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Amanda Hafner

Inclusive Education for P-3

April 22, 2019

Signature Assignment

My name is Ms. Amanda and I teach preschool in Tuckerton elementary. My

classroom is something that takes me a lot of time to make truly unique and inspirational.

My classroom is an average size, with 15 students in it, an aid teacher, and then me as

the main teacher. 8 of my students are female, and 7 of them are male. The culture in

my classroom is diverse, I have three students in my room who are African American, and

I have two who are Indian. The rest of my classrooms culture consist of two kids who are

Jewish, three who are Spanish and the last five are Caucasian. I make sure that

everything I do is in the best interest of my students, and for holidays I not only make sure

to celebrate most holidays but I make sure to send a note home saying that if they do

not want their child celebrating specific holidays that they may either come after the

party or they can leave before it. I also give them the option of not coming that day at

all and letting it count as an excused absence.

I make sure to keep my classes routine the same, the activities will vary but the

routine and scheduling stays the same except for special occasions like parties and

holidays. Each morning starts with circle time, during circle time we always start with the

good morning song, after the good morning song we do the weather, and then the

name song. The name song is where we sing and spell the name of each song that is in

class with us that day. When we sing the name of the friend who is in class that day they

get to go in the middle of the circle and dance while we sing and spell their name. We
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use this time to do music, as well as weather. During circle time we also do the pledge of

allegiance (with help of course). Next after circle time we move on to centers. Centers

have play mixed activities that will change daily. During centers we will make sure to

have an art center, book center (to practice reading), blocks, dramatic play

(encourages creative expression and imagination), and small motor which allows

children to work on their motor skills such as fine motor. Examples for this would be things

like play doh, painting, beads, and puzzles. After circle we do clean up and snack, the

children know that they are responsible for cleaning up their centers (to the best of their

ability) and then we do toilet time where they can wash their hands for snack and then

snack time. The children’s parents are responsible for packing their child’s snacks, and of

course rules vary about how the snacks should be nutritional and not such things like a

chocolate bar. After snack we move on into the lesson, our lessons start with a small

circle where I will discuss what we are doing today, a lesson is basically art. We will do a

craft with every lesson to help the children be more hands on and have the visual. After

lesson we move on into story time where we gather on the circle and each day, I read

new stories. I will go through two to three stories, but the children are always wanting

more. After story time we move into nap time, their nap time lasts around an hour and a

half to two hours. The children who wake up first use the potty and know they must take

a book to their mat and be quiet as the rest of their friends sleep. After nap time we move

on to outside play, where they can get their energy out which if it rained it is moved into

inside play. Running in the classroom is prohibited so if it rains, we translate this into more

center time. After outside play we move into more centers, these centers focus more on

helping them to calm down. Ill set up four centers, one will be writing with me, while the

rest will consist of reading, blocks on the floor, and coloring. After these centers we move
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on to music and movement which is the music I will play off of the radio, and the music

names movements for them to follow while dancing along, and then dismissal at the end

of the day. I use Routine Matrix to run my classroom and find that for my students and for

me that this is the best-working tool to use for my classroom. I also use UDL (Universal

Learning Design) because I know that each child has different strengths and weaknesses,

each child has different interests and learns different so I make sure that in the changing

of my activities and lessons every day that I use this approach that gives all the children

equal opportunities to succeed no matter how they learn.

This is the daily routine and is always followed, all my students follow the routine

very well besides my one student Rory. Rory is five years old and has an IEP for Autism

Spectrum Disorder. Rory takes longer to learn, and his challenge is when he falls behind,

he acts out in frustration. Rory’s bad behavior comes from his anger when he could not

be understood when he was trying to communicate, or when he would try to do the

activities his classmates were but couldn’t do them as fast or couldn’t do them in general.

Rory loves art, he loves being able to draw outside the lines and express himself on paper

with pretty colors and things he could see. Where Rory struggles is in things such as writing,

reading, and concentration. Rory gets easily distracted, so I find it important for aid to

not only spend time with him, but for me as the main teacher to spend one on one time

with him. We keep Rory’s schedule the same as the rest of the students, and make sure

that whatever we have learned frustrates him or makes him act out I adapt too in my

lesson plans or take out. By this I mean through trial and error I have learned about Rory’s

strengths, and weaknesses. For example, Rory gets really frustrated during centers like

blocks when he will build something, but it will fall multiple times, so I make sure that when

he goes to blocks his aid will help and assist him build so that it is less likely that the blocks
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will fall. I do not rely on the aid heavenly, Rory is my student, and I find it my responsibility

to get him through the day and help him learn as best as I can while helping him keep

up with the rest of the students.

