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Beyond Special Education
Including ALL diverse learners
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A New Beginning

A New Beginning | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

Welcome to Beyond Special Education! This is a place to share our visions of inclusive education, use our voices to ensure all students belong and combine our efforts to create educational success for All.

 

We will not only address the needs of students with disabilities, but go beyond the world of special education and discover how we can meet the needs of all the diverse learners in our classrooms and communities.

 

I am excited for the conversations we will have, the support we will give one another, and the sharing of specific tools and strategies. I believe we can learn from and with each other!

 

Remember, what we anticipate, we find,

 

Charmaine

www.visionsandvoicestogether.com

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suzsvoboda's comment, August 14, 2011 4:07 PM
I am so happy that I found this site. Wonderful resources for my Tyler and other students. Thank you Charmaine.
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Two Great Classroom Posters on The Six Thinking Hats

Two Great Classroom Posters on The Six Thinking Hats | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

Via Beth Dichter
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

I think IEP meetings could be more productive if the 6 Thinking Hats approach was used.  What do you think?

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, July 17, 6:37 PM

Here is another way to have students think about their thinking. The Six Hats was written by Edward de Bono, and provides one way for students to organize their "thinking and decision making skills."
Each had is a different color and each represents a different way you might approach thinking.

* The white hat is about data and information. Think of it as a neutral position.

* The red hat looks at emotions.

* The yellow hat had a positive point of view.

* The black hat is more cautious.

* The green hat is for creative thinking and new ideas.

* The blue hat is for thinking about thinking (metacognition).

The post includes two additional visuals. Many students might find the process of thinking about what hat they would wear to help them determine the best way to approach specific areas.

Jan MacWatters's curator insight, July 20, 10:50 AM

Interesting to use a different perspective for things.  I hadn't heard of the 6 hats but will be looking fir more info...

Julie Lindsay's curator insight, July 20, 3:47 PM

A fresh take on the Thinking Hats - a great tool for writing blog reflections and other individual as well as collaborative work.

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Exceptional Media for the Education Field

Exceptional Media for the Education Field | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
CASTPublishing.org supports publishing about CAST, Center for Applied Special Technology, Universal Design for Learning, UDL, universal design, differentiated instruction, blended learning, educational technology, education reform, David Rose, Harvard,...
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

A MUST book to add to your personal library: Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice is the first significant new statement about UDL since the 2002. A multimedia presentation of the content can be accessed at no charge online at http://udltheorypractice.cast.org (free login required).

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Connecting the IEP Dots

Connecting the IEP Dots | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Please use my newsletters as a resource of information about special needs, IEPs, disability and more.
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Have you ever been at an IEP meeting and heard professionals rattle off evaluation results by telling the IEP team the student’s Standard Scores, Percentiles, Grade Equivalents, sharing a list of student’s “deficits”, and using disability labels to describe a student? 

Yet sadly, all too often there are few  given on how to tap into a student’s strengths to teach new skills, or help classroom teachers and parents understand the impact of the student’s learning styles and how differentiated instruction can be implemented in order to support the student, or how IEP goals can lead to the family’s vision of the future.

Sometimes the dots don’t get connected at IEP meetings.  Click on the headline above to find out how to connect the dots.

                     – Charmaine

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Top Ten Outcomes for Fourth Grade

Top Ten Outcomes for Fourth Grade | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
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It is important to meet with your child's new teachers and share your priorities for the coming year. Click on the title above to see a sample that one parent wrote, Top Ten Outcomes for Fourth Grade Year. Notice how the parent kept this to only one page - critical, you want to make it short and sweet so teachers aren't overwhelmed. But also note how the parent has referred to the pages of her daughter's IEP so the staff can check the IEP for more information. – Charmaine
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Free Technology for Teachers: 100+ Tips for New Teachers and Good Reminders for Veteran Teachers

Free Technology for Teachers: 100+ Tips for New Teachers and Good Reminders for Veteran Teachers | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Helpful support for teachers beginning their career and great review for veteran teachers!

