For all of my parents and educators following my blog what are your thoughts on inclusion? Inclusion is just that, including all students. The actual percentages of students with disabilities that are taught in the mainstream classroom are over 95%. These students are taught alongside regular education students. While in the mainstream class students with disabilities are provided with special education services to meet their individual needs.
Although, you will have some students that will enter your classroom prepared you will also have many students that are not prepared or need extra assistance to be successful. “The challenges presented by students who struggle to connect with curriculum learning in school constitute an issue that confronts education systems worldwide” (Wery, & Thomson, 2013, p.1). Some of these students will be a year or more behind while others will be very advanced and need to be challenged.
I believe that by giving teachers the tools to provide differentiated, individualized instruction to students of all ages instructors can meet the preferred learning styles of each of our students. Brophy (1987) defines the motivation to learn as “a student’s tendency to find academic activities meaningful and worthwhile and try to derive the intended academic benefits from them” (p.40). This can be done as we differentiate instruction and implement activities that tap into each of our students’ learning styles. By creating classrooms that not only allow for, but encourage individual control we will be effective in sustaining a mastery of content learned. I believe that as we create and strengthen our bridges by developing learning communities we will begin to create student-centered classrooms that will be effective in helping students succeed.
Simply put keep learning relevant, meaningful and exciting! Close the text, have an in-depth conversation about learning. In my series of books Benjamin Bear works cooperatively with many forest friends and learns through purposeful actions. Benjamin and his forest friends have fun while problem solving and instilling lifelong virtues that change their hearts. The lesson plans my series comes with provide hands-on activities that will reinforce concepts learned in the stories. I look forward to the fun you and your children will have learning with Benjamin Bear!
Brophy, J. (1987). Synthesis of Research on Strategies for Motivating Students to Learn. Educational Leadership, 45(2), 40.