Course Outline for Achieving Inclusive Classrooms

Week 1

Lesson 1- Why Inclusion?

Have you ever wondered how you're supposed to teach a simple lesson with so many different student needs to take into account? Welcome to the modern classroom! Today, every teacher works with up to six kids with special needs, and this can feel a bit overwhelming. In our first lesson, you'll learn how your classroom came to be inclusive, what this environment looks like, and how it will benefit you and your students.

Lesson 2- The Inclusive Classroom

A lot of teachers think the inclusive classroom looks much different from the room they teach in every day. But guess what? Your classroom is already inclusive! The adaptations you make to promote inclusion are ones that every student can benefit from—and they're simple changes. In this lesson, you'll learn about the décor, rules, and communication that make the inclusive classroom as effective as possible.

Week 2

Lesson 3- Who Are Your Students?

Just who are the special needs students in your room? Believe it or not, they're not that different from you or me. These kids have some extra challenges, yes, but that just means they have even more opportunities to grow. Today, you'll learn about the common learning disabilities, neurobiological disorders, and physical disabilities that we see in our students.

Lesson 4- Managing Students in the Classroom

If I had a nickel for every time a teacher has asked me how to manage the classroom, I'd be rich! But in all seriousness, classroom management is about the right techniques at the right time. See, we want to give students the ownership over their own success, the structure to make good choices, and the motivation to keep them coming back for more. You'll about these lifesaving management techniques in today's lesson.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Finding Students' Cognitive Strengths

We all know a little something about multiple intelligence theory and how it relates to the classroom, but do you understand how to help your kids identify their own smart parts and cognitive strengths? You will after today's exciting lesson!

Lesson 6- Using the Strength-Based Interview

Once you understand students' cognitive strengths, it's helpful to do a strength-based interview to help kids focus on the ways they learn best. Once you've got interview data, you can help students formulate appropriate goals and meaningful learning strategies. It doesn't take a lot of time, but the results are impressive!

Week 4

Lesson 7- Modifying Your Lessons

Now that you know more about students' strengths and how to turn them into goals and learning strategies, you need to stop and think about how you can help this process along. Making the right lesson modifications is the key to giving students equal access to learning opportunities. Today, we'll follow a very interesting social studies lesson to see how technology and creativity can help us modify and adapt with ease.

Lesson 8- Helping Students Overcome Common Obstacles

As we go through the year, it's pretty common to see at least one or two students falling into common learning traps. In this lesson, we're going to talk about learned helplessness, tunnel vision, and isolationist thinking, three obstacles to student success. As we discuss each trap, we'll also discover ways to turn it into an opportunity so students can maximize their learning potential.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Recognizing Your Teaching Style

Well, we've already talked a lot about your classroom and your students, but we haven't spent much time on you! Teachers are the glue that holds the classroom together, so today let's spend some time talking about your own learning style and how it affects the classroom dynamic.

Lesson 10- Encouraging Collaboration

As you may know from experience, the inclusive classroom can't function without productive collaboration—between you, your students, aides, volunteers, school support professionals, and the like. Today, you'll learn the joys (and common pitfalls) of collaboration so that you can start every relationship on solid footing.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Working With Co-teachers

Along with collaboration comes co-teaching, where more than one teacher works to serve the needs of all students. While this can turn into a sticky situation or a fight for territory, there's no need to make co-teaching adversarial! In fact, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the benefits of this very adaptable teaching style. Learn how to make this relationship work for you in this lesson.

Lesson 12- Evaluating Your Effectiveness

We often get so busy teaching that we forget to stop and see how things are going. In this final lesson, we'll talk about the best ways to reflect on our inclusive classrooms and their successes and shortcomings. As we discover what works and what doesn't, we'll also look at some simple solutions for overcoming common obstacles.

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‘This was an excellent course. Although I have no co-teacher or aide, I will be able to adapt the ideas given. As compared to the other classes I've taken, I would rate this as the one that I could benefit from the most.’

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