It’s possible for students to be sharing learning experiences in inclusive classrooms. Recently, Sparta High School students in an 11th grade college prep English class worked with Life Skills students on writing skills.
Amber Mauriello’s 24 English students teamed up with seven of Courtney Hyland’s students. They began with a lesson writing on drawing their hair. They then wrote about birthdays, created a poem with their names and ended the activity writing a letter to Santa.
The activity happened just before winter break, and concluded with a visit from Santa himself.
Three teachers cooperated to make the inclusion experience possible. Hyland has collaborated with teacher Renee Dalia in a previous 11th grade inclusion experience.
Dalia is working toward a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities. She finds that combining students with and without disabilities in one classroom enables them to share the learning experience. She finds that modifications have to be made for accessibility of the students with disabilities, but “that does not mean the other students are not challenged in the process.”
Teaching has major benefits, as students must reach “a higher level of understanding. The benefits of this process include creating friendships, developing social skills, peers acting as role models, higher staff collaboration and a respect for all people.”