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Module 4: Supporting teachers to include all learners in the school curriculum

"The principle of inclusion means that each student is given opportunities to participate in all areas of an inclusive curriculum. Ensuring each student has these learning opportunities requires a differentiated programme within the classroom and beyond … Teachers who differentiate begin by recognising the uniqueness of each student – their interests, expectations, motivations, abilities, resources, skills, culture, home and family, way and rate of learning, and so on."

Ministry of Education, 2012, page 54

The activities in this module support leaders and teachers to explore key concepts about inclusive pedagogy and to build their understanding and use of effective strategies that ensure all learners are engaging and achieving within the New Zealand Curriculum.

Each activity has a particular focus and builds on the previous activity. They are designed to be completed in the order they appear below.

Information.

Essential reading before facilitating this module

Other related resources

Activity 4.1: Effective pedagogy in action

The purpose of this activity is to reflect on what effective pedagogy looks like in the classroom for all students.

Participants reflect on the teacher actions that promote student learning as outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum (pages 34–35) and describe what these look like in their classroom or school. Discussion questions provide prompts to ensure each teacher action is considered in relation to all learners in the class or school.

Resources.

Resources required

Activity table from the Effective Pedagogy for all Students section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum, printed as A3

Task 1: Teacher actions that promote student learning

Task instructions:

  1. In small groups, discuss the teacher actions in the table and what these look like in your classroom. Use the questions in the middle column to support the discussion. Record your ideas in the table to share with another group.
  2. Join together with another small group and share your ideas about each teacher action.
  3. On a new copy of the table, record one main point for each teacher action to share with the whole group.

Task 2: Further discussion

After the groups have shared their key points, facilitate a whole-group discussion using these questions:

  • What questions did this activity raise for you about teaching all learners?
  • What’s the next step you will take to resolve each question?

Activity 4.2: Defining differentiation and adaptation

The purpose of this activity is to deepen understanding of the concepts "differentiation" and "adaptation" and explore what they look like in practice in the classroom.

In the activity, teachers and leaders draw on their prior knowledge about differentiation and adaptation, then extend their understanding by reading the explanation of these concepts in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum and categorising a range of classroom strategies.

Resources.

Resources required

Copies of the Effective Pedagogy for all Students section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum – starting from the heading "Differentiation and adaptation"

PDF icon. Resource sheet 4.2a: Differentiation and adaptation chart (PDF, 40 KB)

(enlarged to A3)

PDF icon. Resource sheet 4.2b: Differentiation and adaptation sort cards (PDF, 44 KB)

(enlarged to A3 and cut out)

Task 1: Defining differentiation and adaptation

Task instructions:

  1. With the person next to you, define "differentiation" and "adaptation" in your own words, and, if possible, think of a couple of examples of each concept. Team up with another pair and compare your definitions.
  2. Now read the section of Effective Pedagogy for All Students that starts with the heading "Differentiation and adaptation" from Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.
  3. Working in your group of four, compare your definition/s with the reading.

Task 2: Follow up discussion

Facilitate a whole-group discussion using these questions:

  • What was affirming?
  • What was new learning?
  • What were the key statements in the reading for you?

Task 3: Differentiation and adaptation sort activity

Task instructions:

  1. Working in small groups, sort the classroom strategy cards onto the differentiation and adaptation chart. Use the headings at the top of the chart and your previous discussions about the reading to help you.
  2. As a group, discuss how you differentiate the programme and adapt the supports in your classroom to ensure that all students can access the learning. Use the examples on the cards you sorted to prompt the discussion.

For each classroom strategy, have a group say how they categorised it. Discuss any differences of opinion and provide further clarification if necessary.

Activity 4.3: What do differentiation and adaptation look like in action?

The purpose of this activity is to identify differentiation and adaptation strategies within a classroom example from Inclusion in Practice and to consider strategies that could be used in practice. This is a follow-up activity from Activity 4.2.

