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Compiled By: techteacher

Check out these posts about inclusion in the regular education classroom. Different from 'mainstreaming' inclusion usually involves the special education teacher co teaching with the regular education teacher.

inclusion class make-up
Posted by: Darlene

I teach 1st grade inclusion. Here is what we do. We try and max out our inclusion classes at 18. Each inclusion room has a general education teacher and a special education teacher. Regular classes try and max out at 21 or 23. I am the special ecucation teacher and have two inclusion rooms.

The first calssroom has 18 students. 3 are inclusion students, meaning they have academic goals on thier IEPs. 1 resource room student and a student on a 504 plan. There are also 3 students that recieve speech services.

The other classroom has 19 students. 4 are inclusion students. 5 recieve ESL daily. 1 recieves speech and another 1 recieves OT.

I push-in to each classroom for 1 hour-1 hour and a half daily. I pull-out my inclusion and resource room student for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Pull-out decisions are made been the regular ed teacher and myself. I've just started to leave one of my inclusion students in the regular classroom all day.

This model has worked for us. The regular classrooms can have a mix of resource room students and students who recieve speech, OT, PT, and counseling and regulat students. Inclusion children have academic goals on thier IEP. Hope this helps.

Posted by: Gina TX

I have two very high needs inclusion classes this year. I teach 6th grade Science and Social Studies. I have three blocks of Science. One has no inclusion, we get to do lots of fun things. The other two....I think are unfair to the students that are not specail needs that are in there. To be fair, some of my inclusion kids are pretty high performing, but some are so low that it brings down the rest of my class. It has to. I haven't found a way around it. I have an inclusion teacher that comes in and helps, one block I have 8 inclusion kids and the other has 12. Some of these need one on one attention. That's not possible when there is twelve and what about the other 15-16 kids in the class. They are really missing out. I had a meeting about one of the kids with the sped dept. because he is just too low to be in inclusion and was basically told that the state wants the number of sped kids reduced and they would not be putting anyone back into resource classes. I guess it doesn't matter what's best for the kid or what's best for the rest of the class. Forget what's best for my sanity. It must be what's best for the state. I'm sure it has to do with funding. :mad:

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Posted by: pat

First of all let me state up front I am not a supporter of inclusion. I feel we are doing a diservice to the special needs child and the reg. classroom by requiring these students to be taught in the same setting. I probably could go one for hours but will try to stick to the survey.
1. Self contained second grade. I've been in this position for eight years. Four years in a strictly special ed environment and 7 years at various grade levels in regular classrooms
2. My undergrad degree is in elem. and special education. My master's program was in elementary education. This particular program focused on many of the school reforms that are presently taking place in education with a heavy emphasis on inclusion. The district I am currently working for has provided a number of profesional development classes on inclusion/how to handle at-risk students/adapting in the classroom etc....
I feel I have the qualifications AND experience to handle just about any situation.
3. My definition of mainstreaming/inclusion (successfully) does not always agreee with what is is often common practice. You can not blanketly say what will work for one child will work for another. Frequently, what I see is the special needs child is given minimum support for success. (Many administrators version of least restrictive environment)Early intervention is most critical. These students should be given as much support as possible, as soon as possible to be succssful then slowly mainstreamed into the regular classroom environment. e.g. homeroom, specials, social studies, science, things that can be easily adapted. What I've experienced is the reverse, the least amount of support until the student is so far behind and so frustrated that you have now compounded social and behavioral problems on top of academics.
4. Yes. Educationallly I know what the child needs but a regular classroom with 23 other students generally does not allow for customized educational plan. Administrators, consultants and "experts" that have not seen the inside of a class room for years, providing you with all kinds of idealistic, text-book theory advice.
5. If done right, you will have a child that is
confident and happy, learning at his/her own pace, that is socially accepted in spite of any perceived differences.
6. Problems...compromise the needs of the special needs child with the needs of the rest of the classroom. In a regular classroom you can not provide the individual 1 to 1 attention frequently needed with out neglecting the class. Many students need environment that are at extremes i.e very stimulating vs. minimal stimulation.
I deal with these situations on any individual basis, depending on the needs ofd all children I am responsible for.
7. Build a good repoire with the parents, and the Special ed. teacher in your building. AND DOCUMENT EVERYTHING YOU DO. COVER YOUR ....

