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Presentation by D. McDonald. A Dose of Magic.
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A Dose of Magic • This resource for general education teachers describes 60 strategies for helping learners with special needs to succeed in inclusive classrooms. Each strategy presented follows a common format that includes a summary statement, a brief discussion of the underlying research, and a description of its application in the classroom, as well as notes on potential pitfalls.
InteractingWith Students • Use a “hypothesis and frequent reflection” strategy when working with students who have special education needs. • Pre-teach general education students with instructional strategies prior to forming cooperative groups. • Use creativity to design ways to academically support and challenge students with severe disabilities who are included in the general education classrooms. • Help diverse learners reflect on their own academic successes and failures. • Practice viewing learningdisabilities through the cultural/ethnic eyes of parents/families of the students.
Becomeknowledgeable about youth culture to successfully engage all students. • Remember that students withspecial needs benefit most from one-on-one contact. • Explore any hidden stereotypes andperceptions about included students with learning disabilities. • Learn how to facilitate the social acceptance of studentswith special needs in general education classes. • Develop specific pedagogies, behavioral management techniques, and interventions to assist in working with students with ADHD.
Organizing Lesson Plans for an Effective Learning Environment • Develop graphic summaries of student objectives to facilitate the planning for students with special needs. • Use a “strategy” approach rather than “drill and practice” when teaching math concepts. • Remember that less = more and streamline the content of the curriculum. • Establish scaffolds to help students as they learn complex skills and procedures. • Fight boredom by using classroom strategies that stimulate interest.
Incorporate the nine principles of Universal DesignforLearning when creating instructional plans • Equitable use. Instruction is designed to be accessible to students with diverse abilities. • Flexibility in use. Multimodal instruction provides for student choice. • Simple and intuitive. Instruction is designed in a predictable manner with unnecessary complexity eliminated • Perceptible information. Instruction is communicated effectively to each student regardless of student’s sensory abilities. • Tolerance for error. Instruction anticipate variationsnin student pace and skills.
Low physical effort. Minimize nonessential physical effort. • Size and space appropriate for use. Instruction considers student’s body size, posture, mobility, and communication needs. • A community of learners. Instruction promotes interaction and communication between students. • Instructional climate. The climate is welcoming and inclusive with high expectations for all students.
Using Formal, Informal, and Alternative Student Assessment • When grading student writing, consider what the student is able to do well before noting what needs improvement. • Don’t wait for formal testing to begin inventions for students wit reading disabilities. • Consider alternate assessment styles and instruments when teaching students with learning issues. • Positive feedback heightens student’s confidence. • Consider using a variety of assessments that accurately reflect the course objectives and standards.
Classroom Management and Discipline • Consider implementing a self-regulation model of behavior management when teaching a student with ADHD. • Consider using a reflective narrative model to facilitate behavior modification decisions. • Consider increasing the pace of instruction rather than reducing the pace when teaching special needs students. • Use ongoing evaluation techniques to enhance student learning. • Become a classroom manager before becoming a content specialist. • Use early literacy intervention strategies to facilitate appropriate student behavior.
Integrating Assistive Technology • Ensure familiarity with available assistive technology devices that may be appropriate and beneficial for students • Look for opportunities to increase student’s communication and computer literacy skills through online assignments. • Teach students to set goals that focus on the process of learning technology. • Optimize the use of word processing spell checker programs to better serve the needs of students with learning disabilities. • Consider all aspects of technology in order to meet the accommodation needs of students with disabilities.
Collaborating with Colleagues and Parents • Set a positive tone for parent conferences and IEP meetings by beginning with the student’s strengths. • Ensure that time is built into the workday to communicate with the paraprofessional. • Take the time to “meet parents where they are” to form meaningful parent-school partnerships. • Ensure a positive team-teaching experience. • Reduce the number of special education referrals by educating general education teachers about the referral process, including what to look for and how to teach using a variety of appoaches