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40 Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom, Grades K–5

40 Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom, Grades K–5

Foreword by Toby J. Karten

January 2011 | 176 pages | Corwin
 "An excellent tool to help teachers help students, this book would be particularly useful within a professional learning community or in a mentoring setting."
—Jim Hoogheem, Retired Principal
Fernbrook Elementary School, Maple Grove, MN

"This book got me excited to teach in an inclusive setting! The tips and directions will work with every child and will ensure that ALL students can learn in the same environment."
—Rachel Aherns, Instructional Strategist I
Westridge Elementary School, West Des Moines, IA

Engage all learners with research-based strategies from acclaimed educators

Research indicates that students of all ages and demographics benefit from active learning strategies. The challenge is translating what we know into what we do. Award-winning educators Linda Schwartz Green and Diane Casale-Giannola build that bridge with more than 40 easy-to-implement strategies for today's inclusive classroom. This practical guide includes:

  • Field-tested practices that are easily adaptable to various grade levels and subjects
  • Vignettes that demonstrate how to apply today's brain-compatible strategies in the classroom
  • Tools for differentiating instruction to serve ALL students, including high-ability students, those with ADHD or learning disabilities, and English learners

Grounded in foundational research and educational literature, these strategies include directions for use, sample applications across content areas, and how-to's for groups and individuals. Teachers and administrators will find this comprehensive guidebook an indispensable at-your- fingertips resource for enhancing student engagement, furthering professional development, and increasing positive learning outcomes.

About the Authors
1. Engaging Students in the Inclusive Classroom: Research and Theoretical Underpinning
The Blueberry Story: The Teacher Gives the Businessman a Lesson

Inclusion: Definition and Research

Students in the Inclusive Classroom: Who Are We Teaching?

Helping Teachers Meet the Inclusion Challenge

What Is Active Learning?

Brain-Based Learning

Information Processing

Connections to Differentiated Instruction

Supporting State Standards and Assessments

Motivating Learners With Active Learning Strategies

Access Is Not Enough: The Critical Need to Address Diverse Student Populations

The Beginning

2. Selecting and Implementing Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom

Classifications and Characteristics

Other Diverse Populations

Assessing Students and Identifying Learning Characteristics

Using Strategies: Before, During, and After

How to Choose a Strategy to Meet Individual Student Needs

Learner Characteristics Described

How to Choose a Strategy to Meet Individual Teacher Needs

Learning Communities

And Now, the Next Step on Our Journey

3. Grouping for Instruction: Who Goes Where With Whom to Do What?

How Do I Manage Everyone?

Whole Group Instruction

Small Group Instruction

Different Ways to Form Groups

Tips for Choosing and Using Instructional Groups in the Inclusive Classroom

And Now (Drum Roll, Please) . . . the Strategies

4. Active Learning Strategies

1. Acrostic Topics (Using a concept name to create acrostic poems)

2. Baggie Stories (Students produce a visual story of specific content)

3. Ball Toss (The game of catch facilitates Q & A)

4. Barometer (Students take a stand on controversial issues by voting with their feet)

5. Chain Reaction (A variation of the old word game Telephone using academic concepts or phrases)

6. Classification Capers (Students develop criteria to sort and classify objects, pictures, or word cards)

7. Classroom Box Bingo (Completing a Bingo grid by walking around the class to get the information)

8. Exit Cards (End of lesson questions or comments to identify student progress or process)

9. Fishbowl (One group observes another in role play and shares feedback)

10. Four Corners (Students respond to questions by choosing one of four choices in each classroom corner)

11. Howdy Partner! (Students find a partner with the same topic by sharing descriptors)

12. If I Were . . . (A student completes a sentance stem ased on a given topic, and another student makes a related comment)

13. Information Rings (Constructing connected flash cards of data)

14. Job Wanted Poster (Students construc a job wanted advertisement using their knowledge of a particular character or historical figure)

15. Line Up! (Students line up in order based on sequential content-particularly facts that students need to know automaticity)

16. Listening Teams (Each group is given one question or issue to report on after a lecture or other direct instruction)

17. Outline Plus (A detalied outline with strategic blank spaces to support video instruction)

18. Paper Pass (Sharing and commenting on peer perspectives)

19. People Movers (Students move around the room to create visual representations of a concept)

20. Play Dough Construction (Using play dough to create concept representations)

21. Puzzle Pieces (Students walk around the class with Q & A cards to find matches)

22. Quick Questions (Students are given answers and have to come up with the questions)

23. Rainbow Ball (A paper ball that students toss and catch, with a question on each layer that students answer)

24. Round Robin (Students participate in group rotations responding to a topic or question)

25. Sentence Starter Poster Session (Using sentence starters to create posters that summarize key points of a given topic)

26. Snowball Fight (Students create questions on paper balls and throw them to each other for answers)

27. The Spider Web (Class stands in a circle using a ball of yarn to create a spiderwebe while responding to a statement or question)

28. Think, Pair, Share (Student pairs share information, reflect, and comment)

29. Timeline (Student groups research sequential content and create a visual timeline)

30. Two Truths and a Lie (with variations) (Students state three facts about a topic and peers identify which one is not true)

31. Venn Hoops (Constructing Venn diagrams with hula hoops)

32. Walking in Their Shoes (Students consider a given situation from the point of view of a character, animal, or historical figure)

33. What's in the Bag? (Students collect objects to share information about a common theme)

34. What Up? (Using signs and signals for each student to respond to a query)

35. What Would It Say? (Students match phrases that inanimate objects might have said if these objects could talk)

36. Who Am I? What Am I? (Students provide clues to concepts and peers guess what they are)

37. 52 Things to Do (The number on a playing card indicates how much information students schare on a topic)

Participation Prompts

38. Conversation Cues: Talking Tickets and Talking Circles

39. Conversation Cards

40. The Whip

5. The Journey Continues

"This book simply got me excited to teach again in an inclusive setting! It provides the tools and directions to ensure ALL students can learn in the same environment. The ideas and strategies presented in this book will work for every child and will ensure all children feel like they are a part of a whole classroom of learners!"

Rachel Aherns, Instructional Strategist I
Westridge Elementary, West Des Moines, IA

"This book is an excellent tool to help teachers help students. It would be particularly useful within a professional learning community or in a mentoring setting."

Jim Hoogheem, Retired Principal
Fernbrook Elementary School, Maple Grove, MN

Practical, hands on, useful to my students as they prepare for their final practicum. Gives a solid rationale for the learning styles and needs that the strategies support or address.

Ms Elisabeth Kroeker
Faculty of Education, Malaspina Univ College
April 20, 2012

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ISBN: 9781412981705

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