4 Things That Every School Needs to Make Inclusion Work

Thursday, November 1, 2018 1 comment

How many times have you heard a parent or teacher say, "Inclusion doesn't work"? I used to cringe when people would make such a bold statement. Trying to resist the urge to retort in what would likely be an unprofessional show of frustration, I would give an overview of 30 years of research to support inclusion. I also provided a personal account of 15 years teaching in a fully inclusive school system. Some stayed to hear me out, while others politely excused themselves from the conversation.

Inclusion Collaborative Conference - October 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018 No comments

Here are some resources to supplement my session, Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum for Students with IEPs, at the Inclusion Collaborative Conference on October 25, 2018.

3 Big Misconceptions About Inclusion

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4 comments

Despite years of research that concludes inclusion is best for students with AND without disabilities, there are STILL misconceptions about inclusive classrooms. In a recent discussion with Understood.org, I summarized 3 of those big misconceptions: 

1.  The first big misconception about inclusion is the concern that the student with disabilities will not be able to “keep up” with the class curriculum. Fortunately, inclusive classrooms recognize that not every child will be learning at the same rate, and at the same time. 

INCLUSION IN ACTION BOOK ON SALE!!

Sunday, July 29, 2018 No comments
Just in time for your back to school shopping,  Inclusion in Action: Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum in on sale now!! Full of practical information about inclusion and easy-to-use strategies to modify curriculum, this book can be used by both general and special education teachers.

12 Practical Strategies to Teach Grade-Level Curriculum to Students with Disabilities

Monday, May 21, 2018 2 comments


It's a fact that students with intellectual disabilities must be participating to the maximum extent possible (and with appropriate supports) in the classroom lessons and activities

To do so, we presume competence in the student's ability to learn and participate in education. In other words, we can't assume that the student with cognitive issues will not learn what we are teaching. 

However, teachers and parents often wonder how the student with intellectual disabilities can be taught in a grade-level class with grade-level content. This is a legitimate concern. Understandably, some of the concepts of the lesson may not be at the learning level of the student - particularly if the student is on a modified program

So, one of the most common questions I hear with regards to inclusive education is, how can teachers keep students who work below grade level engaged and learning during class instruction? Well, in addition to providing a modified lesson activity, teachers need to back up and think about providing instructional supports and modifications to the lesson delivery. 

Thus, I have put together a list of strategies that teachers can use to reach and teach students with intellectual disabilites during classroom instruction: 

1. Outlines - Give a partially completed outline of the lecture that the student fills in at key points before, during, or after the lesson. 




2. Lecture Q & A - Give student a handout that asks questions about concepts in the lecture. Student answers questions as lecture is given. 

3. True or False? - Give student True or False questions to answer during lecture.  




4. Concept Mapping - Student draws a concept map as the lecture progresses to demonstrate understanding of lesson.




5. Doodle Notes - Student illustrates a concept or idea from the lesson during or after lecture. 




6. Focused Listening - List several main concepts given during the lecture and have students check off the concepts/make notes about concepts as the lecture progresses.

7. Scavenger Hunt – have student look for key vocab and concepts in lecture text




8. Pre-read – have student read text, watch videos, and/or complete a related activity prior to the lecture

9. Watch – have student watch teacher-created or recommended video and/or interactive lessons prior or during lecture

10. Guided Note Taking – teach student how to take notes through guided note taking. See the following for more info: 








11. Pre-read Lecture Notes – give student the lecture notes prior to or during instruction.




12. Audio Recordings – have student listen to a developmentally appropriate audio recording on the topic during lecture.


Do you have any more strategies to add to this list? Comment below!!

Including Students with Disabilities in Classroom Lessons - Part One

Friday, May 4, 2018 No comments
In a previous post, I discuss the different layers of inclusion within a successfully, inclusive school. Inclusion must exist within the community, school, classroom, AND LESSON. 

It is inclusion within the class lesson that can truly make or break an inclusive opportunity. It is not enough for a student with disabilities to be physically present within the general education classroom, without participating in the class lessons. 

40 Strategies to Modify Curriculum!

Thursday, April 19, 2018 No comments
How can teachers effectively teach students with intellectual and multiple disabilities in an inclusive class? What does an IEP look like? What are the differences between curriculum accommodations and modifications?

These questions and more are answered in this latest resource book for educators! Written by an inclusion teacher, it is full of tips and strategies to help students access and achieve curriculum! Available on Amazon and Brookes Publishing

Equal Education

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 No comments



Inclusive Schools say "YES"

Saturday, April 7, 2018 No comments

Inclusive schools start by saying, "YES". 

"Yes", we value all children.

"Yes", we will teach all children.

"Yes", we will do what it takes to teach all children. 


Learn more about inclusive schools from Inclusion in Action: Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum.


How to Overcome the Challenges to Inclusion

Friday, March 2, 2018 No comments
Inclusive education is finally starting to attract the attention it deserves in American public schools. Inclusion improves outcomes, fosters social and emotional development and equips students for life outside of school. Despite its value, however, school districts still claim challenges to implementing full inclusion.  Talk of insufficient resources, ill-prepared staff and myths about inclusion still exist to create barriers.

Free Webinar!! Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum for Students Working Below Grade Level

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 No comments

Be sure to mark your calendars! On Tuesday, March 27th at 3 PM Eastern, I will be giving a FREE webinar on making curriculum modifications. In conjunction with Brookes Publishing and edweb.net,  this one hour presentation will cover topics useful for any teacher and/or parent who teaches students working below grade level. Below is a more detailed description of the webinar:

10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Class Socially Inclusive

Friday, January 26, 2018 No comments
Inclusive schools are places where educational barriers are removed and students of all abilities are educated in general education classrooms. Many of my previous posts have focused on the removal of barriers to the academic curriculum. I've written about using learning accommodations, lesson modifications, universal design for learning, and assistive technology to facilitate inclusive education.

There is another area of the curriculum where barriers can exist to full inclusion.

It typically receives less attention, yet is just as important. I'm talking about the "hidden" or social curriculum that is the by-product of a school's education program. This social curriculum conveys the values, belief systems, and expectations of behavior in the school setting. 


This social curriculum is not "hidden" in an inclusive school. It's actually quite the opposite - with as much attention given to the social development of students as there is academic. Teachers give explicit instruction in social inclusion, model socially inclusive behavior, provide socially inclusive opportunities for students, and expect that all students will adhere to an inclusive belief system. 

Fundamentals of Inclusion

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 2 comments