Posted by: Jessica

By law, if you have an inclusion class there will be a special ed teacher in there and not just an assistant. It is vital that you work out a good relationship with that person. I am a special ed teacher myself but some of us feel that inclusion is a chance for us to do our planning, or just sit back and relax. The best thing you can do is to plan with your co-teacher. This way you'll always be on the same page. Inclusion students are usually very high functioning and sometimes you won't even be able to tell them from the other students. In some cases I have taken a few of the lowest kids, both spec and not, to the side and worked with them while the teacher did her lesson. You can pair a spec ed kid up with one of your higher regular students. Some of the modifications for your spec kids could be study guides, abbreviated assignments, teacher copies of notes....If the students are in inclusion than they should not need any type of severe intervention. Well I hope this helps you out a little. It's silly that they seem to always put inclusion students in classes that are already large but it always seems that every inclusion class I work in has 30 or more kids....


Posted by: Pam

Inclusion is beneficial to the students in learning proper social skills. I feel it does give them the opportunity to see appropriate behaviors and in some instances self esteem that is much needed. However there is a turned side to inclusion I spent two years in a H.S. situation and it was very frustrating. I thought it would be a great opportunity for myself to team teach and help to integrate Mildly disabled teens (LD) into a regular ed setting. First off it was a situation set up for failure - most of my regular ed collegues teach 1 - 2 subjects a day, I was responsible for keeping up with curriculum of a World Cultures Class, Government, U.S. History and also had to teach a self contained English class and Math class Oh! and I had to go into a Freshman Career English class. It was a nightmare. Every period I was doing something different, not to mention I had to run all over the building to get to these classes. I ended up being a disciplinarian in the class and not a "team teacher" many times I would just sit take notes and type them up for the kids in a format that was understandable for them. Then I would also make study guides for the resource room teacher to go over with these students. I cannot tell you how many times I cried that year. It was my second and third year of teaching and I wanted to do well but didn't reolize at the time that the demands were unrealistic. The year prior to that I was a resource room teacher for grades 5 - 8 and did study halls (resource room) all day to help the students keep up with the work in their regular classes, again it was a night mare keeping up with assignments with all those grades and the teachers never gave me the support by letting me know what the students needed to do. I was also yelled at for going to these teachers to get assignments. No win situations. I am now teaching self-contained classes and like this the best. I do not have the headaches of trying to be responsible for what others are doing or not doing, however there are drawbacks in this. I have a multi-age class k-3, I get a 15 minute lunch and very little time during the day when the kids are not there. I do have from 2:30-3:15 for a prep and get no prep when I have duties. All paperwork and planning is done outside of school needless to say, I go in at 7:00 every day and leave at 4:00. I do like my job however burnout will happen eventually. Hope this helps.

Posted by: Debbie

Do you have paras to help? I'm in charge of inclusion at our K-2 school. This year we are using my para and "borrowing" other SPED paras to work as part-day or all-day assistants in the regular ed classes where we have "podded" our inclusion students. That's the only way we can serve everyone. I will float all day this year between all of the classes. I'm tired already just thinking about it! Some of the problems I face are (1)I have several multi-disability students who need extra, extra help; (2)a couple of our sped paras are lazy and don't want to work, but nothing is done about it; (3)a lot of our reg ed teachers think "those" children (even LD) should be in self-contained classes; and(4)students are constantly added to my roster all year long for service and not assigned to one of our "podded" classes, making my job almost impossible.

I understand how you feel. I'm in the same boat. I'm luckier than most, but still find it a tremendous challenge. We all want to make sure the kids get the help they need, but sometimes I feel like I've been asked to make water run uphill--an interesting, but highly challenging request.

I've just read a book you might be interested in. It's called "Teachers' Guides to Inclusive Practices: Modifying Schoolwork" written by Rachel Janney and Marthe E. Snell. I'm going to use some of the adaptation forms and practices in our inclusion program this school year. It gave me a clearer picture about what a "full inclusion" school could be.

