Tagged “Special Needs”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Inclusive Learning: Meeting Each Student's Special Needs

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Creating an inclusive environment where each student feels safe and supported in an engaging and appropriately challenging environment is rarely an easy feat, yet it is essential to educating the whole child. Regardless of strengths and challenges, each student needs and is deserving of full membership within the classroom and school community. While each student benefits from this inclusive environment, it is critically important and often challenging to ensure it for students with special needs.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we focus on creating inclusive learning environments that develop students at all levels. You'll hear from

  • Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. In that capacity, Shriver serves 3.1 million athletes and their families in 175 countries. He has helped transform Special Olympics into a movement that focuses on respect, acceptance, and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities in all corners of the globe.
  • Evan Heller, a student who has been involved with and coached Special Olympics for eight years. Heller is also a member of the national Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee and his local Massachusetts State Youth Activation Committee. He is a recent high school graduate and this fall will be a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he plans to double major in psychology and English.
  • Latoya Dean, a doctoral student at the University of North Texas in the Leadership for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders program. She is also a Content Mastery/Helping teacher in Garland, Tex. Dean has worked in varies capacities with people with disabilities, and her current research interests include transitioning students with disabilities into adulthood, parental involvement, and interagency collaboration. She is interning this summer at the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

Do you have an Evan or Latoya at your school? What can you do when the school year begins to help create inclusive environments to meet each student's special needs?

Klea Scharberg

Throughout August: Special Needs

Creating an inclusive environment where each student feels safe and supported in an engaging and appropriately challenging environment is rarely an easy feat, yet it is essential to educating the whole child. Regardless of strengths and challenges, each student needs and is deserving of full membership within the classroom and school community. Although each student benefits from this inclusive environment, it is critically important and often challenging to ensure it for students with special needs.

Join us throughout August as we focus on creating inclusive learning environments that develop students at all levels. During the month, make sure to check out the following.

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Klea Scharberg

How to Informally Assess Student Learning

Assessing students in modern and diverse classrooms can prove daunting for educators. Ensuring that students understand the curriculum and are keeping up in the classroom is important for them to receive a high-quality education.

Rethink assessment based on the unique needs of each student with ASCD Express.

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Sean Slade

The Rhetorical Appearance of Toughness?

In-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, long-term suspension, suspension for minor infractions, lack of counseling, adoption of zero-tolerance policies: are these just the rhetorical appearance of toughness instead of what is actually tough to do?

And for what end? To be a deterrent for others? Well if that's the case, it ain't working.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Ontario Students Start Own Food Revolution: Some students from Ontario High School in southern California launched a campaign to improve the nutritional quality of the food at their school. Students stated that healthier food leads to decreased tardiness, increased attendance, better test scores, and higher graduation rates as part of their justification of their demands. (www.dailybulletin.com)

Canadian Program Teaches Students Empathy: Roots of Empathy, a Canadian program that teaches students social and emotional lessons by having a parent and baby regularly visit a classroom, has expanded to the United States. Mary Gordon, the Canadian educator who founded the program in 1996, said her goal was to teach students empathy to prevent issues such as violence and neglect later in life. Students watch parents interact with their babies, and studies show reduced aggression among students and improvement in how they treat others. (ASCD Worldwide Edition SmartBrief, 5/24)

Researchers to Study Effects of Teacher Stress on the Classroom: Researchers at the University of Houston are about to embark on a three-year study looking at how chronic stress among middle-school teachers can affect the classroom, including teacher well-being and student performance. Results from a preliminary pilot study showed that educators older than 55 were better able to manage their stress, suggesting a scenario where veteran teachers could be paired with newer educators in the classroom. (ASCD SmartBrief, 5/31)

Resources

Miss the Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference?: The archived sessions of the inaugural Healthy School Communities (HSC) Virtual Conference are currently available for free. Also, let HSC staff know if you have an idea for a future presentation by filling out the feedback form. (www.ascd.org/hsc)

Rate Your School's Readiness in Emergencies: The American Red Cross has just launched ReadyRating.org to help schools better prepare for emergencies. Ready Rating is a free, self-paced, web-based membership program that can assist schools in determining levels of emergency preparedness deal and provides customized feedback on how they can improve their efforts. (ED's Safe & Supportive Schools News, 5/26)

Take Action

CVS Community Grants for Public Schools: CVS Caremark will provide grant funding of up to $5,000 for proposed programs that are fully inclusive for children with disabilities in early childhood, adolescent, and teenage programs that encourage health and rehabilitation or physical movement and play. Deadline is October 31, 2011. (http://info.cvscaremark.com)

Coca-Cola Company Supports Communities with Healthy Living: The Coca-Cola Foundation Community Support Program will fund organizations in these areas: water stewardship, healthy active living, community recycling, and education. Healthy active living includes providing access to exercise, physical activity, and nutritional education programs. Award amount varies. Eligible applicants must be tax-exempt organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Deadline: Rolling. (www.thecoca-colacompany.com)

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Klea Scharberg

Not Acceptable

If you felt picked on or not respected by the people you see nearly every day, how would you feel? What if you're a student and don't have a choice? Children who don't feel safe can’t concentrate on their studies, don’t connect with their classmates, or don't go to school at all. Do you know if your

  • School's physical, emotional, academic, and social climate is safe, friendly, and student-centered?
  • Students feel valued, respected, and cared for and are motivated to learn?
  • School upholds social justice and equity concepts and practices mutual respect for individual differences at all levels of school interactions—student-to-student, adult-to-student, and adult-to-adult?

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