La Vega I.S.D. Inclusion Newsletter
What's Happening in Our LV Inclusion Classrooms...
Co-Teaching! We have already had several inclusion teams share with us that they are team teaching their classes, even in the first few weeks of school. A common misconception within inclusive classrooms is that one teacher should "take the lead" for the first few weeks of school. In truly inclusive classrooms, this is not the case. ALL students should see both the general ed and special ed teachers within their classrooms as their teacher. The special education teacher is not only there for the special education students, they're there for all students. No distinction should be evident to the students within the classroom.
How can we make this work, you ask? Planning is KEY. Meet at least once a week to go over what will be taught the following week and plan for both teachers to play a leading role in the various lessons and tasks that will be going on within the classroom. Some teams may find it easier to plan week by week, while it may work better for others to plan unit by unit. For example, the general ed teacher may teach the unit on fractions, while the special ed teacher teaches the unit on multiplication, etc. Find a system, and make it work for you! If you need help, ask your diagnostician or LSSP, or even other inclusion teams that you see are being successful. Also, let your diagnostician/LSSP know what's working for you, so that we can share it with others in this newsletter!
Want to know more? Pick up "Collaborative Teaching in Secondary Schools: Making the Co-Teaching Marriage Work!" by Wendy Murawski. It's a great book with a lot of resources and ideas for co-teaching and inclusive classrooms.
Upcoming Training Opportunities
The following are relevant trainings being offered at ESC 12 within the coming month. They are not required trainings, but you may find them interesting and/or useful. See your campus principal if you are interested in attending any of these trainings.
Date: 9/17/13 Title: The ARD Process
Location: ESC 12 Sesson #: 41155 Cost: FREE
From referral to the ARD meeting. This session is for general education and special education teachers seeking to understand the ARD process. Information on specific learning disabilities will also be provided to participants.
Date: 9/19/13 Title: Secondary Inclusion
Location: ESC 12 Session #: 40439 Cost: $70
This session will focus on practical classroom applications to support students with disabilities in secondary general education settings. The session will provide participants with: useful strategies to successfully support students with mild to moderate disabilities in general education secondary classrooms, techniques for establishing partnerships between general and special educators, user-friendly resource materials for immediate use in your classroom, real world, relevant and practical ideas, and videotaped examples of inclusive settings.
Date: 9/25/13 Title: Standards-Based IEPs
Location: ESC 12 Session #: 40491 Cost: FREE
Workshop participants will use a seven-step process for developing meaningful IEPs that are aligned with state academic grade-level content standards. As a result of this process, ARD committees will have the knowledge and skills to develop IEPs that, when implemented, provide access to the general curriculum and enable students to demonstrate academic achievement linked to grade-level content.
Date: 10/1/13 Title: Co-Teaching
Location: ESC 12 Session #: 41152 Cost: FREE
Co-teaching is a service delivery model frequently used to provide students with disabilities access to a rigorous general education in a least restrictive environment. To create a value-added collaborative practice, teachers must engage in conversations that lead to positive outcomes for students. This session will provide co-teachers conversation starters for examining data, enhancing instruction, and expanding impact.
Date: 10/08/13 Title: Goals and Objectives
Location: ESC 12 Session #: 41159 Cost: Free
From PLAAFP to goals and objectives, this session is for participants seeking to write goals and objectives aligned to enrolled grade level TEKS in a format that is measurable.
Featured Inclusion Team of the Month
Your diagnostician, LSSP, principals, and special education director are on the lookout for an Outstanding Inclusion Team each month. This team, consisting of a general ed and special ed teacher, will be honored in next month's newsletter and will be given a special treat from the special education department. Keep up the good work, and you could be honored in next month's newsletter!
“Inclusive education is really about fostering an education system that is accessible to children of all ability levels and embraces the participation of the whole community in the education process.” -Nathaniel Stewart, Peace Corps Volunteer
Questions from the trenches
Q: How do I keep up with everything?
A: Document! Keep a binder with dividers for each of your classes. Within those binders, keep a log of the time spent in each of your inclusion classes. Discipline report forms logging any particularly positive or negative behaviors displayed by the students also provide helpful information to the ARD committee and parents. Click on the following links for examples of logs and discipline report forms that you may find useful. Also, keeping a binder with a copy of the most recent ARD/test scores (when available) for each student on your caseload is beneficial when questions arise about that student's needs and/or programming. If you need help developing these binders, or any other type of organizational system, get with your campus' diagnostician or LSSP for helpful suggestions.