Forum: Teachers Lab

Topic: How to Teach Students With Learning Disabilities in a Mainstream Class

Topic Posted by: John (wenx@gmail.com )
Organization: Teacher Union in CA
Date Posted: Sun Oct 15 12:35:31 2006
Topic Description: Difficulty: Moderately challenging Teaching students with special needs in a general education classroom benefits all students involved. The students with special needs receive appropriate education in the least restrictive environment, and general education and special education students interact in a positive way while working toward common classroom goals. Steps Choose a teaching model. Choices include collaboration; having a special education (SE) teacher tutor SE students - the team model; having a SE teacher guide a team of general education (GE) teachers, also know as co-teaching; or allowing SE and GE teachers to teach together. Choose an instructional style. You may wish to teach in a very structured way, using textbooks and prefabricated materials, or you may want a more student-centered classroom with hands-on activity. Create a positive learning environment. Address the needs of students who require help with attending to tasks or need to be seated away from high-traffic areas. Adapt the setting to accommodate students with physical handicaps. Research the needs of the SE students you will teach. Review academic records of all the SE students in your class. Write down all goals and objectives that each SE student is working to master. Plan ahead. Create the curriculum you intend to follow at least one month in advance. Specifically plan for instruction and materials required for SE students to move toward mastery of their goals and objectives. Modify curriculum to meet the needs of SE students. Address the need for computer-assisted instruction, lower text levels and shortened projects or tests. Determine assessment techniques. SE students sometimes need to be tested differently than GE students. Be open to portfolio assessment, observation and progress charting as a means to assess and evaluate student progress. Consult with the SE teacher. You will be assigned to a teacher who specializes in teaching SE students. Collaborate about curriculum, modifications and behavior management often. Tips & Warnings Meet with team or SE teachers on a regular basis to confront problems and modify curriculum or environment to meet the needs of SE students. Buy trade books on inclusion and team teaching for more ideas. Access the Related Sites section for specific ideas on creating an inclusion classroom and ways to modify curriculum. Starting an inclusion program without proper planning can be detrimental to students with special needs. Allow plenty of time for planning and collaborating with SE teachers.

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