Posted by: Sarah

I disaggree with the above responses about inclusion. It can be wonderful. I taught Special Needs Kindergarten for seveal years. I team taught with an amaizing regular Kinderagarten teacher. Our classrooms were adjacent to each other and the children flowed between each room. At times, both classes were in the same room. Our class size varied each year. She started with about 22 full time students and I had approx. 8 special needs students. All the students (even my lower funcitoning children) participated in inclusion at some time during the day and typically the amount of time increased over the year. The amount of time the students with special needs were inculded depended on their individaul needs and abilities. Both class ate lunch, playground, specials (lunch and music and sometimes pe) together each day. In addition, developmental center time was done together. Chilren rotated thorugh weekly centers and my special needs students were divide among the groups. Different centers were located in both classrooms and I alwasy faciliated one of the centers as well as one of my paraprofessionals. The other para assisted with specific children. It takes a group effort but can be wonderful. I am now a specailist for our preschool special needs program and currently I'm out of the classroom. However, I am putting my own "typical" 5-year-old child in the regular ed inclusion class for his kindergarten year. Each year, we also have regular ed parents request the regular inclusion class for their "normal" chidren. It benefits children on both sides. Inclusion can and does work if done right.

Posted by: teachinwright

THis is my 5th year doing inclusion. My class is normally "more" full than others but half the day I have help from the SPED teacher. The other half of the day about four of my kids are pulled for a couple hours into a SPED room, so this reduced my class size. The first couple of years I felt abused as they stacked my class with either gifted or sped students. I had to have two sets of lesson plans for everything! The inclusion teachers revolted and they made a change so that it would be more evenly divided up. The admin never let me go over my official limit (28)in my homeroom, but if a student from another class needed sped services throughout the year they were pulled into my room which at one point had me at 32 kids for a couple of classes! Yes it was frustrating and there are times that I swear I won't do it the next year but teaching has never been so rewarding!!! I have had such sweet classes. So, yes! I feel your pain! Your Sped teacher will help you with all the IEPs and such and you'll learn sooo much. I am a much better, understanding teacher because I have had to have a "whatever it takes" attitude with these classes. I honestly don't think you'll regret it, but demand support if you need it. I do sometimes feel my admin doesn't know how much more it takes to be that inclusion teacher and sometimes I don't feel appreciated. But hang in there, God has called on you to do this for a reason girl!

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Posted by: Joan

While inclusion seems pretty frightening to most of us, it is not always a negative experience. When done properly, many studies show the results to be dramatic. My close friend's child is autistic and was fully included beginning in the fourth grade. He was assigned a full time assistant. He was an ideal candidate as he is not violent and he has promising abilities in some subject areas. My friend was very nervous about taking this step, but the results were amazing. He grew almost three years in math and over a year and a half in reading in only one school year!!! Also, the students in his class learned a lot from having him in there. I am sure that students who have shared a class with Jason are a bit more compassionate, understanding, and informed (and possibly have a better sense of humor).

The word inclusion has a bad ring to it because of some poor choices that have been made. Inclusion candidates should be well-screened to ensure that they will not hinder the learning that takes place in the classroom and that they will benefit from the new learning environment too. In my tenure as a teacher, I have seen more positive (two Downs Syndrome and one Autistic) inclusions than negative (an emotionally disturbed child... yikes!). Great strides have been made in the area of special education, and inclusion, in my opinion, is one of them.

loved inclusion
Posted by: Tatum

I had inclusion three times in my 9 yrs. of teaching. I taught a fifth inclusion and two 4th inclusion classes. I had the sped teacher all day. I liked teaching with a partner. We planned together, bought supplies together(great to spilt costs that can add up), and taught lessons together some of the time. I usally started planning the whole class lessons and when we got together to plan she would plan how to modify, assist and differentiate for the ieps. Most of the time she had her iep kids and I had my reg kids but I loved how we combined everyone together for some whole group lessons and afterwards she and I would pull smaller groups to work with. MOST days we had a blast teaching together.

Somtimes it got tough when we disagreed on how to teach a lesson, when that happened since she was in charge of all ieps she pulled her own kids and taught them her way. We talked about what would happen when we disagreed and came up with that solution together so we still remained friendly and there were no hard feelings. I can only remember one instance where we kind of argued about things. Just make sure you plan and communicate with each other because that can be inclusion's downfall.

I think you will enjoy this class. From all your posts, Susanteach you seem awesome and will adjust nicley. Let us know as the year progresses how this goes for you. I will help in any way I can.