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Vision Building

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Your vision  is meant to inspire, energize, motivate, and stimulate your creativity so your child will have a rich, fulfilling life!

 

Use this helpful handout to learn more about creating a vision and get a specific tool to help.

 

                            – Charmaine

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The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty

High school dropout turned Harvard faculty talks about how a simple new way of thinking helps nurture individual potential. L. Todd Rose is co-founder and pr...
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Powerful speech that gives all educators a call to action:  Stop teaching to the average, teach to the edges!

 

Thanks to Teaching All Students for sharing this.

 

                                           – Charmaine

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8 Steps To Great Digital Storytelling - Edudemic

8 Steps To Great Digital Storytelling - Edudemic | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

"Stories bring us together, encourage us to understand and empathize, and help us to communicate. Long before paper and books were common and affordable, information passed from generation to generation through this oral tradition of storytelling. Consider Digital Storytelling as the 21st Century version of the age-old art of storytelling with a twist: digital tools now make it possible for anyone to create a story and share it with the world."


Via Beth Dichter
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

My son who happens to have Down syndrome LOVES being a public speaker at education conferences.  I think the digital storytelling would be a great addition to his talks about inclusive education!

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, May 29, 2013 5:51 PM

This post not only provides eight steps to help you create digital stories, it provides resources for every step along the way. 

After a brief look at why digital stories the post provides six ideas of what makes a great digital story. They "are personal, begin with a story/script, are concise, use readily available source materials, include universal story elements and involve collaboration at multiple levels."

It continues by providing a detailed look at each step which include ideas of ways to work with students in each step plus there links to many resources throughout the post.

Digital storytelling is a great tool to use with the Common Core standards, and this post will provide you with great ideas and resources!

silvermanmc's curator insight, May 30, 2013 4:12 PM

Storys are a key part of any instructional design, and in other areas of professional development as well.

Susan Wegmann's curator insight, June 25, 2013 6:03 AM

Classic help for the process of digital storytelling

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Naturally Embed UDL in No Time | MiddleWeb

Naturally Embed UDL in No Time | MiddleWeb | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Framing lessons through the lens of the Universal Design for Learning isn't about more time so much as it is about more strategic thinking, says Elizabeth Stein.
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The Autism Paradox

The Autism Paradox | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

A friend recently shared this with me.  Makes me think we need to think of more ways to capitalize on our kids strengths and when they are older make sure we match a job they are passionate about and also one that will build on their gifts.

Here's to others seeing ALL kids as competent!

 

The Autism Paradox


1. It's easy to recite an entire book but difficult to make up a story.


2. It's easy to line up toys but difficult to stay in line.


3. It makes perfect sense to climb on the sofa but little sense to sit on it.


4. Memorizing the Presidents in order - 10 minutes. Packing a school bag - 10 hours.


5. Family pictures on the wall are boring but that speck of dust next to it, now that's fascinating!


6. Talking about weather patterns - a piece of cake. Talking about my day - impossible.


7. Ability to focus on spinning objects - timeless. Ability to focus on homework - 3 seconds.


8. Being called by name - can't hear it. Some owl hooting in the distance - clear as a bell.


9. How to operate the remote control - zero instruction. How to button up pants - intensive instruction.


10. Navigating social rules - poorly skilled. Navigating from the back seat of the car - highly skilled.

 

 

                                       – Charmaine

 

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Valuing Others

Valuing Others | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

What is it about human nature that we can be quick to criticize and find fault with what others do? It seems to happen in a variety of situations.

 

On the other hand, how often do we show appreciation for what others have done?  Continue reading the article and the complete newsletter.


http://www.visionsandvoicestogether.com/newsletters
                                                                

 

 

                                                                                  – Charmaine


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APPitic - 1,300+ EDUapps

APPitic - 1,300+ EDUapps | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
a directory of apps by education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning. (apps, education, educacion, primaria, preescolar, educativos.

