Inclusive Practices in Your Classroom
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Inclusive Practices in Your Classroom

Hi I’m Raynee, and I’m Tyler we’re
graduate students in the Curriculum and Instruction department at the University
of Montana. We made the following video as a guide
to help teachers and administrators develop an inclusive classroom. We will cover topics like the benefits
of inclusion, some best practices and provide tips to implement inclusion into
your classroom. Please use the sidebar to follow along with the presentation. Closed captioning is also provided along
the bottom of the screen. So, what is an inclusive school? An
inclusive school is one in which general education and special education are no
longer separate from each other and completely indistinguishable. The
school has been restructured so that all students have an equal opportunity to learn
together. It changes the classroom to build a
community where everyone has equal opportunities to participate and express
themselves. In an inclusive classroom supports are portable
and pull out services replaced by bringing the services into the regular classroom. Universal Design for for Learning is
implemented to accommodate instructional Universal Design for for Learning is
implemented to accommodate instructional Why is inclusion good for everyone? An
inclusive classroom still offers the same high quality curriculum, just with the addition Universal Design
for Learning, or UDL strategies to help all students have equal learning
opportunities. Inclusion is also good for all students
in the classroom, not just the students with special needs
or behavioral differences. In an inclusive classrooms, students get
experience working together with students with a variety of ability
levels. In these classroom settings, conversations about equality, group
membership, and opportunity naturally occur which help all children
to feel like they’re accepted and a part of the classroom community. A community setting helps to combat issues such as bullying, as children feel
that they are all working together and looking out for one another. An inclusive classroom is also an
opportunity for students to see how to behave appropriately in a classroom or in certain social settings. Is there a
difference between inclusion and mainstreaming or integration? It’s important to note that
inclusion is not the same thing is mainstreaming or integration. Integration and mainstreaming tend to be
concerned principally with disability and special educational needs and imply learners changing or becoming
ready for or deserving of accommodations by mainstreaming. By
contrast, inclusion is about the child’s rights to participate and the school’s duty to accept the child.
Inclusion rejects the use of special schools or classrooms to separate
students with disabilities from students without disabilities. A premium is placed upon full
participation by students with disabilities and upon respect for their
social civil and educational rights.Inclusion
gives students with and without disabilities additional skills such as collaboration,
teamwork, and problem-solving that they can use in and out of the
classroom. Legal implications of Inclusion. Not only is inclusion good for all types
of learners but appropriate degrees of inclusion are
also required by law. The Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act or IDEA does not support an
all-or-nothing education system in which children with disabilities
attend either regular or special education classes. Instead the Act requires schools to
offer a continuum of services for students with disabilities. The least restrictive environment or LRE one of the six principles of IDEA
requires that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education in the same classrooms as their
non-disabled peers to the greatest extent appropriate. The degree of inclusion
varies from student to student and is very flexible. As a student
develops, the maximum appropriate inclusion in a general classroom can develop to.
How can best practices be introduced in your classroom? In education, best practices is defined
as a wide range individual activities policies and programmatic approaches to
achieve positive change in student attitudes or academic behaviors. When developing an inclusive classroom,
there are several important aspects to ensure best practices. Person first language is important when
working with students who have a disability. This puts an emphasis on the person not
the disability and it helps them to fit in and be an
accepted member of the classroom. It’s important that students care more
about how they’re similar instead of how they’re different. An example a person first language would
be to use the term such as a child who has dyslexia instead of
saying a dyslexic child. UDL is another important aspect to
best practices in an inclusive classroom. UDL helps the
teacher develop a curriculum that gives all students an equal
opportunity to learn. It’s a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that
work for everyone by using a flexible approach that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. Guidelines
for UDL require that multiple means representation are provided. This helps to maximize every student’s
strengths because it does not limit instruction to only engage in one sense. It allows all the senses to be engaged
and used in the learning experience. By providing information multiple ways
students can work to their strengths while building understanding through multiple sense
avenues. A second guideline to UDL is to provide multiple means action and
expression. Learners differ in the ways that they
navigate a learning environment and express what they know. There is not one means of action and
expression that will be optimal for all learners. Providing options for action and
expression is essential. The final guideline for UDL is to
provide multiple means engagement. Learners differ markedly in the ways in
which they can be engaged are motivated to learn.
Information that does not engage learner’s cognition is in fact inaccessible. Relevant
information goes unnoticed and unprocessed, not allowing the child to learn.