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Posted by: Jan

Here I go again, but I am not a big fan of inclusion. It must be done correctly for it to work and I haven't seen a district do it well yet. I have been in education for 27 years. Inclusion is only for those students who need it and can handle it. It must be appropriate to the students in inclusion. If they are putting all the special kids and sticking you in and calling it inclusion it is wrong. Only those students that can truly benefit by it should be there. Inclusion is not for every student. It is a service to be considered when developing and IEP in terms of one of the things offered on the continium spectrum. Ask questions, get a job description, find out about your kids and plan with your co-teacher and if you are certified make sure she agrees that you are a partner in the process.

mainstreaming vs Inclusion
Posted by: Patti

I was identified in the 3rd grade as having a LD. I struggled all the way through school, getting some academic support in a variety of settings, self-contained class, resource rooms, LD school and mainstreaming in HS.
I agree that there are many problems with inclusion...forget the artifical environment, it is really hard on the kid, the teacher and the rest of the class. The kid is struggling to stay caught up and becomes frustrated and may begin acting out. The teacher spends any spare time modifying assignments because the SPED teacher is too busy, the class suffers because in spite of the teacher's best effort instruction slows down. What is the answer? I'm not sure. But Inclusion was introduced as a way to get the higher functioning SPED students back into regular classes. Now it is a cost cutting way to comfort ourselves by telling ourselves that "it is good for their self-esteem" Give me a break. The constant feeling of stupidity does not increase one's self'esteem.
As for mainstreaming in college, I had modifications like electronic speller and extended time on exams and on NTE exams, but most modification other non-LD students used, like tape recorders. I've taught for upwards of 10 years, in SPED, preschool and regular ed. Without a doubt the most difficult has been regular ed with no SPED support becuase of "inclusion"...because it isa time issue. Only so many hours in a day, extra ones are eaten up by having to provide own modifcation.s

Resource -- Inclusion
Posted by: Amy

I am a general education 4th grade language arts teacher. I am somewhat different in that I have a Masters in special education. I wanted to work in a general education classroom, so that I could be an advocate for children with disabilties. I am blessed because my school has chosen to go to complete inclusion for children who have learning disabilities. Not all children are fully included. Our children with more severe mental disabilities are in a separate classroom with inclusion in my classroom for morning time, p.e./music, lunch and recess.

I wanted to share with you that the progress this year with my children with disabilites has been amazing. Self-esteem is up and they are trying harder. Our special education teacher comes in and works with all my students, not just the children with disabilties. We plan together, look at IEP's together and make decisions together for the kids. I think inclusion is wonderful, if done correctly with the right philosophy in mind. Too often general education teachers don't have a good understanding of inclusion, and we need to show them good examples of what it is and how it can work.

ps. do you teach in Texas?

Posted by: Janet

I've been doing inclusion on the middle school level in Connecticut for the past 5 years. There really are no formal guidelines. It is up to the individual needs of the students. It helps to think of it being on a continuum ranging from full inclusion with minor modifications to inclusion with modifications and direct special ed. support in the classroom, either by a teacher or trained paraprofessional. The sites where students are serviced should remain flexible with pull-out to the resource room whenever necessary. The use of alternative materials on lower reading levels is also helpful as long as it parallels what is being done in the mainstream. I'd be glad to answer any direct questions or offer advice if you e-mail me. I have written my own set of general guidelines for inclusion as well as guidelines for good co-teaching practices. I can also provide you with the names of books to use as references in this area. It is important to remember that there is no magic guide---it's what works for individual students as well as the team of teachers involved. Hope this helps.

Posted by: linda2671

As the mom of an autistic daughter, inclusion meant that many years, my daughter was put in a classroom where she was not wanted and where her needs were not met. Her kindergarten teacher actually made her put her head under a bookshelf at naptime so she wouldn't "bother" any other kids. (I didn't know about this until years later.) The kids made fun of her, the teachers didn't want her, and she didn't learn anything in the regular classroom.
As a first grade teacher, I am the one who usually gets the inclusion kids in my class. Why? Because I care about them. I teach the other kids to believe that they are the disabled child's teachers. They are in the room to learn from the kids more than they are in the room to learn from me. My students learn to appreciate their disabilities and to be thankful that they are able to do what they can do.
IMHO, NCLB is a slap in the face to inclusion kids. Of course they are left behind. There is no way to put them in a regular classroom and expect them to keep up.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.

