What does An Inclusive classroom look like and what are the tools need to create Equal learning environment for all Students.
After my first semester at West Langley, I had decided that I would like to focus on Inclusion. I had chosen this as my focus, due to an observation that I made about one young boy in particular. He has been designated with ODD and ADHD and is now in the process of another diagnoses. When I first met this student he had no interest in doing any schoolwork. He would play with toys during class time and not talk to any other students except for in a negative or aggressive tone. This lead me to the task of attempting to make a connection with this student in hope that it may motivate him to participate. I began to try our many different strategies to help this student want to be included in the classroom activities.
I attempted to make personal connections with the student, I would designated my time during our silent reading time to talk with the student and learn about things that he is interested in. I would use this time to also set him up for what we would be doing in the afternoon, so that he was aware of what we would be doing and let him know how excited I was to hear his thoughts and ideas about the subjects.
I made sure that our classroom work was broken up into both group work and independent work, this allowed for him to be show what he was capable of on the independent level, but also pushed him to be social and learn to work in small groups. I have been able to adapt class work to be able to give him marks, as he does not complete work, I was able to engage in short discussions to allow him to display his knowledge to me.
As a staff we have implemented breaks for this student. Once an agreement was made for a particular amount of work to be done, he would be given so much free time on an I-pad. This was one of the many compromises that we made with this student, as the year progressed we decreased the number of breaks and began implementing choices. When the student would not participate in tasks that he was fully capable of completing, we would give him a choice, you can complete this or work on this other work that you had not complete.
I have been incorporating SEA’s into my attempts to have an inclusive classroom. I have been able to have them at time focus on working with this student while I am still focusing on helping others within the classroom. They will also facilities breaks for him where he is able to leave the classroom and burn off some energy.
I have made sure to create adaptations for this student and I have found that he is able to display his knowledge best though discussion, this allows him display what he knows to me with out having to focus on writing or spelling.
I have been ensuring that he is included with other students in seating arraignments and group work as well as placing him in seating groups where he is surrounded by students that are socially aware. These students are able to pick up on some cues that he is not able to. I have been trying to keep this consistent for him, as it is something that I am able to use to help keep him from distracting others in the class from getting their work done.
There have been moments of success, where he has done a wonderful job participating, and contributing to classroom environment, such as the reader’s theatre that our class put on for each other. He was involved, attentive, and did a great job. However, we have also has some days that needed recourses, such as having to contact our admin, and have the student removed from the classroom, due to behaviour, and actions that were unsafe and distracting to other students. However, this was an extreme circumstance that had only occurred once during my time working with the student. He is still struggling with the non-preferred activities and trying to get him engaged by creating problems about high interest subjects for him can be hit or miss. For example I had created a math problem about a video game that he is highly interested in, and he had no desire to even look at the question.
This student challenged me. I tried every thing I could find to try to include him in classroom activities. I talked to my SA, to SEA’s, to Admin, to resource teachers, and his guardians, to try to get a better understanding of how I could reach this student.
Unfortunately, at this point I have still not found a way to make a connection, and engage him daily in classroom activities, But I will continue to try and not give up.