So excited to share with all of you another amazing speaker that I was fortunate enough to see this year. I have followed Paula Kluth for quite awhile and have used and recommended her resources and strategies over and over. It was the practicality of her ideas that got me hooked, but seeing her at the Special Education Conference last month gave me a whole new admiration of her and a whole new inspiration going back to my schools.
She spoke of inclusion in a way that makes so much sense to me and I think will make sense to the teachers at my schools. She said, “Inclusion is not about the space, it’s about the spirit” and she broke this “spirit” into 3 helpful Habits of Mind (which happen to fit into Parkland’s Commitment to Inclusion quite nicely…).
See Inclusion as a Process, not a Place – (find a way or make a way!)
Teach Up – (presume competence and expect more)
Seek Benefits for All – (all students learn about themselves and their learning)
She spoke extensively on “changing the learning state” through strategies such as brain breaks and focused on “building on strengths” to inspire learning. I won’t go through her hundreds of specific suggestions, because many are on her two sites, but I will highlight a couple because they are just too good!
Brain Breaks Jar – Each stick has a different “brain break” idea, colour-coded according to length of time they each take.
Question Jar – Stop 2-3 times during a lesson and have a child pull from the question jar and ask the question. This enhances focus and engagement, while allowing greater opportunities for communication in a “safe” way for students.