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Posted by: Sandy

Personally I have never seen a model really work but this year I started doing reverse inclusion inviting students from the regular class to my class and it works so well. They get to interact with my children and work with my kids and my students are not "left out". The reason why I say I never saw it work - so many times my kids are left aside because it isn't properly put into place. Regular teachers and special education teacher rarely have the collaborative time to make it work. Nice on paper but in reality... When you are a special education teacher teaching several grade levels in 1 room it is hard to meet the needs in each individual classroom even having assistants to support. Having these students come into my room has made it easier to make it work they come in for projects in my room and enjoy it and it isn't belittling my children I love it and will continue doing this. They are peers in their regular class and we worked it out that we rotate so everyone gets a chance to come to my room and both ends love it the children love coming to my room as my children like having them down. The social aspect is important. It is also difficult if you are an ES teacher so many times our students need more support and it is very stressful on the regular ed teacher to meet these types of needs. Consider the whole picture before placing children in various setting. Each student is an individual and there are situations where inclusion is very appropriate. For some of the more involved students it can be very difficult without the proper supports in place. Which rarely happen.

Posted by: spec. ed md.

My district is also doing inclusion. They are training our school this year, however we have been doing inclusion for a few years now. The hardest part for me is the negativity of some teachers who believe these kids should be in r/r all the time. Also, I am in Primary Spec. ed. so if we get new kids that qualify, I may have to service them and they are not in the classes I already work with. Last year, in Jan. we had two first graders qualify and they were in diff. rooms. I ended up working with 5 different teachers. Some days, I would just kind of wing it when I went into the classrooms, because, I physically could not plan with everyone all the time.

There are a few ways you could work planning together. The reg. ed. teacher could give you the plans and you could modify or accomodate from there. I know that it is not ideal, but sometimes that is what you need to do. Also, if you could meet with them for about a 1/2 hour a week, you might be able to at least sketch out the week. Maybe you could plan things for you to teach also.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions.

Posted by: Michelle

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.

Posted by: Melissa


I, too, am a new teacher, but during my recent student teaching experience, I had 8 inclusion students, with exceptionalities ranging from learning to behavioral. The most important thing for you to remember when managing and teaching an inclusion classroom is to INCLUDE (just like it sounds) all students in all activities. You do this by making modifications when needed. I found that with a lot of my lessons, the students, especially those with attention problems, just neede something legitimate to do that was part of the lesson. I tried to make my lessons as interactive as possible so that my easily distracted students would be engaged. To manage other difficulties, such as students who were constantly out of their seats during the lesson, I gave them something legitimate to do, such as help me hold up a poster or a book. This kept their attention, and it made my day much easier. I start my first teaching job next week, and I will again have a number of inclusion students in my classroom. Let me know how these suggestions work for you.

2nd grade inclusion
Posted by: coach

How much planning time are you getting with the classroom teachers?
I have a second grade inclusion class and our ese support teacher comes in 45 minutes in the am for reading and 45 minutes in the pm for math. We plan together whole group and small group activities. Often we share working with the students so that the students don't know she is there for just a few of them. It almost seems like you are doing ese resource pullout in the same room- kinda defeats the purpose of inclusion.

I like the provious post of giving some students independent activities to work on so you can work with 1 or 2 at a time. This may help some of the behavior problems. Some of the behavior may be tied to the fact that these students feel like they are not working at the same level as everyone else. On top of that they get pulled by you and the smarter kids don't.

When we used the pullout model several years ago the ese pullout teacher came by once a week with a little checklist and interviewed us about each of the ese students progress. She found it worked better than asking the homeroom teacher to fill out a form (that she would never get back). Maybe you could plan to meet even biweekly with each teacher for 15 minutes to discuss the progress?


Posted by: special ed. teacher

I teach inclusion all day long. In my case, the teacher that I work with switches off teaching duties with me- every other class period or every other unit lesson. As the special ed. teacher, I would be responsible for accomodations for the special needs students in my classes, and it is my responsibility to know their IEPs. However, I feel equally responsible for all of the other students in my classes, too. The other teacher and I do not draw any distictions between ourselves- the students don't know that she is a 'regular' teacher and I'm a 'special ed.'
teacher. This is important to their self-esteem, in my opinion. We share grading duties.
As for lesson plans, we've decided to write one set of plans, and both of us are turning them in to administration. It just seems silly to both write them, when we teach together all day long.

