A big part of special education is making sure the students are included with the general education students as much as possible.
As a resource teacher it was a big part of what I did with the students; getting them involved in the mainstream classroom. At times kids went to general education classes where they participated in their strongest subject with the other students and came to special education when the class was working on subjects they needed more help with.
Now many schools have inclusion classrooms and many special education students are in the general education classrooms all day. Special Education teachers sometimes go from classroom to classroom working with the students right in the classroom. At our school we had 6 inclusion special education teachers that divided the grades up between them and spent their days in the general education classroom. The special education teachers worked with the grade level teacher or assisted the teacher in presenting the materials in ways all the students could understand and master them.
As a self contained teacher, I was always working with teachers in multiple grades to include my students not only in academic areas they could manage successfully, but also social, recreational and non-academic activities. Many of the students attend physical education, music, art, assemblies, meals and field trips with a buddy class. They also attend parties and social activities with them.
Here are some things I have found that need to be in place in order for students to become an integral part of a general education environment.
The administration must be supportive.
Whether the setting is occasional inclusion or daily inclusion classes, both the general
education and special teachers need to believe that all students can succeed.
All personnel must be committed to collaborative support.
Teachers must have the knowledge of how to adapt curricula to meet the needs of the students.
Provide variety of instructional methods to meet the needs of all children. (this can include but is not limited to: team teaching, cross grade grouping, cooperative learning groups, and peer tutoring.
Throughout the year they participate in activities such as parties, dances, field days with this class. This helps the students form relationships from the beginning of the year and make friends.
PAIR CLASSES - Pair general ed classes or individual students with special needs classes or students. These classes visit together frequently, attend special functions together and pair up to do activities.
such as buddy reading or practice flash cards together
As students develop relationships, let them spend more time with each other as
Our kids loved eating lunch with their gen. ed buddies.
What are some things you do to include your special education students in things in the mainstream?