Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Five: Five Things that Resonated With Me at the Linda Burkhart P.O.D.D. Workshop This Week

I had the amazing experience of not only attending a workshop delivered by Linda Burkhart this week but also of being able to do a morning long consultation with her related to one of my students.  It was an amazing learning experience and I'm excited to start using P.O.D.D. communication books with my students.  I could see within minutes of her working with the student we did the consultation around how having this method of communication is going to open up a whole new world for this student.  I'm sure that I will be writing more about this as we go through the process of figuring out how to use this tool with our students.  Right now I'm just very excited.

There is much to say and think about but I think I will start with a "Friday Five" and just go with five things that resonated with me during this learning experience...
  1. "Input before Output": In order for students to learn we need to provide the input before the output and sometimes we need to provide the input for a very long time.  When we are teaching students to use an alternative communication system we need to talk to them using that system.  Traditionally we have been providing intervention based on what we expect a child to understand but a child can only know what we have presented to him/her so it becomes a catch 22.  Bottom line is what a child will do is dependent on what we given and show them.  The caution here is that when we test children to find out what they are capable of we are testing what they have been exposed to but we are not testing what they are capable of.  We need to be careful not take the test results and set things up in a way that doesn't allow us to explore what they are capable of.  It's logical... but we don't necessarily do it.  I know there are places where I need to be far more cognizant of this.
  2. Independence vs Autonomy: At one point during the workshop Linda talked about the difference between "independence" and "autonomy".  Independence means being able to do something alone while autonomy is about having the freedom to determine one's own direction.  You can be autonomous without being independent.  You can be independent without having autonomy.  Bottom line for me is that autonomy is a far more important goal than independence for my students.  It is also a far more important goal for my own personal development as there are times that I need to be interdependent as opposed to independent to achieve my goals.  I have been focusing on autonomy but defining the difference and making it more explicit helps to focus what my job is.
  3. Assume Competence: This is something that I believe deeply in - yet at the same time I find myself getting knocked down a peg or two often on this one.  I see again and again how my ableist views can come in play on an unconscious level regularly.  Seeing my student so quickly pick up the process needed to communicate with a P.O.D.D. book made me realize that I need to diligent in this area.  I can see what he is capable of goes way beyond what I've been assuming.  We really have no idea what our students are capable of and we can so easily limit what they are exposed to by making the wrong assumptions.
  4. Scaffolding Process: This P.O.D.D. system is such a perfect example of the scaffolding process and I found myself thinking about it a lot as we went through this workshop.  What we do and set up around a child affects how a child grows and develops.  If we can meet them just a bit above where they are and challenge them forward they will respond.  These books are amazing in that the idea is that we model receptive language above the expressive language the child is using.  This is done naturally if we communicate with our voices... but without us modeling the communication system a student is using we are not doing the same thing for them. 
  5. Understanding of How Language Works (Pragmatic Branch Starters):  This was the key to understanding this whole system as it is based on pragmatic branch starters (the reasons we use language) and it gives the student autonomy around choosing which branch to start from.  From there some of the things we are doing are similar to what we have done in the past.  The difference is related to who decides what we talk about.  This system gives that responsibility to the student... which is exactly what I had been looking to do.
I'm very excited about this and can't wait to get started.  I'm sure I will be posting updates as we go along.  If you ever get a chance to hear Linda J. Burkhart speak I would recommend that you go.  Although she speaks mostly about students with multiple complex disabilities what she has to say is so applicable to all students.  She resonates respect for all people.  Truly amazing experience!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

We don't officially go back to work until next week but I am going to be attending a PODD workshop and student consultation for the next three days and then Monday is a staff day and kids are back on Tuesday so basically I'm back to work starting tomorrow.

Very excited to be starting this year... looking forward to some great things including:
  1. PODD Workshop and Implementation - I explained PODD in an earlier post.
  2. Elementary Students will be Included - I'm going to be co-teaching for stretches of time in three classrooms as well as helping to coordinate their programs in those classes.
  3. High School Students will be at the High School (some of the time) - Still some work to do around getting this up and going but we will make it happen.
  4. Working on my Masters... looking to do research related to UDL, AT and Smart Inclusion for my fall course... will see what the spring brings.
  5. School Based Pilot Projects - as our province is in the middle of some changes, our school is involved in three pilot projects: Literacy for All, the new IEPT (Inclusive Education Planning Tool) that is meant to replace the IPP and a Collaborative Support project.  Should be some great learning opportunities.
Things are looking great and I'm ready to jump in with two feet.  I'm hoping to be more consistent with blogging this year as there will be a lot to reflect on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Comments - August 10-16, 2011

Metacogniton: What it is and how can we harness it in the classroom on Teacher Space.  (August 14, 2011) - This whole area is really exciting me.  I'm going to find it hard to stay focused in one area with all this extra information coming in as a result of my Masters degree.