I hope this helps. It's great that you and the new teacher get along well- that's going to make everything so much easier. I get along with my co-teacher, too, and I think we both feel comfortable proposing new ideas to each other. Communication is so important; if you tell the students something, or speak to a parent or other staff member, make sure she knows. Good luck- I completely believe in inclusion, done well.

This is why inclusion is sooo great!
Posted by: Christina

The situation presented by "Anonymous" here is one of the key reasons why I just LOVE inclusion. It's not for every special ed. student. This I know from working with my self contained learning disabled student body of 15 4th and 5th graders. Before I started this, I was a "regular" ed. teacher who happened to fall into the good fortune of having an inclusion math and reading class. The sped teacher was phenomenal. By working together we met(hopefully!) the needs of ALL the students. Believe me - there were more kids in the class that needed support than just those with IEPs. My current school does not have the inclusion model. Hopefully it will be in place by the end of next year, when I'll receive tenure. I'm looking forward to working with another teacher who I can learn from and create positive learning experience with in the classroom. Maybe if you're willing to keep an open mind, you'll find that collaborating with the special ed. department can be a big benefit, not another chore.

Posted by: sandyH

I have to put in my 2cents' worth...I have 9 out of 23 students in my homeroom who are on IEPs. They are all included to different degrees. Some are pulled out for subjects as needed. My personal take on inclusion is that it has to be driven by the needs of the individual children. There is not a "one size fits all" solution to inclusion. Two of my students are functioning at such a basic level that they really would benefit from more functional skills rather than participating in science, social studies, grammar, etc. instucted on grade level with modifications. Unfortunately, we are not sufficiently staffed to allow for pull outs during those times. To boil it down, inclusion (on a case by case basis) with sufficient support is the way education should be. Inclusion for all with insufficient support is criminal.

Posted by: Jan

I am a special education teacher and have regular certification as well. Inclusion is awful. I hate it and most teachers hate it. Does this child have and IEP? If so go to the special ed. teacher who is handling his case. Start documenting any, any misbehavior on his account. I know your hands are full but it can save your butt when and if the time comes and something happens. Just take 15 minutes at the end of the day and write it down. Keep a journal on this child. On the weekends end type it up and send a copy to your principal. If he doesn't have an IEP it can help you get him one. To place a BD child you have to have documentation of his harmful behavior. It will also help you remember specific events and details if you go to an IEP meeting. Many people think they can remember everything but when someone is pounding away with questions for SPECIFIC data and dates you won't be able to remember. I have been there and this child doesn't need to be. If he is included where is the inclusion support? Don't be afraid to ask.

mainstreaming and inclusion
Posted by: Carolyn

I have experienced inclusion in several schools. However, we are not using inclusion in our school, possibly because of funding and the fact that our special ed teacher only comes to school in the afternoons.

I would love to have the opportunity to have a special education teacher within my classroom to help the two LD children I have. I think that on-the-spot individualized help with these kids would be beneficial as I am teaching the subject matter. As it is now, they are in resource for an hour in the afternoons. Because the teacher doesn't meet with them in my room, I have to maintain a constant contact with him concerning what I am teaching. Our pullout special ed program doesn't seem to be helping my kids complete anything at grade level; they can't complete grade level math and reading tasks, but I believe that as long as they are making are being met.

My two special ed kids have so much trouble with math. One can't read or write, and I teach fifth grade. It is difficult for me to try to meet his needs.

I guess we all could use some advice from seasoned special ed teachers as to how we can help special education kids within our classrooms. Maybe we can turn to that site on Proteacher.

Posted by: Pirate_Andi

All our classes (regular and inclusion) are the same size. The inclusion class is just the class that has all the grade level sp ed students in the mix. The Sp Ed teacher/assistant comes into that particular classroom and works with ALL students being sure not to single out the sp ed students.

I have worked in an inclusion situation many times and in our system, it simply doesn't work. Until the Sp Ed department hires enough people to do the job won't work.

