Teachers who take the helm of an inclusive classroom are probably patient, caring, resourceful and creative. Most importantly, they must be versatile, so they can draw out the best efforts of every student regardless of their ability. But, to make lessons fun and innovative involves hours of planning. Inclusive teachers vary the way they deliver their lessons by working with the whole class, small groups or individual students. Students will succeed when expectations remain high and a collaborative instruction model is implemented between teaching staff, parents and the school.
TeachHub.com, an online resource provided by the K-12 Teachers Alliance, lists 18 practical strategies to transform teachers’ inclusion experiences into award-winning classroom performances.
Below are just some of the tips listed on the website.
· Establish prior knowledge.
· Pre-plan lessons with structured objectives.
· Incorporate sensory elements: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic ones, like writing letters in salt trays or creating acute, right, and obtuse angles with chopsticks.
· Use a step-by-step approach, teaching in small bits, with a lot of practice exercises and repetition.
· Use accommodations and modify the learning environment depending on the individual student’s needs such as using a digital recorder to take notes.
· Concentrate on individual children, not syndromes.
· Build self-esteem by providing opportunities for success.
· Give positives before negatives.
· Create a welcoming classroom environment. Encourage students to ask questions and get involved in the learning experience.
· Mix-up the types of instruction and assessment, with multiple intelligences and cooperative learning.
· Communicate and collaborate with families, students and other teaching staff always remembering to keep a smile on your face; it’s contagious!
Continue to develop relationships and learn about your students’ abilities, and involve the whole class in an inclusive environment.
For more information about inclusion strategies for student success, click here.