My philosophy for my classroom is that my classroom is an up-lifting, expressive

environment. Everyone’s opinions matter, and everyone from the students, parents, and

teachers must contribute to make this a positive, and happy classroom. I understand

that each child is unique, and must have an expressive and stimulating environment for

them to be able to grow and strive in. In my classroom I strive for everyone to be creative,

and let each child know that their opinions and needs are heard. I make sure my

classroom is a place for them to grow socially, mentally, and emotionally. I bring as much

to the classroom as my students do, and I learn from them as much as they learn from

me. I incorporate hands- on learning as well as cooperative learning in my classroom,

and I teach my students to always embrace the differences not only in themselves but in

others. What I do in my classroom to intentionally support my philosophy is I make sure to

clearly set my rules in the beginning of the year and I make my expectations for the

school year clearly known. I do things throughout the year as well to reinforce my

philosophy. In art and music, I encourage creativity and free expression, as well as I have

my classroom decorated in their own artwork as well as have other components to make

the classroom look colorful, positive, and overall expressive. I, as the teacher understand

each child is different and learns differently. I try my best to observe and learn all my

students as well as be the good influence that they need in an adult as I understand they

might not always have not only a good influence at home but that their needs might not

being met at home. When I say their needs, I do not just mean their needs of having a
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good influence, but I mean their needs of attention, affection, knowing their voices

matter and they are being heard.

As the teacher my role for the students who have learning differences is to make

sure that each child’s learning styles are being considered throughout the day and their

learning needs are being met. Maybe Brandon needs more assistance when he is

reading then I will make sure that I will take time with him one on one during reading

center and help him read and send some easy books home with him so he can practice

reading at home. I will support all my student’s learning styles and give them positive

reinforcement when they are succeeding and support when they are trying. If I know my

class is doing something that maybe Rory can’t participate in, then I make sure Rory has

another task to get done so he doesn’t feel left out. I will do things like have him help set

up snack, bring a note with our aid down to the office, just something he will find

rewarding and distracting because I never want any of my students to feel left out. I

encourage all my students to come out of their shell, and I understand that there are just

going to be some students who would rather keep to themselves and who will be

embarrassed if they are falling behind. There are many steps I take to handle these

situations to the best of my ability, for example if I know Sophie is shy, I will pair her with

Angela who does not stop talking and who will help get her out of her shell. Another

example is if Brandon is falling behind in reading, but Brody is a really good reader, maybe

I will pair them together and have them share a book. Sometimes kids learn better from

their peers and will feel less embarrassed. My classroom has its own set as rules and is as

unique as all the children who are in it. I make sure each kid looks forward to coming to

school, and I like to make each day fun for them!

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Rory has trouble paying attention at school, so my job as his teacher is to come

up with an intervention plan that is designed around him and his needs to make it as easy

as possible for him to succeed. The area I am focusing on is his behavioral and social, I

feel this area is very important because since he has autism this is an area that is

exceptionally challenging for him. I want him to succeed being social because any child

has a need for friends, and for Rory he does not understand when he is being too much,

and this makes it hard for him to make friends. Rory is a great kid, and I want him to be

as successful socially and behaviorally as he is cognitively. My goal I set for Rory is to go

all throughout center time, without getting frustrated and acting out. Center time is hard

for Rory, you are moving from one center to another, and some centers require group

play which is hard for him as he has a harder time understanding the concept for sharing.

Just from my time with Rory and notes from his previous teachers I knew that his behavior

and his trouble with socializing was a big issue for him, I made sure that as soon as he got

into my classroom that I really payed attention to him. I would watch the way he was on

the playground, and how he is in centers. Rory likes to play by himself, but he has a lot of

trouble understanding that not all the toys in the centers are his. When other classmates

will go to play with them or try to talk to him to play together Rory will either stay silent, or

he will get mad and hit them for taking what he thinks are ‘his toys’. Rory has language

barriers, as well as cognitive barriers. Rory can be hard to understand, but me as well as

his classmates and aid usually know how he feels through his facial expression. How I plan

as his teacher to help Rory reach our goal is to in the beginning of the day, go over the

daily schedule with him. I will walk him through what centers we are going to do that day,

and make sure to explain fully what centers that he will have to share toys in and what

centers he will do individual work in (with help of his aide of course). Letting Rory know
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what centers are going on that day and being walked through it before-hand will help

him feel more in control. This will help him be less stressed when changing centers and he

will at least know that certain centers require sharing and group play. I also will try to play

with him during recess, by me showing him and being a model on how to play with other

people this will help him learn what is acceptable and not. I also am going to have a

meeting with his aid and have her do the same thing in centers with him, modeling is a

great reinforcer to the behavior that is allowed in and out of the classroom. Rory getting

frustrated and having behavioral and social problems can affect his academics, when

you are mad and distracted then there is no way that you also focus on your academics.

