Crawford Plains School, K-6: Maximizing Resources, Maximizing Learning in Inclusive Ed Classrooms

Uploaded by edpublicschools on 25.09.2012

♪ ♪
<i> (School bell)</i>
(Student) Today's<i> Seven Habits</i> message is
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.
Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
Winston Churchill. Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone.
And if you see somebody without a smile give him one of yours.
♪ ♪
(Jeanne Carter) Our school has about 300 students. We have
17 teachers and 12 educational assistants in our school.
(Lisa Nachtigal) Crawford Plains is a happening place.
We're like a village.
When people come into our school they immediately have
that feeling of belonging, whether it's students
or parents or our outside resources.
(Chantel Landry) We have staff that work really hard for the
best needs of the students and you can tell that when
you walk in the door. There's display boards everywhere.
Children's work up on the walls. Um, there's students
always helping each other here, which is really nice to see.
No matter how hard a subject gets,
the teacher is always there to help you.
We have the interaction program and we have
everyone involved in a job.
It's a community where everyone belongs and
everyone's skills are respected.
It doesn't matter what colour you are. It doesn't
matter if you have special needs. Everybody is included.
(Chantel) We have a wide range of children with special needs
in our school. But when you first come in you wouldn't
even notice that. Like they're so well integrated that a
lot of times you wouldn't even realize that we have
so many children with special needs in our school.
(Paula McGowan) You look around the school and we have this
amazing community and culture of acceptance.
Crawford Plains is the best.
♪ ♪
(Jeanne) One of the things our school has done
this year is being part of the I.E.P.T. initiative.
The Inclusive Educational Planning Tool.
The biggest thing that I think that it does, is help
our teachers to see that rather than planning their
program around curriculum, we look at the students and
the needs of those students. And we plan how we're
going to implement curriculum giving the learning
styles and strategies we have within our classrooms.
(Jason) Through our inclusive project we learned a few things.
I think that we've learned that uh, what we're doing for some of
the students that have been coded and have been placed in
our school, those are things that we do for all students.
♪ ♪
(Sean Troock) A lot of the work that I've been doing with
individual students this year has involved emotional
instruction. So teaching kids how to deal with their anger,
focus with listening. But also working on
developing their vocabulary, working on reading skills.
I've also worked with students on mathematics.
So there's been just a wide variety of opportunities for me
to work with students in many different classrooms and
really get to know all of the kids around the school.
So for me what's really important is the
assessment of and for and as. In my classroom,
as you can see right now going on, is the kids
are doing the assessment for learning.
I think kids need to talk about their learning.
They need to know what the goals is.
So we set criteria. They set it with me.
Expectations always follow curriculum, the objectives.
Then we get into the work and they use one another.
So we've really created a climate here of win-win in our
assessment simply because kids are looking at it and going
"I can help you get better, you can help me get better
and in the end we're both succeeding." So it's reciprocal.
(Sean) Just like the bits and pieces within your story can
also be edited and revised.
(Jason) Make sense? OK,
so what we have here is our skeleton, right?
(Jason) Today we did a collaborative writing lesson
where we had both grade three classes in the room.
Uh, we had a writing prompt that we both use in our classrooms.
Um, and we also use an organizer that the kids are familiar with.
We pick students that sometimes are maybe not very
vocal, we put them with students who are good at encouraging
others to you know, work together and kind of synergize.
(Sean) So it's really nice to have people that can come in and
give you feedback and give you new ideas that you may not have
thought of because you're so immersed with those kids and
you're so connected to them that you just want to help them.
And so sometimes you're a little bit blinded to the
fact that there are other ways that you can
go about teaching these kids.
In my role as a lead teacher for the
<i> action on inclusion</i> project I've had the opportunity to
work with all of our staff, our teaching staff and our
educational assistant staff. Um, I've had a few roles.
Primarily, I've been relieving teachers to give them the gift
of time to work together and to collaborate and plan with,
with each other. We have two classes at each grade level
which gives those teachers the opportunity
to have common planning on common subject matter.
