Friday, March 16, 2012

A Measure of our Success

Inclusion, Mainstreaming, Push-In.....all education terms which more or less mean that a special needs child is at least physically in a regular education classroom.  I could write a book here---I've seen this done poorly, I've seen it done well, I've seen disasters, and I've seen kids, parents and staff rise to the occasion. I love it when it works.   Inclusion is a road to somewhere--friendships, learning, hopefully jobs and skills; not that similar skills and bonding can't happen in a separate setting.  It just seems to happen more naturally in a successful inclusive environment. Children learn from each other and need social role models.

So, I'm extremely excited about one of my students who has been included more and more in a regular third grade classroom.  Today I witnessed her participating in a Readers Theatre Play production.  Kids helped her keep her place in the book, and she read her lines fluently with appropriate volume.  Everyone clapped, offered suggestions, praised the readers, and the readers praised the audience.  This has to continue!!!

Math is slightly more challenging for her at the moment due to the vast amount of vocabulary (geometry is the current unit). Did I mention that her first language is Burmese?  This vocabulary is way beyond circle, triangle and square.  We are talking 'acute' 'obtuse' 'parallel' 'quadrilateral'.  To help reinforce concepts she is learning in the classroom, I've found printable books online, and a geometry app, and also created a little minibook with Book Creator.  As each concept is brought up in her class, she can then come back to either her EC teacher or to me to get a little reteaching.  I think this will work! So far, so good!
made with Book Creator

This first book was a very simple one I created using Book Creator.  For the icons, I drew them myself and cut them out.  The child really liked them!  The concepts were 3rd grade math, regular education.  You can grab the booklet here. As I said before, the icons to go with it, you'll have to hand draw. It takes about a minute.
made with Book Creator

Three Tarheel Reader books and my 'Book Creator' book
I also downloaded some geometry books from Tarheel reader.  Just click on the links below.  It's easy to download there as Powerpoint and then modify. These will be used to reteach, and not to replace the core curriculum in her classroom.

Octagons Book Link  (you may want to edit spelling once you download it--they spelled octagon wrong)

Polygons Book Link

Quadrilaterals Book Link

I was curious about if third grade geometry apps for the iPad existed and a quick search yielded an inexpensive one that seemed organized and clear---Geometry 4 Kids (99 cents--the price was right!)  Her EC teacher now has this on her iPad.

I'll keep you posted on this inclusion adventure.  So far, it's been successful and exciting both for the child and for the adults!

Appropriate inclusion is one measure of our success as educators--in the mind of that special kid, maybe the most important measure.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.