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How To: Adjust Your Teaching Style to Your Students' Learning Style
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How To: Adjust Your Teaching Styles to Students' Learning Styles
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Including Children with Special Needs in Your Classroom
Ed Clement

Nobody has been able to come up with a blue print for success when it comes to including special children in regular classrooms. Each situation presents unique challenges. I've found that as the proportion of inclusive children in my classes increased or when support services were inadequate, my success with traditional teaching techniques diminished. I now:

  • Rely more heavily on group activities; inclusive children are less obviously different when working within a group.

  • Incorporate more activities that allow my students to progress at their own rates as opposed to trying to get the class, as a whole, to achieve linearly; I also find that allowing students to progress independently seems to reduce the average time most of the students in the class need to complete the lesson.

  • Do less pre-lesson board work in favor of short intervals of class discussion when the need arises; it always bothered me that by the time I had finally finished teaching the last steps necessary to perform an academic task, my students had forgotten most of what I had presented initially.

  • Develop several versions of each lesson so students with different capabilities will not be excluded from participating; changing the vocabulary level(“12” instead “twelve” or “make longer” instead of “extend”), reducing the number of tasks required and illustrating difficult concept (instead of “open Microsoft Word” I would insert a picture of the Microsoft Word icon with the words “double click this picture” above it.) are some of the ways I alter lessons.

  • Use more compensating technology; modern technologies like calculators, talking dictionaries, computer screen readers and voice input technology can level the playing field for many inclusive children.

In conclusion, I would like to add that whenever I become concerned with my class's achievement I read a little passage I have written on a piece of paper in my wallet. It says "If you always do what you did, you'll always get what you got."

 

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