I do play a mentor/coaching role with our staff.
So I have been assisting teachers in areas of guided
reading strategies. I've sat in with them on their
reading groups. Just help them organize strategies that
would work best with the students that they have.
(Shelley Isenor) We're having our guided reading meeting,
that we email Jeanne ahead of time to let her know
about every two to three weeks.
And then she emails us back and lets us know if she's able
to cover our class. And we have a big team of E.A's who
are also helping us with our small group guided reading.
(Teacher) If you guys had seven puppies, would your
family be ok with that?
(Jeanne) Over the years as our E.A's have become um, more
skilled and more trained, our teachers have been more used to
utilizing um, Educational Assistants in the classroom.
I feel confident going into a classroom. I feel empowered.
I feel at ease when working with the teachers and students
because I am knowledgeable in what the school wide focus is.
(Lisa) So first up, let's talk about L.A.
(Jeanne) Our E.A's have also grown to become part of a
cohort and they will work very much together to collaborate
on meeting the needs of the students in the classrooms.
(Ranjit) I have people emailing me, wanting to come to the
----cohorts, wanting to join.
And I think at the first cohort we had like 50 E.A's turn up and
we weren't expecting that. We share strategies and ideas.
And we talk about, you know, bumps in the road and feedback
has always been 'We want more. We need to share.
We want to learn from each other.'
(Paula) We are not just working with one student at a time,
but we are helping in a full classroom. It's a total culture
in there where everybody is comfortable with the E.A.
coming in and they, we're there to help all the students.
We do have a focus on certain students, but we are able to
help all of them. We all have a workspace where we can
take our groups. Some groups are bigger than others,
depending on the levels that the students are in.
♪ ♪
(Jeanne) Kids can be on the computer and be reading at the
levels that they need to be at. And they can do that
independently, they can do it at a variety of times in
a variety of locations, including their homes.
Our S.W.A.T. team is our<i> Students Willing Assist</i>
<i> Technology.</i> So our grade 6's would go out and assist
our teachers in doing things like video conferencing.
They work on assigning on the computers for teachers first
thing in the morning so that kids can come out into our pod
areas and quickly be on programs like Raz-Kids.
(Jason) I think when we're talking about students that have
special needs or needs that need to be met in a different way,
technology offers them a different tool.
Through the use of netbooks and the technology that we have
incorporated in the last few years, has allowed the students
to come up with a better finished product.
I think uh, it's also given them an opportunity to perhaps
express themselves where they wouldn't have otherwise.
(Sean) One student that I've worked with, we've taken the
iPad and to build up his vocabulary because he, he is a
student who has English as a second language, he's been using
this vocabulary program to build up his background knowledge
about some of the things that we're experiencing in the books
that we're reading, so that his comprehension skills begin to
develop and begin to become stronger.
(Jeanne) We need to use whatever will engage our students in
learning. The Zooma chair, what it does is allow the
child to rock, so that some of our attention deficit
kids can be sitting in their desk, they're not jumping out
of their desk, but they're able to move and get that
movement that they need, that's necessary for learning.
(Chantel) You always want to look at the environment first
before you start changing anything for the student.
Because if you can do an environments adaptation,
that's easiest.
♪ ♪
(Jason) One of the great successes of the inclusion is
the students them self.
Everybody has something to offer.
I think uh, sometimes we underestimate what the kids
bring to the classroom.
We're teaching all these students at the same time using
the Seven Habits. To be successful you're
responsible for your learning. We all learn differently and
we all have different things that help us learn.
(Jeanne) We've been having monthly assemblies to
recognize the habits and I think that's been really a
celebratory factor for the student and it gives
them the confidence to keep pushing ahead. They want to
be on that list of students who are being recognized.
♪ ♪
I got an award today too, and it felt really great.
Uh, I got it for the six habit.
(Lisa) They've all taken on jobs around the school.
