If you have students in middle and high school who regularly show up without supplies, consider letting them keep a second set of materials in the classroom.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.

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Day 9: Teacher report card

Posted on December 09, 2013 in Differentiating Instruction, Inclusion

At its core, differentiation is about knowing your students and what works for each of them. What better way to learn about the needs of your learners than to ask them to rate you and your teaching?

This assessment tool may feel risky to some educators, but it can also be very rewarding. You position yourself to learn about which types of lessons are working well, which assessments students see as useful, and which …

Day 8: Talking frames

Posted on December 08, 2013 in Differentiating Instruction, Inclusion

One of the best ways to introduce augmentative and alternative communication and assistive technology is to provide opportunities for students with and without disabilities to access it in interesting ways throughout the school day. The talking picture frame is one such tool that all students can access for learning and for a bit of fun.

Typically talking frames are used …

Day 7: “All done” board

Posted on December 07, 2013 in Differentiating Instruction, Inclusion

There are so many benefits of having a differentiated classroom, but a challenge that may exist is managing the time and activities of your students. This is difficult in any classroom, but in the differentiated classroom where students may be using different materials, participating in different ways, and addressing different goals, the task may be even more onerous.

So, what is a teacher to do (especially one concerned about using every available minute of class time to teach and reach students)? Consider creating an …

Day 6: Purposeful puzzles

Posted on December 06, 2013 in Differentiating Instruction, Inclusion

Purposeful puzzles are so named because they are a first and foremost a fun activity but they can also be put into classrooms to serve a specific purpose or teach a particular lesson objective.

Puzzles are an especially helpful support for students who might fidget a lot during class or need to be “doing something” when they are listening or participating in a classroom discussion. For example, a student with Down syndrome was sometimes …

Day 5: Social skill slam book

Posted on December 05, 2013 in Differentiating Instruction, Inclusion

Did you have a slam book as a kid? We remember using slam books to share favorite things, classroom crushes, and recommendations for friends.

Our idea is a slight variation of these popular social tools. We are suggesting that teachers create social skill slam books for their students needing advice and guidance from peers on topics such as …

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