8:40-9:00: Student X and Y join our class from the Special Education program in order to join community circle and participate in community circle. I sit next to him and help him participate in the game.
9:00-9:15: Ms. Dickey enters the room and takes over as Ms. Ma leaves for grade level collaboration. I observe the very different methods of setting expectations, particularly Ms. Dickey’s proud confession to the class that she uses a point based rewards system. Motivates good behavior, the reward is a special game that the students select from provided options. Not sure how I feel about this tactic.
9:40-10:20: Ms. Dickey introduces the Brown Bag Art Challenge in which students have a task along with a random assortment of materials and use creativity to construct the assigned projects. The children absolutely loved this assignment. Our visiting friends from the other class collaborate by helping color pieces of cardboard and cut with a little scaffolding from the other teachers and I.
10:25-10-40: During the kids recess I help set up the Physical Education activity. I have never had the opportunity to participate in this sort of lesson and the process was quite a learning experience. Having these specialists come into class has numerous rewards for the children, but I definitely saw a side of them I had never seen before. They were harder to calm down, some were even more aggressive, they were never quite out of control, but they were not on their best behavior by any means. I tried to take Meier’s advice and allow...
... middle of paper ...
...uity, neglection of diversity, and exclusion in schools around America (196). Although somewhat preachy conclusion about democracy was not appealing to me, Broderick et al make an incredibly valuable suggestion that standardization of education fails in all pedagogical programs. In my school site, when the students who are typically segregated are incorporated into the classroom, there are immediate benefits for everyone present. The children in the class develop inclusion skills and understanding of disabilities, while the disabled students have the opportunity to work on social interaction and be included into the classroom, in the case of Ms. Ma’s class, student X and Y were warmly welcomed, not just included. What I witnessed in the classroom was not just heart-warming, it appeared to be slight progress towards a truly inclusive, equitable, and diverse classroom.
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