It's not that I have a bad attitude towards an ideal situation I think it would be wonderful...but when the Sp Ed teacher and assistant are doing inclucion with all grades 1-5 and we all have reading at the same time...duh, it doesn't take a rocket scienctist!!! lol

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Inclusion Teacher
Posted by: Sue

That is not uncommon I was an inclusion teacher in a HS situation and literally given a stack of papers to grade for the reg. ed. teacher. None of my accomodations were ever good enough, I would make up study guides notes etc... and they were considered Watering down the curriculum. I had a STUDENT TEACHER treat me like less than a teacher - and this was allowed by the reg. teacher. Her excuse was "I was never taught anything about inclusion in college" WOW well excuse me I have been out of school for 15 years and I would think someone recently in school was learning about this concept???? I was actually excited to work with a student teacher and it was a big let down. It is hard and I personally think it was part my personality, other people seem to be happy in that role or can be better PR people - I don't know if it was because I was not a people person but for the past 3 years I have had a self contained class and am just plain happier.

Inclusion Ideas
Posted by: Kennedy

I agree with the other responder that you'll need to look at this child's IEP in order to get specifics on what she needs as far as your class. However, you're looking for some ideas, and I hope I can offer a little help...

When doing vocabulary activities - this student might do some matching activities with the terms. I know that I have and do create matching, either picture-term or term-meaning, for inclusion students. Your special educator probably has access to unique processing software such as Writing with Symbols or Boardmaker, which he or she can use to create materials to go with your units.

To address word recognition and related objectives for this student, while also addressing your curriculum, you may have her cut letters out of magazines and arrange them to spell key terms in your unit. These can be glued and posted as visual word cards for the class.

Check your media center for trade books on the topic you're teaching. Often, you can find some at varying levels, which may offer a means of differentiating. Content of lower level books may not be as complex and a text you're using.

One assessment technique that I have found very simple and effective: Before beginning a unit I hand out a blank sheet of paper and have students tell/list/draw everything they know about a topic - plants, for example. Then, after the unit, I distribute another sheet of blank paper and have them to the same thing. Depending on students' needs, I may offer to scribe or spell any words thay ask for on either the pre or post test. Try this and you will truly be amazed at what your students, even this student, learn. The first time I used this technique we were teaching electricity and magnetism and my fourth graders blew me away. The included labeled pictures of closed and open circuts on their post tests, while only listed household items on their prestest. It's a good way to let students see just how much they've learned as well.

Hope these help for now. I'll think on your question and add some more ideas soon.

Posted by: Jenna

Hi, I teach in a 4th grade inclusion class and coteach full time with at special ed teacher. It can be wonderful. This year we are looping from 3rd to 4th with our class. What we have found to be the best is for the teachers to plan together and to look at the class as "ours", not these are my reg. ed and your sp.ed. We have a variety of teaching models and take turns being the lead teacher and back up teacher. Our special ed students soared and did so much better than in other inclusion classes because they were not signaled out. We have some workshops on coteaching for inclusion because we love it so much. Please email me if you have any questions.
Have a great year!

Posted by: Jan

Inclusion is neither good or bad. Inclusion should only be considered for those students that it is appropriate for. Inclusion is badly mistaken as being for everyone. It isn't. It is a service to be offered along the continuium of special services. It should only be considered when it is appropriate to the educational, academic and emotional needs of that individual child. It is NOT for everyone. I teach self-contained and I have students always experience K but they for the most part can't handle the academics at all. I have never seen inclusion done appropriately with the staff and money and accomodations needed.


Posted by: Julie

I'm a first year teacher in sped, but have experience as a classroom teacher and can speak from both sides. I think inclusion is important for all students. Depending on the needs, inclusion can be beneficial because other students are modeling behavior, academics, etc. for the needs student. It allows them to experience social opportunities that are difficult to create in a resource room. We are noticing that in our district, students who are pulled out a lot during the day, are exhibiting more social anxieties. It is also good for the other students to learn how to work with people that have different needs than them, as they will have to work with people of all walks of life someday! A disadvantage, depending on the needs, can be that for the classroom teacher it can mean another lesson plan, making adaptations, training students how to work with the special needs child and how to treat them as one of them. However, the joy of seeing them all work together is priceless!

inclusion making it work
Posted by: Kim

I have been teaching 5th grade inclusion for 4 years. In my school district we have 10 students with an IEP and 15 students without and IEP. The key is that we have a regular ed teacher and a special ed teacher all day teaching together as a team in the same classroom. My principle is also very good about who he puts in the classroom for the reg ed students since we have no say about the IEP students. I am the special ed teacher and my students range from very low to high if they have ADD or ADHD. I also may have some behaviors. The reg ed kids are either 1 year below level, on level, and may be slightly higher. We try to get no behavior students for the reg ed students and try to pick good role models for the students that have an IEP and issues. This has worked out very well and I love teaching inclusion.

