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Home : 2002 : Dec : 23

    By Michelle

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    What exactly are you doing during class? Are you making the modified materials during instructional time? If so, that is a problem. I'm sure that your regular ed partners would love to be doing some planning, grading, etc. during class time too. We all take work home. Theirs is different, but they do a lot of outside work as well. If you are supporting individual students, doing small group instruction, etc., the regular ed teachers should not have a problem with this.

    Consider trying the whole group instruction. When I did inclusion, I used whole group for two purposes. First, I modeled effective teaching and behavior management strategies for my teaching partners. As they became more efficient at instructing the students with disabilities I needed fewer and fewer modified materials. Additionally, the typical students who were struggling benefitted from the modified instruction. Secondly, the teacher and I divided units and included study and test-taking skills. She presented the content and I did a follow-up lesson where we directly taught the students how to organize and study the materials and how to respond to essay questions about the information they had learned. We saw significant improvement from both typical and special needs learners. In both cases, when one adult was teaching, the other(s) were either doing small group work or circulating around the room montioring, assisting with class management, and providing one-on-one support for individual students.

    I would also try to team up with other special ed teachers to lessen the amount of modified work you have to produce. Additionally, keep a file. You should only need to do the bulk of this work one time. As a group, keep a file (on computer disks) on "Ms. J's English 7" and "Mr. M's English 8" etc. At the end of the year, store them in a central location. At the beginning of each year, each special ed teacher pull the files for the teachers she will be supporting. All you have to do is modify what has already been created. Additionally, try to share students if you are not already doing so. If we had two groups of kids both being mainstreamed for English and science, we started out with each special ed teacher taking their own class to English and math. We learned that it was more efficient for one of us to do both math classes and one to do both English classes. We filled out the parts of the progress reports for the subject we supported for both groups of kids. Look for creative ways to make it easier, but be sure that you aren't giving the regular ed teachers the impression that you don't think they work as hard as you. I'm not saying you are, but we are all overly sensitive these days. All of the outside pressures make it even more difficult to work together as a team.

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