Adaptations- what are they? why does my child need adaptations? why is it an adaptation and not a best practice strategy?
So, parents you are heading into the reporting period and conference time and I am sure you are wondering what lingo will be thrown at you this time. Inevitably, there will be a new buzz word said at least 17 times during the parent conference & the report card will be as clear as mud for really understanding what your child is doing in school. No doubt, you will hear great things about what your child is doing and how the teacher is supporting their learning journey. You will also hear some things that will make you wonder what is going on in the class room and why your child might need additional support with certain areas.
For some parents, you might start hearing about areas of individualization: adaptations, modifications, individual education programs, or something similar. These are all BIG topics that require conversation, reflection, exploration, and action. Reporting time should not be the first time these words are thrown out to you, if necessary for exploration, but it does happen.
The most common of the 'individualizing' words is adaptations because they are a first step in supporting your child in a more individual way. I know what you are thinking now, inclusive education is all about valuing individuals as part of a learning community- SO why do we need to have formal & separate individualized plans? There is a simple answer: inclusive education systems are still organized around utilitarian principles and based on bell-curve thinking--> this leads to the argument of just because you say you are inclusive, are you really? The answer is no and this leads to a much larger argument that is beyond this post (and most of my posts). In sum, I believe that most adaptations are not necessary. Instead, I believe they are simply best practice for your child at this point in their learning journey. I do not believe that writing adaptations in a formal document is necessary or important. BUT, it is still a common practice and one that some of you will encounter at some point in your child's learning journey.
Keep reading to find out what YOU need to know about adaptations for your child.
I love this simple classroom. It is bright, it is cheery, and it is organized. I found this picture on a quick google search, but I really think it hits the nail on the head for this post.
There are a million amazing ideas for classrooms- especially on Pinterest. With endless creativity, endless funds, and endless time, you can make an awe-inspiring room for you to enjoy. However, no matter how magical and matched your classroom might be, your students do not require an over-the-top room in order to be successful.
Keep reading to find out a little bit more about keeping a simple classroom.
Happy Tuesday! I hope you had an awesome and restful weekend. I cannot believe we are well on our way in November- wow. Where does time go!?!
How are you all doing? This time of the year starts to pick up major steam: winter holidays are around the corner, holiday parties, paper work, and term wrap-ups are everywhere on the calendar now. AHH!!! It is important to stay focused, but to carve out a little fun for yourself too.
The aim of this post is to share a list of 6 resources every elementary classroom should have....or hopefully, at very least, have access to!
Keep reading to see that list :)
All children has the right to be supported by their parents, schools and community to grow, learn, and develop. When all children, regardless of their differences, are educated together, everyone benefits—this is the cornerstone of inclusive education. It is important to note that inclusive education systems ensure all students have fair and equitable opportunities to be present, to participate, and to succeed in their educational journey. Many school systems are still in the early stages of transitioning from a special education model of inclusion to an inclusive system.
What is inclusive education?
TThis is just a super fun idea I brought to my math stations the other day:
Building with Numbers
I know- I did not invent the activity and I am not the only teacher to add this activity to a math centre, but I just want to point how easy it can be to provide different access points to the same benchmark.
Lately, we have been focusing on operations- more specifically, addition with regrouping. However, you can imagine in a lower elementary class how different each kiddo is and how different their math background is. During math lessons, I find group work and stations to be the most effective way to support all my kiddos with their individual math learning. You see, I teach a short 'lesson' on addition to the whole class as an introduction and then break my class up into their math groups: based on levels & supports.
All students are given opportunities to practice earlier level skills, have direct instruction with me, and practice the new lesson. The direct instruction is shaped by the benchmark (curriculum- ughhh), but individualized through the use of different access points (ie, matching numbers or single objects, sequencing numbers, single digit addition, double digit addition, regrouping, and multiplication). Access points and small group instruction ensures all kiddos are receiving meaningful instruction for them.
keep reading to learn more about Building with Numbers