Via Kevin Biles
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The ABC's of Collaboration

The ABC's of Collaboration | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

 

 


Via Beth Dichter
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, July 13, 5:08 PM

Dan Pontrefract has published a book called Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization. In this book he define collaboration as:

The unfettered allowance and encouragement of employees to both contribute and consume knowledge, insight or ideas with any direct relationship via professional or personal networks to achieve an outcome.

In addition to this definition he has created two infographics that look at the ABC's of Collaboration.

One infographic provides a key word for each letter of the alphabet as well as an image (as shown above). The second infographic also includes a definition for each word.

We know that collaboration is not always easy for students. The two versions available would be useful for different grade levels. In the younger grades students might share what they believe these words mean, or you may choose one or two key words to use for specific tasks. The version with definitions might be useful in promoting a dialogue with older students. Do  they agree with the definition? Is there a word that they think might better reflect collaboration that takes place in  a classroom?

Gary Harwell's curator insight, July 13, 9:16 PM

Our students have to collaborate.

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What Went Well and Why

What Went Well and Why | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Do this simple exercise yourself –and find out how IEP teams could use it– just Click on the link. http://www.visionsandvoicestogether.com/newsletters

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A Teacher on Teaching: Arne Duncan Discovers the Obvious!

A Teacher on Teaching: Arne Duncan Discovers the Obvious! | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Only read the article above if you want to seriously think about our education system. When I speak to families and teachers I often say if a student is not learning a concept/skill the teacher needs to rethink their instructional strategy. We also need to remember parents and students share responsibilities in order for students to be successful. I have been lucky to work with families that take their child's education seriously and who are in there day in, day out reteaching concepts at home, checking to see if their homework is done, providing literacy rich home environments and so much more!

 

                              Charmaine

 

 

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Why The Brain Benefits From Reflection In Learning

Why The Brain Benefits From Reflection In Learning | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Why The Brain Benefits From Reflection In Learning
Charmaine Thaner's insight:
Rote learning vs. Reflective learning...I was talking to a middle school history teacher the other day that shared how she has her students take notes in their spiral notebooks. On the left side of the notebook students write class notes, then on the right side they write their "reflections", what did the teacher say that was meaningful to them, how did the class topic relate to something they have experienced, etc. This is a great teaching strategy. Click on this link to read about more good teaching ideas. Parents, you will love to learn this info too!
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Mary Perfitt-Nelson's curator insight, May 16, 9:56 AM

With all the information coming at us from many directions, reflection is the vehicle needed for learning and understanding to happen.

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Visions and Voices Together - Newsletter

Visions and Voices Together - Newsletter | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Please use my newsletters as a resource of information about special needs, IEPs, disability and more.
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Feeling apprehensive about starting a new school year?  You are not alone!  Remember to keep focused on the big picture:

 

Your child/student deserves a full life, his voice matters, and his dreams count!

 

Click on the link to read my August newsletter, Let Dreams Guide You.

http://www.visionsandvoicestogether.com/newsletters

 

                               – Charmaine

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Creating a Positive Climate and Culture: How Inclusive Schools Promote SEL

Creating a Positive Climate and Culture: How Inclusive Schools Promote SEL | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
In a recent blog, I interviewed Dr. Brad Lerman about the Inclusive Schools Climate Initiative (ISCI), which he directs. Here, I share with you examples of some specific ways that several New Jers
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

I usually endorse Edutopia, their resources, and the examples of good practices. Not today though. The disability awareness activities shared in their article, touted as promoting school-wide inclusion do nothing of the sort!

Having students put on a blindfold, use a wheel chair, or tie a hand behind their back in order to "experience" what it is like to have a disability creates a false sense of what life is like with a disability.

These awareness activities do not show others what it is like day in and day out to see the look of pity in others' eyes, to have to overcome environmental and attitudinal barriers, to hear the patronizing remarks, and to experience employment discrimination.

