Ways to Include Everyone!

INCLUSION...such a common word these days. How do we include everyone to the best of their
 ability to get the best experience and education.
In schools of yesteryear, students with specials needs have been isolated first in different schools, then in separate classes. Students with special needs have also been included for partial portions of the school.

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.
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.                                

PAIR KIDS - At the beginning of each year, we pair up special education students with general ed students in their grade level classes.
Throughout the year students participate in activities with their partners such as parties, dances, field days and field trips with this class where appropriate.  This helps the students form relationships from the beginning of the year and make friends.

PAIR CLASSES - Pair general ed classes with special needs classes or students. We often pair with a grade level class that matches best with the over level of the students I have that year. We  visit their classroom when they are working on a special project. The kids enjoy working together and sharing ideas and helping each other learn.  We go together with our buddy class to special programs,  attend special functions together and pair up to do to go on field trips together. We even work together on reading and sharing books, practicing flash cards for vocabulary and math facts.

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? 

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