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Topic: full inclusion for special education


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Subject:   RE: full inclusion for gifted students
Author: Craig
Date: Apr 12 2010
Your query is one I grapple with routinely, but from a different perspective.  I
have worked very hard (and let me tell you, the work is MINE, with absolutely no
help from high school textbook publishers) to develop skill differentiating for
gifted students in a regular (high school math) classroom.  I am not "there" (at
expert, or even practitioner, level) yet, though I do work at it.

How can special educators help?  Volunteer to teach the whole class for a lesson
(or period), demonstrating differentiation techniques.  Then do it again, using
another differentiation strategy several days later.  Seeing examples, in
practice, can really help "gen ed" teachers.  Depending on your
building/administration/facilities, this may be natural for you or it may be
impossible, but try it.  When you have co-plan meetings, discuss how a lesson
you observed might have been differentiated, so that the teacher can take that
step next year, or (better yet) apply that thinking to an upcoming lesson.
Don't expect the teacher to go whole-hog; it is simply too daunting.
Practical advice, sharing experiences, showing by doing... these are what
teachers want and can use.

Let's face it:  differentiation is hard.  I believe, however, that the payoff
for our students is worth the effort--whether those students have special
needs or not, and whatever the level of those special needs.

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