Circumference: The Evolution of a Lesson on Love of Learning Blog.  (August 14, 2011) - This post may have given me a bit more of an idea as to what to do with my action research project that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.  I love the idea of focusing on novelty for the project.

Vacation on A Unique Way of Learning. (August 13, 2011) - Some really great ideas to make visual modifications on this website (and always love to find someone else who uses news-2-you products).

The Transformation of Education on Teaching With Passion and Leading With No Title.  (August 13) - Great to find someone else who will be blogging about the changes that are being made to Alberta's "special education" model over the next years.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind on Sandi Wasmer's Blog.  (August 9, 2011) - Always great to become more aware of our own biases.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Smart Inclusion

So I was looking around for some tools to put in my belt so that when we get this party started I will have ideas on how to ensure that my students are able to participate in general education classes.  It's going to be change for all involved (and probably one that will move too slow for me at times).  Then I came across the Smart Inclusion Wiki and got to thinking that this looks like a great starting point.

Smart inclusion integrates the Smartboard with what has traditionally been though of as "special needs software" and is set in a framework of (1) Universal Design for Learning (UDL), (2) Differentiated Instruction (DI), (3) Aided Language Stimulation and (4) Participation Model.

As I dig deeper I get more and more excited because this has such great potential.  The recommended "special needs software includes Classroom Suite 4 (with Intellitools as needed), Boardmaker Plus, Clicker 5, Inspiration or Kidspiration (dependent on age of students), Kurzweil and Word Q/Speak Q.

I'm loving the idea as using this stuff ensures that the Smartboard is used as interactive tool for all rather than a high-tech chalkboard/overhead.  I'm looking forward to digging in to this a bit more. 

Here is a link to the diigo list that I started on the topic: http://www.diigo.com/list/monicabraat/smart-inclusion-resources

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday's Motivation: Inclusive Employment Model




And now, Proctor & Gamble opened a packaging facility this week in Auburn, Maine where at least 30 percent of employees will be people with physical or developmental disabilities. Check out the story on Disability Scoop.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Designing to Address Sensory Processing Challenges

It's a topic that we seem to come in contact with often but one that I've been researching a bit more thoroughly lately in the hopes of finding ways to design learning experiences to address sensory need rather than trying to use only stand alone on the side responses.  So I'm summarizing what I know about sensory regulation as well as including some articles at the end that I thought had some good ideas around ways to think about needs during planning.

Lets start at the beginning.  We have seven sensory systems:
  1. tactile
  2. vestibular
  3. proprioception 
  4. visual 
  5. auditory 
  6. gustatory 
  7. olfactory
For each sensory system, people will fall on a different place on a threshold continuum.  At either end of the continuum a person would have a high threshold (take a lot before they notice sensory stimulation) or low threshold (take little to notice sensory stimulation). When someone falls on an extreme end for these thresholds support it is important to recognize it and ensure that things are set up in a way that will work for that person.  It would seem as simple as knowing which systems are high and low and then either increasing or decreasing stimulation for that single system so as to provide for optimum sensory input/processing

But it is actually more complicated than that because you have to factor in an individual person's self-regulation strategy when thinking about interventions.  Some people are active self-regulators (physically do something to address their personal threshold) while others are passive (won't do anything and just emotionally respond or "meltdown").  Ironically the passive regulators are the ones who are active (sometimes referred to as explosive) in their responses and the active regulators are passive (withdrawn or implosive) in their responses.  A sensory diet can be used to regulate either but it really shouldn't be something that stands alone because there are many ways to set up daily routines, activities and learning to allow for ongoing sensory needs for the individuals who have sensory challenges.

