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Instruction for
Diverse Learners

In the early stages of inclusive education, many educators and parents focused on the social opportunities for students with disabilities and other struggling students that were increased by sharing the same classrooms with general education peers. Within just a few years, socialization, as it was referred to, was not the only recognized benefit that was sought. Academic progress became an equally valued outcome of inclusive practices.

Inclusive practices are an integral characteristic of schools that achieve strong measures of academic success. Why? Because in inclusive schools, the following characteristics are in place:

  1. Students are educated whenever appropriate in the general education classroom with teachers skilled in the content taught.
  2. Access and opportunities to progress in the general education curriculum is greatly facilitated through inclusive practices.
  3. High expectations for all students are the norm.
  4. Instruction is differentiated to engage students on the basis of the skill sets, interests, and learning styles.
  5. Teachers use flexible grouping that includes varied small group instruction, large group, and paired instruction.
  6. Students are actively engaged in instruction and in their own learning.
  7. Instructional accommodations and scaffolding are used to increase access to learning and academic success.

This resource page features a variety of instructional strategies that are effective for diverse learners. In addition, we bring you a special section that introduces strategies, software, and hardware that increase access, participation, and academic success for all learners.

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A Guide for Building Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

The Inclusive Schools Network is committed to our mission to encourage and empower parents, schools, and the community to design and implement effective inclusive schools. Inclusion is an action, and we support a proactive culture that models kindness and acceptance. The importance of working together to create safe, supportive learning environments cannot be overemphasized! We… Read more

Specialized Support

The Far End of the Continuum Author: Frances Stetson, Ph.D. One of the primary goals of education is to provide equitable, quality learning opportunities that enable students to achieve post-school success. This goal is the same for all students, including students with disabilities.  Until the past decade, students that needed extra support and were eligible… Read more

Accommodations in the Classroom: A Guide to Making Them Real

Savvy and successful school principals certainly understand the value of keeping it real.  In a recent training, Stetson and Associates offered a wide array of examples and practical applications.  Each recommendation was designed to help teachers interpret how vital accommodations can realistically happen based on the Individual Education Programs (IEPs) of their students. For many… Read more

What Does an Inclusive Classroom Look Like?

If you are reading this blog you probably are searching for information to make sure that your child or someone very special to you is receiving the best educational services possible to meet their individual needs, so thank you for being an advocate for effective inclusive practice. What is inclusion, and what does inclusion look… Read more

The Ultimate Student App Guide

With the advancements in technology, the learning and educational sector has been opened up to more resource options than ever before. Students now have access to such a huge range of options to assist them. These include, but are not limited to; e-books, audio-books, pod-casts, online lectures, real-time tutorials, forums and numerous assistive technology gadgets… Read more

Differentiated Instruction Lesson Planning Resources

As educators, we understand that every student is unique, with diverse learning styles, abilities, and interests. Traditional one-size-fits-all teaching methods may not always be effective in meeting the individual needs of all students. This is where differentiated instruction comes into play—a powerful approach that tailors the learning experience to accommodate the diverse needs of learners… Read more

Differentiating with Web 2.0 Applications

Article: Differentiate Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0 Tools Links: Technology Tools for Differentiation… Read more

Take a Sensory Motor Break

Here is a great handout with 10 Minute Sensory Motor Strategies from Fun and Function.  This handout is perfect for children ages 3 to teenagers. It has several ten minute strategies that focus on how to refocus tired, hyper or restless students without leaving the classroom. Take a Sensory-Motor Break Handout… Read more

Visual Learning Methodologies

Dave Edyburn, Ph.D., Department of Exceptional Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, emphasizes the importance of access: “When a student cannot access curriculum learning materials, it follows that he will not be able to engage in learning nor meet the intended learning outcomes”. One form of access that Edyburn highlighted is cognitive access, which must be considered… Read more

Independent Study Projects

Differentiating Instruction for students with varying abilities within a classroom can be challenging. This is especially true in middle and high school classrooms. Assigning independent study projects related to the course content can be an effective and fun strategy to promote mastery of content while allowing students to showcase their talents. Here are some tips… Read more