Meeting Special Needs in Science (Addressing SEND in the Curriculum)

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Inclusive education and inclusive classrooms are gaining steam because there is so much research-based evidence around the benefits. Take a look. Simply put, both students with and without disabilities learn more.

Many studies over the past three decades have found that students with disabilities have higher achievement and improved skills through inclusive education, and their peers without challenges benefit, too Bui, et al. For students with disabilities SWD , this includes academic gains in literacy reading and writing , math, and social studies — both in grades and on standardized tests — better communication skills, and improved social skills and more friendships.

More time in the general classroom for SWD is also associated with fewer absences and referrals for disruptive behavior. This could be related to findings about attitude — they have a higher self-concept, they like school and their teachers more, and are more motivated around working and learning.

Their peers without disabilities also show more positive attitudes in these same areas when in inclusive classrooms. They make greater academic gains in reading and math. One of these is when they serve as peer-coaches.

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By learning how to help another student, their own performance improves. Another is that as teachers take into greater consideration their diverse SWD learners, they provide instruction in a wider range of learning modalities visual, auditory, and kinesthetic , which benefits their regular ed students as well. Researchers often explore concerns and potential pitfalls that might make instruction less effective in inclusion classrooms Bui et al.

But findings show this is not the case. Neither instructional time nor how much time students are engaged differs between inclusive and non-inclusive classrooms. In fact, in many instances, regular ed students report little to no awareness that there even are students with disabilities in their classes. When they are aware, they demonstrate more acceptance and tolerance for SWD when they all experience an inclusive education together. Parents, of course, have a big part to play. On the upside, the more experience with inclusive education they had, the more positive parents of SWD were about it.

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Additionally, parents of regular ed students held a decidedly positive attitude toward inclusive education. There is a definite need for teachers to be supported in implementing an inclusive classroom. It turns out that much of this is because they do not feel they are very knowledgeable, competent, or confident about how to educate SWD.

Of course, a modest blog article like this is only going to give the highlights of what have been found to be effective inclusive strategies. For there to be true long-term success necessitates formal training.

Inclusive Education: What It Means, Proven Strategies, and a Case Study

With regard to the whole group, using technology such as interactive whiteboards is related to high student engagement. Regarding flexible groupings: for younger students, these are often teacher-led but for older students, they can be student-led with teacher monitoring.

Peer-supported learning can be very effective and engaging and take the form of pair-work, cooperative grouping, peer tutoring, and student-led demonstrations. All students need the opportunity to have learning experiences in line with the same learning goals. This will necessitate thinking about what supports individual SWDs need, but overall strategies are making sure all students hear instructions, that they do indeed start activities, that all students participate in large group instruction, and that students transition in and out of the classroom at the same time.

For this latter point, not only will it keep students on track with the lessons, their non-SWD peers do not see them leaving or entering in the middle of lessons, which can really highlight their differences. They include multiple ways of representing content to students and for students to represent learning back, such as modeling, images, objectives and manipulatives, graphic organizers, oral and written responses, and technology. These can also be adapted as modifications for SWDs where they have large print, use headphones, are allowed to have a peer write their dictated response, draw a picture instead, use calculators, or just have extra time.

Support and Advice for General Education Teachers on Inclusion

Think too about the power of project-based and inquiry learning where students individually or collectively investigate an experience. Over the years she has had several special education students in her class but they either got pulled out for time with specialists or just joined for activities like art, music, P.

She has always found this method a bit disjointed and has wanted to be much more involved in educating these students and finding ways they can take part more fully in her classroom. During the month before school starts, Mrs. Brown meets with the special education teacher, Mr. Lopez — and other teachers and staff who work with her students — to coordinate the instructional plan that is based on the IEPs Individual Educational Plan of the three students with disabilities who will be in her class the upcoming year. About two weeks before school starts, she invites each of the three children and their families to come into the classroom for individual tours and get-to-know-you sessions with both herself and the special education teacher.

With the right technology, educators can develop and manage compliant, high-quality special education documents using intuitive guided actions and business rules aligned with IDEA and other federal and state laws.


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Reporting functionality can help manage compliance, identifying timelines and which teachers are on track or which teachers have fallen behind. Technology can also help educators run required state and district reports, and if allowed, send data directly to relevant government agencies. There are many ways of how technology can help students with special needs. Using technical tools intended for human speech recognition and synthesizing , you can avoid the necessity to use paper and pen during the lessons. The adaptive computing technology allows using digital devices to bypass challenging tasks.

Screen reader applications such as JAWS along with specially designed Braille keyboards allow visually challenged students to use the computer. Augmentative communication systems help students with speech problems to overcome the communication barrier. Such systems use picture charts, books, and specialized computers providing functions of word-prediction for more effective communication.

Before applying for services of a company that develops technologies for special education, consider the following advice:. Modern software allows minimizing the effort required for taking a step towards the student with a disability. Web-based solutions help to participate in an education process to the same degree with other students.


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Due to some forms of disabilities, students with special needs can face issues associated with moving over long distances. Web-based learning solutions allow providing educational services taking into account the interests of students and educational organizations. The task is to offer students an easy-to-use and intuitive tools for purchasing online courses, scheduling, and tracking the academical progress.

An example of such tool is Devengo, an integrated cloud-based service for online booking and payment:. Using this software, students can order one of the available educational courses online without leaving home. Neat and intuitive web-based chatting applications allow creating online classes that help students with disabilities to communicate with each other and the teacher. Such virtual classrooms allow both learners and teachers from different parts of the world to participate in live classes.

Low cost of such an approach to the educational process is one of its main advantages. All that is required is a laptop or tablet with access to the internet.

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Addressing Special Educational Needs and Disability in the Curriculum: Modern Foreign Languages

Chat rooms for up to five users allow reading lectures for small groups of students. In case of need for individual sessions, teacher or student can initiate a new person-to-person chat. Using the screen sharing feature, the teacher can demonstrate presentations to the whole class. The app also allows for recording the lessons. It means that the content remains accessible after being delivered. Special education software helps students with disabilities to reach their potential. Individualized Education Program IEP Software simplifies the work with children that have learning issues caused by brain injuries, developmental delays, or intellectual disabilities.

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Such solution helps to monitor the learning progress and visualize it as a set of charts. Also, it allows simplifying the reporting.


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Online Staff Performance Management System is an intuitive and easy-to-use performance management tool for educators:. This application provides teachers with better insight into student progress.