroom. The challenge of giving up some control of the class in order to allow a co-teacher the opportunity to teach is addressed. These teachers also stress the importance of using co-teaching with students who have special needs by including different talents and perspectives of more than one teacher.
Teacher discusses the importance of creating a learning environment in which students with special learning needs “fit in” with their peers and learn the same curriculum in general education classrooms. This teacher discusses the importance of providing a cooperative learning environment in which all students offer help to one another and work together. She shares how she strives to create a class in which all students are equally involved in the learning activities.
This is a video of a 1st grade math class in which a general education teacher and a special education co-teach a lesson. A short segment in which a student answers a question and gives the reason for his answer is shown. This provides a demonstration of how an inclusive general education class functions and supports all students.
Four secondary teachers are interviewed and presented here. The four teachers answer the following three questions: Question One: Share a challenge that you have faced in providing quality instructions for all students, including those with disabilities. Question Two: What strategy or teaching method have you implemented to address these challenges? Question Three: How and where did you learn to work with learner differences in your classroom?
Secondary teachers demonstrate a variety of teaching and classroom management strategies they use in their classrooms to include students with learning differences. Lessons presented include high school algebra, high school English, middle school math, and middle school language arts. The viewer will be hard pressed to identify which students have a disability due to the extraordinary efforts of these dedicated teachers to leveling the playing field so that all students can learn in these inclusive secondary classrooms.