So in that respect we're sharing the leadership in the school,
we're sharing the responsibility. And it's
not just the big kids having to be role models anymore.
Everybody, it's, and everybody's in factor.
Leadership teaches you a lot about how to be responsible
and show up on time when you do get a job.
(Student) Moo club would teach younger kids how to deal with
money and everything. And then office helpers
might teach people how to work in an office.
(Jason) I think all children can benefit from what they
learn from each other. They learn tolerance.
They learn that they need to get along. They need to
compromise to achieve the same goal, which is to learn.
♪ ♪
(Chantel) We have grade six buddies, Social Skills is such
an important thing for our students with autism.
We try to find opportunities for other students to model
social skills for them and to help us in the classroom.
♪ ♪
(Kayla) Sometimes I will point at the word and
he'll say it. And sometimes he'll say like,
the words nice and clear.
And that's when I give him a star. And if they get all
of those stars filled up, they get to pick a prize.
(Teacher) They're really nice models for the children in our
classroom and some of the kids in our classroom have become
really good friends with some of the grade six buddies.
Every time like I leave or he sees me,
he says hi to me and he's just so sweet.
(Teacher) It gives them a sense of compassion.
And then being able to just recognize the diversity
in the room and celebrate it actually.
(Lisa) John is a student in my class, he's 12 years old
and he comes with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome
and oppositional defiance.
(Jeanne) He was one of the students that we first began
working with more than one Educational Assistant
starting to get to know John.
John has come up through all of the grades here in our
school, and he's a valued member of our school.
(Frances Scully) He's proud of being a contributing
member of the school.
I think one of the great successes he's had is
having had help to become a contributing member.
(Lisa) Every morning John has a pull out time with one of our
E.A's where he gets instruction just for him.
(Teacher) Just... what?
<i> (John laughs)</i>
(Ranjit) We find that with John, sometimes he wants to do
something else before he wants to do the task.
So for example, play a game on the iPad.
That's an incentive for him.
So John, you did math, you did a good job with math.
You get five minutes of games and then you need to move
on to the next thing, ok?
Thank you, give me high five.
(Frances) When John is making a choice that impacts the
classroom and others in a negative way,
we just indicate to him that he's making a red choice.
Green choice or red choice?
Make a green choice, ok?
(Paula) We are really working on the independence with John
because having Down Syndrome, it's not going to be an easy
transition into the junior high.
I went on tour with his mom and we went and visited a number of
sites to find what we felt would be the best match to John's
needs and mom felt comfortable.
We were able to meet the teachers and the staff
at the new school and come upon a decision that way.
<i> (John laughs)</i>
♪ ♪
(Frances) When I first had John, somebody gave me
a story called "Welcome to Holland"
And in that story it talks about planning a trip to Italy.
<i> (emotional)</i>
You have the clothes bought, you've got the tickets bought,
you have the guidebooks. You've learned the language.
Everything's set. You get on the plane. You arrive and
the stewardess when you land says "Welcome to Holland."
My experience with John is if I spend too much wishing
I were in Italy I miss the beauty of Holland.
So, enjoy where you're at.
(Jeanne) He realizes that he can be a helper
as well as receiving help.
And that's, I think, a critical thing for any child to know, is
that "I'm not just a receiver of help, I can give too."
(Lisa) Inclusion is not just breathing the same air as
another student, you have to have the supports in place.
If they're being successful in an inclusive setting,
then it's the right place for them to be.
(Jeanne) There's diverse needs, there's diverse learners,
I meet it with diverse teaching and we have
learning that looks like all sorts of things in
all different ways and all different places.
(Sean) The beauty of the educational profession is that
we can never be perfect.
We can always continue to improve ourselves,
we can always drive forward to become better educators.
(Paula) Having everybody understand that we're all
different and being able to do your best to your ability,
given the tools to succeed.
And that community is here at Crawford Plains.
And I think a lot of people think you know what
"This is just one more thing they have to do,
one more thing on my plate." But it really isn't.
It's just doing what we already do and making it better.
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