What you end up with are 4 different categories of sensory needs for each of the 7 sensory areas (so really 28 different different combinations when it comes to "intervention"):
  1. low registration - passive self regulation and high sensory threshold
  2. sensation seeking - active self regulation and high sensory threshold
  3. sensation avoidance - active self regulation and low sensory threshold
  4. sensory sensitivity - passive self-regulation and low sensory threshold
To find out more, check out
  1. Supporting Children to Participate Successfully in Everyday Life by Using Sensory Processing Knowledge  - great explanation of all of this as well as tables that link to how to support each of the four different needs in a variety of different home activities (go to page 91 of the document to see these).
  2. Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Processing: A Conceptual Model and Guidance for Intervention Plan - if you go down to page 174-75 there is some great background information and then towards the end of the article they have case studies for students in each of the categories and suggestions for how to address sensory needs in school.
  3. Sensory Processing Ideas to Increase Engagement - A quick and simple summary of sensory processing as well as checklists to help in finding out in which sensory quadrant someone might fall.

Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII)


Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Five: Five Must Read Inclusive Education Experts

This post will have two parts because as I got to deciding who should be on the list I realized there were more than five (which is exciting).  There is no particular order to this list as I feel each of these authors/researchers has impacted my views in their own unique way and none more than another as I learn different things from each.

Cheryl M. Jorgensen
“Cheryl never accepted the status quo—she instead challenged us to evaluate our roles and practices and consider ways to work effectively and efficiently to ensure that every student is presumed competent and supported to be successful in general education. As long as we continue to ask ‘What worked?’ ‘What didn’t?’ and ‘How can we do things differently?’ with our eye on the prize of full inclusion, Cheryl’s presence will carry on.” (Vision and Voice - IOD Newsletter Spring 2011)

Beliefs: high expectations of all students related to learning general education curriculum, assuming competence, quality supports, full time inclusion in general education classrooms for all students at all ages, collaboration and teaming, professional development, augmentative communication

What I've Read: The Beyond Access Model: Promoting Membership, Participation and Learning for Students with Significant Disabilities in the General Education Classroom by Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Michael McSheehan and Rae M. Sonnermeier, Restructuring High School for All Students: Taking Inclusion to the Next Level by Cheryl M. Jorgensen and The Facilitator's Guide by Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Mary C. Schuh and Jan Nisbet. 

What I've Learned: The biggest "ah-ha" moment for me was reading "The Beyond Access Model" and seeing the visual that had three boxes nested inside of each other.  The outermost box was "Membership" which represented something similar to what we have traditionally called integration.  Inside that box was "Participation".  The innermost box is "Learning".  The idea that learning is nested inside of membership and participation should not have been new to me but seeing the visual gave me better clarity around where our focus should be to achieve learning.  If we focus on finding ways to eliminate the barriers around social, academic and routine participation rather than focusing on modifying the learning material after the fact it seems we will be closer to what inclusion is all about.


Dr. David H. Rose
"Dr. David Rose is a developmental neuropsychologist and educator whose primary focus is on the development of new technologies for learning. In 1984, Dr. Rose co-founded CAST, a not-for-profit research and development organization whose mission is to improve education, for all learners, through innovative uses of modern multimedia technology and contemporary research in the cognitive neurosciences. That work has grown into a new field called Universal Design for Learning which now influences educational policy and practice throughout the United States and beyond. Dr. Rose also teaches at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education where he has been on the faculty for more than 25 years." (http://www.cast.org/about/staff/drose.html)

Beliefs: Universal Design for Learning, disabled curriculum, eliminating barriers, technology for learning, digital texts, multiple means of representation, of action and expression and engagement, neurological understanding of learning, interplay of recognition, strategic and effective networks in the brain during learning 

What I've Read: A Practical Reader in Universal Design for Learning edited by David H. Rose and Anne Meyer and Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning by David Rose, Anne Meyer and Nicole Stagman 

What I've Learned: My biggest learning from reading Dr. David Rose is coming to a deeper understanding of starting the planning process from the point of eliminating barriers to learning and thinking in terms of a disabled curriculum rather than disabled people.  Using the UDL guidelines has the potential to create more diverse and robust learning opportunities and environments for every student.  The more I come to understand UDL, the more I feel that it provides a base for all of the other great teaching practices that exist.  The framework really takes the guesswork out of things and makes the planning for all learners explicit and effective.