Posted by: Susan

Inclusion without proper support is cruel and unusual punishment both ways. I love my self contained class and that is not a bad thing we get a lot accomplished without being disrupted because we have to let this one go here and that one go there to be included. It is so hard to keep track of and hard to plan for this year I have them for most of the day and it is GREAT!!! Recess goes so much smoother cause we are out there to take care of problems - lunch is much better we can teach these children proper ways to eat and manners etc... I like my class and work very hard - it doesn't make sense to force us into molds we do not fit in. Please understand that inclusion has a time and place and for some more severly handicapped children it is easier said than done.

Posted by: Doni

Decisions about inclusion are decided at the IEP meeting by the student's IEP team which includes the regular edd. teacher, special edd. chair, special eed coordinator, parents, and any other interested parties. According to law, we are supposed to choose the least restrictive environment. At my school, we have no self-contained special education classes except for special edd. preschool. There are self contained Sp. Ed. classes in the district at other schools - mostly severe EBD, MOID, PID, and one self-contained Autistic class at one of the middle schools. My son was dx'd with Autism at the age of 3. He went to special ed preschool and has been fully included in refular ed since. They just did a re-eval on him and changed his label to Asperger's/CAPD.

My opinion is, that students with disabilities need to be included in the regular ed classroom to the extent possible - let's face it the world is inclusive. But I believe that this is a decision that the parents and teachers need to reach together. As a parent and a teacher I see both sides of the issue and have been on both sides of the IEP table. I am the teacher on my grade level who is given autistic/asperger's students, because I have had the training to teach these kids. At our school, all teachers who have special needs kids in their class attend special training to be able to teach these children. We typically have one on each grade level who has received the autistic training, and one who has received training for SLD's and EBD's. Our administration is really good about letting the IEP team make the decisions and backing up whatever decision the IEP team makes.

Posted by: butterflylady

I've done inclusion for the past several years. The #1 thing I have issues with is the sp ed teacher does not plan with me or is not responsible for grading anything. They don't even turn i lesson plans in our school! i've tried unsuccessfully so far to reason with the admin right now I feel like the sp ed teacehr is nothng more than an aide with a degree. she Never teaches the lesson and really doesn't know what I'm doing uintil she walks in the door! My ideal inclusion class would be a well planned by both teachers and a shared teaching model. I'm going to try again this year to insist on this-let's see how far I get!

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Posted by: roo

I have had an inclusion class each year that I've taught. At my school, special needs students aren't counted any differently when considering class sizes (although we've tried to make an argument for it to the "powers that be"). So anyway, the inclusion homerooms are no smaller than the others. Unfortunately, our intervention specialists are spread very thin and often cannot be in the room with these students, when they are responsible for 4-6 homerooms, and some students who require pullout in certain areas. Also, we don't volunteer for an inclusion homeroom...we just know it's part of your teaching responsibilities.

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inclusion models
Posted by: Shirley

You will find that there are many different ways the inclusion could work in your school. If there is a set policy, you should be able to find that out from someone who was involved last year (reg. ed or inclusion). Most of the time it depends on the individual teachers. I have been inclusion for the last 8 years. My days are always different. I did some whole group, some small group, some pull-out, etc. Most of the time I worked with individuals or small groups within the classroom. I did a lot of modification of materials.

Posted by: bonpar

In my school, the inclusion classes aren't smaller - but the special ed students are on the special ed teacher's roster. The regular teacher doesn't have to calculate grades for them. The special ed teacher and/or an aide is in the room for much of the day. Also, they get pulled out for standardized testing, and some other times too.

The inclusion teacher on my team last year had the same # of students as the rest of us, but she got the smallest, oddly shaped room! It used to be the teacher's lounge.

We are getting a lounge back this year and its going to be in a small room right across the hall from my classroom! THere will be a copy machine there! YAY!

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