In the activity, teachers apply their prior knowledge to plan appropriate differentiations and adaptations for a student in one of the classroom examples. They extend their knowledge by unpacking the strategies the teacher uses in the classroom example and reflect on how these apply to their own practice.

Resources required

Resources.

Copies of a classroom example from Inclusion in Practice. Use an example that is relevant to the group you are working with, for example:

  • in a primary school setting, try Example 7: Mathematics and Statistics, Number and Measurement, Level 3 – Growth industry
  • in a secondary school setting, try Example 3: English, Writing, Level 6 – Curriculum vitae.

Ensure that you’ve read the example and have identified the differentiations and adaptations it shows.

PDF icon. Resource sheet 4.2a: Differentiation and adaptation chart (PDF, 40 KB)

(enlarged to A3)

Task 1: The classroom example

Using an online or hard copy, explain the structure and layout of the example:

  • Introduction – outlines the task and links to the New Zealand Curriculum
  • Class description – gives a brief profile of specific students identified within the example
  • Teaching as inquiry:
    • describes the background and context for the lesson(s) or unit
    • Focusing inquiry – What was important (and therefore worth spending time on), given where the students were at?
      This describes the teacher’s knowledge of where their students are at.
    • Teaching inquiry – What teaching strategies (evidence-based) helped the students learn?
      This describes the differentiations and adaptations the teacher used.
    • Learning inquiry – What happened as a result of the teaching, and what were the implications for future teaching?
      This captures student, teacher, and whānau voices.

Provide copies of the example and have everyone read about the task and the class description. (It’s important that they don’t read the Teaching as Inquiry section yet.)

Task 2: Planning adaptions and differentiations

Task instructions:

  1. Working in a small group, select one of the students in the class description and brainstorm the possible differentiations and adaptations that the teacher could use to support this learner to access the task and participate and learn alongside their peers.
  2. Record your ideas on the differentiation and adaptation resource sheet.
  3. Then read the rest of the example and identify the strategies the teacher used. Discuss how these compare to those you brainstormed in your group.

Task 3: Follow-up discussion

Facilitate a group discussion using the following questions:

  • What strategies did you brainstorm that you noticed in the classroom example?
  • What strategies did you brainstorm that you didn’t notice in the example?
  • Were there any strategies in the example that were new to you?
  • What strategies from the example will you consider using to ensure all your learners are participating, learning, and achieving?

Activity 4.4: Differentiating the classroom programme

The purpose of this activity is to explore the approaches to differentiating the classroom programme outlined in the Effective Pedagogy for all Students section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.

In the activity, participants read about and discuss the approaches. They then identify them in Effective Pedagogy for all Students and two classroom examples and consider how they might apply them in their own context.

Resources.

Resources required

Copies of the Effective Pedagogy for all Students section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum – starting from the heading "Differentiation and adaptation".

Copies of the following classroom examples from Inclusion in Practice:

  • Example 4: English, Speaking, Level 8 – Oral presentation
  • Example 6: Mathematics and Statistics, Number, Levels 2–3 – Fraction problems

Task 1: Exploring approaches to differentiation

Provide hard copies or share the links to resources for this activity from Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum.

Ask everyone to read the section of Effective Pedagogy for all Students that starts with the heading "Differentiating the classroom programme" and includes Figure 5 (Giangreco’s "diamond" diagram).

Facilitate a group discussion about the three types of differentiation shown in the diagram:

  • multi-level curriculum: same
  • multi-level curriculum: different
  • curriculum overlapping.

Refer to the scenarios in the reading to help clarify any confusion between these three approaches.

Task 2: Multilevel curriculum and curriculum overlapping in practice

Task instructions:

  1. Working in a small group, read the two classroom examples. As you read, identify how the teacher has differentiated the classroom programme using:
    • multi-level curriculum: same
    • multi-level curriculum: different
    • curriculum overlapping.
  2. Discuss examples from your own experience of using these approaches to differentiate the classroom programme.
  3. Think about your own classes and a concept, activity, lesson, or unit you are planning to teach. Discuss with your colleagues how you could use multi-level curriculum or curriculum overlapping to ensure all students are present, participating, and learning.

