Teaching Inclusion- What does that mean?

Many people think inclusion just means including students with special education in their classrooms by meeting their needs, but they are wrong. Inclusion encompasses all differences and is critical for students to develop empathy and learn about people different from themselves. There are several organizations that have created lesson plans and programs to teach students what we refer to as the “secondary curriculum.” These programs are more easily implemented using technology. With technology, teachers can easily differentiate lessons around emotions, empathy, and cultures for students and meet students where they are at, just like with academic differentiation. Students work better within their classes if they feel understood by their peers. Teaching empathy and tolerance allows students to be heard while becoming more culturally competent. Below are several articles and resources on building a more inclusive environment for students.

Resources:

https://www.edutopia.org/article/empowering-special-education-students-technology-kathryn-nieves

This article shows how Google Classroom can help students overcome negative self-images and empower them to want to learn.

https://www.edutopia.org/article/4-proven-strategies-teaching-empathy-donna-wilson-marcus-conyers

Strategies to teach empathy.

https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/tolerance-lessons/developing-empathy

Includes resources on how to teach tolerance.

http://www.eds-resources.com/edworldcultures.htm

This website includes lesson plans for different grade levels on how to teach different cultures.

https://busyteacher.org/7080-top-10-ways-to-teach-culture.html

10 tips on how to teach culture.

https://education.wm.edu/centers/ttac/resources/articles/inclusion/effectiveteach/

Effective teaching strategies for students in inclusive classrooms.

References:

“School of EducationTraining & Technical Assistance Center.” William and Mary School of Education, education.wm.edu/centers/ttac/resources/articles/inclusion/effectiveteach/.

 

 

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Google Classroom- How does it promote inclusion and specialized instruction?

Google Classroom is a new resource in my brand new school this year. We completed training today on how to use it in our classrooms. My favorite part of the training was them teaching us about how special educators can become a co-teacher of every class their student needs assistance with. By being a co-teacher, they can modify assignments, work with their student outside of class or in class individually, and create additional assignments if needed to help the student understand new information. There are also many other tools and tricks on Google Classroom that helps students have specialized instruction and therefore, promotes inclusion. When students have resources that allow them to stay in general education with additional supports, they are able to be involved in the day to day happens in an inclusive class. Teachers can record videos, create assessments, and send students assignments all via their classroom portal. Students are then able to work on their homework and other classwork at home or at school as long as they have a device and the internet. I have included several articles and resources to help you start your own Google Classroom today!

Resources

https://gsuite.google.com/

This is how you could gain access to Google Classroom.

http://blog.whooosreading.org/20-best-google-classroom-tips-from-google-pros/

20 pro tips on how to utilize Google Classroom

https://elearningindustry.com/google-classroom-review-pros-and-cons-of-using-google-classroom-in-elearning

This is a blog on the pros and cons of Google Classroom.

https://www.edutopia.org/google-for-educators

How to utilize Google as an educator.

http://edtechteacher.org/google-classroom/

Everything you need to know about Google Classroom.

References:

Image:

“Google Classroom.” EdTechTeacher, edtechteacher.org/google-classroom/.

 

Specialized Instruction, Universal Design, and Differentiation- How do they differ and how can technology help?

The three buzzwords, specialized instruction, universal design, and differentiation, are all used when discussing students with disabilities, but they are not all created equal.

Specialized Instruction- Is when instruction is changed to meet a student with special education services needs per their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Universal Design- Is instruction to optimize learning for all students based on brain research.

Differentiation- I instruction that maximizes students’ learning through addressing different interests, readiness, and learning styles.

As shown above, specialized instruction goes beyond Universal Design and differentiation to provide the necessary services to students with IEPs, however, Universal Design and differentiation are extremely important and should occur as well as specialized instruction. Technology is a great way to implement all three. Below are some websites with resources for implementation of all three using technology.

Specialized Instruction:

https://online.sju.edu/graduate/masters-special-education/resources/articles/top-10-resources-for-special-education-teachers

Includes resources for teaching students with disabilities, games, laws, and more information about different disabilities.

https://online.sju.edu/graduate/masters-special-education/resources/articles/top-10-resources-for-special-education-teachers

Achieve the Core is a great way to backward map math IEP goals.