Michael F. Giangreco
"Michael F. Giangreco, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Education's Special Education Program at the University of Vermont in the College of Education and Social Services and is also assigned to the Center on Disability & Community Inclusion. Prior to joining the faculty at UVM in 1988 he spent 13 years serving a variety of capacities (e.g., community residence counselor with adults with disabilities, special education teacher, special education administrator). His work focuses on various aspects of education for students with disabilities within general education classrooms such as curriculum planning and adaptation, related services decision-making and coordination, and most recently paraprofessional issues. Dr. Giangreco is the author of numerous professional publications on a variety of special education topics and has published series of cartoons depicting educational issues and research findings." (http://www.uvm.edu/~cess/faculty_staff/?Page=facbio.php&username=mgiangre)

Beliefs: respectful paraprofessional support that encourages independence and participation, inclusion of all students in general education classrooms, creative problem solving to facilitate inclusion, multilevel curriculum and curriculum overlapping, effective and inclusive instructional strategies (UDL, DI, responsive curriculum, participatory curriculum...etc.)

What I've Read: Quick Guides to Inclusion: Ideas for Education Students with Disabilities by Michael F. Giangreco and Mary Beth Doyle and various other articles, many of which are listed on the pages linked off of this page: http://www.uvm.edu/~cdci/archives/mgiangre/

What I've Learned: I would say what is unique to my learning from reading articles by Michael F. Giangreco is primarily related to the appropriate use of paraprofessional support in a classroom.  This one is challenging because it is possible to set up barriers to independence and social inclusion by the way that paraprofessionals work in a classroom.  The flip side of this is that in order for paraprofessionals to work differently teachers need to plan differently and allow for more flexibility.  It's kind of a chicken on an egg issue when it comes to making changes and there is a child and his/her learning caught in the middle of the argument.  I agree with what Michael F. Girangreco writes about related to paraprofessional support but also recognize the potential danger of misinterpreting what he writes to mean that extra adult  hands are not needed in a classroom.  Bottom line is that what he has written has challenged me to start thinking in terms of expanding even more in regards to what other ways are there and I am starting read more and more about peer support strategies and cooperative learning (which has been around for a long time but sometimes it's good to step back and figure out what effective cooperative/collaborative learning is).

Kathy Snow
"Inclusion will happen when we believe it will happen.  Communities are "ready" to include people with disabilities right now, and children and adults with disabilities are ready to be included right now."  (Disability is Natural Website)

Beliefs: disability is natural, living real lives, dreaming real dreams, inclusive education, inclusive employment, inclusive communities, natural therapy supports, collaboration, people first language, self-advocacy, attitudes of others create disability, the way we interact with people with disabilities right now creates situations where they are more "disabled"

What I've Read: Disability is Natural by Kathie Snow and various articles from the Disability is Natural Website (there is a lot of great stuff to read there)

What I've Learned: There is much to learn from the articles on this website but my biggest take-away is related to the need for therapy "interventions" to be incorporated in to natural life and to not be driven by the medical model that tries to fix deficits in a person.  Kathie is a parent and when her son was very young he stated that he longer wanted to go to PT appointments. She listened to him and recognized that there were natural ways to address what was necessary related to PT.  She does not advocate for no therapists... just appropriate, natural approaches.  For me it ties in to so many of the other things that I'm starting to be a bit more clear about and I see it as therapists playing a role in facilitating participation at the planning stage by bringing in their area of expertise. 

Norman Kunc




Beliefs: belonging proceeds learning, inclusion, treat all with respect and dignity, helping as hindering, abusive therapeutic practices, self-advocacy (and many others addressed in the clip that I included above)

What I've Read: I've read many of the articles posted on Norm Kunc's website (http://www.normemma.com/index.htm).  I've also seen him speak and watched several of the videos that he sells on his website.

What I've Learned: Norm Kunc is the first person beyond the people with disabilities that I have know that had a profound effect on making me stop and think about the preconceived notions that I have related to disability.  I saw him speak when my son Mikey was very little when I attended a Down syndrome conference in Vancouver.  He told a story of cooperative musical chairs and made me realize that we need to working to ensure that all people learn instead of setting up competitive environments that have winners and losers.  It redefined inclusion for me as it made it about the things we do that impact the way that people feel about themselves.  When we set up competitive environments we are teaching children that there are people that count and people that don't.  Norm also spoke (and writes) about Maslov's hierarchy of needs and how segregated classrooms create a pyramid that is going to fall over because achievement falls below acceptance when we think of segregated placements (i.e. a child has to able to x, y and z before he is accepted in to a "regular" classroom).  According to Maslov, a person must actually feel accepted/included before they can achieve.  Not rocket science... but comes down to the knowing-doing gap that is so prevalent in "special education".  We know better... but we don't always do better.

