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msfas 09-29-2013 03:32 PM

Teaching Art: Inclusion | Middle School
Hi! I'm in desperate need of some help with a specific class. I teach Middle School Art and I have a 6th grade class. I have 13 "regular ed" students, and 5 students with multiple disabilities, mostly ASD. I have 55-minute blocks, and typically try to break the class up into 3 20-minute activites, for differentiation and for attention-spans. However, my 5 MD students are cognitively at about a kindergarten level, and physically not a lot higher. They lack fine motor skills, auditory processing, and 2 are non-verbal. There are also behavioral issues when I am not 100% supervising these 5 students.

My question is: HOW do I teach 13 students in art-making while occupying, for lack of a better word, a separate group of 5 that need hand-over-hand/direct, step-by-step instruction and 5 activities for every one class period? In the course of 30 classes, that's a lot of lesson planning!

I feel as though I am failing all of my students when I spend a class period devoted to one group or another, but the level difference makes it virtually impossible to treat the class as one group.

I'm not a special ed teacher, I've worked with students with a variety of special needs, and I know that art can be a great equalizer in the academic world... but this is beyond my skill set.

I appreciate any and all suggestions and help that you can provide!!

twin2 10-07-2013 05:52 PM

You can do it
Your first goal with spec ed, in my opinion is to keep them safe. Second, just getting some spec ed kids to be in a gen ed class is an accomplishment.

You might modify the assignment for the spec ed students. You may have special packets already made up for the spec ed students. For example, if I know a student cannot cut using scissors, or will take too much time, I might have their pieces pre-cut, maybe even pre-glued. So look at your project. If it has 10 steps, your spec ed students might do 4 or 5 steps.

Have you tried pairing the spec ed kids with gen ed groups? From my experience I think the group work might work to some degree. Usually a table group of children will do their own thing, but then they will lend a hand to the special ed kids. Also, keep in mind that the spec ed kids don't have to come up with the same outcome in their projects. Their abilities are limited, so its more about the experience than the finished product.

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