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Cultivating Inclusion Through Collaboration

Cultivating Collaboration
Publish date:
Lesson plan
Primary Level:
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Primary Needs Addressed:
Collaboration (professional)
Target Audience:
General Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher
Gifted/Talented Teacher
Early Childhood Special Educator
Early Interventionist
Related Services Provider
Instructional Coach
Teacher Candidate
Notable Features:
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This teaching toolkit is meant to help SPED and content teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, students and their families, and more, to reflect, explore and put into action the ideas of collaboration through inclusion and co-teaching to support equity in education for all students. Training for teachers varies widely, as do resources, support, time, etc.. The idea behind this toolkit was to engage all teachers, including those operating in fear of change, in the power of collaboration. We want teachers who feel like they have no choice but to go along with a system, known to support and advance students within "the middle", the chance to work on these concepts using this toolkit, in an innovative manner for practical use at their school sites.

When using the live link, on the right hand side are 5 tabs, representing each section of the Toolkit. Tab 1 is blue with a red apple on it, which covers the introduction to the Toolkit; Tab 2 is tan, displaying a trowel and seedling, linking users to the Reflective Checklist; Tab 3 is yellow, and shows a watering can with a seedling, taking users to a Interactive Map and its corresponding Thought Bubbles with resources to explore; Tab 4 is multicolored and shows a tree weathering the 4 seasons, linking users to communication scripts and tips to help begin, or support, conversations within the school community and beyond. The final tab is purple, taking users to the Toolkit's conclusion and the two creators' contact information.

This toolkit has 3 distinct parts: Tool 1 is a reflective checklist with 6 parts; the Who, What, Why, Where, When & How. This detailed checklist will help learners dig deep within themselves, to prepare for necessary, and sometimes difficult, changes to best serve the needs of all students at their school site.

Tool 2 is an interactive Map that leads to different Thought Bubbles, filled with various, free resources on the Thought Bubble Topic. Thought Bubbles topics include: Inclusion, Co-Teaching, Extracurricular Inclusion, UDL & More, MTSS, Behavior & Self- Management Supports, Collaboration, History & Law, and Community. Grow new knowledge with these Thought Bubbles!

Tool 3 offers teachers (and more!) a chance to apply reflection gained from Tool 1, with the knowledge cultivated in Tool 2, to help start and/or support conversations that may occur within the school community, with prepared scripts and tips for communication. Communication Bubbles include: templates for Advocating for Inclusion With Administrators; templates to Foster Collaboration With Your Team (Within the classroom & school site); templates to Foster Additional Collaboration Within Families; and templates for Teaching Students to Self Advocate!  

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