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New2Sped's Message:

Hello All,

I stumbled upon ProTeacher while Googling and thought this may be a safe place to ask questions and seek out some suggestions. I am a first year Special Education teacher, with a self-contained classroom, and my students are classified as severe/profound. I am having some difficulty with my kiddos being included in electives (music, art, p.e., etc.) with their peers. Can anyone share their experiences with this?

I currently have my total of 7 students split (group of 3 and group of 4) between my 2 paraprofessionals to attend these elective classes. Some challenges that have come up are:

1. Only 1 para means 1 set of hands. If a single student is requiring the full attention of the para, the other 2-3 students are left to experience the elective class without assistance during that time.

2. The elective teachers seem frustrated about adapting their activities and management style to accommodate my students.

3. My students are completely ignored, at times, or are unable to participate in activities because there is no alternative prepared.

4. All of the class must attend electives at the same time in order for me to have a planning period, as I do not have a designated time for one.

Thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions offered!

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Lakeside 08-17-2019 03:40 AM

In my district, the kids who attend specials with their peers are actually assigned to a certain homeroom, so the other kids in that class get to know them, and see them each time. I'm sure we're lucky that some of it is just the local culture, but they've been taught how to make their classmates with challenges feel welcome, and most are eager to do so. Could your gen ed colleagues recommend "buddies" in their classes who might make an effort to include your students?

I would also ask for a meeting with the specials teachers, and find out what their expectations are. Maybe they're not sure what they're supposed to be doing? If they already have to turn lesson plans in to admin, find out if they'd be willing to cc you a copy. - Then you can e-mail back a quick suggestion of how they could modify it for your students (or occasionally send something appropriate but related for the para to do with them if the specials curriculum would be really out of reach that day).

momteachsis 08-16-2019 04:51 PM

You may need to see how things are done in your district. In mine, it was the Special Ed staff's responsibility to work with the Specials staff to help modify electives. The Specials teachers are responsible for IEP accommodations, and the SPED teacher, and the paras under her guidance, are responsible for modifications.
Also check the IEP schedule of services to see who is responsible for grades. For some of our more severe students the Sped teacher gives grades, some students get joint grades, and some get grades from the Specials teacher only.

New2Sped 08-13-2019 04:18 PM

Hello All,

I stumbled upon ProTeacher while Googling and thought this may be a safe place to ask questions and seek out some suggestions. I am a first year Special Education teacher, with a self-contained classroom, and my students are classified as severe/profound. I am having some difficulty with my kiddos being included in electives (music, art, p.e., etc.) with their peers. Can anyone share their experiences with this?

I currently have my total of 7 students split (group of 3 and group of 4) between my 2 paraprofessionals to attend these elective classes. Some challenges that have come up are:

1. Only 1 para means 1 set of hands. If a single student is requiring the full attention of the para, the other 2-3 students are left to experience the elective class without assistance during that time.

2. The elective teachers seem frustrated about adapting their activities and management style to accommodate my students.

3. My students are completely ignored, at times, or are unable to participate in activities because there is no alternative prepared.

4. All of the class must attend electives at the same time in order for me to have a planning period, as I do not have a designated time for one.

Thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions offered!




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