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Teaching Exceptional Students in the Inclusive Classroom
Transcript of Teaching Exceptional Students in the Inclusive Classroom
Kaela Oliveri EDF2085
Dr. Dominique Charlotteaux
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Advocacy (2nd ed.). Hartfield, Virginia: Harbor House Law Press, Inc. Exceptional students placed in a general education classroom will have individual needs that are different from other students. Certain strategies and methods can be used to create a positive inclusive environment that makes it more likely for the student to achieve success. Children with disabilities have the right to be educated with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate. Exceptionalities include gifted, hearing impairments, speech/language impairments, visual impairments, intellectual impairments, emotional and behavioral disorders, orthopedic impairments, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, ADD, traumatic brain disorders, specific learning disabilities and other health impairments. Inclusion opens the door to friendships between exceptional students and typical peers. Although the law has an important role, it is not the most important reason for including students with disabilities. Inclusion benefits everyone. Inclusive Classrooms With appropriate supports and differentiated instruction, an inclusive classroom can have great benefits for all students with and without disabilities, as well as for a teacher. It can make a huge impact on a child's life. Get the support of the school. The support of administrators, paraprofessionals, resource teachers and support staff is paramount to a successful inclusion program. Get to know the student. What are his interests and dislikes? Respect the student's individuality and dignity. Teachers and support staff also need to be educated on the nature of the disability or exceptionality including behavior management, social skills training and teaching strategies. Educate the other children in the room. Children with disabilities may look like their typical peers but may exhibit unusual behaviors that can alienate other children. The teacher needs to take ownership of the student and make him or her feel like a valued member of the class. Recruit typically developing peers to serve as a Peer Tutor or Buddy. Peer tutors or buddies can help assist the child with the disability. It is important to motivate and reward the peer tutor/buddy. Research shows that when general education students receive information about disabilities, acceptance is much more likely. REFERENCES Material and activities should be age appropriate. Below age level materials should be kept out of the classroom as they may encourage self stimulatory or persevering behaviors. Non-preferred activities should be paired with preferred activities. All classroom materials and academic work should be adapted to allow the student to meaningfully participate in each lesson that might otherwise be too difficult. Vary the presentation of the instruction and allow the student to respond in a different way if necessary. Sensory materials such as a bean bag chair, stress ball and sound reducing headphones should be available in the classroom. Teach generalization by connecting skills and concepts to real life or natural applications Provide clear expectations along with examples. Use concrete language and avoid the use of abstract concepts or idioms. Clarify and summarize directions. Paraphrase if the student is having difficulty understanding the directions. ng. Incorporate iPad applications, educational software and on-line integrated learning systems into your curriculum to help maintain focus and interest as well as allow self-paced learning. Provide a “safe” place inside the classroom where the student can go for a break or to calm down. Make sure the area is not enclosed or confining. Set the stage for numerous social interactions between the student and his or her peers throughout the day. Monitor and help guide the students whenever necessary. Provide reinforcement for positive interactions. Seat students in small groups. A positive role model should be seated next to students with exceptionalities. Provide consistent daily visual
schedules of the daily events. Audio or braille schedules should be provided for individuals with sight impairments. Physically arrange the classroom to meet the student’s needs (materials, placement of desk, proximity to bathroom, etc.) Motivate and challenge all students. A large classroom schedule should be posted near the front of the room. An individualized schedule should be provided on the student's desk. Use a combination of self-enhancement and skill development approaches to enhance academic performance.
Help students to discover which areas in which they display greater proficiency
Assist students in building their support system
Focus on learning versus performance
Empower students by teaching them the skill necessary to complete academic tasks
Help students learn self-coping strategies
Help students to learn decision making strategies
Teach students how to take credit for their success and how to stop blaming themselves for failing, by helping them identify the cause of their accomplishments and hindrances It is necessary for the teacher to follow the IEP and ensure that any data needed is collected and tracked. The IEP is important because it establishes measurable goals for the student and describes the services that will be provided to the student. Maintaining the IEP is necessary to track the student's growth and progress and ensure that the student is receiving the necessary accommodations and services. The term ESE encompasses a wide variety of students, each with individualized needs. It is important for teachers to understand that ESE students and children with disabilities vary in characteristics and abilities. No two students will be exactly alike. It is important to be flexible when teaching exceptional students. Provide a balance between work and relaxation. Providing art, poetry, and music will help give a break to stressful situations and help create a calm environment. Forcing a child to sit at a desk will not be productive nor beneficial. Students who have trouble sitting can be allowed to stand near their desk to work. Arrange for students to take brief breaks, like taking a message to the office, to provide diversion. This will help relax the student and ensure that tension doesn’t build up. Parents are an essential part of the inclusion process within a classroom. According to a 2002 study by the National Association of School Psychologists, there is a strong link between a student’s academic performance and discipline problems and the collaboration of the student’s family with the school. The result of good family/school collaboration results in better academic performance with fewer behavioral issues. A few of the basic forms of parent/teacher communication include:
Interactive homework assignments Teachers need to actively maintain close communication with parents. Because of this, it is very important that positive relationships are built with parents. Positive relationships can be built by:
Communicating a nonjudgmental and respectful demeanor
Making parents feel welcome
Acknowledging the parents' expert role in regard to their child
Valuing their assistance, information, and insight
Showing that you care for their child Take the initiative to communicate with parents and encourage their involvement. When expressing concerns about a student:
Personally contact parents, clearly communicating your concerns while also relating something positive. Don’t label a student, but state your concerns objectively
Assure parents that you want to do everything possible to help
Ask parents if these are things they have noticed. Inform parents of the strategies you will use to address the problem
Ask for feedback from the parents
Listen attentively to the parents and convey your interest in what they say In deciding to implement a behavior management system in the classroom, many teachers choose a form or group positive reinforcement. Rather than focus on negative behaviors, group positive reinforcement motivates and rewards students when they follow the rules and display cooperative behavior. One common group reinforcement system is the Table or Team Points System. With this classroom contingency, the teacher monitors the behaviors of the students at the table. Points are awarded to the tables which demonstrate the desirable behavior. The table/team who reaches the set goal of points first is rewarded and the accumulation of points is started over again. As part of the behavior management system, it is motivating to have several rewards which help give students incentive to maintain good behavior. Rewards can include:
Social Rewards - verbal praise, public recognition, earning the privilege of team captain, etc.
Activity Rewards and Privileges – allowing students extra time at an activity center, listening to music, being allowed to catch up on work, party participation, assigning special responsibilities like taking home the class pet
Material Reinforcers – tangible items like certificates, treasure box trinkets, stickers, homework passes, etc.