I also feel that reading what Norm has written about therapeutic practices is well worth anyone's time.  Here is a link worth checking out: http://www.normemma.com/advocacy/index.htm#ABUSIVE%20THERAPEUTIC%20PRACTICES

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Video: Dr. David Rose on Universal Design for Learning (UDL)



    This video gave me a deeper insight in to the concept of UDL and how it applies to all students rather than just to students with disabilities. Love the concept of learning being more than one thing but traditional teaching only being one thing and how the two don't match up.

    When Mikey (my son) was little I researched inclusive education and felt I had a pretty solid awareness of it.  A few years back when Alberta Education had their first round of "Setting the Direction" meetings I started researching inclusive education again but this time from both a parent and teacher perspective. As "Setting the Direction" evolved in to "Action on Inclusion" I have continued to read and gain deeper insight in to what inclusive education.  What I have come to realize over the last little while is that inclusive education is nothing more than just good teaching.  It has left me wondering at times if there really is a difference between inclusive education, education reform, 21st century skills....etc.

    When I read about UDL it seems more evident to me that it fits with all of these other movements.  The difference is that the UDL framework actually explicitly lays out what it takes to make it happen.  The bottom line of UDL is to design curriculum so that all students can learn.  Every other movement and best practice fits in to the framework.  Everything about inclusive education, creating safe environments, effective technology use in learning, collaboration, participatory learning, formative assessment, student supports...etc. fits in the UDL framework.

    And my last thought before I close this is the that as someone who taught high school mathematics for 14 years before making the shift to "teaching special education", I found the statement made in the above video that print ruined mathematics instruction to be fascinating and worth thinking about. 

    Okay one more... I also really liked the idea of providing background music to text to assist students in understanding the affect of they are reading.  What a great idea for those who struggle with understanding this concept!

    Wednesday's Weekly Comments: August 3 - 9. 2011

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Supports & Services or Eliminating Barriers?

    Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is not a new concept to me.  I've read about it, I've talked about it, I've tried to use the concept.  Still I've sometimes had a hard time around taking the physical idea of curb cuts and ramps and apply it to the active process of learning.  Recently I've begun digging in to the concept in a bit more depth in order to prepare for the class I will be taking this fall that includes UDL as one of the major topics.  I'm coming to a deeper understanding and wanted to share a couple of things I've been thinking about related to UDL>

    Today I was reading the book "A Policy Reader in Universal Design for Learning" (David T. Gordon, Jenna W. Gravel, and Laura A. Schifter, Editors) and it suddenly struck me where I might be getting stuck in trying to understand the concept and how it applies to education.  I think the difference is as simple as thinking in terms of "eliminating barriers" rather than thinking in terms of "providing supports and services".  Certainly we eliminate barriers through supports and services but the starting point of eliminating barriers somehow makes it all line up better for me.  In thinking in terms of eliminating barriers we get to the heart of addressing the issue at the curriculum level rather than trying to work around the side of it at a more peripheral level.  Framing it this way helps to see how this is embedded in to the planning level and it's not just a matter of finding activities that will allow for the supports that one knows will work.  Thinking of it this way really speaks to the idea that the disability lies in the curriculum rather than the child (i.e. the curriculum needs to be modified to eliminate barriers rather than the student needs to be given supports and services so that he/she can do the curriculum).

    Another thought that I came across goes back to the curb cuts and ramps and wheelchairs and how this fits in with curriculum planning and assistive technology.  The idea was simply that if someone has a power wheelchair and there are no curb cuts or ramps then it makes no difference when that person wants to get in a building with stairs at the entrance or around town.  Putting supports and services in place with changing the way we design curriculum is really no different.  The supports and services equate to the wheelchair, the design planning that included curb cuts and ramps equate to curriculum planning.  Bottom line - supports and services are not enough because they do not ensure access to learning.