None of this intervention is going to happen without a parent getting involved, so the first

thing I will do is email Rory’s parents and ask to have a meeting with them. During that

meeting I will tell talk to them about my assessments of Rory, my goal for him, and what

his aid and I will be doing to achieve that goal. I will also make a plan with them to show

them that what we practice and do at school, has to be carried on at home as well

because consistency is key. I will continue communication with the parents by sending

home weekly reviews of his academics as well as his behavior so that they can know at

home what needs improvement, and what he is doing really well on.

Rory is going to need an intervention plan, and this is how I and his parents will put

together what we need to help him succeed while in my class. There are three guidelines

we are going to follow in this, and it’s called UDL (Universal Designed Learning). We will

make Rory a plan that has three components which is means of expression,

representation, and engagement. For engagement we would use tools like smart touch

boards, this will entertain Rory because it is not group play it’s something he can do on

his own and the changing colors and amusement of the board will keep him interested
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in longer periods of time as well as make it fun for him to learn. For expression fun things

we will do in class are coloring, painting, art projects to help him learn his colors and let

him have free expression where for once he can feel like he isn’t being told what exactly

to do and get to explore with free range of colors. For multiple means of representation,

I would make sure I had multiple tools in my classroom for Rory to use to help learn that

he’s interested in. Rory likes picture books, so I would make sure my classroom had various

picture books in it that have to do with what we are learning in the classroom. I would

also make sure to have flashcards, a classroom computer, whiteboards for coloring and

plenty of clip art around the classroom with things such as the alphabet and colors and

names for reinforcement. This plan addresses the students’ needs directly and is

designed around him specifically to ensure his success in my class. Consistency is key

when it comes to ensuring this is effective, it is up to me as his teacher to ensure this plan

is consistent every day and to be in contact with the parents to make sure what we work

on in the classroom is continued at home. These plans correlate with my philosophy

because my goal is to make sure that my students succeed but also to have an

expressive, uplifting classroom which means letting them be expressive in art and let them

have a little freedom while also making sure they are learning and growing positively.

As a classroom teacher, my essential inter and intra personal skills that I possess

that would maximize the learning of my students are being fully educated on special

education, disabilities, pre-intervention, and I would make sure to take the time to get

to know my students so I get to know what their individual strengths and weaknesses

are. I would educate myself on what strategies my schools follow when it comes to

educating our students and making sure every step of the way that I am meeting each
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child’s individual needs . My classroom will have open creativity, and expression. One

essential learning outcome that I am growing in is Ethical Reasoning. I am choosing to

write about ethical reasoning because I gained so much knowledge through class time.

The power points that we were provided and the group activities that made us do

hand-on work on the things we were learning for that chapter. But where I gained the

most knowledge is these exams. I would describe these exams as long, time- consuming

and very, very challenging but this is where we gain the most knowledge and this is the

knowledge, we will take with us in our futures and what we will remember. This is

something I learned in college and am planning to carry on to my classroom because

even if I couldn’t see it when I was doing the time-consuming work it was the work that

helped me pay attention and help me keep this knowledge. In this module we would

do class activities of going over an “students” information and for us we would make a

plan for them in the classroom and we would have to guess their age and diagnose

them. This is where we learn the most because this is what we are going to have to do

in the classroom. Doing activities working with specific children, with specific disabilities

and making plans for them helped us expand our knowledge on disabilities and how

each child is unique when it comes to their IEP’s. It taught us that even if two kids have

the same disability that it doesn’t mean that their IEP’s will be the same, one may have

different strengths and weaknesses then the other. Another learning outcome I grew in

was Information literacy. I grew in this just recently when I was required to write a five-

page research paper on ADHD. I gained so much knowledge in writing this paper, and

I was given a specific guideline on what was required to be explain in the paper, along

with what specific outside resources I was allowed to use for information. This really

made me realize what ADHD was, how to handle a child with it in a classroom, and
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what to expect from a child who has this disability. I learned so much about what signs

to look for in a child who might have this disability, and I had to write this all in a formal

paper using correct literacy tools, learning more information about disabilities and using

it in a classroom as well as doing comprehensive research on the disability. Everything I

had to do helped me gain and grow in all the essential learning outcomes and give

me a clearer vision of how to carry on these tools in my classroom and why it is important

to do so. It shows me that all of the work is worth it, and now I know what is needed to

run a successful classroom.