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/common-classroom-accommodations-and-modifications

This is an advocacy site for parents that can also be very helpful to teachers for why students have IEPs and what the IEPs mean.

Universal Design:

http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.W39gsuhKjD4

CAST is everything you need to know about Universal Design

http://www.udlcenter.org/

The National Center on Universal Design for Learning also has great knowledge and resources of what Universal Design is and how to implement it.

https://www.edutopia.org/universal-design-classroom

Great article on the importance of UDL.

Differentiation:

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/differentiated-instruction-myth-too-difficult-john-mccarthy

Great article on differentiation that dispells some myths.

https://www.edutopia.org/article/differentiated-instruction-resources

Here is a great list of resources for differentiating instruction with technology.

References:

Image:

“State Support Team.” State Support Team Region 7 SST Home Page, sst7.org/sp_ed_docs.

Accommodation Central. “Specially Designed Instruction, Differentiated Instruction, & Universal Design for Learning.” Accommodation Central, central.education/learning-library/specially-designed-instruction.

 

How Flipped Classrooms Can Be Utilized with Special Education

Completely flipped and partially flipped classrooms are a way to help students prepare for the work ahead and process information multiple ways and through different modalities. Flipped classrooms are used to help students learn about content the night before lessons and then utilize class time to complete problem sets and ask questions to the teacher. This allows teachers more time to spend on students reaching problems that display a higher level of thinking. Flipped classrooms are also a great way to work with special education students. Since students have videos of the lesson, they can revisit them when they are confused. This also allows teachers to move on with other students, they can watch the next lesson early, which working in small groups with other students. By using video and other resources with formative assessments embedded in the video lessons, students are able to spend more time doing than listening. It also allows teachers to easily differentiate for students. Teachers can create separate videos, switch up the formal assessments, or provide different students with different problem sets and spend more time working one on one with struggling students, while the more advanced learners can move on or watch enrichment videos. Below are some great resources for flipping or partially flipping your classroom.

References:

Image: https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/flipped-classroom

Brame, C., (2013). Flipping the classroom. Retrieved [7.12.18] from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/flipping-the-classroom/.

Petty, B. (7/2018) 4 Tools for a Flipped Classroom. Retrieved from   https://www.edutopia.org/article/4-tools-flipped-classroom

Michael, R. (6/2018) Making the Flipped Classroom More Human. Retrieved from

https://www.edutopia.org/article/making-your-flipped-classroom-more-human

Knewton Infographics (2018) The Flipped Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.knewton.com/infographics/flipped-classroom/

Williams, J. (2013) Flipping the classroom: my journey to the other side. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3b9tCmUmA4

Brame, C., (2013). Flipping the classroom. Retrieved [7.12.18] from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/flipping-the-classroom/.

Petty, B. (7/2018) 4 Tools for a Flipped Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/4-tools-flipped-classroom

Michael, R. (6/2018) Making the Flipped Classroom More Human. Retrieved from

https://www.edutopia.org/article/making-your-flipped-classroom-more-human

Knewton Infographics (2018) The Flipped Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.knewton.com/infographics/flipped-classroom/

Williams, J. (2013) Flipping the classroom: my journey to the other side. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3b9tCmUmA4

Using ThingLinks For PD and the Classroom

I recently completed a technology class through Hopkins that has helped me realize different ways I can utilize different technologies to give professional development for teachers. One of the tools we used and discussed was ThingLink. ThingLink is a curation website where you can embed websites, videos, music, and articles on a picture. Teachers use ThingLink in their classroom to help students put together ideas or topics. For professional development, I have created a fun superhero themed ThingLink to help teachers learn about different aspects of inclusion. This will not only teach my teachers how to use technology to create a more inclusive environment but will also provide them with important information about inclusion through videos and articles. Teachers have students create ThingLinks to promote creation in their classrooms. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, creation is the highest level on the pyramid. ThingLink is a great way for students to display their understanding and knowledge on a topic while using their own creativity. I have created a ThingLink to help others understand the importance of inclusion and how to implement inclusion.

blooms taxonomy

References:

Studio, Boroda. “Annotate Images and Videos.” ThingLink, http://www.thinglink.com/edu.

Mcdaniel, Rhett. “Bloom’s Taxonomy.” Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University, 13 Aug. 2018, cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/.