    Some other "take-aways" that I'm noting as I go through reading include...
    • curriculum should be designed to maximize learning - not optimize performance
    • it's not really about looking to improve immediate performance but more to build future capacity
    • looking to develop skills and strategies instead of knowledge
    • UDL means anticipating diversity when designing curriculum
    • aim is to access learning itself - not to access the learning environment
    • one size fits all curricula limit educational opportunities for most and erect barriers that disable many
    I'm sure there is more to come.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Monday's Motivation: 30 Tips of Dignity and Respect

    This comes from a great website with a simple inclusion definition: inclusion = dignity and respect.  Check it out and take the pledge at http://dignityandrespect.org/.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Friday Five: Five Quotes About Including Students With Significant Disabilities

    "To make sense of having students with significant learning differences as members of the inclusive classroom, we must carefully rethink our assumptions about intelligence, ability and aptitude.  It is not uncommon to hear someone say, "What is a student with an IQ of 45 going to get out of a biology class?"  We must question what it means to have an IQ of 45, and we must evaluate the testing that yielded that score.  And we must wonder: What if we're wrong about this student's capabilities?  Which would be the worse mistake: to have had high expectations and exposed the student to much more than he could actually understand, or to have falsely diminished expectations and deprived the students of learning opportunities?"  

    - Widening the Circle
    by Mara Sapon-Shevin

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    "There are at least five reasons why we believe that the least dangerous assumption is to presume competence.
    1. Human intelligence is a multifaceted construct rather than a unidimensional characteristic and measuring it with a test is invalid and leads to mistaken conclusions about a person's capacity to learn.
    2. Assessments of students' IQ scores are seriously flawed when those students have complex communication needs and movement challenges.
    3. Research shows that a growing number of children and adults labeled with an IDD show they are more capable when they have a means to communicate and are provided with high-quality instruction.
    4. To presume incompetence could result in harm to our students if we are wrong.
    5. Even if we are wrong about students' capacities to learn general education curriculum content, the consequences to the student of that incorrect presumption are not as dangerous as the alternative.
    Those of us involved in the educational lives of students - parents, teachers, psychologists, SLPs, policy makers and researchers - must decide what our least dangerous assumption will be and whether we can live with the possibility of being wrong."

    - The Beyond Access Model
    by Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Michael McSheehan and Rae M. Sonnermeier

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    "Furthermore, we do not know what students are capable of learning and what information they can glean from having access to the core curriculum.  Inclusion in general education classrooms ensures access to the core curriculum far more effectively than special education classrooms.

    Special educators, no matter how highly motivated or skills, cannot provide the necessary learning opportunities in self-contained classrooms."

    Including Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities in Typical Classrooms
    by June E. Downing

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    "Overall, there is evidence that students with significant disabilities can learn to read.... The purpose of this book is to summarize what research exists on teaching academics to this population and to identify innovations in research and practice about how to go beyond teaching functional academics such sight words for daily living and money for purchasing."

    Teaching Language Arts, Math and Science to Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilties
    by Diane M. Browder and Fred Spooner

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    "Some teachers indicated that skill development was only one potential benefit of general class placement. They spoke about other aspects of the child's school experience that enhanced the quality of the student's life. The general education placement provided the students with opportunities, enjoyment, and challenges.

    Even if she is plateauing, she's still being challenged. There are new things that people try to make her do or get her to do even if she is just doing all she's ever done before; it may be more than laying around on the floor.

    Sometimes during music class when they would be singing, Susie would almost laugh because she was hearing the song; and even though she wasn't singing, she was enjoying it, being part of it by just being there.
     
    I think that just opens up so many doors and avenues and there are role models there; and there are just so many other things available to them that wouldn't be available if they were in a room with children who were very similar to themselves.

    He taught them [people at school] that he can learn.
    "

    "I've counted Jon": Transformational Experiences of Teachers Educating Students with Disabilities
    by Michael F. Giangreco, Ruth Dennis, Chigee Cloninger, SusanEdelman, Richard Schattman

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Monday's Motivation: Above and Beyond



    Great video!  I followed the link at the end of the video to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website and found some great gems there.  The image that was the most interesting was this one:


    We are doing a lot of work in our province and division around figuring out "supports and services" for students as part of this movement towards a more inclusive education system.  I thought the pools around the bottom of the rainbow summed up really nicely the supports and services that we need to provide for all students in our schools.  I feel like an image like this gets me a bit closer to figuring out what inclusive education means to me.