Welcome to the LASARD pre-k course, Inclusive Practices: All Means ALL! This course is designed to provide educators with an understanding of inclusive practices and strategies that can help all pre-k students become successful in the general education classroom, as well as across other school settings.
Throughout this course, we will provide you with many examples of how you can create and structure classroom activities that support engagement and learning for all students.
Participants taking this course will be able to:
• Learn the importance of inclusion, teacher collaboration, and building student relationships.
• Determine appropriate recommendations to support inclusive practices in the general education setting using the TS Gold standards.
• Practice using an assessment tool to look at the necessary skills a student needs to be successful across settings and
• Walk away with the tools and strategies to build a culture of inclusion in all classrooms, while embracing differences and supporting the needs of students with disabilities.
Our goal of this training is to provide you with the tools that will help support you in creating an inclusive classroom that meets the needs of all students.
So, what’s is the big idea? With the appropriate evidence based strategies and supports in place, the inclusive classroom will provide the best educational outcomes for ALL students.
As we move through this course, we are going to discuss strategies that will enable you and your team to collaborate, establish an inclusive mindset, build positive relationships, and identify supports that you can create so that all students are successful in your classroom.
Let’s get started!
They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and somewhere to go. This should be the case for individuals with disabilities as well. In order for this to happen, it’s essential that we teach the skills that are necessary for our students to lead a successful life.
Where will they go? Is the student able to learn and grow in a safe environment? At the end of their pre-k year, will they have the functional skills necessary to successfully interact and participate in kindergarten?
Who are they going to love? Will your students have the necessary social skills to create healthy relationships with their peers and communicate in social situations? Will they have appropriate functional skills necessary to communicate with their teacher and peers?
And most importantly, what will they do with their life? Will they have the functional skills needed to participate in community activities outside of the school building?
Even though you may think the environment they are in now will not impact their future, it most definitely will! You are setting the foundation for the development of these important life skills. If we want our students to have a pretty good life, we need to make sure they are taught these skills to help them participate in the inclusive environment.
Let’s talk about a definition of inclusion.
“Inclusion involves all kinds of practices that are ultimately practices of good teaching. What good teachers do is to think thoughtfully about children and develop ways to reach all children.”
There are many definitions of this term, but they all share one common theme; they all involve the idea of membership and being valued. Inclusion is much bigger than a classroom placement, it’s a belief.
Inclusion is about ALL students belonging!
As we move through this course, we will take a deep dive into the inclusive pre-k classroom with a focus on three critical areas:
• First is the idea of membership; that a student “belongs” in the general education classroom. The student in an inclusive setting is under the responsibility of the general education classroom teacher. This means that the student is a member of the general education classroom—they are on the class roster, they attend homeroom with their class and they attend most or all activities with their class.
• There is an expectation that the student contributes something to his or her environment and that the student receives something from that environment in the school setting, It could be related to academics, communication or social aspects of the classroom. The critical factor is that there is an expectation for the student to have something to offer to the class as well as something to gain from the class.
• The student should be working on targeted outcomes that are meaningful for their individual growth and educational goals. Physical inclusion, such as just sitting in the back of the classroom, is rarely meaningful inclusion.