Bring everyone back together and ask each small group to share their discussion with the whole group.

Activity 4.5: Networks of support

The purpose of this activity is to reflect on the networks of support that exist in the school community, roles and responsibilities within these, and how to work effectively with whānau of students with additional learning needs.

In the activity, teachers and leaders draw on their own experience of teamwork when supporting students with additional learning needs and deepen their understanding by reading about networks of support in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.

Resources.

Resources required

  • Copies of the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum

PDF icon. Resource sheet 4.5: Our networks of support (PDF, 151 KB)

Task 1: Mapping our network

Ask everyone to work in small groups. Ideally these should include colleagues from the same year, syndicate, or department, as the activity requires the group to think about a student everyone in the group knows.

Task instructions:

  1. Think of a student with additional learning needs in your class, syndicate, or year level. Ideally, choose a student who at least one person in the group knows well.
  2. Use the blank "Our networks of support" resource sheet and populate it with the people and agencies that support this student, their whānau, and the classroom teacher. Put the names of the student, their whānau, and the classroom teacher in the three circles at the centre. In the next circle, put all the people from within the school who support and connect with those at the centre of the diagram. In the outer circle, put the people and agencies that come into the school to provide support.
  3. Now read the section of Working Together that starts with the heading "Networks of support" and includes Figure 3 (a version of the diagram you just worked on).
  4. After looking at the diagram and reading the related text, go back to your group’s diagram and see if there are any changes you’d like to make.

Give the groups the option to complete one of the follow-up activities below:

Task 2a: Team member roles and responsibilities

Task instructions:

  1. In your groups, select a team member from the inner circle, the middle circle, and the outer circle and brainstorm their roles and responsibilities in the network of support. Record your ideas.
  2. Now read the "Working in a team", "Shared planning", and "Day to day collaboration" parts of the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.
  3. After reading these parts, go back to your group’s ideas about roles and responsibilities to see if there is anything you’d like to add or change.
  4. Make note of any questions that were raised in your small group discussion that were challenging to answer or resolve.

Task 2b: Perspectives of whānau

Task instructions:

  1. Read the "Perspectives of whānau" part of the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.
  2. In your groups, look at the table that summarises the ERO report findings about what whānau wanted from schools and how schools could best work with them to meet the needs of their children. Discuss the positive ways of working that parents identified and reflect on your own practice in light of these.
  3. Record the key ideas from your discussion, making note of things your school does well and any next steps for improvement.
  4. Note any questions that were raised in your small group discussion that were challenging to answer or resolve.

Bring everyone back together and ask each small group to share their ideas with the whole group. Ask each group to share any unresolved questions and discuss these with the group as well.

Finally, facilitate a whole-group discussion using these questions:

  • What was affirming?
  • What was new learning?
  • What were the key ideas in the reading for you?

Activity 4.6: When we work together

The purpose of this activity is to reflect on the key messages from the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum and relate these to everyday practice.

In the activity, teachers reflect on teamwork when supporting students with additional learning needs, acknowledge their effective practice, and plan for building on this in the future.

Resources.

Resources required

Copies of the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum

Task: Keep, start, do differently

Task instructions:

  1. Working in small groups, review the key messages in the "When we work together …" table at the end of the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum. Take four statements that are pertinent to inclusive practice in your school and discuss your practice in relation to each one.
  2. Record the statements you have chosen on a flipchart or in a Google Doc and, for each statement, record your groups ideas about:
    • what we should keep doing
    • what we should start doing
    • what we should do differently.
  3. Make note of any questions that were raised in your small-group discussion that were challenging to answer or resolve.

Bring everyone back together and ask each small group to share their ideas with the whole group. Ask each group to share any unresolved questions and discuss these with the group as well.

Published on: 12 May 2015


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