October 01, 2020

Educators Voice XIII - Students with Disabilities

Source: Research and Educational Services
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Educator's Voice

In this Issue:

Authors present a range of practices dedicated to students with disabilities and designed to promote access and equity in the classroom.

You will read about the intentional design of inclusive classrooms utilizing collaborative teams, and how to develop the supports needed to execute them effectively across school communities; how to navigate instructional accommodations in the Individualized Education Program with a focus on guided note-taking in the high school math curriculum; and cutting edge research that examines how culturally responsive teaching can help students with autism spectrum disorder to gain in equity-based, social-emotional learning.

The ideas posed herein are meant to inspire, demonstrate and describe these practices in sufficient detail so that others may discover how to adapt them to classrooms across the state.

Dear Colleagues,

Students with disabilities, like all children, present a wide range of academic and social strengths and challenges and are entitled to an educational experience that will best serve their individual needs. In addition, these students are to be afforded the same educational access and equity to programs and services as their typical peers. Yet there is no single approach or formula for what works best. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all of us to understand the unique qualities within each child in order to help them to unlock their full and complete potential. With thoughtful planning, professional learning, and ample resources, educators develop a personalized approach that best meets the needs of their students.

In this volume we present a range of practices focused on access and equity in the school community, designed specifically for students with disabilities. Each contributing author has developed a curricular approach building from a research base while responding to the students in their charge and making these practices their own. We hope you will be inspired to do the same.

In Solidarity,

Jolene T. DiBrango
Executive Vice President

Supporting Inclusive Classrooms with Teacher Partnerships

By Elizabeth Daley - Queensbury Faculty Association

Teaching partnerships are powerful tools in addressing the needs of academically and socially diverse classrooms. Inclusive classrooms are opportunities for all students to learn and practice the skills they need to meet the demands of the workplace.

Elizabeth Daley supports students and families as a special education teacher at Queensbury High School, where she focuses on pedagogy designed to give students the opportunity to learn and practice independence in skills and decision-making. A National Board Certified Teacher and Teacher Leadership Coach, Daley works to create meaningful parent engagement and build systems to support collaboration between stakeholders. Daley has written curriculum for New York State Teacher Centers for certificate extension pathways and collaborates with her colleagues to design CTLE programs that support evidence-based practices in special education, teaching partnerships, Next Generation Learning Standards and fundamentals of mental health and wellness.

The Benefits of Guided Note-Taking in the High School Classroom

By Rebecca Greenfeld

Educators are finding themselves working with identified students in content area classrooms and having to navigate the instructional accommodations of the IEP. Guided notes can offer a way to involve the identified learner, help them focus on what is important, remove negative stigma for accommodations, and allow the identified learners to practice their note-taking skills.

Rebecca Greenfeld earned her doctor of education in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on special education. She has been teaching mathematics at Brewster High School in New York since 1993. Some of her proudest moments include developing new courses and training in new courses, all for the benefit of her students. In 2016, Greenfeld began training as a Project Lead the Way Engineering Instructor. She is now certified to teach Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering Design, and Aerospace Engineering. Additionally, Greenfeld has been teaching online graduate level education courses through NYSUT since 2007. Nothing inspires her more than a cohort of professionals coming together and learning from each other. The goal is a common one — be the best for our students.

Improving Social and Emotional Skills through Gameplay

By Celestial Wills-Jackson

The mix of culture and social and emotional learning (SEL) is an important one. Today, school settings embrace both learners and educators from a diverse range of cultures, languages, and behavioral norms. Given this, researchers are exploring how cultural responsiveness, educational equity, and transformative SEL can influence how students develop SEL competencies.

Celestial Wills-Jackson, Ph.D., taught as a special educator for more than 15 years. Her research is focused on social skills deficits of children diagnosed with emotional behavioral disorders (EBD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, Wills-Jackson is an assistant professor and site coordinator in Early Childhood and Childhood Education for the School of Education at Lehman College-City University of New York. As coordinator, she is focused on strengthening teacher performance and improving the teacher preparation program utilizing teacher performance data for program improvement to foster clinically rich, effective student teaching. Additionally, Wills-Jackson is a licensed behavior technician working with families and children with autism.

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