Creating a Master Schedule that Supports Inclusive Practices

Creating a Master Schedule that Supports Inclusive Practices, an article from the May/June 2012 edition of Link Lines, provides steps for ensuring that the master schedule supports inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms.  This article includes detailed tips for balancing class rosters.

Strategies for Creating Inclusive Schools

This Considerations Packet provides educators with information, recommendations, and tools to expand inclusive practices within their schools. The recommendations outlined in this packet, and described in the IRIS online learning module referenced therein, equip school leaders to create concrete plans for leading the implementation and sustaining an inclusive school.

The Nuts and Bolts of Co-Teaching

Co-teaching is first and foremost a special education service delivery model, whereby students with disabilities receive the specially designed instruction needed to address specific skill deficits (Friend, 2014). Co-teaching involves a partnership between two licensed educators, usually a general education teacher and a special education teacher, sharing responsibility for one classroom of diverse students. These professionals share the planning and delivery of instruction as well as accountability for student learning. Such a partnership between professionals with different areas of expertise is necessary for some students with disabilities to access and make progress in the general education setting.

[Read more…]

Lesson Design for an Inclusive Classroom

Inclusion is a belief system that values diversity and fosters a shared responsibility to help all students to reach their potential (Villa & Thousand, 2005).

Creating an inclusive classroom requires the orchestration of multiple fundamental practices, including:

  • Flexibility of teaching modes, learning styles, assessment, and grouping;
  • Ongoing assessment, both formal and informal;
  • Grouping by readiness, interests, learning styles, and size – whole class, small group, pairs, individual;
  • Appropriate challenge with interesting and engaging learning tasks that take students from where they are to where they need to be;
  • Student-teacher collaboration where students are consciously providing information about their learning, and making responsible choices, and teachers are assessing, conferencing, and adjusting accordingly.

(Adapted from Fattig & Taylor, 2008) [Read more…]

Creating an Environment of Inclusion

Have you ever created a Wordle?  Wordles provide a visual means of representing text through word clouds.  Words that appear more frequently in text appear larger in the cloud.  For example, I created the following Wordle using the principles of effective inclusion from a number of resources (Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, 2014; Halvorsen & Neary, 2009; Peterson & Hittie, 2007; Salend, 2008): [Read more…]

Laying the Foundation: Considerations for Scheduling Students With Disabilities

Master scheduling in an inclusive school is a student-centered and collaborative process. Before creating the final master schedule, administrators can minimize the otherwise daunting nature of this task by (a) actively engaging teachers, service providers, guidance counselors, and other support personnel in identifying students’ learning and behavioral needs; (b) creating balanced class rosters and individual student schedules; and (c) assigning appropriate staff to teach the general education curriculum and provide special education to students with disabilities (Florida Inclusion Network [FIN], n.d.; Friend, Hamby, & McAdams, 2014; Prewett et al., 2012). [Read more…]

Quality Indicators for Inclusive Practices: How Are We Doing?

Spring is an ideal time for educators to pause and reflect.  Routines and practices are established, but enough of the year remains to make adjustments.  It is also not too early to start planning for next year.  Reflection can occur in three different ways (Knight, 2011): [Read more…]