Nor do these activities highlight the commonalities we all share, the extraordinary gifts we each possess, or the skills and talents we bring to our communities.

What can well-meaning educators do instead? Value the diversity in classrooms, speak up so others may come to understand we all benefit when every child actively participates in general education classrooms, encourage ongoing conversations with students who are marginalized so we may realize the work we still have to do.

Edutopia, I have come to expect cutting edge leadership from you. Please report true examples of inclusive education. Thank you!

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Celebrate INTERdependence

Celebrate INTERdependence | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Please use my newsletters as a resource of information about special needs, IEPs, disability and more.
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

We pride ourselves on our independence.  But what do we lose when we dismiss our interconnectedness?  Learn how we must rely on each other to change where we are, to where we want to be.

 

Click on the headline above and read the article and my complete July newsletter.

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The Other 21st Century Skills

The Other 21st Century Skills | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Many have attempted to identify the skills important for a learner today in this era of the 21st century (I know it is an overused phrase).  I have an affinity towards the skills identified by Tony...

Via Beth Dichter
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Let's raise well-rounded children!

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, May 22, 2013 7:57 PM

We hear the words 21st century skills and as educators we know how the Common Core is defining those skills, but what are others saying? This post explores a range of ideas that have been put forth as 21st century skills.
Gerstein begins with a look at the skills identified by Tony Wagner. This overview is followed by a slideshow put out by Gallup called "The Economics of Human Development: The Path to Winning Again in Education." This is follwed by a look at six "skills and attributes (that) would serve the learners (of all ages) in this era of learning." 

* Grit

* Resilience

* Hope and Optimism

* Vision and the Future

* Self-Regulation

* Empathy and Global Stewardship

You will find many great resources in this post.

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Tale of Two Schools

Tale of Two Schools | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Please use my newsletters as a resource of information about special needs, IEPs, disability and more.
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

Why is it that some schools embrace inclusive education and yet other schools continually ask parents to justify why they want their children taught in general education classrooms?

 

Click on the headline above to continue reading the article and my complete June newsletter.

 

Let us know which school your child attends/you teach in.

 

                                                 – Charmaine

 

 

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7 Great Strength-Based Universal Design for Learning Apps for Students with Special Needs |

7 Great Strength-Based Universal Design for Learning Apps for Students with Special Needs | | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it
Charmaine Thaner's insight:

I always have learned a lot from Thomas Armstrong!

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Kathy Lynch's curator insight, March 4, 4:04 PM

ADHD tech. Thx Charmaine

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Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms

Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

Some parents feel their children will be "safer" in a special education classroom, safe from being bullied from other students.

But how are some children treated in special education classrooms? I have worked with several families that have children who cannot come home and tell what happened at school. The parents have found out later about the emotional abuse their children have experienced from the adults in these so called safe special education classrooms.


Would cameras in special education classrooms help? How about having students included in general education classrooms? I think the amount of physical, verbal abuse and neglect would not happen in general education classrooms.

However, I think cameras in general education classrooms can be very helpful for teachers as a professional development tool. Teachers could review the tapes and critique their own instructional strategies and reflect on what went well and what they could change to improve students' learning.  

 

What are your thoughts?                                            

 

 

                                                    – Charmaine

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Shocking! The Real Purpose of Your Life!

Don't you wonder sometimes what we are really helping students know and do - and will that matter? Do we get so carried away with "getting ready" for the next grade, the next level that we lose track of what is really important?

Take 2 minutes to watch this video and then share your thoughts here.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9SyaW_aY3o

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A Taxonomy of Reflection: A Model for Critical Thinking

A Taxonomy of Reflection: A Model for Critical Thinking | Beyond Special Education | Scoop.it

How to create a community of learners. Reflective prompts for students, teacher and principals. Modeled on Bloom's approach to thinking.


Via Kevin Biles
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