Providing multiple options for engagement is the only way to attract
all students attention and engage them in the learning process. Classroom Community
Building. A welcoming and accepting classroom is
key to the successful creation an inclusive learning environment.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that both psychological and
safety needs must be met before person can address their needs related to
social acceptance and a sense of belonging. However many
believe that a student’s social and belonging needs must first be addressed and that self esteem comes from a sense of
belonging. Many schools push students to achieve so they can belong instead of helping students feel
belonging before asking them to achieve. Creating that classroom community
environment can help students feel accepted and appreciated and provides a great background for
collaboration, understanding, and academic success. It can be very simple to
create a classroom community. At the beginning of the school year
students can participate in ice breaker games and “get to know you” activities so they can learn about each other and
begin to see their commonalities and understand their differences.
Students can also participate in team work skill building activities so that they are better able to see and
apply each other’s strengths and create group many experiences. Even
these simple activities can help to build a strong classroom community in which individuals are accepted and
appreciated. Response to Intervention or RTI is another inclusion model. Instead
of the way to fail model that waits until students show signs of
failure before intervening. RTI is a multi-tiered approach that
identifies a student’s support needs early in their academic career. The
multi-tiered approach is used to efficiently differentiate
instruction for students by offering increasing intensities and instruction
and offering specific research-based interventions to match student needs. The first, or bottom tier of the RTI triangle is where all students receive high quality,
scientifically based instruction provided by qualified personnel to
ensure that their difficulties are not due to inadequate instruction. Students not showing adequate progress
under Tier 1 instruction are moved up to Tier 2. In Tier 2, students are provided with increasingly
intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of
levels of performance and rates progress. This instruction often takes place in a
small group setting. If a student isn’t showing adequate
progress through Tier 2 instruction, they are then considered for the more
intensive instruction in Tier 3. Students receiving Tier 3 instruction
participate in individualized intensive instruction
interventions that target the student’s skill deficit. if a student isn’t showing adequate
progress in Tier 3 instruction they can be evaluated and considered for
special education services. It is important to remember that a
student’s placement any of the three tiers of instruction is not
fixed. For example, if a student receiving Tier 3
instruction begin showing progress with fewer supports they can move back into Tier 2 or even
Tier 1 instruction. Natural proportion is important to keep
in mind in inclusive classroom. Natural proportion ensures that the
percentage of students with special needs in any particular class does not significantly exceed the
percentage in the school as a whole. This ratio should also be similar to
that of the population in the community in which the school is located. If too many students with disabilities
are placed together, or clustered, the range of needs will make the class
difficult to teach and many the benefits of inclusive education, such as peer models and high
expectations will be lost. when children with severe disabilities are
clustered in the classroom, they’re often put in a separate part
the classroom with an aide or paraprofessional which eliminates opportunities for them
have meaningful interaction with their classmates. A quick-start guide for inclusion in
your classroom. Use the following 8 tips to start
implementing inclusion in your classroom. 1. Practice person first
language. 2. Avoid terms a project and
unnecessarily negative connotation, like deformed, poor unfortunate, or victim. 3. Make
supports and assistive technology available to all students, not just students with disabilities. This
will lessen the isolation an individual using supports can feel
and help all students be successful learners. 4. Think of barriers to learning and try to come up with alternatives to
eliminate those barriers. 5. Have students work
collaboratively. This can be done in a variety of ways.
You can have students work in a buddy system which helps build relationships and
increases community interaction for all students. You could also develop a school-based
peer mentoring program. In a peer mentoring program, the
relationship between the mentor and mentee gives the mentee a sense of being connected
to the larger community where they may otherwise feel lost. Group
projects are another great way to get students to work collaboratively. However, in group projects it’s important
to emphasize equal input and rolls for all members of the group to ensure relevant participation by all
members and equal opportunities for expression. 6. Hold all students to high
expectations. You want to push them to achieve to
their highest abilities. Even if you have to reduce the workload
for some students, you can still hold high expectations for
them. 7. Provide a variety of ways for students
to express themselves and their knowledge. students work harder when they have some
choice in what they’re doing. 8. Develop lessons with children on both
the high-end and low-end of academic abilities in mind. Don’t build the
lesson thinking only of the middle. This helps to give all children
opportunities to learn to their highest ability. We hope this video will help you
implement inclusion into your classroom. The resources listed are helpful if you
have any questions along the way. With careful thought and consideration
all children can learn together in your classroom and school!

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