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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Inclusion or Mainstreaming?

Lat20130329-180358.jpgely I have been driven by circumstances to be more reflective. What really happens in classrooms? Are our ideals met by practice?

Inclusion and mainstreaming have been used interchangeably but according to Katy Arnett in CAP Journal, 2013, the philosophies are very different. Inclusion should socially and academically benefit all children in a classroom even if they have different abilities and needs. Mainstreaming gives students with special needs access to the general ed classroom but the “different” abilities are not viewed as the teacher’s responsibility and peers work beside each other rather than with each other.

research showed that inclusive teaching practice was facilitated through the use of questioning that helped to build students towards more complex and challenging ideas, rather than take for granted that the students immediately and clearly understood the concepts under study before moving onto more complex questions
(Jordan et al., 1997, as cited in Arnett, 2013, p. 16)

the concept of ‘differentiation’ has also been heralded as a way to support inclusive teaching practice.
(Tomlinson 1999; 2001; Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006, as cited in Arnett, 2013, p. 16)

So the challenge is to turn ideals into reality. Do our practices reflect what we believe to be most beneficial to all? Can we start with becoming more aware and move towards becoming more proactive?  I realize the issues are complex but the ideal is worth the ongoing discussion.

From the Mouths of Kids in the Resource Room

I asked some of my students what they would like me to tell teachers about what frustrates them. I got some very insightful replies:

It’s really hard to take a ton of notes. I try to keep up but my notes are all over the place.

When I have to read in a group I wish other kids didn’t jump in so fast to give me the words. They don’t even give me a chance to try and figure it out.

When I work in a group, kids don’t let me do anything. They think I can’t.

It’s frustrating when the teacher explains a question and I’m not there yet. When I get to the question I ask for help and the teacher says, “Weren’t you listening?”

It’s frustrating when the teacher does not explain things because she thinks we already know.

Some positive things were mentioned. Trusted, nonjudgmental peers and teachers that take some extra time, definitely do not go unnoticed.

Apps I Regularly Use

I should have called this “Apps I Currently Like” because the fun of the iPad is always finding more.  (Speaking of finding more…  I found an unused iTunes card in one of my bags!!  Yay me!!)  A colleague asked me to compile a list so I thought I would share it here.  I am sure the list will change as time goes on.  I would love to hear about apps you love.

Apps That I Regularly Use


The Big Picture


I got this from Pinterest – love it.

Making the Worksheet the Anchor


This week I tried something. I put an abbreviated version of my anchor chart onto a template for fraction operations. It was quite successful. One more step towards independent work for my students.


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