Thursday, November 16, 2017

***NEW BOOK!!*** Inclusion in Action: Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum

How can K—12 educators break down the barriers to full inclusion and teach all learners effectively? Curriculum modifications are the key! 

You'll start with a big-picture guide to creating an inclusive culture in your classroom and school, with invaluable guidance on key topics like team collaboration, universal design for learning, co-teaching, social-emotional supports, and accommodations. Then you'll get 40 specific, teacher-tested strategies to modify your curriculum for students who work below grade level. Ready to use in your classroom right away, each strategy comes with student goals, simple step-by-step directions and implementation tips, suggested interventions and extensions, and samples of authentic student work that illustrate the strategy in action. 

Equally useful as a beginner's guide to inclusion and a goldmine of practical ideas for experienced teachers, this must-have book will help make your curriculum “possible and achievable” for every learner, with and without disabilities. 

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: More than a dozen reproducible forms for use with specific modifications; lists of helpful inclusion-themed websites, blogs, books, and videos. 
40 modifications that help students: 

  • Learn new vocabulary words
  • Understand story structure
  • Sequence materials, concepts, and numbers
  • Develop recall ability
  • Demonstrate relationships among ideas
  • Organize information
  • Make a representation of a concept
  • Identify similarities and differences
  • Make decisions based on evidence
  • Learn to recognize and correct errors
  • and more!

Pre-order today Paul H. Brookes PublishingUse code, EREDICS, for a 10% discount!

Monday, September 11, 2017

You Don't Think You Are an Inclusion Teacher? Think Again.

If you think that the beginning of a school year is something that only students get anxious about - think again. 

Teachers also worry about what their class will be like, how they will get up and get to school on time, and what they will eat for lunch! 

One of the biggest worries a teacher has is having to try something new. Whether it is a new grade level, a new reading program, a new grading software, or even a new school wide initiative, teachers have a myriad of concerns. Will it benefit my students? Will there be enough time? Will I be able to teach it?

Teachers can also worry about teaching students who are perceived as "different" from the general education population. They aren't sure how to include the student in their classroom activities and routines. They wonder how they will teach the student according to his or her learning needs. They are stressed about potential disruptions to the classroom curriculum and other students. When asked to teach a student with disabilities in their classroom those teachers respond with, "But, I'm not an inclusion teacher!"

If you are one of those teachers or know of a teacher who claims that they are not an inclusion teacher then my response is, "***NEWSFLASH*** YOU ALREADY ARE!

Whether you realize it or not, you are already including and teaching students with:

- various levels of abilities. Not every child in your class reads at the exact same level. Nor do they compute math, write, or act at the same developmental level. Not every child can write a complex sentence or identify all the states on a map. The fact is, your class is not a homogenous mix and every student has varying strengths.

- various learning challenges. Some students can be strong readers yet find it difficult to solve complex word problems in math. Other students demonstrate a talent for drawing and creating but struggle to understand a science concept. It is common for students to find certain subject areas more challenging than others. As teachers, we find ways to support the learning needs of those students. We provide extra instruction or time to re-do an assignment. We use visual aides and tools that enhance understanding to help students overcome their challenges. Teachers look for different ways to reach and engage learners.

- diverse learning styles. Some children in your class prefer to read text in order to learn, others like to listen to music, or even tap their pencil. You are already catering to the different learning styles in your classroom by providing students with different opportunities for learning new material. You ask them to write, read, color, draw, and create.

- different modes of communication. Not every child in your class communicates in the same manner.  Some of your students speak more than one language. English might not be their first language and they are still learning the meaning english metaphors. Some students communicate with hand gestures or body movements. Others are more in tune with the tone in which language is used. As humans, we communicate in many different ways with one another.

- different levels of social and emotional development. Just as with academics, students in our classrooms demonstrate different levels of social and emotional maturity. In our classes, students can respond differently to the same situation. For example, a student may not be willing to share colored pencils with another student. Or, a student may not show respect and respond with laughter when another student answers a question incorrectly. For others, physical aggression is the only way they know how to react to a frustrating situation. Age is never an indicator of a student's ability to handle excitement, stress, anger, or disappointment.

- various physical needs. Again, we already have students with varying types of physical needs in our classrooms. We have students with allergies, students who need to wear eye glasses, students who  are on medication, and students who don't get enough sleep. Teachers make accommodations every day in the classroom to support a student's physical development and health. 

As you can see, your class is a mixed bag of abilities and needs that you already address with your teaching style, teaching tools, and teaching supports. You are capable of using all your knowledge and resources to successfully instruct all types of students. So, when you are beginning a new school year and are asked to teach a student with disabilities, don't worry! You don't think you are inclusion teacher? Guess what? You already are!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Top 5 Posts You Need to Read Right Now to Make Your Class More Inclusive in 2017!

Have you made any New Year's Resolutions for 2017? I have and one of them is to continue to share great content, ideas and tips for making your classrooms more inclusive! Plus, I hope to have my book published this year -- but more on that later :)

So, to kick off my resolutions (one of them, at least), I have compiled my top 5 posts about inclusive education. Hope they help you continue to develop and deliver outstanding inclusive programs for your students in 2017!!

1. Is it Inclusion?

A post (with a handy checklist) to help you determine if you are really providing an inclusive education.

2. 10 Easy Changes Teachers Can Make to Facilitate Inclusion

Use the list in this post to make quick and easy changes to your program that will make it more inclusive.

3. 10 Ways to Teach Social Skills in Your Classroom

From recess to class meetings to pen pals, learn how to faciliate inclusive behavior between your students.

Have a look at actually examples of grade-level assignments that have been modified for students with disabilities.

This post is a MUST-READ if you have students who are working below grade-level in your classroom. It will give you information such as tips on how to fairly assess students with modified learning outcomes. 


Let me know if there are any other posts you recommend! Happy New Year everyone!