Influence the System: Classroom Celebration Ideas

Take your knowledge and skills to the next level – change within the system! By changing the policies, procedures, and culture of our schools, it is more likely that positive advances in inclusive education will become an integral part of the community framework. Consider the following classroom celebrations!

  • Develop a list of ways that your classroom can be more inclusive. Set goals throughout the year towards realizing your ideal classroom.
  • Organize the classroom to accommodate diverse learners. Consider lighting, placement of furniture, proximity of workspace to distractions, and availability of a broad range of materials and manipulatives (e.g., Braille books and books on tape).
  • Engage your classroom faculty (teachers, parent helpers, assistants, related service providers, etc.) in a monthly gathering to discuss progress and to set monthly goals for becoming a more inclusive environment. Make it more fun by sharing responsibility for coffee and treats.
  • Pilot a co-teaching model in one or more classrooms, pairing a general educator and a special educator.
  • Provide accommodations for all children in the class, not only those with disabilities. For example, during pre-school circle time, make adaptive chairs and positioning equipment available to all of the students whether they require the adaptation or not.
  • Instead of creating a unit or lesson plan for a new subject area, ask your students how they would like to learn a particular topic. Have them work in groups to create a plan for learning and practicing the new content.
  • Create a “Grab and Go” box that contains after-school ideas that encourage learning, volunteerism, and goodwill projects. Each day upon dismissal, the children have an opportunity to pick a surprise suggestion out of the box. Set up a reward system (pencils, posters, and stickers promoting the Week are a great idea!) for students who successfully complete their tasks.
  • Incorporate a lesson that highlights the work that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is doing toward promoting inclusive education around the globe. Find more information at
  • Label items in the classroom with pictures, object cues, Spanish words, Braille, or any other symbol system that will support the students in the classroom.
  • Differentiate instruction to target the learning styles of the children in your class. Identify learner outcomes on various levels so that all children can be successful.
  • Develop a new lesson plan format to highlight the strategies you will use to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • Embed lessons on diversity and disability into already established units and lesson plans.

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