Education is one of the top concerns of millions in the country for all children of all ages and any complications or barriers they may have. At one point children were not only divided by age and level of knowledge but also by their disabilities. Teachers who taught special education to children with disabilities had to be certified to be allocated to teaching children with all types of disabilities. With each passing year, as the number of children being educated increases, teachers who may have never had the pleasure of teaching children with disabilities are now being tasked with educating them and understand how to incorporate lesson plans that is successful not only for themselves but as well as their regular students and those with disabilities (Ogletree, Billy T. 2000). Physical disabilities are typically the easiest disability that are visible to others and can be noticed immediately (Landers & Courtade & Ryndak 2012). During the practicum hours and interaction with students of the summer program at Kyrene de la Esperanza Kids Klub, the author was able observe how the children with physical disabilities were able to interact with other children and not allow their disability to impact their performance as much as possible. Considering the observation was completed during summer vacation there wasn’t much curricular or academic lessons taught on a daily basis but the summer camp incorporated some teaching ideas as much as they possibly could to allow the students to still learn while having fun. One of the activities that were played was a physical/math exercise called Place Value Math which the children loved. To play the game there were cones labeled with numbers 0-9. The children were then paired up and one would decide to be the “tens” and the other child would be the “ones”. The object was to have the teacher yell out math problems and together the students would come up with the answers and divide up to go to the cone that identified their “tens” numbers or “ones” number. For example, the teacher would yell out “7+8” since the answer is 15 the child who was designated to the “tens” would run over to the cone marked “1” while the other student who was designated as the “ones” would run over to the cone marked “5”. The author was able to observe the children participating in Place Value Math exercise during two separate observations days and noticed that not all children were up to speed or on the same level as other children. The game was played with children between the second and fifth grade, so the math skills of some students weren’t as advanced as others but not to any fault of their own or disabilities. The author figured that it would be beneficial to either divide the game between grade levels and keep the math questions consistent for all of the children’s level, or only include math questions of the youngest child so they wouldn’t become discouraged and quit. Another accommodation that was noticed by the author was that some children couldn’t hear as well as others and needed the teacher to shout the math problem slightly louder or even repeat the problem several times before allowing the children to run to the designated comes. Finally the last accommodation was for the children who were physically disabled, one student had a disability with his leg (one leg was visibly shorter than the other leg and he had gone through several surgeries as a child) that didn’t allow him to move as fluently as the other children and another student only had the use of one of her arms (one had been amputated when she was four years old from a car accident). The accommodation to the children with physical disabilities was to eliminate any competition for racing to the cones, simply getting the answer correct as a team would result in points given out. After making the accommodations the teachers were able to see an immediate change and increase of students participating because they felt like they actually had a chance of understanding the game rules and being successful while playing. Going forward the teachers and the author both agreed that the changes were extremely successful and the activity should be continued with the new changes because all students of all ages could be involved and join in on the fun. The most interesting aspect of the observation and making changes to the activity was that they author realized that over time all lesson plans and activities would need to be modified at some point to keep up with the all the different students and their levels of knowledge. Teachers of all subjects and specialties including special education teachers should always be looking for ways to prefect their lesson plans and activities once they see a need to make changes so that each student walks away feeling as if they have a clearer understanding of material and their knowledge increases to the level it needs to. Being able to interact with students that have disabilities provides a different level of understanding on how to deliver lesson plans regardless if they are math related, writing related or physical education related. Teachers want to ensure that their lesson plans are able to adequately instruct each of their students throughout their entire career of being a teacher, and when that doesn’t happen teachers definitely need to make immediate changes. Teachers should try to implement lesson plans that are prepared to teach any student they may encounter through several semesters with very little, to no modifications required on their behalf. Having lesson plans that could be taught to children with or without disabilities and be successful is the goal of millions of teachers and teachers of the future.
Dorries, Bruce & Haller, Beth (2001). The News of Inclusive Education: A Narrative Analysis. Disability and Society, Vol. 16 (Issue 6), pg 871-89,1 21 pages. Retrieved on August 3, 2012 from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=13de37cc-368c-4eff-a438-a4cfb85bfdb6%40sessionmgr13&vid=4&hid=102 Ogletree, Billy T. (2000). Educating Children with Multiple Disabilities. Education & Treatment of Children Vol. 23 Issue 1, pg. 96-98 2 pages. Retrieved on August 3, 2012 from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=13de37cc-368c-4eff-a438-a4cfb85bfdb6%40sessionmgr13&vid=4&hid=22 Harp, Beverly & Harrison, Elizabeth & Jones, Melissa & Kleinert, Harold & Sheppard-Jones, Kathleen (2012). Students with Intellectual Disabilities going to College? Absolutely! Teaching Exceptional Children Vol. 44 Issue 5, p26-35 10 pages. Retrieved on July 12, 2012 from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=59cdfe93-7131-436b-835d-3d9b4cdf3479%40sessionmgr110&vid=4&hid=101 Landers, Eric & Courtade, Ginevra & Ryndak, Diane (2012). Including Students With Severe Disabilities in School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Perceptions of State Coordinators, Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities Vol. 37 Issue 1 p1-8 8 pages. Retrieved on July 20, 2012 from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=451e3ffd-0f17-4955-b45a-be4e2c4226e2%40sessionmgr15&vid=8&hid=3